Where to see animals on Long Island
Whether you want to see a goat, spy on osprey, watch the sharks or just view the unusual, Long Island has an array of mammals, birds, reptiles, fish or amphibians that should suit your fancy. Here's our list of several places you can take the family to get a closer peek at nature. But before you go, be aware that feeding and/or petting the animals is off-limits at many places.
Animal Farm Petting Zoo and Family Park(Credit: Newsday / Ana P. Gutierrez)
At the Animal Farm Petting Zoo and Family Park (296 Wading River Rd., Manorville) you'll find parrots, monkeys, camels, llamas, reptiles, an ostrich, kangaroos and other exotic animals. You can bottle-feed baby pigs, get in the pen with baby goats, cuddle with chicks and guinea pigs. You'll also find playgrounds. Admission includes free pony rides and a turtle train ride. Price: $14.50, $12.50 seniors and ages 2-16, free ages 2 and younger
Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard & Horse Rescue(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
The Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard & Horse Rescue (2114 Sound Ave., Baiting Hollow) features rescued horses and on weekends from Memorial Day until mid-November, kids can enjoy pony rides from noon to 5 p.m. Price: Free.
Benner's Farm(Credit: Benner's Farm)
Benner's Farm (56 Gnarled Hollow Rd., Setauket), a 15-acre family homestead, features chickens, rabbits, pigs, cows, horses, goats and more. They've been farming organically since the late 1970s in their family garden and fields of strawberries. Price: Farm admission is $6 ($5 ages 14 and younger); extra fees for workshops and other events.
Catapano Diary Farm(Credit: Catapano Diary Farm)
The Catapano Dairy Farm (33705 North Rd./Route 48, Peconic) has a cheese-making area where you can watch organic goat's milk cheese being made. Call ahead for a tour which includes an interactive milking demonstration, cheese sampling and a guest bar of pure goat milk soap. Price: $10.
Center for Science Teaching and Learning(Credit: Center for Science Teaching and Learning)
At the Center for Science Teaching and Learning (1 Tanglewood Rd., Rockville Centre), you can check out a variety of birds, parrots, alligators, dwarf goats, owls, fish, a live honeybee hive, butterflies and more. Price: $6 for animal exhibit.
Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium(Credit: Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium )
The Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium (1660 Rte. 25A, Cold Spring Harbor) first opened by the state in 1883, became a nonprofit educational facility in 1982. You'll see freshwater fish, frogs, turtles, snakes and salamanders. Price: $6, $4 seniors and ages 3-12, free 3 and younger.
Hallockville Farm(Credit: Randee Daddona)
Visit cows, sheep and chickens and then take a tour of the 19 historic houses, barns and outbuildings from the mid-18th century at Hallockville Farm Museum (6038 Sound Ave., Riverhead). Price for guided tours: $7 adults, $5 children and seniors.
Harbes Family Farm and Vineyard(Credit: Newsday / Ursula Moore)
You'll find Shetland paint ponies, Nigerian goats, potbelly pigs, sheep, cows, bunnies and chicks at Harbes Family Farm and Vineyard's (715 Sound Ave., Mattituck) "Barnyard Adventures." Don't forget to visit the "Bee Observatory" to see how honey is made. Price: $12.95, free for children 2 and younger (pony rides are extra).
Sweetbriar Nature Center(Credit: Janine Bendicksen)
Sweetbriar Nature Center (62 Eckernkamp Dr., Smithtown) is best known for its butterfly house, which features 20 to 30 species of butterflies. There's also a rain forest exhibit that includes iguana, a red-tail boa constrictor and parrots. Plus, you can see native animals and birds, glass cases with Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and a Chilean rosehair tarantula, toads, reptiles and more. Price: Butterfly and moth house: $3, $2 seniors and children.
Holtsville Park, Ecological Site and Wildlife Center(Credit: Newsday / Jim Peppler)
The Holtsville Park, Ecological Site and Wildlife Center (3 Buckley Rd., Holtsville) features more than 100 injured or non-releasable wild and farm animals. You'll see goats, llamas, a fox, bald eagles, bobcats, deer, horses, wild mustangs, bears, owls, donkeys and more. Feed machines for the goats are available for 25 cents a handful. Price: Free, donations accepted; $5 parking fee Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve(Credit: Thomas A. Ferrara)
The Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve (200 New Highway, Commack), open only to Town of Smithtown residents, features 133 acres, dogwood, oak and hickory trees. Reproduction of typical Long Island Indian wigwam, domestic animals, a nature center, playgrounds and more.
Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center(Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)
Visit an all-living coral reef, a 120,000-gallon shark tank, sea lions, touch tanks, "ray bay" where you can feed the stingrays, fish, penguins and more at the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center (431 E. Main St., Riverhead). Plus, you don't want to miss the Butterflies & Birds exhibit. Price: $26.50, $20.50 children ages 3 to 12, free children ages 2 and younger.
Long Island Game Farm Wildlife Park and Zoo(Credit: Craig Ruttle)
You'll see a giraffe, monkeys, zebras, red kangaroos, cougars, cows, pigs and other exotic and domestic farm animals at the Long Island Game Farm Wildlife Park and Zoo (Chapman Boulevard, Manorville). There's also a petting zoo where you can bottle-feed the animals, a carousel, teacup and train ride, pony rides and more. Price: $16.95 adults, $14.95 children ages 3 to 11, free for children 2 and younger.
Suffolk County Farm and Education Center(Credit: Suffolk County Farm )
At the Suffolk County Farm and Education Center (350 Yaphank Ave., Yaphank) you'll see llamas, sheep, pigs, rabbits, cows and other farm animals. Visitors are encouraged to pet the livestock -- feed is available for $2 per bag. The explore classroom features an interactive nature art area, an herb garden, a stage with barrel drums, "wrench-o-phone," and gourd maracas, plus a slide and climbing hill. Price: Free except for special events.
Long Island Livestock Company(Credit: Long Island Livestock Co.)
Check out sheep, goats, llamas and other livestock at the Long Island Livestock Company (125 Gerard Rd., Yaphank). You'll also find homemade bath products, shearing, handspun and homespun yarns, and educational programs for children and adults. Price: Free.
Martha Clara Vineyards(Credit: William Perlman)
Mom and Dad can enjoy a glass of wine and then head over to the petting zoo where you'll see a potbellied pig, donkeys, Highland cattle, llamas and horses at Martha Clara Vineyards (6025 Sound Ave., Riverhead). From June through October, you can take horse-and-carriage rides around the property. Price: $1 to feed the animals.
White Post Farms(Credit: Danielle Finkelstein)
Check out the large petting zoo at White Post Farms (250 Old Country Rd., Melville), which features goats, zebras, kangaroos, cows, pigs, sheep, monkeys and more. There's also a bird aviary, playgrounds, pony rides, train rides and more. Price: $10.75 weekdays, $16 weekends; pony rides ($5) and train rides ($2).
North Quarter Buffalo Farm(Credit: Newsday / Jim Peppler)
See about 300 buffalo from the road at North Quarter Buffalo Farm (Corner of Roanoke and Reeves avenues, Riverhead). Call Tweed's Restaurant & Buffalo Bar (17 E. Main St. in Riverhead, 631-208-3151) and they'll arrange a free tour.
Butterfly Zoo(Credit: Newsday / Ed Betz)
The Butterfly Zoo at the Main Street Nursery & Florist (475 W. Main St., Huntington) features more than 100 butterflies including black-and-white Zebra Longwings, tiny, pastel-colored Julias and Buckeyes. The small enclosure has at least six species and is designed to show Long Island plants that attract butterflies. Price: Free.
South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center(Credit: AP)
You'll find several live animals on hand, a marine life touch-tank, butterfly garden and other interactive exhibits at the South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center (377 Bridgehampton / Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton). Price: $7 adults, $5 ages 3 to 12, free for ages 2 and younger.
South Shore Nature Center(Credit: Ed Betz)
The South Shore Nature Center (130 Bayview Ave., East Islip) includes upland forests, freshwater wetlands and a salt marsh. You'll find a large network of trails and boardwalk, interactive exhibits and collections of both live animals and mounted wildlife specimens and dioramas. Price: Free, weekend programs free to $4 for Seatuck members, $8 non-members.
Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center(Credit: Debbie Nieto)
You'll find 13 acres of trails plus a terrarium room with snakes, turtles and other reptiles at the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center (134 Cove Rd., Oyster Bay). Or walk outside to the aviary and commune to see hawks, owls and falcons. Price: Free.
The Priceless Parrot Preserve (P.O. Box 691, Ridge) takes in both domestic and wild birds, mainly large Macaws and Cockatoos, that were abused, mistreated and unwanted. Donations are welcome.