Petting Zoos for Kids

You can bring a petting zoo home! You can bring a petting zoo home!

Do your children love animals? Then take them to a petting zoo! Your kids will love the chance to pet and play with cute and unusual animals. Petting zoos can be found at zoos or playgrounds, or you can hire your own mobile petting zoo for a party!

Information on petting zoos for kids in South Africa

Will your kids enjoy a petting zoo?

If your child is having a birthday, why not invite their favourite animals to the party? A mobile petting zoo can travel to your house and provide hours of joy and entertainment for children of virtually any age. As well as being a fun activity for kids, petting zoos are educational and give children the chance to learn about a wide variety of animals that they might not normally come into contact with. Some mobile zoos also offer other kids activities including:

  • Animal feeding, including bottle feeding baby animals
  • Sheep shearing demonstrations
  • Educational programmes aimed at teaching kids about animal and pet care
  • Pet therapy
  • Animal wrangling
  • Pony rides

Some petting zoos specialise in certain kinds of animals, such as reptiles, insects, native animals, or sea creatures.

A petting zoo will fascinate any child who loves animals. Even babies can enjoy stroking a sheep or cow, and adults often get as much out of it as kids. Petting zoos are generally very safe as the animals are docile and used to being around children. Keep in mind that small kids, as always, need to be supervised to make sure they aren't too rough with the animals.

How to organise a petting zoo visit with your kids

Many zoos and wildlife centres have petting zoos attached, but anyone can hire a travelling petting zoo for a special event. Petting zoos are a great idea for birthday and family orientated events where lots of young children will be present. To find a petting zoo in your area, check our ActiveActivities directory or look online.

The cost of hiring a petting zoo for 2 hours is around R950-R1500. It is a good idea to book well in advance so you don't miss out. Most mobile petting zoos have a restriction on the number of kids allowed to be in the pen with the animals at any one time, and this will depend on the size of the enclosure.

Make sure you have enough space in your backyard or school for the enclosure and any waiting children. Some kids may be nervous around animals, so it is a good idea to have an adult nearby to provide reassurance or take them away if necessary.