For someone who wasn’t allowed to have a pet growing up, petting farms where you could interact and get really close to the animals were my favorite places to visit.
Thankfully, Ireland has loads of these farms which are open for people to come and experience the same joys I did when I was young! The thrill of feeding baby goats, the challenge of corralling runaway ducks is something that’s irreplaceable.
Whether you’re a nostalgic adult or a parent ready to create similar stories for your little ones, join us as we unravel the top picks, hidden gems, and quirky adventures in Ireland’s best petting farms.
Ardmore Open Farm and Mini Zoo, Co.
Address: Ballykilmurray, Waterford, P36 RH66, Ireland
Phone Number: +353 24 87600
Hours: Open Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 5:30 pm
Tucked away in the scenic landscapes of Co. Waterford, Ardmore Open Farm and Mini Zoo stands as a prominent family destination ever since its opening in 2013.
Upon arrival at Ardmore Open Farm, you and your family can delve into the joy of connecting with a diverse range of animals, from the charming farmyard residents to captivating creatures in the Mini Zoo.
There are goats, ponies, and horses among more typical animals, but there are also more exotic ones like snakes, meerkats, and even a Burmese Python!
Don’t miss the daily feeding sessions, where you can actively participate in delivering food to the farm’s residents. It’s a delightful and educational experience for both kids and adults too.
Blackwater Open Farm
Address: Ballinaclash, Blackwater, Co. Wexford, Ireland
Phone Number: +353 87 130 3057
- May to June: Open all day on Saturday and Sunday
- July to August: Open all day everyday
- September to October: Open everyday from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm
Also nestled in the heart of the sunny southeast in Co. Wexford, Blackwater Open Farm stands out as one of the premier open farms in Ireland. This lively farm always gives you a day filled with enjoyable activities and up-close encounters with animals.
The variety of adorable animals they have living on site range from tiny chicks and ducklings to fuzzy bunnies and lambs. You can pet and interact with these animals with staff guidance for a fun but also educational time.
In addition to the delightful animal interactions, visitors can partake in tractor rides and enjoy a meal at the on-site restaurant.
We recommend checking the schedule for the guided tours of the entire property. They provide fascinating insights into the daily routines of the farm’s residents and a more in depth understanding of the animals’ needs and how to care for them.
Caragh Open Farm
Address: Raheens, Naas, Co. Kildare, W91 PV07, Ireland
Phone Number: +353 87 695 7306
- April to June and September to October: Open on weekends from 11 am to 5 pm
- July to August: Open everyday from 11 am to 5 pm
Spanning over an area that measures 6 acres, the Caragh Open Farm in Co. Kildare makes a name for itself as a more authentic farm experience. This petting farm was once an actual working farm before it underwent renovations and repairs.
After its transformation, it now hosts over 30 diverse animal species and has excellent facilities for children, including well-equipped playgrounds.
Families can enjoy leisurely strolls through the scenic surroundings while interacting with animals that call Caragh Open Farm home. The thoughtful layout and attention to detail make it an ideal destination for a relaxing day out with loved ones.
If the kids still have energy left to burn after spending a day at the Caragh Open Farm, they can enjoy themselves at the makeshift obstacle course on the farm grounds. It has climbing stations, monkey bars, and even a rappelling wall for the kids.
Castleview Open Farm
Address: Barrackquarter Or Ross, Cullohill, Co. Laois, R32 E932, Ireland
Phone Number: +353 86 036 1857
Hours: Open from Saturday to Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm
Castleview Open Farm in Co. Laois distinguishes itself as one of the more versatile open farms in Ireland by offering a perfect blend of indoor and outdoor activities.
At the indoor facilities, you can visit tamer animals like turtles, rabbits, kid goats, skunks, guinea pigs, and hens. There’s even a Go-Kart racetrack complete with all the twists and turns. You can enjoy a snack at the farm cafe before heading outside.
Their list of outdoor animals include owls, goats, foxes, lambs, alpacas, buffalos, donkeys and even a peacock!
Maximize your day by exploring the long list of outdoor activities you can try. Opt for some sporty fun on the mini golf course and soccer pitch or you can have the kids run around in one of the many playgrounds, maze, and garden.
C&J’s Animal Park
Address: 30 Derryall Road, Craigavon BT62 1PL, Ireland
Phone Number: +353 51 339 5932
Hours: Open from Wednesday to Sunday from 11 am to 4:30 pm
C&J’s Animal Park is family-run so the focus of the park is to provide the best experience for families too. This park provides a diverse encounter with animals, from the familiar farm residents to exotic and endangered species.
