I'm a native Louisvillian, but somehow I had never visited Henry's Ark in Prospect. Sure, I'd heard of it. But until last week, I had never been.
Henry's Ark follows a simple petting zoo premise (although you don't really pet, so maybe we should call it a "feeding zoo"), but even without whistles and bells, it provides lots of free fun for the kids. If you've got a couple of hours to kill, it's a perfect family outing. You'll be up close and personal with camels, llamas, goats, sheep, pigs, emus, peacocks, chickens, rabbits, and others.
I had some kale in the fridge that was past its prime, and I also brought some cucumbers and carrots. Tip: all of the animals—from goats (although they'll eat anything) to llamas—loved the kale. The cucumbers were a bust. An enormous pig may have nibbled on one, but judging from his size, he may have nibbled on anything the kids threw to him. Carrots are always a hit, but remember to bring the long kind (not the small, toddler-friendly packaged variety). It's easier for kids to hold them while the goats gobble them up.
Although admission to Henry's Ark is free, visitors are encouraged to leave a donation. Just as you bring a bag of veggies for each child to hold, why not give them each some money to deposit into the donation box?
Also, according to Henry's Ark Facebook page, visitors shouldn't bring bread or cereal for the animals. The goats have a difficult time processing our processed food (even whole wheat bread is a no-no), which leads to digestive problems and even emergency surgeries. (Which aren't free, by the way. See comment about donations above.)
Take advantage of these beautiful Spring days and visit the "other" zoo in town.
Henry's Ark is located at 7801 Rose Island Road in Prospect. There is a small office on site, and you can reach staff by calling 228-0746. Henry's Ark is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10:00 am-6:00 pm.
Photos: courtesy of Anna Frye