Best Petting Zoos in the Washington, D.C. Area

August 1, 2014 7:00 AM

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Kids love animals of all kinds. From the fun and furry, to the small and slippery, to all the critters in between, an animal’s relaxing silence or inquisitive playfulness can be so entertaining. These petting zoos are great places to enjoy your next animal adventure.

Leesburg Animal Park
19270 James Monroe Highway
Leesburg, VA 20175
(703) 433-0002

This 21-acre park is home to all sorts of furry friends. In addition to interacting with animals like sheep, lambs, pigs, donkeys, goats, llamas and alpacas, Leesburg Animal Park offers exotic animal exhibits where kids can see more unusual creatures like lemurs, camels, zebras, iguanas and even an African-crested porcupine. Visitors can top off their experience with pony, camel and wagon rides. The animal park also has an indoor kids’ play zone, theater and party room which is perfect for birthday celebrations.

Related: A Guide To The Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Green Meadows Petting Farm
10102 Fingerboard Road
Ijamsville, MD 21754
(301) 865-9203

Green Meadows Petting Farm allows visitors to experience a variety of fun creatures. From sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, pigs, ducks, donkeys and emus, you and the kids will be able to enjoy all types of farm animals–and just as important–learn about how they live. The petting farm will educate visitors on the interesting lives of these family-friendly friends and debunk long-held myths about the little critters: pigs are really cleaner than you think and goats really don’t eat any and everything they see. These are a couple of the fun facts that visitors to Green Meadows will learn as they enjoy the animals.

Squeals On Wheels
Washington, DC
(301) 765-0270

This is a fun take on a petting zoo. Squeals On Wheels is a DC metro-area miniature animal petting zoo that brings the fun directly to you. This fun mobile can tote all sorts of adorable creatures including turtles, reptiles, mini pigs, guinea pigs, rabbits, hedgehogs, chinchillas and even mini llamas and alpacas. Patrons can even choose their own zoo, meaning they can pick from a variety of animal packages like Bunnies and Buddies, Dr. Dolittle Zoo, Wonder Pets, Teacup Pigs, Fur Feathers & Scales and Safari Encounter, to name a few.

Reston Zoo
1228 Hunter Mill Road
Vienna, VA 22182
(703) 757-6222

Not only can visitors to Reston Zoo enjoy its petting barn, but they can feed its furry creatures from cups and bottles as well. You and the kids can also visit a reptile house, enjoy wagon and pony rides and experience a free-flight aviary where beautiful birds of all kinds can land on your hand. The kids can let the birds eat from hand-held feed sticks and get a close-up look at their broad wings and colorful plumage. It all unfolds over the zoo’s spacious 30 acres of animals and attractions that are sure to entertain even the most active child.

Related: Best Apple Picking Near Washington, D.C.

Hunt Club Farm
2388 London Bridge Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
(757) 427-9520

The Hunt Club Farm is a 23-acre, family-owned farm that has a petting zoo complete with a wide variety of animals. The kids will be able to get up close and personal with the likes of chickens, sheep, rabbits, cows, ducks and geese. They’ll also be able to feed goats, visit with llamas and donkeys and even ride a pony. The petting farm is equipped with picnic tables and shaded playgrounds to round out a day of total fun.

Kevin Don Porter is the author of OVER THE EDGE and MISSING—two mysteries available on Visit his website at

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