There are many opportunities to get an up-close and personal experience with animals – visit Farms, touch a giraffe, or even cuddle a lamb.
If you have Children that love animals and want to see Animals up close, then get ready to find nearby Zoos, Petting Zoos, Aquariums and Animals out in Nature.
From A to Z – Aquariums to Zoos, there is something for you; Petting zoos, nature reserves, farms, and even the wilderness; yes, we’ve got places for you!
Please take note that due to COVID-19, most of these places have implemented several changes in their operating procedures. Please always check their website for details.
16 Local Places to Visit with Animals – Petting Zoos, Aquariums, Nature Farms and Zoos.
Petting Zoos for Kids
Address: 1900 W 15th St, Plano, TX 75075
Phone: (972) 881-0140
Located in the heart of Plano, Heritage Farmstead Museum is so rich in history. It is the premier living history site interpreting the Texas Blackland Prairie region in North Texas.
The Farmstead built in 1891 includes the original Victorian home, which is standing on a 356-acre farm with old-fashioned 3 barns, and other structures that recall early life in the Lone Star State.
Take the kids and introduce them to a piece of living history, take some photos, and meet some cute barn animals.
Address: 3701 Custer Rd, McKinney, TX 75070
Phone: (972) 369-0874
The Storybook Ranch was established in 1887 as a working cattle ranch, and to this day, they are you excellent venue option for any special events, and they offer activities for the whole family.
Activities include a trail ride, horse camp, horseback riding lessons, tours, a petting zoo, and a pumpkin patch.
Address: 157 E Exchange Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76164
Phone: (817) 239-8830
Are you looking for a true Texas Cowboy Adventure? We have a perfect place for you!
Stockyard Stables is located in the historical Fort Worth stockyards, which offers trail ride for kids (at least 11yr old) and adults. They take you for a ride down the Old Chisholm Trail and along the Trinity River toward the Fort Worth Sky Line. They also offer arena rides, longhorn steer photos, a petting zoo, and even stagecoach and carriage rides. Giddy up and have a Texan Cowboy experience!
Address: 3709 County Rd 617, Alvarado, TX 76009
Phone: (682) 593-1866
Address: 7422 Co Rd 466, Princeton, TX 75407
Phone: (972) 562-0583
Cathy’s Critters provides high-quality humane education and safe, socially-distanced, outdoor fun.
They’ll be open midday hours Friday every week with special activities in addition to our normal Open Farm Day offerings. Weekends will feature trail rides, animal care talks from our experts, and pony cart rides.
Friday adds a special “Kid Zone” track of supervised activities for kids allowing parents to drop-off and pick-up and have a “day off” from 9am – 2pm as well as Storytime readings at 10:30am and 12:30pm.
Address: 15102 TX-289, Gunter, TX 75058
Phone: (972) 382-4995
We like to call it a petting farm and not a petting zoo, because we focus exclusively on farm animals. Located just North of Dallas, (not far from Prosper, Texas), visitors can see over 50 goats, cows and even some real longhorn cattle up close and personal in their full-time home right here on the farm.
Aquariums and Zoos
Address: 650 S R L Thornton Fwy, Dallas, TX 75203
Phone: (469) 554-7501
There is nothing more fun than going to the zoo for the kiddos. That smile, while looking at the animal for the first time, is priceless. And you can experience that at the Dallas Zoo! It has been recognized as one of the top 10 zoos in the US and is the most immense zoological experience in Texas. With an area of 106 acres park to explore, thousands of animals to see, and offers tons of programs for the whole, this is an excellent place for an adventure.
Don’t miss visiting the Giants of the Savanna Exhibit, an 11-acre safari experience where visitors can get up close and personal with giraffes, elephants, lions, cheetahs, and many other African species.
Address: 1989 Colonial Pkwy, Fort Worth, TX 76110
We are so lucky, we’ve got tons of places to visit, and we got the number 1 zoo in the nation just a few minute drive! Fort Worth zoo has finished in the USA Today’s top five for the 4th time, and this year it finally has taken the number one spot! How awesome is that!
