Are you looking for the best zoo experience ever this summer? This Amish family run farm and petting zoo is amazing and should not be missed! With a wide variety of species available and the ability to hand feed almost all of them, it was one of our favorite travel experience last year.
Dutch Creek Farm Animal Park
While in Indiana last summer for our big family reunion at the Potawatomi Inn, we spent a few extra days in Shipshewana, Indiana to experience a little of the Amish culture. The highly rated Dutch Creek Farm Animal Park was our one big adventure in the area and it didn't disappoint. With over 300 exotic and farm animals available, there's certainly one that will please everyone in your group. The small animal petting zoo includes everything from goats, rabbits and deer to skunks, lemurs and monkeys. The wagon ride across the fields include lots of large animals including our favorite the Zeedonk, a cross between a zeebra and donkey that will (as you see in the video below) take your bucket of food right out of your hands! My boys loved being able to pet and feed almost every animal by hand.
Check out the video below to get a better feel for both the small animal petting zoo and wagon ride through the fields.
Tips for Visiting The Dutch Creek Farm Animal Park
- A safari-style wagon ride to feed all the big animals runs $12 for adults and $8 for kids and everyone gets one big bucket of food for the ride. Check out local tourist brochures for discount coupons, we found a buy one get one free admission. It's free to just visit the petting zoo area but I don't recomend skipping the wagon ride, it's well worth paying even full price!
- They do take credit cards at the gate for admission, but I recommend bringing cash to purchase petting zoo food. The prices were very reasonable but it's operated on a cash honor system.
- They don't sell any people food but you can bring your own picnic lunch to enjoy on site.
- Plan to arrive early, it gets crowded as the day goes on. We had the park to ourselves when it first opened!
- The park is open seasonaly from May 1st through the middle of October. They are closed on Sundays.
For nearby accomodations, I recommend the Blue Gate Garden Inn in Shipshewanna. The hotel modern, with large rooms that easily accomodate families. Plus it features an indoor swimming pool and ice cream parlor that my boys loved. If you're looking for a longer adventure consider a stay at Lake James (about 30 miles away), we found lots of old fashioned fun at the Indiana Lake Resort.