Arranging for a petting zoo at your child's birthday party may qualify you for the mom or dad of the year prize in the eyes of your kids and their friends. Petting zoos are usually little menageries of kid proof domesticated animals that can be stroked, cuddled and possibly fed by your rug rats and a dozen or so of their closest friends. This menagerie could include goats, sheep, pigs, ponies, donkeys or even exotic animals like a boa constrictor or a cockatoo. Depending upon where you live, you could be booking a birthday at a local petting zoo or a traveling petting zoo might come to you.
Do not wait until a week before your kid's birthday party to start planning a petting zoo. In fact, you are probably going to want to get on this project at least three months in advance. This way, you can do your research and book the petting zoo of your choice. You can avoid booking whatever is available at the last minute and you can also avoid last minute prices. You may even find out in some places that you need to apply for a special permit from your city to hold your petting zoo birthday party.
Throwing a kid's birthday party is hard enough. Don't risk a total disaster by booking a party with a petting zoo that doesn't have a business license. Make sure that the petting zoo you choose is fully licensed and insured. Heaven forbid something should go wrong, but you don't want to be held responsible if someone's kid gets bit by a pony. Not only should you ask to see the petting zoo's licenses and insurance, you should also request the contact information of previous customers. Call up these references and ask them if they were happy with the service, if the petting zoo showed up on time and if the employees were friendly and helpful.
Before you book any petting zoo, you should be able to see the animals yourself in person. Do not rely on photographs on a website when confirming that the animals are happy and healthy. The petting zoo should be willing to let you view the animals in their ordinary living conditions. Nothing could be worse than booking a petting zoo for a kid's birthday party, then having sick or mistreated animals show up. You should also get a contract from the petting zoo stating the date and time of the party, exactly what services they will provide, specifically what animals are included and for how long and how many helpers come with the service.
Most kids love animals. Not all kids, though. Some kids have very serious allergies and others are terrified of other living creatures. You need to warn the parents of the invitees that there will be a petting zoo at the party. Then parents who have kids that are deathly allergic to bunnies or deathly afraid of chickens can avoid unpleasant surprises.