Unique Animal Encounters Your Family Should Experience At Least Once
Milk a Cow at Amy’s Farm
7698 Eucalyptus Ave., Ontario
Amy’s Farm is real-working polyculture farm, where visitors get to see a variety of plant and animal species living a symbiotic life. On their Elementary Age Guided Tour, kids get to learn about cows and try their hand at milking a cow! Guests could also go on a garden walk to harvest veggies, pet goats and sheep, feed pigs, and just enjoy the farm! Guided tours are by advance reservation only.
Ride a Camel at Oasis Camel Dairy
26757 Highway 78, Ramona
What did the camel say to the oasis? “I’ll never desert you!”
This unique family farm offers an up-close experience to one of the most incredible creatures around. The Dairy was even featured on an episode of Dirty Jobs where host, Mike Rowe tried his hand at being a Camel Rancher.
Currently, Oasis Camel Dairy offers private tours for families and “pods” with up to 10 guests. You’ll get to feed the camels and learn how mother camels raise their calves and share their milk with us. Plus, meet other interesting residents like miniature sheep, donkeys, exotic birds, and the infamous racing turkeys! Normally (pre-covid), the Dairy offered Open Farm Days and festivals—we’re hoping they’ll come back soon!
Want to really find out why camels are known as ships of the desert? Try riding a camel! Rides can be added on to your experience.
Do you get to try camel milk? Unfortunately, no. According to their website, California is one of the most restrictive states when it comes to making farm-fresh milk available to guests. It would cost the dairy hundreds of thousands in equipment and buildings to be able to let guests try the milk. Read more about here.
Feed the Biggest Birds in the World at OstrichLand USA
610 E. Hwy 246, Solvang
Nestled along the Santa Ynez River, sits OstrichLand, a land that takes you out of Cali and makes you feel like you’re in the middle of the Serengeti.
Visitors are invited to feed these big, beautiful (and maybe a little obnoxious) birds up close and personal, but still from a safe distance. They’re open every day and admission is only $5! Kids (ages 12 and under) are $2 and feed bowls are a buck.
Visit the gift shop for all sorts of ostrich and emu-related products. Gotta feed a huge family? One fresh, ostrich egg is equal to 18-24 chicken eggs—that’s a lot of scrambled eggs!
Meet the Only Two Platypuses in the Country at San Diego Zoo Safari Park
15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido
Walkabout Australia is the newest habitat at San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Two things you absolutely can’t miss when exploring Walkabout Australia: the platypus habitat and walking with kangaroos and wallabies.
Visit the Nelson M. Millsberg Platypus Habitat to come face to face with the only two platypuses currently residing outside of Australia! You might even get to see these mysterious and unusual creatures swim and dive right now on the Platypus Cam. Then visit the grasslands to walk around with kangaroos and wallabies—they could come right up to you!
Looking for more places to visit animals? Visit our Animal Encounters & Zoos section of the OutingsGuide!
This post was written by Alina Na