Who doesn’t love animals? Dogs and cats are great, but check out where you can go to meet some of the coolest creatures in the Cincinnati area:
Have you always dreamed of owning a pony? Head up to Winton Woods to learn about proper care for your favorite four-legged steed. For just $2 per person, you can brush and gussy up a pony. For even more fun, register for a package that includes playtime in Parky’s Playbarn and a wagon ride for a little extra ($6 kids, $4 adults). August 11 at 9:15 a.m., Parky’s Farm at Winton Woods, 10073 Daly Rd., Register online up to 48 hours in advance.
Bring the whole family along for an afternoon of holding and hugging animals on one of Sunrock Farm’s family tours. For just $12 per person, you can milk a goat, gather eggs, pet a pig and much more. Sunrock Farm, 103 Gibson Lane, Wilder, KY. Call 859-781-5502 for reservations (required). See website for more information.
Eagle Bend Alpacas
Take a tour to learn about the care and growing industry based around some of the world’s softest animals at Eagle Bend Alpacas in northern Kentucky. The alpacas at Eagle Bend are of Chilean, Peruvian and Bolivian descent. Stop by the store on your way back home to purchase yarn, sweaters and other alpaca products. Eagle Bend Alpacas, 7812 East Bend Road, Burlington, KY. Group reservations (minimum of four people) required – call 859-750-3560 to schedule a tour.
Ever wonder what it takes to maintain a one million gallon environment? In groups of 15 or more, it isn’t hard to find out with the Newport Aquarium’s Backstage Animal Experience. Visit the diving station and acclimation area, then learn how to feed your favorite under-the-sea animals. Newport Aquarium, 1 Aquarium Way, Newport, KY, 859-261-7444, NewportAquarium.com.
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
Sure, you can feed the giraffes anytime you go to the zoo, but spending time behind the scenes with the penguins, slowing down with Moe the sloth, or painting pictures with the Asian elephants isn’t part of the typical zoo-goer’s agenda. But a behind-the-scenes experience will cost you: Starting at $250, you and a friend (if you’re less than 15 years old, a parent or guardian) can go behind the scenes and see if you have what it takes to be a zookeeper. Cincinnati Zoo, 3400 Vine St., CincinnatiZoo.org, 513-281-4700.