When a full trip to the zoo isn’t in the cards, a visit to the Oley Turnpike Dairy and Petting Zoo can be just as much fun at a moment’s notice and a fraction of the cost. On the way to the petting zoo, Berks County roads took us over a picturesque covered bridge shortly before our arrival. The country roads flanked by serene landscape offered a calm and comfortable, leisurely commute. The Oley petting zoo prices and wide variety of animals, plus play area and ice cream, offered a fun and affordable stop on our birthday girl’s Saturday afternoon family celebration.
The unpredictable weather gave us fits. We couldn’t decide if we’d prefer inside activities in Berks or Montgomery County, or taking a chance with the outdoor experiences. So, we chose one that gave us the option of dashing inside for ice cream. I’d wanted to take our girls to the Oley Turnpike Dairy Zoo since I first learned of it last year. It never worked out for one reason or another until this May. Here’s a quick snapshot of our experience visiting the Oley Turnpike Zoo.
Oley Petting Zoo Animals
We found so many new animal friends at the Oley Turnpike Dairy Zoo. I saw on the website that the zoo is home to more than 80 mammals and birds and I don’t doubt it. We saw countless goats, a pig, alpacas, llamas, an emu, miniature horses, donkeys, monkeys and lemurs, a wallaby, a golden pheasant (I think?), peacocks, ducks, turkeys, chickens, deer and more. Of course, now I think I need to find a deer petting zoo, because my daughter loved the two deer here so much. They were the highlight of our trip for her.
We also saw a young cow and a yak, heard a rooster, and enjoyed learning what sounds a deer makes when it wants food. That was probably the cutest thing all day!
We were just there a week ago, and I’ve already seen a post about new baby animals. So crazy that we missed them – maybe they are VERY new babies. We’ll have to go back again soon.
In the meantime, pictures probably serve better than words for describing the animals.
Oley Dairy Petting Zoo Prices
The Oley Dairy petting zoo prices are more than affordable at only a dollar per person. Feeding the animals is a memorable experience for little ones and visitors of all ages. The cost to feed the animals is just $1.50 for a bag of food or 25 cents for a handful from the machines.
Our group of seven people, including two children, took turns feeding the animals from three bags of animal food. This was MORE THAN ENOUGH for two kids and a small group of adults. After taking a break to play on the playground, we pretty much had to cajole the girls into giving out the rest of the third bag of food. I think promising them ice cream sealed the deal.
I will say one thing about the Oley petting zoo plastic bags of food. Be *so* careful with those plastic bags. The animals are so excited to be fed that they will try to eat the bags if your kids (or you) have them too close within reach. It’s so dangerous! I couldn’t imagine if one actually got the thin plastic film stuck in its throat. I’d suggest keeping the bag yourself and having your child come to you for the food. OR, if your kids like going to farms with petting zoo experiences frequently, consider the convenience of a treat bag. A treat bag made of nylon is a lot safer. Most come with a clip or lanyard so you can keep them attached to you without physically having to hold them. The treat bag also works well for pet training, particularly when teaching your dog new tricks.
Anyway, the Oley Dairy petting zoo prices are a steal and well worth it. It’s a very cheap activity for a short or longer time span.
Oley Petting Zoo Play Area
Our friends first told us about the draw of the fenced-in play area that was connected to a petting zoo. The Oley Turnpike Dairy play area includes a wooden pirate ship with a fireman’s pole inside and a gangplank to board the ship. Within the safe confines of the fence also stood numerous plastic playhouses for kids to explore, and a bench where tired parents or grandparents could rest.
A picnic table sits within the fenced play area as well as many picnic tables just outside the play area. Beyond the fence are beautiful, bucolic rolling hills and farm structures in the distance.
My best piece of advice: Offer ice cream to get your kids to leave the play area. It’s a nice reward for being a good listener and it’s something the whole family can enjoy. (Barring any dairy allergies or intolerance.)
Oley Turnpike Dairy Car Show
The Oley Turnpike Dairy hosts Cruisin in the Valley events off and on throughout the late spring and summer. In the past, the Oley Turnpike Dairy Car Show has featured:
- Raffles and prizes
- Awesome cars on display, including street rods, classic cars, and others
- Ice cream
The dairy regularly hosts its Cruise Night car shows with a retro vibe and many unique vehicles. They want customers to bring their cars as well, and will choose a few to photograph for the 2020 Cruise Calendar. They are placing a focus on cars from a different era each time and will hold a vote.
Besides the car shows, the Oley Turnpike Dairy also recently announced they have a party shed. The shed is fairly small but rentable for social occasions at the low rate of $50 for 4 hours currently. Details say it holds 30-40 people but the table and chair space appears a little limited in the Facebook photo. Anyway, it’s a unique and very affordable option if you’re hosting a small gathering.
Tips for Visiting Oley Turnpike Dairy and Zoo
After only moments getting acquainted with the goats and potbellied pig, we felt the sun beating down. Luckily I’d packed a convenient mini backpack with the essentials… hand sanitizer, tissues, water, and sunscreen. (And of course, about four lip balms. <~~ my favorite coconut lip balm.)
I definitely recommend a mini backpack for excursions like this. It keeps both your hands free to wrangle kids and hand out animal feed. If you don’t have a functional and stylish mini backpack yet, you can find so many cute ones at a reasonable price. I got a gorgeous Joe’s Jeans sparkly black mini backpack for only $25.99 (original retail price of $108) and I love it. The fabric is so soft and it has a large main compartment as well as smaller pockets. You can usually find something nice like this for a good deal at Ross, TJ Maxx, or Marshalls. I’ve also seen nice ones on Poshmark and Amazon.
They do have a hand sanitizer station but I always like to have my own on hand too. The Oley petting zoo has porta-potties outside but you can also find restrooms inside the diner to the back-right corner of the restaurant.
Turnpike Dairy and Zoo Suggestions
- Bring sunscreen, tissues, and other essentials.
- Pack your stuff in a mini backpack to keep your hands free for other things.
- Wear rainboots or crocs / plastic clogs. Something easy to clean!
- Keep bags away from animals. Which might mean keeping bags away from young children.
- Consider a reusable treat bag for visiting farms with petting zoos more often!
- Watch children closely as some animals keep licking or chomping after they get the food. Probably looking for more!
- Feed animals with an open palm to avoid accidental bites.
- Let kids drop the food into the pens, or help them, if they are too afraid to do it themselves.
- Make it a playdate with friends!
- Get some delicious Nelson’s ice cream or water ice when you’re done.
- Don’t forget your camera!