Your kiddo has never met a dog she didn’t like…or a cat, pig, cow, monkey, sloth, alpaca or parrot, for that matter. Encourage the Dr. Dolittle in your budding veterinarian, and take them to one of these spots in the greater Los Angeles area for an up close and personal encounter with animals of every kind.


Wildlife Learning Center

More than 50 different species of zoo-born and rescued animals thrive at the Wildlife Learning Center in Sylmar. Visitors may stroll through the gorgeous, landscaped setting to view the animals, or sign up for a more intimate, customized tour that features engaging animal interaction. Touch a fox, feed a porcupine, hold an owl, and meet lovely Lola the sloth (pictured) and many smaller mammals and reptiles in the center’s 1-on-1 animal experiences and zoofari tours. They’re open daily from 11 a.m –5 p.m., and tickets are $6 for kids, $7 for adults (2 and under are free).

16027 Yarnell St.

photo: Linz E. via Yelp

  • Wildlife Learning Center
  • The Gentle Barn
  • STAR Eco Station
  • Danny’s Farm
  • Underwood Farms
  • Alpacas at Windy Hill
  • Gibbon Conservation Center
  • Los Angeles Zoo
  • Moorpark Teaching Zoo
  • Farm Sanctuary’s Animal Acres

More in the mood for creatures that swim? Check out places you can meet fishes and other wet critters.

Did we miss your family’s favorite petting zoo or animal encounter experience in Los Angeles? Please let us know in the comment section below.