Surely one of the best parts of living in the Hudson Valley is sharing life with the animals here. If you or your kids are animal lovers, the Valley is chock full of farms and sanctuaries where you can spend the day with animals of all kinds. We’ve compiled a short list of some of our favorite places to visit, some great family-friendly farm events, and even some info about having farm animals come to your home.
Woodstock Farm Sanctuary
2 Rescue Rd. High Falls, NY
With over 400 rescued animals on hundreds of acres tucked in beautiful High Falls, Woodstock is a non-profit which is open to the public and offers daily informational tours of its facilities and sanctuary residents. They host a number of family friendly events, like Pancake Festivals and HalloWoodstock. Tours are not mandatory, but while visitors are free to roam the acreage, only tour participants are allowed inside the pens and pastures. Woodstock is an amazing place to learn about responsible animal tending and conservation.
Two other sanctuaries that are absolutely worth a visit are
Skylands Animal Sanctuary
50 Compton Rd. Wantage, NJ
If you’ve ever heard of a bull running free in Queens, this is where that bull ended up. Skylands is home to some incredible cows, and is a beautiful, expansive sanctuary worth the visit.
Catskill Animal Sanctuary
Open to the public for tours from April through November, Catskill Sanctuary boasts not only a gorgeous 148 acre farm environment with around 300 rescued animals, but also a four-star homestead that visitors can spend the night in, and a delicious restaurant to eat.
400 Doansburg Rd. Brewster, NY
Green Chimneys is a New York state special education school and treatment center. They are home to myriad animals, from camels to peacocks to vultures! And during visiting season, the grounds are open to the public on Saturdays. There are two tours available at GC, the General Farm Tour: The 3-part tour includes seeing our horses, donkeys, llamas, pigs, camels and more animals; children’s pony rides and tractor-pulled hayride, and The Farm & Wildlife Tour: The 4-part tour includes farm animal tour; wildlife center tour including falcons, owls, vulture, condor, eagle, snakes, tortoise and more; children’s pony rides and tractor-pulled hay-ride.
Pied Piper Pony Rides & Petting Zoo
Pied Piper is an extraordinary family-owned business that brings the farm experience to your doorstep. With a full range of animals from goats to ponies to rabbits to ducks (etc!), they will bring the party to you in their trusty vans. Servicing schools, hospitals, private parties and fairs, Pied Piper provides a safe and fun experience to encounter small critters and larger livestock. They are based out of Patterson, with easy direct access to all of Westchester and the Hudson Valley, as well as New York City.
Stony Kill Farm
Each Saturday from 11am-1pm from February to the end of November, Stony Kill Farm on Rt 9D in Wappingers offers Open Barn hours for the public to meet their cows, pigs, sheep and chickens. This 1,000 acre farm, former homesite of the Verplanck Family, is owned by NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and operated by the Stony Kill Foundation. Stony Kill also offers a fantastic summer camp for local children, called Summer Explorers Camp. Check out their website for more info.