10 Petting Zoos in Arkansas

Petting Zoos in Arkansas
Photo by Matthew Halmshaw

As the name implies, petting zoos simply let people interact with animals up close.

Petting zoos in Arkansas keep domesticated animals and some wild species that people can touch and feed.

Usually, zoos only offer the view of these animals because of their wild nature. However, petting zoos allow people to experience what it’s like to care for these animals.

Most zoos have petting zoos that keep domesticated animals such as goats, sheep, and rabbits that people can interact with.

Children visit petting zoos because they get to feed, touch and hold young animals, and it’s always fun. 

Furthermore, adults aren’t left out; there are side attractions that will keep adults busy too.

If you’re looking for some of the most amazing petting zoos in Arkansas, check this out. We’ve made sure you get the best suggestions. 

Also, we put together this list based on the petting zoo’s side attractions. We also considered the amazing animals and, most importantly, a safe environment.

Let’s look at these petting zoos in Arkansas; they are all amazing.

1. Alligator Farm and Petting Zoo

It is one of the best petting zoos in Arkansas. This petting zoo is in hot springs and has some of the cutest baby alligators. Kids can hold the alligators and feed them under the watch and supervision of zoo keepers. 

Besides, if it is the first time your child interacts with alligators, they are completely safe. The zoo also cares for other amazing animals like pygmy goats, monkeys, raccoons, sheep, and even mountain lions. So on your visit, you might look forward to the part where you can feed the alligators. 

Furthermore, you can feed the alligators with meat on a stick during the feeding season from around May to mid-October. Over the years, the farm had gone through changes in ownership. However, each change in ownership made the place one of the best petting zoos in Arkansas. 

In addition, some of the amazing side attractions include hot thermal baths and a fascinating gift shop. Also, a wide variety of animals creates fun-filled experiences for children and adults alike. 

Finally, adults pay $9.00 as a gate fee and $7.00 for children under 12. Children under two do not have to pay; it’s free for these little ones. These petting zoos in Arkansas will give you an amazing experience with the animals.

2. Riddle’s Wildlife and Animal Sanctuary

This petting zoo is home to Asian and African species of elephants located in Ozark mountain foothills in Arkansas.

It is one of the best petting zoos in Arkansas and is internationally recognized as a haven for elephants. Elephants rescued from circuses, private owners, or threatened environments are welcome to stay.

Also, visitors can see the elephants once a month with a token of 5 dollars. The money is used to keep up with the care of these amazing creatures. The sanctuary also runs a charity that allows people to donate money to help care for the elephants. 

Besides the “adopt the Elephant” program, it also organizes an elephant experience program. The program allows people to interact with the elephants and experience what it is like to care for them. In addition, the sanctuary invests in research to help elephants live better and healthier lives. 

Furthermore, monthly examinations are carried out on the elephants to check their health status. The staff draws blood to help research elephant diseases.

Also, they have researched to help elephants that live in areas that are a threat to them using elephant repellants. 

Finally, the sanctuary puts so much effort into ensuring that elephants can also live in safe and happy environments. It is one of the petting zoos in Arkansas that improves elephant safety through collaborative human efforts.

3. Little Rock Zoo

Little rock zoo was named after its location; the petting zoo is popular with a wide variety of fascinating animals. The animals provide the best animal interactions you need.

In addition, the petting zoo has a living classroom that allows visitors to explore and interact with the animals. 

Also, you can find the reptile house with snakes and lizards of various species that will fascinate you. Visitors can feed fish at several fish-feeding stations and watch as they swim happily to get their meals. You can get fish food for just 25 cents, then watch these little fishes amuse you as you feed them.

Another side attraction is the friendly lorikeets that visitors can feed and spend time with. Lorikeets are friendly animals that love spending time with people but can’t tolerate cold temperatures. So your visit with them might not last long, but you will enjoy spending time with these amazing creatures. 

In addition, food, snack,s, and refreshments are also available at cafe Africa. It’s a  cool spot to get snacks, meals, and cold drinks. Visitors can get chicken tenders, salads, ice cream, hamburgers, and lots more. 

Besides, what’s going out for a tour without souvenirs? This amazing petting zoo in Arkansas has a safari trader market where visitors can get souvenirs, toys, and gifts.

The zoo also offers educational presentations by the Civitan Amphitheater stage on animals that live in the zoo.

Memberships are also available for regular visitors on the zoo’s website. If you’re looking for an up-close experience with animals, you can visit any of these petting zoos in Arkansas.

4. Barnyard Friends Petting Zoo

Barnyard friends are one of the amazing petting zoos in Arkansas for horse lovers. If you love or want to experience horse riding, visit the barnyard petting zoo.

The petting zoo has a friendly staff that ensures visitors have everything they need before the horse ride begins. 

Furthermore, there are various animals to feed and interact with at the zoo. You will also get to see lovely side attractions that will fascinate you. Children get to hold and feed bunnies, piglets, donkeys, goats, and other animals. 

Moreover, the horses are well-trained, friendly, and super exciting! The tour guides are super friendly and help visitors enjoy every bit of their visit. A visit to these petting zoos in Arkansas will be fun-filled and exciting.

5. Mae Farm

Mae farm is one of the petting zoos in Arkansas that loves to see its animals as a family. The zoo prefers to see these animals as a part of their lives instead of just animals. The farm is located in downtown northwest Arkansas, Fayetteville. 

