It’s no secret that Ohio’s zoos are top-notch. What may be a secret to you, however, are the following 8 little known places in Ohio that will give you an unforgettable encounter with animals. Here are 8 little known places in Ohio that animal lovers should definitely check out:
1) Idle-Hour Ranch (Troy)
This family-run ranch in Troy offers an up-close and personal encounter with the animals. The ranch features more than 40 species of animals, including giraffes, elephants, camels, farm animals and many more. It is open only during the months of June-October on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $10 for children 3-12 and seniors 65+, $12 for adults 13+ and children 2 and under are free.
2) The Wilds (Cumberland)
Cumberland is home to Ohio's very own safari-like experience. Though you won't get an up-close encounter with the animals here, you will board a Safari Transport so you can observe them (from a safe distance) roam freely while learning all about the giraffes, rhinos and many other rare and endangered species the facility conserves. Daily tours are offered May-September from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission for daily tours is $20 for adults, $19 for seniors and $15 for children 4-12. Members of the military and children 3 and under are free.
3) Sugar Creek Bird Farm (Bellbrook)
If you're a bird lover and you're in the Dayton area, then Sugar Creek Bird Farm is a place you'll definitely want to check out. The farm offers a full line of bird services and supplies, and features a large outside flight aviary where the birds exercise daily. Sugar Creek Bird Farm is open on Mondays and Thursdays from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
4) African Safari Wildlife Park (Port Clinton)
Observe zebras, llamas, giraffes and more at this wildlife park. Drive-thru and walk-thru admission is $21.95 for adults (7+) and $13.95 for children 4-6. Children 3 and under are free, and senior citizens and military members receive a $3 discount. During the summer months, the park is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
5) Hersheberger Farm (Millersburg)
Within Ohio's Amish Country, this farm and bakery features farm animals you can pet and feed and horse-drawn buggy rides for $5 a person. The farm is open Monday-Staurday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
6) Safari Adventures Animal Park (Sandusky)
Kalahari Resorts is home to this unique safari adventure, where resort guests and outside guests can feed exotic animals and take a pony and/or camel ride. Resort guests are $5 per person and outside guests are $8 per person.
7) Rolling Ridge Ranch (Millersburg)
Ohio's Amish Country also features this family favorite stop where there are farm animals to feed and pet as well as horse-drawn buggy rides.
8) The Farm at Walnut Creek (Sugarcreek)
Also located within Ohio's Amish Country, this farm features more than 500 animals, including a beautiful heard of giraffes. The Farm at Walnut Creek is open Monday-Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Have you been to any of these places before? Share your experiences and photos with us in the comments below!