As strange as it may sound, at Cougar Mountain Zoo, you just might be greeted by a big cat purring. Cougars are among the largest cats capable of true purring, and Cougar Mountain Zoo boasts a distinct subspecies of these overgrown felines, which prowl all over the zoo's award-winning World of Cougars exhibit.
Next to the mountain lions dwell their distant cousins, Bengal tigers, who sprawl out on the green grass or press their noses up to a thick wall of glass separating visitors from the wild animals. Other residents of the zoo include a barrel of endangered lemurs from Madagascar, a crowd of fluffy alpacas, and the country's largest herd of reindeer, who star in the annual Reindeer Festival and deliver presents to all the other animals.
The zoo also boasts a collection of bronze animal statues, a library of wildlife tracks, and a museum that explores not only the world of wildlife, but also the threats they face from human incursion.
If horses could run a business without accidentally eating important documents, they?d head up Equine Escapes, a business dedicated to honoring the majesty and beauty of equines. Riders gain extra respect for their gentle companions during guided trail rides and retreats that explore the area?s scenic wooded terrain. Each guest has ample opportunities to meet and develop an open rapport with their four-legged counterparts through a complicated system of tongue clicks. Equine Escapes also hosts birthday parties.
In her own words, Adina Roberts has dedicated her life to horses—in 2009, she even quit her job as an executive to work with them full-time. She'd been offering lessons on the side for years before that, but finally decided it was time to totally immerse herself in her passion. At Punk Rock Pony, she focuses all of her attention on training and teaching kids and beginner adults how to ride, as well as taking special care of ponies—including a friendly newborn who loves visitors—and problem horses with a history of covering stable walls in graffiti. She holds all of these lessons on a large acreage brimming with wildlife such as rabbits and oxes, providing an idyllic arena for people to connect with nature and the majestic steeds. For more advanced riders, she also offers the unique experience of riding "naked," a challenging style in which the horse is bareback and bridle-less.
Fox Hollow Farm helps families usher in another autumnal equinox with a host of harvest-themed activities. The Fall Festival and Halloween Spooktacular welcome locals to peruse the farm's lush grounds, where they can shake paws with furry tenants, wind through a hay maze, and pluck potential pie fillers from a pumpkin patch. Spring into autumn on bouncy inflatables or prepare to audition for a starring role in an upcoming production of The Pit and the Pendulum by taking a twirl on the hayloft's rope swing. Tot-toting hooves gallop across crunchy leaves during pony rides; young drivers looking for a speedier sojourn can drag-race chickens after taking the wheel of a miniature tractor.