I guarantee your family will be talking about it for days.
I recently visited Dutch Creek Farm Animal Park in Shipshewana, Indiana, and had an unforgettable experience petting and feeding a huge variety of animals - from camels to ostriches to zebra!
Dutch Creek Farm Animal Park is so unique. It's owned by an Amish family and is located just a short drive from town - at 6255 N 1000 W, Shipshewana, IN 46565.
When I arrived, I was greeted by a young Amish girl who explained the pricing for taking the wagon ride, feeding the animals and going through the petting zoo. The cost was very reasonable considering all that we got to see and do, and it was comparable or lower than visiting any other zoo.
Right away, I decided to venture into the "Walk-Thru Area" to look at the goats, chickens, bunnies, skunks, monkeys, and so many other animals. All of the gates to where the animals were kept were marked on whether or not visitors could go inside to pet the animals. The signs also told you what kind of food the animals liked to eat. Visitors can purchase fruit loops or carrots for $1 to feed them. I was about halfway through when an animal park worker came up to us and told us it was time to get on the wagon for our ride.
Once seated on the wagon, everyone was given a huge bucket of feed. Our Amish "tour guide" told us that when the animals approached, we could either feed them from a bucket, feed them by throwing the pellets on the floor, or feed them from our hands (making sure our palms were flat).
The horse-drawn wagon jolted forward, and we were on our way! Immediately, we were approached by a couple of donkeys who gobbled up the food we gave them. I laughed watching them run after the wagon...they were so cute!
But that was just the beginning.
I couldn't believe how close each animal was to us! We saw and fed so many domestic and exotic animals. There was even a "zorse" (cross between a zebra and a horse) and a "zedonk" (cross between a zebra and a donkey). Our tour guide gave fun facts about his favorite animals, and would stop and go as needed.
My favorite was at the end of the ride when several zebras and a camel approached the wagon to be fed. How cool to be able to pat these animals on the head?!
When the wagon ride was over, I washed my hands in the provided sink, then went to finish walking around the different exhibits, making sure I stopped to talk to a couple of crazy parrots who laughed and said "pretty bird!"
Dutch Creek Farm Animal Park is typically open Monday through Saturday, May through mid October from 9 am - 4:30 am. To confirm hours before going, be sure to call them at 260-768-4416. You just have to experience this amazing park in Shipshewana. Bring the cameras!
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