One of the greatest additions to a child’s birthday party is a petting zoo. Not only are there incredibly adorable animals, this sort of entertainment can take up the entire time slot of the party. It's a win for the kids and a win for you the party planner! Petting zoo’s offer not only a fun and memorable experience, but also an educational one. With the addition of a petting zoo to your party, kids can learn about the foods these specific animals eat, proper care of the animals, and the purpose those animals serve on a farm. There are so many different companies in the Jacksonville area to choose from, it could seem overwhelming. We are are here to make this task a little seem a bit more manageable.
When starting to ponder the idea of a petting zoo you should contact any friends or family that may have any referrals for you to add to your list. These are always the best types of referrals because friends and family are going to be brutally honest. After gathering any information from those close to you, start searching the internet. Try typing in “petting zoos in the Jacksonville area”, “Jacksonville mobile petting zoos” or “petting zoos for birthday parties near Jacksonville”. These phrases should generate a lot of results. Start combing through the results, you will want to make sure the petting zoo is mobile, if you are looking for them to come to you. Make sure to note anything about their website that catches your eye. You can get a good feel of the professionalism of the potential vendor based off of their website and how they speak of themselves. Try and locate reviews and testimonials from previous clients, note if there are similarities in the cautionary reviews. You will want to steer clear of companies that have multiple bad reviews, but also make sure the bad reviews you are reading have merit. Yelp is a great place to look for reviews and also the vendors facebook page if they have one. Here are some questions you will want answers for while looking on their sites… How much do they charge? Do you travel to my location? Are you allowed to pet the animals? Do they provide food? Are you allowed to feed them? How much space is needed for them to set up? What type of animals will you bring? What company are they insured with? Keep in mind, homeowners insurance does not cover you in most cases. Therefore in the event of an accident you may lose your home in a lawsuit if the company isn’t properly insured. You will also want to make sure the company is licensed by the USDA. Cross off anything that doesn’t meet your standards.
After narrowing your list down, you should meet with the final contenders. See first hand where the animals are housed, meet with the handlers, and see if your date is available. At this point you can ask the little questions like who cleans up after the animals? Do they provide hand sanitizer? And what is their policy on tipping? Don’t automatically go with the cheapest available. Make sure you are hiring a reputable company that takes care of their animals and hires kid friendly handlers. You work hard for your money, so make sure it goes to a deserving company.