While driving between the Washington D.C. area to Chicago, Illinois we decided to make a quick stop in Sandusky, Ohio after seeing some brochures about the Lagoon Deer Park. Essentially it’s a petting farm packed with deer (and other animals) which I KNEW was an absolute MUST for our family. Not only did I know my boys would go absolutely crazy over the unique opportunity to snuggle and feed oodles of deer but I could barely wait to get there myself! It cost us about $28 to get in but I didn’t care – where else can you huddle up with all sorts of deer?
We were on our own after paying and I’d have to say it was everything we were hoping for and more. Yeah it was a little expensive, but after buying buckets and buckets of food my kids were just giddy with happiness. You walk out into a gigantic fenced in area where there are peacocks, deer, and llamas roaming free. Surrounding the fence it is lined cages of other species of deer and animals from all around the world. Animals I’ve never seen even the zoos so it was really quite an experience for us all.
The deer were beyond friendly as you can imagine. It’s basically a free buffet any time people walk into their fenced yard so they are pretty savvy at what you’ve got coming in with you – peanuts and corn! My boys are 6 & 8 and not scared of much so it definitely didn’t bother them that the animals were all over us. Not aggressively, there were just a lot of them. Smaller children or kids a little more hesitant of up close experiences might be a little more concerned.
As you can see it didn’t bother us one bit! My husband did need to hold the food though because the deer were trying to eat through our container. We were very comfortable with the animals and even had our 7 month old in the stroller with us. She didn’t mind feeding the deer either!
My recommendation for the BEST experience is to go immediately when they open. We were the only family there for the first hour so not only were all of the animals hungry but we had them all to ourselves. The price for bags of food to feed the deer was very reasonable and we went with the understanding that we would buy as much deer food as we wanted. We knew it might be our only opportunity!
Unfortunately juggling taking photos and watching the kids I can’t even begin to tell you all the names of these gorgeous animals – this deer had fuzzy antlers! But there were truly many exotic breeds from all over the world. From someone with a biology degree and strong love for animals I was pretty impressed.
There were also mountain goats, pygmy goats, oxen, donkeys, and other various beasts that were all very active and looked very well cared for. These mountain goats were my favorite (after the deer of course) – every time you walked near they jumped up onto the rocks which was fun to watch.
I’m not the biggest fan of llamas because somehow I always get spit on, hissed at, looked at funny, or I’m afraid they’ll bite me! These were a little more aggressive than the deer but were more pests than anything dangerous….otherwise we would not have brought the baby so close!
Yep – there’s that silly donkey! If we ever drive through the Sandusky area again I can guarantee you we’ll make a stop in at the Lagoon Deer Park. But next time we’ll bring our fishing poles. It was really hard seeing all the carp and fish greet us at the water edge when we walked up and not cast a line in! I spent quite a bit of time with my GoPro in the water since the fish pretty much let you pet them they were so tame and active but the water was incredibly murky so I didn’t catch much on the video.