Kids love animals, and they especially love it when they can see animals up close enough to pet them. The New Mexico State Fair always has ponies to ride and animals to feed and pet, but it's also possible to visit the animals at other times of the year. The Albuquerque area has a number of places where families can visit farm animals or animals that enjoy spending time with kid visitors.
Albuquerque Alpacas in the north valley will give ranch tours to those who call to set up an appointment. Gather your kids and some of their friends to visit the gentle alpacas on the farm. Kids will learn about alpacas and the baby crias as well as how fleece is harvested and used.
Take a drive north along the Turquoise Trail to visit the animals at the petting zoo in the old mining town of Cerrillos. The Casa Grande Trading Post is full of unusual treasures and bins for kids, and just outside there are friendly llamas and goats for the kids to pet and feed.
Cowboy Camelids Alpaca Ranch
A visit to Bosque Farms is a great outing that's close to the city but far enough away to feel like you're in the country. The alpacas at Cowboy Camelids enjoy having kids come by to feed them and learn about these sweet animals. The animals are sheared in May for those who want to see the process. Visit to feed the animals and see the products in the farm store.
Galloping Grace Youth Ranch is located in Rio Rancho and is a place where kids can explore the outdoors. They learn how animals are raised and how crops are grown. Petting a pig is possible at the ranch in the summer during their ranch camps. Kids ages four to eight spend the week feeding chickens, goats, pigs, and cows. GGYR also has a program called Hired Hens, where families can rent hens and the coop they live in to put in the backyard. Families can then decide if raising chickens is what they want to do, or not.
Visit the llamas at Llama del Sol in Alameda, just north of Albuquerque. Get close tot he llamas, pet them, and learn how to lead and approach one of these interesting creatures. Visit at the farm or have them come to your event. Visiting the llamas includes feeding them treats.
Pricing for visits to the ranch is $20 per person for anyone over 13 years, $10 for children 4 o 12 with an adult, and free for children three years or younger.
There's almost no animal cuter than a baby goat, and Old Windmill Dairy in Estancia opens their doors for kids to visit just so they can pet the little critters. The 30-acre farm hosts farm events several times a year, and always at Easter time when kids can stop by to see the goats. Contact the dairy to schedule a visit that includes a tour and projects.