It is home to more than 7000 native and exotic animals, and its wide array of indoor and outdoor exhibits includes World of Primates, Asian Falls, and Raptor.
Bring the whole family; there’s something for everyone at the Fort Worth Zoo.
Address: 12600 FM2932, Forney, TX 75126
Phone: (469) 834-2857
Address: 1801 N Griffin St, Dallas, TX 75202
Phone: (214) 720-2224
This is not your ordinary aquarium; the Dallas World Aquarium is a place where you will be delighted, amazed, and get excited with all the kinds of animals housed here. They feature fantastic wildlife exhibits, including all the different types of freshwater fish, reptiles, amphibians, and exotic birds, along with a wide array of animals that are part of many conservation projects.
Address: Mills Mall, 3000 Grapevine Mills Pkwy, Grapevine, TX 76051
Phone: (469) 444-3050
A great place to see all forms of sea life! You name it, and they most likely have it, from a clownfish to a starfish to seahorses, sharks, and a lot more. They’ve got thousands of sea creatures, both exotic saltwater and native freshwater sea life.
The new permanent exhibit, Sea Turtle Rescue Center, allows visitors of all ages to learn about the threats turtles face in the wild and experience first-hand the process of successfully rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing sea turtles.
You can access many of these venues for free, with the Annual Entertainment Pogo Pass around DFW – we have 20% off your purchase which you can use now.
See Animals in Nature
Address: 6500 S Great Trinity Forest Way, Dallas, TX 75217
Phone: (214) 309-5801
Located just ten minutes drive from downtown Dallas, Trinity River Audubon Center is your gateway to explore the fantastic resources of the 6,000-acre Great Trinity Forest. As stated on their website, it is the largest urban hardwood forest in the United States; this forest supports a diverse community of plant and animal species and contains a unique mixture of bottomland hardwoods, wetlands, and grasslands. Make time to explore this part of our city and have a day full of adventure – take a hike along five miles of trails, enjoy birdwatching, and don’t miss the indoor exhibit hall to learn more about the plants and animals that are native to the lands. This is one of 23 Nature Hikes and Trails
Address: 1 Nature Pl, McKinney, TX 75069
Phone: (972) 562-5566
Founded in 1967, the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary is a perfect place to explore, and the whole family has the indoor and outdoor exhibits to enjoy. They have a beautiful trail, playground, animal exhibits, butterfly house, 2-acre plant garden, and the famous Dinosaur Live (where you encounter the 46-foot T-Rex and nine new life-size animatronic dinosaurs)!
The Heard Museum exists to bring nature and people together to discover, enjoy, experience, restore, and preserve our priceless environment.
Address: 3430 Skyview Dr, Wylie, TX 75098
Phone: (972) 442-6888
In Sync Exotics is a wildlife rescue and educational center whose mission is to provide a caring, safe haven to some of God’s most beautiful creatures by putting their needs above all else; the old, the maimed, the unwanted can find sanctuary in their facility. Just knowing that fact, you would surely want you to support their organization and their cause. As a non-profit organization, they are dedicated to rescuing neglected, abused, and unwanted exotic felines.
Today, In-Sync Exotics provides specialized care for over 70 exotic wild cats (and two lemurs) by feeding them with their specific diets, providing them with medical care, spacious habitats with toys, tubs, and pools, enrichment, and loving attention. Visit them and enjoy your day exploring and learning about exotic cats.
Address: 2299 Co Rd 2008, Glen Rose, TX 76043
Phone: (254) 897-2960
Combine your visit in Glen Rose with a stay and a visit to the Country Woods which has cabins, cool airstream trailers and lots of farm animals.
Address: 11670 Massey Rd, Pilot Point, TX 76258
Phone: (940) 686-4600
A smaller and more personalized experience than a traditional Zoo, Sharkarosa offers Kids a chance to experience rare and endangered exotic wildlife in a unique and personal setting. Located out near Lake Ray Roberts, it has 126 acres of land with 130 animals onsite, Barrel train rides & outdoor dining areas.