Navigating the park is a breeze, thanks to its flat gravel pathways for easy access to all areas. The Reptile House stands out as a must-visit, showcasing a captivating array of reptiles that you can actually touch and pet.
You can participate in the animal handling sessions that are available throughout the day, while gaining insights into proper handling techniques from the nice staff.
C&J’s Animal Park has areas dedicated for picnics, both inside and outside. You are allowed to bring in food and drinks, but there are also light snacks, tea, and coffee available on site for sale if you’d rather not lug a picnic basket around.
Clonfert Pet Farm
Address: Clonfert, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, W23 PY05, Ireland
Phone Number: +353 1 601 6314
Hours: Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm
Located in the Kildare countryside, Clonfert Pet Farm is a great place to visit for a farm experience that’s amped up by an inclusion of a mini zoo inside. They offer an impressive array of farm and zoo animals that you can get up close and personal with.
Beyond the furry and feathered farm animals we typically see, Clonfert Pet Farm is also home to more uncommon animals like marmosets, white peafowls, pheasants, and ouesssant sheep.
After a long day of animal fun, you can grab a bite to eat at the cafe they have within the farm grounds that serves breakfast and lunch options.
Don’t miss out on the extensive range of activities from ziplines to bouncing castles and even a mini-golf zone. You can also engage in friendly matches on the football and Astro pitch. Their indoor play center is also fun for the kids.
Kia Ora Mini Farm
Address: Kia Ora, Courteencurragh, Gorey, Co. Wexford, Y25 RX60, Ireland
Phone Number: +353 86 878 8424
Hours: Open from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 5:30 pm
Opening its doors in 1991, the Kia Ora Mini Farm in Gorey has secured its spot in the list of the most favored open farms in the area. The name itself reflects the welcoming nature of the experience, with Kia Ora meaning hello or welcome in the Maori language.
This hands-on farm provides an interactive experience for kids and adults to learn more about different animals. You get to see the animal’s behaviors and preferences by holding, feeding, and running around with them.
Farm animals like cows, pigs, and sheep roam freely while llamas, alpacas, and emus await in their pens for you.
Try to arrive early to sign up for the feeding sessions for the day. There are regular sessions but most slots fill up fast, especially the ones where you can bottle feed goats and lambs!
Leahy’s Open Farm
Address: Leahys Open Farm Ltd Dungourney, Midleton, Co. Cork, P25 KW14, Ireland
Phone Number: +353 83 848 8142
Hours: Open from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 5 pm
Leahy’s Open Farm in County Cork offers an engaging blend of entertainment and education.The outdoor spaces are filled with diverse animal life, from cats and goats to ducks and geese.
You can take a stroll and read the individual plaques displayed on the fences for each animal’s home before entering. You can learn their names and discover interesting facts about each species, adding an educational layer to your visit.
To cap off your day, the farmer’s fun house has all sorts of activities like a go kart arena, slides, sandpits, and basketball hoops.
Leahy’s Open Farm in County Cork isn’t just a farm, it’s also a pretty popular venue for private parties, camps, school field trips, and family get-togethers. So be sure to stay updated on their website about closures and opening schedules.
Loughwell Farm Park
Address: Loughwell, Moycullen, Co. Galway, Ireland
Phone Number: +353 91 868 631
Hours: Open from Wednesday to Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm
Loughwell Farm Park in Galway stands out as one of the most entertaining farms in the area, always ensuring a day of excitement for visitors of all ages. It has an extensive array of animals, including kune kune pigs, miniature ponies, and alpacas.
There are also your usual farm animals like sheep, chickens, goats, deer, and more.
Whether you’re petting Haribo who has been dubbed as the ‘cutest sheep in the world,’ or feeding the animals and cuddling rabbits, you’ll have an enjoyable time here.
Drop by the Elderflower Cafe for some hot and cold drinks. Don’t miss out on their baked goods from the wonderful scones to their cakes. They also have full meals, so you won’t have to worry about packing lunch or dinner.
Moher Hill Open Farm and Leisure Park
Address: R478, Ballysteen, Liscannor, Co. Clare, V95 XK00, Ireland
Phone Number: +353 87 225 8347
Hours: Open from Monday to Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm
Moher Hill Open Farm and Leisure Park is a sprawling 14-acre haven for animal enthusiasts. Featured on many RTÉ programs, this award-winning farm provides an educational and fun interactive experience coupled with breathtaking surroundings.
You can engage with a variety of animals and learn about their habitats while enjoying the fresh air. Alpacas, emus, falabella horses, Galway sheep, racoons, highland cows, and ostriches frolic freely on open fields where you can approach them.
After getting your animal fix, you can spend the rest of the day playing in the bouncing castle, ball pool, and go kart areas.
