Jeremy & Mindy Ivcic
My grandson Max with some of our petting zoo animals at a county fair
Bottle feeding our mammal babies is a MONUMENTAL task involving continuous around the clock feedings. This is a group of our llama/alpaca crossed babies(called crias) at home enjoying the sunshine.
FUN FACT: Llamas and alpacas spit only when agitated.
Having a petting zoo & pony ride birthday party is fun and easy. Farm animal themed parties are a great way to entertain and educate your guests of all ages. From food to dress to decorating, let your imagination run “down home”. Whether at your home, park or relatives home we can provide the furry, cuddly critters.
MOST POPULAR PACKAGE: One hour petting zoo & pony ride. Includes an assortment of all our barnyard babies, handler for the petting zoo and pony ride, cups of animal feed and baby bottles of animal milk, birthday person receives a BARNYARD PETTING “ZOO CREW KID” T-shirt, other guests receive a farm related coloring book, “got milk” pencils and cow erasers. Assortment of animals include: chicks, ducklings, baby piglets, baby lambs and goat kids, a baby llama or alpaca, miniature calf, miniature donkey and miniature pony. Puppies are included when available. Hand sanitizer is provided with every petting zoo or pony ride.
Add a bottle baby camel or zebra to any package for $150.00 each or $250.00 for both.
“ONLY” PETTING ZOO or “ONLY” PONY RIDE: One hour petting zoo (same as above) OR one hour pony ride. COST….$450.00
ADDITIONAL PONY WITH HANDLER…..+$150.00
Most of our birthday parties average 15 to 25 children but have had as many as 68! One pony is generally sufficient unless you wish birthday person to have their “own” pony. We can very comfortably give 30 pony rides in the hour time. We have ponies to accommodate any size child/adult. When booking a party a 50% deposit is required to confirm time and date with balance due day of party. Sorry, we do not accept credit cards.
CLEAN-UP…All we leave you with are “sweet memories”.
Here is what we need from you:
-It is necessary to pull our truck and livestock trailer to area you desire petting zoo. Once truck and trailer are in place the pony rides can be given next to petting zoo or another area.
-We prefer doing the petting zoo on grass (although a hard surface is possible) requiring a minimum space of 20’ by 20’ off side of livestock trailer. Truck and trailer need not be on grass.
-Kids, kids and more kids, Moms, Dads, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins & friends!
WHEN WE ARRIVE: Our handlers will set the fence up outside the livestock trailer. They open the side door and the corral turns into “Old McDonald’s Barnyard”. The children and all guests armed with cups of feed and baby bottles of milk are welcome to come right in with all the anxious babies. Once the petting zoo is started the pony is saddled and the “cowpokes” are invited for a pony ride.
Of course our birthday person receives special treatment. They are the first in the petting zoo and first on the pony ride wearing their official “zoo crew kid” T-shirt.
(To our surprise the following article appeared in the newspaper)
We’re canceling all future birthdays in my household, tossing out what’s left of the candles and popping the balloons. From now on, come September and April, our children will mark the anniversaries of their birth with quiet reflection and maybe a Hallmark card and Hostess cupcake. We’ve outdone ourselves with the Birthday Party of the Universe, and there’s nothing else to do or try. The pony showed.
The pony showed, and the sun shone and the children came and the barnyard animals cooperated and my little girl had one perfect fifth birthday. For once, the planets lined up and reality matched our expectations.
We stopped just short of renting out Disney World, and hired a petting zoo and pony for the afternoon. It wasn’t as expensive or as difficult as you might think. But the event still was fraught with anxiety.
There were a few tense moments. The guests arrived at 1:30 p.m., seemingly dozens of them – certainly more than I’d invited. They came by car and on foot, on bicycle and scooter, bearing gift bags and wrapped boxes and handmade cards. Every one of them skipped up the sidewalk, looked around and asked, “Where’s the horse?”
Thirty seconds later the largest tractor – trailer rig ever put on wheels came rolling up our road. Either our neighbors were moving out without telling us, or our horse had arrived. As I squinted against the sun to read the side of the truck, 25 squealing preschoolers came running to join me at the end of the sidewalk. With a squeak of brakes and an exhalation of fumes, the truck stopped in front of me. I smelled barn animals. Emblazoned across the side of the truck were the words “Barnyard Petting Zoo and Pony Rides”.
I exhaled. The children inhaled in unison, and yelled. “The pony’s here!”
A team of workers kicked open the back doors of the truck and led a pretty brown pony up the driveway and into the back yard. Another pair of workers set up a big corral in the front yard, then slid open a side hatch on the trailer and Old McDonald’s parade poured forth: baby goats, baby lambs, baby pot – bellied pigs, a baby miniature horse, a baby miniature donkey, a baby llama and a baby calf.
For the next hour the kids fed little bottles of milk and cups of corn to the baby animals in the front yard. In the back yard, the party guests were feeding carrots and apples to the pony between rides to the back fence. I’d planned for the birthday girl to get three rides and everybody else to get two, but the pony was so quick and compliant that every kid got as many rides as he wanted. Parents stayed to watch. Eventually, things got so festive we were pulling neighbor kids off the street to come join the fun.
We almost forgot to cut the cake.
At the end, we gathered all the children on the lawn in front of the pony. Our daughter climbed into the saddle (wearing the purple princess shoes she’d just unwrapped), stretched her arms out wide as if to embrace it all, and said “Cheese.”
One day, when she is 30, I will show my daughter that photograph, and she will remember. She will remember the pony and the baby animals and the gifts and all her friends. She will remember the day she turned 5, when the world rose up to meet her dreams, and then surpassed them all.