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Long Island farms feature baby animals for spring

A baby rabbit sits in a straw hat,

A baby rabbit sits in a straw hat, at one of the bunny petting stations, at the Animal Farm in Melville, at White Post Farms, where child can pet and hold them. Photo Credit: Heather Walsh

Marshmallow chicks and chocolate bunnies are favorites during this holiday season, but sometimes only the real things will do.

Long Island is filled with places to see little farm animals up close. Most open next month, but some already are showing off the newest arrivals on the farm.

"I am looking at four chicks in the room I'm in right now," says Bob Brenner, owner of Brenner's Farm in East Setauket. "We have goats due any day."

So visit these farms to pet and see the little furry ones.


WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Sunday, 250 Old Country Rd., Melville

INFO 631-351-9373;

ADMISSION $16 cash only

White Post Farms opened for the season last weekend, welcoming visitors to see all the farm animals. "We have a petting zoo," says Nancy Gangi, an events coordinator at the farm. "We have baby lambs, and lots of bunnies," as well as baby goats.

The Easter Bunny hops in for the weekend and parents can take their own photos. Kids can join in the egg hunt, jump in an inflatable house and see a magician perform at 11:30 a.m. and at 1:15, 2:45 and 4:30 p.m. both days.


WHEN | WHERE 9 a.m.-3 p.m. daily (closed April 5), 350 Yaphank Ave., Yaphank

INFO 631-852-4600,


Week-old calves, baby goats, chicks and piglets are some of the little ones gracing the Suffolk County-owned farm this time of year. Older bunnies, horses, llamas, cattle, dairy goats and cows and turkeys are also there for petting.

The farm's baby animals officially debut May 2, farm manager Lina Ospina says, with an all-day festival with live music, food vendors and wagon rides.


WHEN | WHERE Noon-4 p.m. weekends, 56 Gnarled Hollow Rd., East Setauket

INFO 631-689-8172,

ADMISSION $8 ($6 ages 2-16)

The historic family farm is not a petting zoo, per se, but plenty of baby animals can be seen in the baby barnyard, including goats and chicks.

Easter egg hunts, with a total of 8,000 eggs to find over the weekend, take place at 1, 2:30 and 3:45 p.m. both days. Hunters are grouped by age. Get there early, says Brenner.


WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. weekends, 296 Wading River Rd., Manorville. Weather-related cancellations are posted on the zoo's Facebook page.

INFO 631-878-1785,

ADMISSION $14.50 ($12.50 ages 2-16)

Get up close and snugly with the newbies in the baby barn -- including piglets and baby goats. "There's always babies here," says Barbara Albach, one of the directors. "The kids can hold and feed them." (Feed costs an extra $2.50.)

Admission includes a pony ride for kids and use of the playground.


WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m.-about 3 p.m. April 11, Old Bethpage Village Restoration's exhibition hall, Round Swamp Rd., Old Bethpage

INFO 631-981-9452,

ADMISSION $10 ($7 ages 5-12) includes admission to village

The Long Island Rabbit Breeders Association's spring show brings close to 1,000 rabbits -- from the exotic to the more common -- to be judged and awarded best of breed and best in show. "It's similar to a cat show," says Carol Doukas, secretary of the group.

Exotic breeds include the long and tall Belgian hare, the up-to-17-pounds Flemish Giants and the silky and fluffy English Angoras, whose hair can be spun and used as yarn, Doukas says.

Breeders usually bring other rabbits -- including small bunnies -- for visitors to see up close, take photos and ask questions of the experts about caring for rabbits as pets.


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