Hands On: Niagara’s Best Petting Zoos

nfhblog5Niagara Falls is one of the most popular family vacation destinations for a number of wonderful reasons. Aside from viewing the magnificent falls there are many places that will have your children entertained for hours on end, which not only gives you as a parent a little reprieve, but also brings smiles to the faces of everyone involved.

Let’s face it, kids love animals. Even adults love animals and one of the best ways to get up close and personal with many different types of animals is the always popular petting zoo. Your kids can see, feed, touch, and play with a number of different types of animals at one or more of Niagara’s petting zoos, and all of them are perfect for an afternoon of family fun.

These are just a few of the petting zoos in the area, and it might be hard to choose which one to visit during your next vacation in Niagara Falls.

Safari Niagara

Not just a petting zoo, Safari Niagara is home to over 1,000 animals and covers 150 acres. Professional guides will escort you and your family throughout the area, showing off and describing the many different species that live here, including big cats, giraffes, hippos, birds, and a number of reptile species.

One section of Safari Niagara that is sure to appeal to children is Papa Steve’s Family Farm. Here your children can visit a variety of farm animals including goats, miniature horses, chickens, and more. And if someone gets bored with the animals Safari Niagara also offers paddle boating, catch and release fishing, a splash pad, and more.

nfhblog6Happy Rolph’s Bird Sanctuary and Petting Zoo

This 15 acre park houses numerous bird species but is most well known as a family farm and petting zoo. A large pond is home to many types of waterfowl, and children can visit and interact with many types of farm animals like cows, horses, goats, sheep, and more.

There are many trails throughout the property at Happy Rolph’s and they are all safe for wheelchairs and strollers. A snack bar and picnic area complete the picture and the combination makes for a fun morning or afternoon for the entire family.


One might not think an aquarium would fall under the petting zoo category, but Marineland in Niagara certainly does. In addition to their numerous fish and marine mammals, Marineland has several herds of elk and deer that simply love people, and they really love people with food.

There are also a number of amusement park style rides at Marineland, as well as dolphin and killer whale shows. If you time your visit right you may even be able to participate in the feeding of their beluga whales. Visit the Marineland website for more information.

Offering your children the chance to interact with animals is a great activity to include in your Niagara itinerary. Be sure to visit one or all of these fun and fascinating animal experiences and we guarantee your kids will have the time of their lives.