Visit Your Favorite Animals in Massachusetts and Rhode Island
Are you an animal lover? Aquariums, farms, zoos and sanctuaries give everyone a chance to interact with their favorites – from the exotic to the cute to the creepy. It’s all here!
Visit in the spring and meet new baby animals and their families. Kids can become junior farmers for the day and help out with milking, egg collecting and even bottle-feeding. If that work makes you hot, Farmland’s Adventure Play & Spray – New England’s largest zero-depth spray-ground – provides cool water fun on hot summer days. In the fall, pick apples and pumpkins or explore the adjacent Mega Maze. 145 Redstone Hill Road, Sterling; 978-422-6666; davisfarmland.com.
This privately owned zoo in Ludlow features exotic animals, such as bears and ostriches, but there are also animals to pet and feed, including miniature horses, goats and the crowd favorite, Geoffrey the Giraffe. Feeding Geoffrey lettuce leaves is an activity kids adore. There’s also a playground and tiny train to ride. 62 Nash Hill Road, Ludlow; 413-583-8370; lupazoo.org.
More than 4,000 butterflies flit around the 8,000-square-foot glass conservatory at Magic Wings Conservatory and Gardens, guaranteeing that you’ll never leave the attraction without getting your fill of these beautiful, delicate creatures. 281 Greenfield Road, South Deerfield; 413-665-2805; magicwings.com.
Get outdoors and enjoy the beauty and wildlife of Massachusetts by visiting your local Mass Audubon sanctuary. Year-round programs offer visitors of all ages the chance to connect with nature. 800-283-8266; massaudubon.org.
New England Aquarium
You don’t need scuba gear to see, touch and learn about the wonderful creatures that live in our seas. Just step through the doors of Boston’s finest aquarium for an underwater adventure the entire family will love! Central Wharf, Boston; 617-973-5200; neaq.org.
Roger Williams Zoo
It’s one of the oldest zoos in the country with more than 100 exotic species. Check out majestic animals, including the African elephant, Masai giraffe, snow leopard, moon bear, giant anteater and more! 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence; 401-941-4998 x316; rwpzoo.org.
More than a zoo, Southwick’s is an adventure, with an array of exhibits, including big cats, giraffes, rhinos and many primates, sure to please and entertain. Other offerings include the Skyfari sky ride, petting zoo, Parakeet Landing, and kiddie rides, including camel and pony rides. 2 Southwick St., Mendon; 508-883-9182; southwickszoo.com.
The Butterfly Place
The Butterfly Place is an indoor garden filled with hundreds of freely flying butterflies from around the world. See caterpillars, chrysalids and cocoons up close as you walk the winding pathway. 120 Tyngsboro Road, Westford; 978-392-0955; butterflyplace-ma.com.
Winslow Farm Animal Sanctuary is a nonprofit, stay-for-life sanctuary established for the rescue and care of abused and abandoned animals and for animal education. Winslow Farm is home to more than 200 animals, including sheep, pigs, goats, horses, llamas, alpacas and exotic birds. 37 Eddy St., Norton; 508-285-6451; winslowfarm.com.
Zoo New England
Franklin Park and Stone Zoo provide a full range of animal encounters. Franklin Park Zoo is home to a tropical forest with the zoo’s famous indoor gorilla exhibit, the Giraffe Savannah, the lions in Kalahari Kingdom, the ostrich, zebra and wildebeests in Serengeti Crossing, and more. Its sister zoo to the north, Stone Zoo, boasts a bald eagle, lynx, reindeer and two black bears, Smoky and Bubba. Franklin Park: 1 Franklin Park Road, Boston; 617-541-5466. Stone Zoo, 149 Pond St., Stoneham; 617-541-5466; zoonewengland.org.
Compiled by Boston Parents Paper staff.