218 Rte. 519, Sussex, New JErsey
Despite its name, you won’t find spacecraft or alien creatures at Space Farms. Founded in 1927 by Ralph Space, this family-run attraction features one of the largest private collections of wild animals in the United States and an eclectic museum of curiosities and artifacts from rural America.
Zoo habitats offer thrilling close-up views of a remarkable variety of animals, including badgers, bears, bobcats, hyena, foxes, jaguars, lemurs, lions, tigers, wild ponies, and wolves. Buy a bag of animal crackers and you can hand-feed bison, deer, elk, goats, and llama. Be sure to peek into the snake exhibits to see hundreds of slithering serpents, including a 225-pound python!
Eleven museum buildings showcase a wide-ranging collection of Americana, including antique cars, farm equipment, dolls and toys, firearms, and Native American artifacts. Standouts include a complete miniature circus and a mid-1800s Prairie Schooner that a local pioneering family used on a 4,000-mile journey to Kansas.
Open daily mid-Apr.–late Oct. Admission charged.
Did you know?
Space Farms began as a part-time job that got out of control. Family patriarch Ralph Space was hired to trap wild animals preying on local farm animals. Intending to sell the animals’ fur in the fall when pelts were more valuable, Ralph kept the animals in small enclosures around his garage. However, the Space children grew so attached to the animals that Ralph allowed them to stay. By the next spring the animals had multiplied and the Space Farms Zoo was born.