Sometimes, seeing a neighbor’s dog on the way to class isn’t enough, and FaceTiming your beloved cat, dog or bearded dragon may leave you wanting more. If you’re a sucker for animals, it can be difficult to get through the semester without spending some quality time with a furry or scaly friend. While campus activities do often invite therapy dogs onto campus, the events are few and far between. Luckily, there are activities around E-town that can reunite anyone with brother nature.
ZooAmerica (Hershey, PA)
They’ve got lions and tigers and bears… and you can fill in the rest. Attached to Hersheypark, ZooAmerica is the purrfect place to get in some critter-spotting. Rain or shine, you can check out birds, sea critters, jungle cats and more. ZooAmerica is open year-round, with tickets at just $12.50 a pop for adults. That means that, for less than $15, you can meet animals from all around the world. Some of the zoo’s newest arrivals include baby ring-tailed lemurs and a newborn pronghorn. Visit their website for directions, parking, and other offerings!
Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania (Lititz, PA)
Even if you didn’t have a wolf phase in high school, this place is ideal for living out your “Princess Mononoke” fantasies of being a huntress raised by wolves. At least, it is for me. Having been around for over 30 years, the Wolf Sanctuary of PA invites the public to meet gorgeous and playful members of a fascinating species. It’s the closest you’ll get to a wolf outside of wandering the hills of northern PA, so I’d suggest you take a trip out to Lititz and visit the sanctuary. Tours of the sanctuary vary by season, so be sure to check their website for the most up-to-date information on when to visit.
Eastland Alpacas (Mount Joy, PA)
Any communications major or photography student will be able to regale you with stories of an Eastland Alpaca field trip. The farm, home to almost 50 alpacas, invites everyone from casual animal lovers to alpaca fanatics to stop by and tour the facility. And who wouldn’t want to? They’ve got soft, curly fur and big doe eyes that just beg for visitors. Alpacas are friendly creatures, too—they can’t bite, as they only have bottom teeth, and they typically only spit or kick if provoked. For more alpaca facts, or to get info on tour availability, visit their website.
Elizabethtown Fair (Elizabethtown, PA)
This one might be a stretch, as the fair only shows up for one week every year, but this place is ideal for the farmhand in all of us. The Elizabethtown Fair has an entire stall dedicated to animals, from little lop rabbits to big brown cows. Admission is free, which means there’s no cost associated with seeing some of the most adorable animals that Lancaster County has to offer. If you’re a fan of clucking chicks and yodeling goats, this is the place to be. Check the Elizabethtown Fair website for the latest scheduling information.