For those who prefer to enjoy the company of animals indoors, they also have feeding areas, animal paddocks, and antique farm machines in their barnhouse. You can also play a round of mini-golf!
New Bridge House and Farm
Address: Hearse Rd, Newbridge Demesne, Donabate, Co. Dublin, Ireland
Phone Number: +353 1 895 8262
Hours: Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 am to 4 pm
New Bridge House and Farm offers more than just the typical farm experience. Here, you get to embark on a journey through time where history and agriculture intertwine to create a unique experience.
This Georgian mansion and estate stand as a testament to three centuries of Irish history, offering you a rare glimpse into the past. The New Bridge House and Farm invites you to partake in the delights of one of Dublin’s cherished working farms.
You can meet the pigs, cows, sheep, and horses, among other residents. Or, you can navigate through the interactive Farmyard Discovery Trail, while you learn facts.
The Cabinet of Curiosities, a treasure trove of antiquities and oddities dating back to the 1760s, stands as one of the remaining family museums in Ireland and the UK. Your visit won’t be complete without checking it out.
Newpark Wildlife Farm
Address: 17 Castlecomer Rd, Newpark Lower, Kilkenny, Ireland
Phone Number: +353 56 776 0500
Hours: Open everyday from 10 am to 6:30 pm
Newpark Wildlife Farm in Co. Kilkenny is one of the more unique ones on the list. This farm is located within the grounds of the Newpark Hotel and is accessible to both guests of the hotel and visitors alike.
This farm is perfect for younger children because it’s designed to maximize safety and convenience when you visit. The kids can interact with safer and tamer animals too like ducks, chicks, lambs, and highland cows.
For older kids, they can play with the emus, llamas, alpacas, and Guinea Fowl that also call the farm home.
Don’t go home without letting the kids run around the adventure playground. There, they can go up and down the slides, dig in the sandpits with machine-operated diggers, or go down the zipline attached to a treehouse.
Address: Rathbane, Ardrahan, Co. Galway, H91 CP89, Ireland
Phone Number: +353 87 650 5228
Hours: Open everyday 24/7
Rathbaun Farm, nestled in the heart of Co. Galway, provides you with a glimpse into the captivating Irish farming life. Steeped in history and tradition, this 80-acre sheep farm offers you a genuine insight into practices used both in the present day and in the past.
As you explore Rathbaun Farm, you’ll get to discover the charm of its 250 year old thatched cottage, decorated with original stonewalls and a crackling turf fire. While you’re there, you can witness the daily workings of a sheep farm.
Feeding the lambs, interacting with the animals, and absorbing the rich stories of the Burke and Connolly families who own the farm are some of the things to do here.
You can come with an empty stomach because the first thing they make you do when you arrive is sit down and have a cup of tea and coffee. There are also freshly baked scones and fresh whipped Irish cream and preserves.
Secret Valley Wildlife Park
Address: Secret Valley Wildlife Park, Coolnacon, Clonroche, Co. Wexford, Y21 DF85, Ireland
Phone Number: +353 87 646 5601
Hours: Open everyday from 9 am to 5 pm
If you venture into County Wexford, you’ll discover the Secret Valley Wildlife Park which is the only southeaster zoo and wildlife park that’s fully licensed. Home to over 200 animals representing more than 40 different species, you won’t run out of variety.
This park offers a fascinating blend of traditional and exotic wildlife. There are primates like lemurs, meerkats, and monkeys to exotic animals like foxes, macaws, and prairie dogs.
If you prefer domestic animals, there are also rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, ferrets, and hedgehogs. Farm animals like llamas and horses are also present.
Beyond the animals, there are also a lot of activities at the Secret Valley Wildlife Park you can enjoy. You can go on a pony ride, do some arts and crafts, attend educational talks or just enjoy the beautiful view of the Irish countryside.
Stonehall Visitor Farm
Address: Stonehall, Curraghchase, Co. Limerick, Ireland
Phone Number: +353 87 909 3286
Hours: Open from Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm
Celebrating over two decades in the business, the Stonehall Visitor Farm in Co. Limerick stands as a purpose-built wildlife park that seamlessly blends fun and learning.
Designed to cater to families, children, and even special events, it’s fun for everyone.
As opposed to normal farms where the animals are cages or in pens, at Stonehall Visitor Farm, the animals roam free on the grounds, and you get to walk alongside them as they do their everyday routines.
There are farm animals and domesticated pets that you can pet, play with and feed. The more exotic animals are kept in large open spaces that are cordoned off for safety.
Try to go on one of the nature trails and walks that the Stonehall Visitor Farm is famous for. You can immerse yourself in nature by trekking through the wooded areas and appreciating the plant and animal life there as well.