Seattle's Child

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kangaroo ranch

Kangaroos use their tail to stay grounded, otherwise they would tip over. (Photos by Jasmin Thankachen)

Real, live kangaroos near Seattle! Visit Fall City Wallaby Ranch

Fall City Wallaby Ranch has several types of kangaroos and wallabies, plus lots of learning and interaction.

This is not your usual farm.

It’s not a ranch with sheep and cows or pigs and chickens. It’s a marsupial ranch!

Get up close and personal with sweet, mild-mannered wallabies, albino and red kangaroos at the Fall City Wallaby Ranch. Spend the afternoon learning all about these animals, observe them in their habitat, then feed and show them some love with gentle petting and belly rubs.

This was one of the best animal encounter experiences we have had. My kids came home with so much knowledge about these animals and respect for kangaroos in the wild.

Learn about the research and science that happens on this farm. A great field trip for classes and homeschoolers.

About the kangaroo ranch

Rex and Tawny Paperd own the ranch in Fall City and are the proud owners of seven kangaroos, with more on the way.

Rex will greet you at the end of his very steep driveway, waving from his golf cart. Open the barn doors to a classroom equipped with chairs, photos on the wall and a projector. Watch a short video on the amazing science and research that takes place at the farm. Learn so many unusual facts about marsupials. For instance: Baby kangaroos are the size of a jelly bean when born, and they climb into mom’s pouch to suckle for milk. The videos and photos are amazing!

Baby roos are bottle-fed so they become used to humans feeding them.

Meet the kangaroos

If you’re lucky you’ll get to meet the newest baby, Jasmina. Rex brings her out from a denim sac and treats her to tiny cubes of bread. He introduces her to the guests and gives each one a treat to feed her. We got to pet her and admire her soft coat.

Wallabies have the softest fur and eat cubes of bread as treats.

Now it’s time to meet the mob (group of kangaroos). Head on outside, through the gate and meet the wallaby first. They’re the smaller species of kangaroo, with soft fur and sweet faces. Take a close look at their bellies and you’ll see their tummies moving. Inside the little pouch is a baby. Rex gently opens the pouch with his two fingers and reveals a pink baby wallaby hanging out, upside down. The little surprise was an absolutely amazing sight.

Kangaroos sleep when they want. They also enjoy lounging in the sun, and they have tricks for keeping cool.

The larger red kangaroos are all males and hang out on the other side of the wallabies’ fence. They lounge in the sun, some on their backs and others on their bellies. Every few minutes, they would kick up some sand and cover themselves with it. This behavior is what they would do in the wild, to help keep cool.

Albino kangaroos are rare to find in the wild.

Two Albino kangaroos hop around, while another zips back and forth. Rex warns us to stay away from the one that seems a little nervous, hopping back and forth at lightning speed. He was raised at a zoo and is not used to humans. A toddler walks quickly after him and Rex warns his parents to grab her, just in case it agitates the already scared kangaroo.

kangaroo ranch

These kangaroos trust humans so much that you can give them a kiss.

Hanging out at the kangaroo ranch

We spend the rest of our time at the farm cozying up to the animals, feeding them what’s left of the treats and observing their docile behavior.

Rex is devoted to these animals, and they are well taken care of with plenty of space for exercise and lots of nutritious food. His farm and the kangaroos have been an integral part of how researchers have studied the birth and development of babies. His photos and video have been used in National Geographic documentaries, and work done at the farm contributes to animal science here and in places like Australia, where kangaroos have not been treated as pets.

By the end of our visit, we were absolutely smitten. Instead of dogs, both of my children want kangaroos! I’m glad we discovered this unique place and aim to come back to see Rex and his mob of kangaroos again.

Kangaroo ranch: Know before you go

  • These kangaroos are used to human interaction, but they are still animals. Visitors should be cautious and follow directions, especially with children.
  • Great for ages 4 and up.
  • Do not attempt to feed the animals with food other than what is given.
  • Dress for the weather. Boots will help in the rain.
  • As the weather gets warmer, kangaroos begin to shed their winter coats and may cause allergies.
  • The cost of admission is $20 per person for up to 15 people in the group.
  • Tours are by appointment only. Call 206-354-8624 to schedule.


More animal experiences:

Sammamish Animal Sanctuary is laid-back, unplugged family fun

More zoos and petting farms in the Puget Sound area

Where to go to see alpacas not far from Seattle

About the Author

Jasmin Thankachen

Jasmin is the Associate Publisher at Seattle's Child and an Eastside mom of two boys. She enjoys parenting with lots of love and laughter. Co-Founder of PopUp StoryWalk, she also loves children's picture books, essay writing, and community stories.