Furthermore, the farm opens on Wednesdays to Saturdays from 10:30- 5:30. However, if you want to take a tour, you’d have to make an appointment. The zoo has six mini horses, two rare Caspian mare breeds, and six babydoll Southdown lambs. 

Also, you’ll have a great time with these friendly animals as you get to know each one. The farm also has a working farm, gardens, vineyards, apple trees, and animals that will create loving memories. Mae Farm is one of the petting zoos in Arkansas that you need to visit.

6. Cockrill’s Country Critters

This zoo is one of the best petting zoos in Arkansas, with a wide variety of friendly animals. In addition, the zoo has a lot of side attractions like pony rides, face painting, and a variety of reptiles. You can also book events like birthdays, festivals, etc. 

Besides, visitors are free to hold, feed and cuddle animals they wish to see, and guess what? The animals are friendly too. But unfortunately, the zoo suffered a huge loss from an electric fire that killed most animals. 

As a result, the carbon monoxide poisoning greatly affected the reptile and exotic barn. This incident explains why the zoo is undergoing some renovations currently. The zoo is working towards a grand opening with more exciting attractions and fun-filled events.

7. Farmland Adventures

Try farmland adventures if you’re looking for a petting zoo to spend a day on the farm with your family. The petting zoo has exciting attractions like pony rides, wagon rides, pumpkin patches, corn maze, pig races, and lots more. For example, your kids can get pony rides with a tour guide to tell them about the animals. 

However, weather changes can affect the availability of animals, say during rainy seasons. Feeding the animals is also a very fun thing to do while at the farm. Some animals you’ll get to feed are donkeys, mules, ponies, zebu, etc. 

In addition, feed for these animals is available for just $1.00, and pony rides are available with farm admissions. Pony rides are for kids under 80 lbs and 4 ft tall. The Petting zoo also allows people to host events and make appointments for hostings and tours. 

Also, they have a wide variety of animals, including mules, bunnies, goats, etc. Another side attraction to look forward to is craft booths and hayrides. You can have a lot of fun with the animals and have a great time. 

In conclusion, farmland adventure is among Arkansas’s amazing petting zoos that give you all the fun you want! You should try visiting them when you’re up for leisure activities.

8. Family Farm

Family Farm is among the petting zoos in Arkansas, offering many side attractions alongside a working farm. There are amazing animals to see, touch, and feed. If you love farms and petting zoos, you can visit family farms. 

Moreover, you’ll get all of these attractions in one place. One good thing is that the petting zoo is great for all age groups. There’s enough fun to go around for everyone; just amazing! 

Furthermore, its side attractions include slide mountains, rock climbing, hay slides, rides, and amazing food options. You can visit any of these petting zoos in Arkansas for a fun-filled experience with amazing animals up close.

9. Chez Fur Fibre Farm

The Chez fur fiber farm is more of an attraction farm, but they have amazing attractions for a petting zoo. The petting zoo has alpacas and other animals that people can touch, feed, and have so much fun interacting with. 

Besides, you can also get beautiful souvenirs and art collections for a token. Many exciting moments are attached to visiting any of these petting zoos in Arkansas.

10. Motley’s Pumpkin Patch

Motley’s pumpkin farm is more of an attraction farm, but you can see and interact with some animals. Admission is free for children below two, but adults will pay an admission fee of $17.00. 

Also, they have a friendly staff with many exciting side attractions to choose from. So, for your next family outing, you can visit any of these petting zoos in Arkansas for extra fun.

Helpful Tips for Your Visit to a Zoo in Arkansas

Some zoos have their peculiarities and different policies that guide how they operate. So you might want to consider these few tips before you visit any of these petting zoos in Arkansas. 

  • Always be prepared to meet a large number of people at the zoo. If you are prepared, it shouldn’t be an issue. However, if you don’t like crowds or have a child that doesn’t, don’t fret. You can seek assistance from tour guides so they can help.
  •  For school visits, a teacher must be present to help guide the kids throughout their stay at the zoo. Of course, tour guides will be there to help too. All these rules help to make your stay worthwhile at any of these petting zoos in Arkansas.
  • Food and snacks are available in most petting zoos, but they often tend to be expensive. You can bring your snacks and food to cut down on costs.
  • Strict health policies are implemented to ensure that diseases don’t spread. So, visiting the zoo is not a good idea if you’re sick. Also, visitor groups should stay six feet apart during tours and sightseeing on zoo grounds.
  • Not all zoos allow visitors to feed the animals; it’s to help ensure the animals are healthy. So if you visit a petting zoo in Arkansas and are not allowed to feed the animals, don’t get upset. All the animals need to be as healthy as possible; we don’t want them getting infections.
  • Remember to wear footwear that would feel comfortable because moving around while seeing the animals might make your feet sore. So it’s advisable to wear shoes that can withstand the gravel trails in zoos.
  • Don’t forget to pack enough water to keep you hydrated. With all the sightseeing, it’s easy to get dehydrated. So get enough fluids so you don’t get tired easily.
  • Ensure you wash your hands immediately after touching the animals. There’s always a washing station; just ask the tour guide for directions. If visiting any of these petting zoos in Arkansas, make sure you know their policies.


Many zoos in Arkansas can provide the fun and excitement you need to enjoy leisure or time out with family. You get to see so many amazing animals up close without having to take field trips to the wild.

These petting zoos in Arkansas allow you to experience what it’s like to know these animals. So if you want to visit any fun places in Arkansas, try these petting zoos; you won’t regret it! 

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