The REALLY BIG List of Animal Encounters

Apache Junction

Reptile Junction: This pet store has a twist! Exotic animals roam the store. Try to visit on a Monday to see Rat the emu! It’s also the home to Jeremy the monitor lizard.

Superstition Serpentarium: This spot is located within Goldfield Ghost Town and is the home to snakes, bugs and other reptiles.

Camp Verde

Out of Africa: This large zoo is known for its bus tour where giraffes will eat from your hand and the Tiger Splash show!

Casa Grande

The Pony Ranch: The Pony Ranch offers parent or guide led pony rides along their pony trail. Open Saturdays and Sundays 10am – 4pm.


Mortimer Farms: While this farm is know for its Pumpkin Patch and other events, this location is also open to the public daily for play and visiting the animals!


Carl’s Damaged Pet Warehouse: This residential property has a collection of animals that the public are welcome to visit and feed. They include Highland Scottish cows, goats, sheep, miniature donkeys, pot belly pigs, a goose, and red slider turtles.

Mother Nature’s Farm: This farm hosts a family fall event/pumpkin patch and on the off-season opens up to the public 9am – 3pm on Sat & Sun. Guests can visit, bring a picnic and feed the animals. 


Lizards for Kids: This reptile museum is kid friendly, kid-run and open to public by appointment only.

Sahuaro Ranch Park: This historic park and playground is also the home to roaming peacocks, bunnies and other wildlife.

Litchfield Park

Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium: This huge zoo has an aquarium with an attached Dillon’s restaurant, a train, sky ride, roller coaster and other rides. 


Superstition Farm: This non-profit farm is home to friendly donkeys and other farm animals that guests can feed. It also hosts Taco Tuesdays!


Western Trails Ranch: Technically an event venue, there is also a Dillon’s restaurant on site with a petting zoo. Guests can buy feed for the animals from the restaurant or the coin machines. 


Blue Rooster Produce Stand: This market offers local produce, raw honey, fresh pizza and a kids’ play area. Guests can visit with the chickens and pigs that live here.


Phoenix Zoo: A large zoo with waking paths, a farm area with a playground and petting zoo, a carousel and a tram. Snack shacks are located throughout the zoo and there is a walk-up style restaurant at the front of the zoo. In the summer there is a small splash pad and a cave splash area. 

Liberty Wildlife: This sanctuary is primarily the home for large birds like eagles, falcons and owls but also houses reptiles and other creatures. Check the website for public hours.

The Farm at South Mountain: Guests can dine outside at the multiple restaurants on this property and visit the birds that live here.


Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch: This location has animals available to to pet and feed including sting rays, goats, sheep, donkeys, bunnies, lorikeets and ostriches!


Heritage Zoo: This animal sanctuary is the home to bears, mountain lions, and wolves. There is also a playground and small splash pad. 

Plum Creek Alpacas: This Alpaca farm is open to the public for tours. Book online ahead of time.

Queen Creek

Schnepf Farms: This farm hosts family Fall and Christmas events but off-season it offers a petting zoo and train rides Thurs – Sundays 8am – 4pm.


Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center: While this sanctuary is normally not open to the public except for pre-booked tours, one a month they host a family day where all guests can visit the animals! Book tickets online ahead of time and they do sell out. 

Phoenix Herpetological Sanctuary: The largest reptile rescue in the US! Tours are open to the public with an advanced reservation or private tours can also be scheduled. 

Macdonald’s Ranch: Their petting zoo is open to the public as long as there is not a private event going on. They also offer horseback rides and a stagecoach experience.

Butterfly Wonderland: A large indoor butterfly arboretum with an aquarium, reptile and other critter exhibits located at the Arizona Boardwalk.

Odysea Aquarium: A large aquarium with penguins, otters, touch tanks, and a unique rotating show featuring seals and other sea animals. Also located at the Arizona Boardwalk.

San Tan Valley

Loveland Sanctuary: If you book a class or go to an event at this location, you’ll see donkeys and chickens. Guests can even sign-up specifically for the donkey experience!


Sea Life Aquarium: This aquarium has underwater exhibits that are the perfect height for little ones and a 360 degree tunnel. Plus they often host seasonal events and scavenger hunts. Located at Arizona Mills Mall across from LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTER.


Reid Park Zoo: A large zoo in Tucson currently undergoing lots of renovations. Recently completed was the “World of Play” adventure area for kids along with other updates.


Bearizona: This zoo is known for its drive thru area with roaming wolves, deer, bison, goats, sheep and of course, bears. There are also exhibits guests can walk thru as well as a restaurant, bar and gift shop. 

Grand Canyon Deer Farm: This walk through petting zoo allows lots of opportunities for feeding and close encounters with their deer and other animals.


Desert Mirage Alpacas: This Alpaca farm offers tours by appointment only plus a store full of alpaca hair products!

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