My Favorite Animal Adventure

momma daddy and baby giraffe greet guests on the visitor deck at animal adventure park
April, Oliver, and their son, Tajiri, having fun with guests at the feeding deck.

My favorite animal adventure park is a relatively small, privately owned park in western New York. I have always loved animals – petting zoos, wildlife animals, woodland animals, farm animals, pets – I love them all!

I’ve travelled all over the United States and visited many animal parks and zoos but I especially loved a small gem in the mountains of New York called Animal Adventure Park!

You can read about more of my favorite adventures in American in my post, Off On Our Next Adventure: Travel in America.

woman has a scared expression on her face when she comes face to face with a large giraffe
My daughter, Crystal, is not as fond of Oliver as he is of her! He just wants her to feed him more carrots!

My Favorite Animal Adventure

Animal Adventure Park, Harpursville, NY

Animal Adventure Park has become my newest happy place with so many fun things to do! I was among the 1.2 million people who watched world-famous April the Giraffe** give birth on LIVE YouTube feed on April 15, 2017. Since then, we have visited the park several times each year and always enjoy new, exciting adventures. The park owner, Jordan Patch, is dedicated to providing the best care to the animals, educating visitors, and being an ambassador for worldwide animal conservation.

momma giraffe and baby giraffe greet a visitor and eat carrots
April has consistently been a wonderful mother to her babies!

Animal Adventure Park (AAP) is located in Harpursville, New York. We travel about six hours by car to get there and stay nearby at the Hampton Inn in Vestal.

two black belly sheep wait at the fence for visitors to feed them pellets of food
Blackbelly sheep visit with guests in the petting area hoping for more food pellets.

When to Visit Animal Adventure

—Animal Adventure in the Spring

We have visited AAP during all four seasons and each season offers unique experiences and opportunities to the guests. In the spring, the park is full of sweet new babies… there is something very special about petting and feeding a baby alpaca or reindeer – or even a giraffe! You might even get to see a baby being born! The childrens’ petting area is quite active with babies this time of year. In general, the animals are awakening from the cold winter and they enjoy seeing us as much as we enjoy seeing them!

young baby deer feeds from his momma deer in the early spring
Lots of babies are born in the spring at Animal Adventure Park!

—Animal Adventure in the Summer

In the summer, we see lots of activity from the alligators, tortoises, flamingos, monkeys and others who enjoy the hot weather. The water buffalo and capybara play in the pond to cool off! Visitors have plenty of shade and buildings that are air conditioned in case of extreme heat. This is also a great time to witness the animal care teams shave the llamas, alpacas, and sheep. There is always something new to see and experience at AAP!

woman meets april the giraffe face to face at animal adventure park
My first time meeting the famous April the Giraffe in Summer 2017. It was a magical moment for an animal lover who had spent weeks waiting and watching her give birth. I could not get the carrots to her mouth quickly enough for her!

—Animal adventure in the Fall

In the fall, visitors to the park enjoy cooler weather and witness some of the animals preparing for winter. The bears are preparing for hibernation… camels are packing on fat and fur to get through the winter… arctic wolves are becoming more active and bulking up for the winter. It’s a lovely time of year to see the changes taking place in the animal world.

two camels reach over the fence to greet two female visitors who are chuckling about how friendly the animals are
Kira and Gobi are very fond of Crystal, also, as my granddaughter, Kaylie, watches in hysterics about this situation!

—Animal Adventure in the Winter

In the winter, holiday music, decorations, and excited animals who love the colder weather – like the arctic wolves, Canadian lynx, and cougars – greet visitors. The park offers the largest light show in the area during their Jungle Bells: Holiday Lights event. Snuggling into your warmest coats, scarves, and gloves, you will truly feel the magic of the park during this season!

a guest pets a deer named clover at the park during a winter visit
Clover was one of the oldest animals at the park but she passed away a week after I visited with her in Winter 2020.

Read more about the special holiday experience that is offered during November and December here in my post about A Holiday Family Adventure: Jungle Bells In 2020, the park presented a light show of more than 500,000 lights throughout the property! There are lots more pictures in this post, as well!

Animal and Park Fun

The park is constantly growing and changing to provide guests with the ultimate animal experience time and time again. There are always fun things to do at the park! In 2021, they will be adding several new animal encounters such as Breakfast with Giraffes while continuing to offer their wildly popular Sloth Encounters. Who wouldn’t LOVE to hang with the giraffes or the sloths? Or maybe even the penguins?

three colorful peacocks wander the grounds of animal adventure park
Free roaming peacocks enjoy the concrete pathway with guests.
woman bends over a fence to pet a miniature goat who seems happy for the attention
Interestingly, this miniature goat enjoyed living with 20 or so tortoises more than other goats and got lots of attention from the guests, especially my daughter.

You can feed the animals and enjoy the Keeper Talks throughout your day at the park. The keepers are super friendly and welcome discussions about their animals anytime! The owner, Jordan Patch, has high standards who values his work, his supporters, his friends and family, and his animals! The park is always clean, easily accessible, comfortable, and beautiful.

In 2020, the park introduced a drive-through experience for those who have special sensory and/or health needs. You never even have to get out of your vehicle to see the lovely landscapes and animals.

momma and baby giraffe greet a visitor who is bopping the baby on the nose
In loving memory of Azizi, April’s 2nd baby, who was born at the park but left us just 18 months later due to an unknown incurable health condition. Here, I am giving him a nose bop to let him know how much I love him.

Other Fun Adventures In the Area

Right in the Binghamton area near the park, you can find Phelps Mansion and Otsiningo Park. The city of Binghamton is a cool city with lots of restaurants and shopping nestled among the mountains and foothills in Broome County. We’ve spent a week in the area and stayed quite busy!

Within a couple of hours, you can drive into the mountains and spend a day at Howe Caverns – that was a great day! Or even head north into Upstate New York to enjoy a day at Boldt Castle – another great day!

a ring tailed lemur watches park visitors through the fence at my favorite animal adventure park
A ring-tailed lemur from Madagascar curiously watches visitors.

For more information about my favorite animal adventure park, you can visit the park’s website at April the Giraffe.

a crane with beautiful coloring and spikes on its head stands in the enclosure at animal adventure park
A crane with beautiful coloring and spikes on its head.

Don’t forget to check out my post, Off On Our Next Adventure: Travel in America for more wonderful places to find adventure and fun in America!

Additionally, did you know fun family adventures are an important component of a healthy, happy lifestyle? Learn more here about creating a beautiful, cozy life for you and your family! (Hint: Have you heard about the people in Denmark being the happiest people in the world? You could be too if you click the link!)

Love to All! ~Susan

**This article is dedicated to the loving memory of April the Giraffe who peacefully passed away on April 2, 2020. Those of us who were lucky enough to spend many hours with her are quite lucky. She was unique, gentle, and loving.

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    1. It is a wonderful place! We are going to the park for our 40th wedding anniversary next month! Can’t wait! Thanks for the feedback! xoxo

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