A petting zoo is a great way to introduce children to farm animals. Some of the petting zoos not only allow children to pet the animals, but the children are also allowed to ride the horses, feed the animals and milk the cows. Children can also experience what life was like on a working farm.
Horse Power For Kids Petting Zoo
8005 S. Racetrack Road
Tampa, FL 33635
(813) 855-8992

At Horse Power For Kids, the cost of admission is a mere $5 per person and children 12 months or younger get in free. Pony rides are only $3 for a 10-minute ride. Visitors can enjoy feeding, petting and grooming the horses and other animals. The petting zoo is open seven days a week from June through mid-August and Tuesday through Sunday from mid-August through May. Visitors can also schedule parties for birthdays at the ranch or at your home. Parties outside the ranch range in price from $150 up to $300.

Granma’s Hug-N-Farm
930 Hug N Farm Lane
Zephyrhills, FL 33542
(813) 783-9292

Granma’s Hug-N-Farm is nestled on 20 acres of land just outside of Zephyrhills. The owners have been operating the farm and thrilling children of all ages since 1983. The petting pasture, rabbit yard, barn area and picnic tables will make a visit to this petting zoo a memorable experience for the entire family. Visits to the petting zoo are by appointment only. Cost is $8 per person. Birthday parties can be held at the farm for only $225 for 2.5 hours of fun. Granma’s Hug-N-Farm is also available for school field trips and church groups.

K&M Pony Parties And Petting Zoo
985 Kidd School Road
Mulberry, FL 33860
(863) 425-8331

Pony parties and petting zoos are loved by all. K & M will bring the ponies and the petting zoo to your home or to a local park. It is available for birthday parties, business parties, church or school events, family reunions and more. Visitors can also visit the farm for an interactive lesson in how to care for the animals on the farm. For health reasons, hand sanitizer is available to all. The farm meets all USDA federal requirements for animal health, safety and care. Prices vary dependent upon whether you go to the farm or it comes to your home.

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Old McMickey’s Farm
9612 Crescent Drive
Odessa, FL 33556
(813) 920-1948

The owners of Old Mickey’s Farm do not consider their farm to be a petting zoo. They create hands-on educational experiences for children and adults to learn what it is like to live on a farm and tend to animals. Their farm has pigs, goats, ponies, rabbits and more. Visitors to the farm can enjoy tending to the animals, going on a hay ride, eating lunch on the shores of Crescent Lake, milking a cow and walking through the corn maze. The farm is open for birthday parties, weddings, field trips, tours and private events. Old Mickey’s Farm is open year round. Farm tours begin at 9 a.m. and additional tours leave every 15 minutes with the last tour leaving at 1 p.m.

Golden Rainbow Ranch
14412 Snow Memorial Highway
Brooksville, FL 34601
(352) 799-5425

The Golden Rainbow Ranch is a ecotherapy center designed to provide environmental therapy and education in a relaxing setting. The owners of the ranch host birthday parties, boy and girl scout groups and other special needs groups. Suggested donations per child are $10 to $20 and adults are always free. Admittance into the ranch includes a two- to six-hour program that is tailored to the needs of each group. Groups are limited to 20 persons and appointments are required for the tour. All visitors get to visit with the two therapy dogs, Gigi and Penny, as well as watch the chickens, ducks and geese having fun. Visitors will also get a chance to feed the cows, play with baby chicks and goats and brush and feed a miniature donkey.

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Katherine Bostick is a freelance writer covering all things Tampa Bay. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.