Children’s Zoos / Petting Zoos

“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see“.  Neil Postman


Tisch Children’s Zoo at Central Park Zoo

I was very lucky as a kid, because of my dads job we traveled and lived in many places around Australia. Living on farms, small towns in the outback and bordering National Parks. That childhood experience gave me the opportunity to interact with  all sorts of domestic and wild animals.  In some ways I think this has influenced my way of thinking and why I am so passionate about animals and nature.  

I am sure experiences, or the lack of them, can be what shapes our attitudes towards some things.  In today’s mega cities it can be easy for kids to be separated from nature and animals. Children’s Zoos can give kids the opportunity to discover and experience the world of nature and hopefully influence their attitudes for the best.

The first Children’s Zoo opened in England at the London Zoo in 1938. It was a total contrast to the regular zoo where wild animals were behind cages – to be observed only and definitely not touched.   Since then, these zoos have been established as part of larger zoos, and sometimes as stand-alone ones.

A Children’s Zoo is where children can see and learn about  a variety of placid domestic and wild animals such as sheep, goats, rabbits, horses, chickens and pythons (Alpacas have also been popular but they do spit and bite, so maybe stay away from them!). Generally these animals can be touched, fed and held. Some Children’s Zoos also grow crops and have exhibits showing where food comes from. Some petting zoos travel and can be seen at school fetes, carnivals and even shopping malls.


Feeding station at Tisch Children’s Zoo

Stu’s Pick 

Tropical Fruit World  

Located in Northern NSW, Australia, this park has a unique opportunity to not only see and feed animals but also see and taste a large range of tropical fruit from all over the world.

Tisch Children’s Zoo  
All four of the zoos in New York City have a  Children’s Zoo. This one at Central Park Zoo  was my favourite of those that I visited.

Entrance into Tisch Children’s Zoo

Sea World Gold Coast   
There are some unique opportunities to interact with all sorts of sea creatures at the touch pools at Shark Bay or feed rays at Ray Reef.  

Touch pool at Sea World


Ray Reef at Sea World

It’s important to note that animals may have diseases that can be passed onto humans. Common sense hygiene practices are recommended after handling any animal – and most petting areas will have something nearby to assist you with this.

Please see this website for more details:

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