Where to Get Your Animal Fix in Rhode Island

For those without a furry friend to pet or hold at home, make a beeline to these animal-ruling locations to spend time with some loveable critters.

Courtesy of Bajah’s Cat Cafe.

Bajah’s Cat Café

Enjoy kitty-themed drinks (Jiji Kitty Chai, anyone?) and food such as breakfast sandwiches and pastries in the main cafe. To meet all the cuddly cats in the separate Bajah’s Villas cat room, just make a reservation online.

What you can pet: A variety of irresistibly cute cats.

How to visit: Open Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sun., 9 a.m.–7 p.m. Reservations include a ticket in a public room with a maximum of six people in the room, $5 for thirty minutes and $10 for an hour. Private room is open to up to six guests, $25 for thirty minutes or $50 per hour.

Good to know: Rhode Island’s only cat café also serves as a rescue center for cats. After meeting the potential kitty you’d like to adopt, talk to a staff member.

The details: 137 Main Rd., Tiverton, 816-4310, bajahscatcafe.com


Simmons Farm Petting Zoo

Get acquainted with the dairy goats at the Simmons Farm Petting Zoo including the Tennessee Fainting Goats – yes, they do indeed faint – and the adorable Nigerian Dairy Goats, as well as the dairy cows who reach out the farthest for the feed. Calves, ducks and geese also make an appearance as the farm choir as they sing to guests. Besides the lively petting zoo, ideal for the young and young at heart, the farm’s famed goat yoga classes and goat-led hikes take a fun spin on integrative therapy and wellness.

What you can pet: Goats, cows, calves, ducks, geese, pigs, chickens.

How to visit: Petting Zoo is open daily from sunrise to sunset; self-serve. Classes and hikes are weather-permitting; register online in advance.

Good to know: Adjacent to the zoo, the Farm Stand carries grain-filled cones to purchase for $1.

The details: 1942 West Main Rd., Middletown, 848-9910, simmonsfarmri.com


Festival Farm Petting Zoo

The resident animals at Festival Farm Petting Zoo sure do love company. Feed and pet the various critters, including alpacas, Pygmy goats, Jacob sheep and Barbados sheep, a pony, donkeys, an emu and plenty more. One shouldn’t leave without visiting the Country Store, stocked with treats from the Yankee Pantry, antiques and unique decor items. A fan favorite, the farm fresh eggs are brought in from local farmers.

What you can pet: Alpacas, goats, sheep, donkeys, a bunny, pony, emu, kittens and Lady Amherst pheasants.

How to visit: Open Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–6 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Free admission.

Good to know: During the springtime is when the planting starts at Festival Farm, so keep an eye out for patio vegetable plants, hanging baskets, annuals and perennials to bring home.

The details: 2 Canonchet Rd., Hope Valley, 742-5575, festivalfarmri.com 


Biomes Marine Biology Center

New England’s private marine education facility offers families a hands-on experience with sea animals collected by staff and volunteers from Narragansett Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, donated from other aquariums or rescued from commercial fishing vessels. Since 1989, the Biomes Marine Biology Center and its interactive marine biology programs have featured close-up and intimate displays with touch tanks including stingrays, sharks, horseshoe crabs, tortoises, tide pool animals and more. Students also get to learn about a variety of topics such as adaptations, habitats and feeding behaviors.

What you can pet: More than 120 species of marine animals and rescued reptiles call the center home. Some reside in touch-tanks and can be fed directly – with staff supervision, of course.

How to visit: Open daily noon–5 p.m. Adults $12, children three through twelve and seniors $10, members and children two and younger free.

Good to know: Demonstrations are presented throughout the day on Saturdays, Sundays, school vacation days and daily during the summer. Also plan at least an hour and a half to see all the exhibits.

The details: 6640 Post Rd., North Kingstown, 885-4690, biomescenter.com


Sunset Stables

From serene trail rides through Lincoln Woods to training for adults and children, Sunset Stable’s year-long horseback riding services the novices and pros while providing guests an exhilarating ride with the beautiful mammals. Sunset Stables’ qualified staff are devoted to learning and teaching all ages in a fun and safe environment, and in the summertime, the stable hosts a Riding Camp for aspiring equestrians eight and older. The camp is packed with fun-filled activities such as riding lessons in English or Western, morning snacks, nature walks, instruction on basic horse care and horsemanship, participation in crafts, games and more.

What you can pet: Horses, of course – once you get acquainted with them, try out your equestrian skills with a ride through scenic Lincoln Woods!

How to visit: Open daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m. One-hour trail rides are $50 per person. Private rides $70 per person.

Good to know: Trail rides are by appointment only. Horses are also available for sale; check the website for updates.

The details: 1 Twin River Rd., Lincoln, 722-3033, sunsetstablesri.com