Cattle, giraffes, and zebras – oh my! Find out about our most recent NC adventure!
Recently, our family was in Concord, NC for a Bible Conference. With a few hours to kill, I did a Google search of nearby attractions. We could go to Concord Mills on a Saturday, or visit an exotic animal park. Of course, being a family who would rather avoid crowds, we chose not to go to one of the largest malls in NC that day. Instead, we found ourselves on a road trip like no other!
We pulled up to Lazy 5 Ranch, unsure of what to expect. The woman at the ticket booth told us we were welcomed to drive through. We also had the option to wait for a horse drawn wagon ride, but it would be a couple of hours. We opted to drive through ourselves. Then we agreed to sign our life and car away. While we were at it, we bought two large buckets of animal feed. I asked if there was anything else we needed to know. Her reply was, “four footed animals feed out of your hand, two footed animals feed out of the bucket. Also, don’t feed the zebras. Enjoy the drive”.
After the initial shock of the large horns on the gatekeeper, we breathed a sigh of relief that he didn’t put a six foot scratch on our car. I can recall looking over at my husband and thinking, “wow, I can’t believe he’s actually doing this”. I have a few guesses of what he was probably thinking, but I’ll keep them to myself. We meaneared our way through a 3 1/2 mile safari of sorts. There are hundreds of animals from all over the world eager to check out your ride and see if you have any food. Our animal encounter included everything from antelope to zebras! We fed deer, ostriches, emus, lamas, giraffes, all kinds of cattle with intimidating horns, and more.
We soon ran into a mighty large roadblock. I will never forget being eyeball to eyeball with a bison as we slowly passed by. Fortunately for me, my window was up. My son was not as fortunate. The large beast kept sticking his huge tongue in the open window. Our son looked as if he was throwing candy out at a parade! The laughter was priceless!
Our drive continued on for a little over an hour through the scenic trails. A curious zebra peeked his head in. The lamas made us nervous wondering if and when they were going to spit. Hungry ostriches made me spill my bucket of feed all over the floorboard. The highlight for me were the giraffes. If you’ve never had a giraffe checking you out from the sunroof, you’re missing out!
We (and the car) made it to the end of the trail unscathed. At Lazy 5 Ranch, you can drive through as many times as you like. We decided not to press our luck, or our car. Our phones were full of fun pics, and our bellies were sore from laughter. Plus, the only animal feed that was left was now on floor rather than in the bucket.
In addition to the car tour, there’s a walking tour as well. See lemurs, tropical birds, porcupines, kangaroos, and camels. Hang out with the goat and sheep at the farm animal petting zoo. Nicely landscaped, the walking part of the tour a great way to stretch your legs and visit the other animals on the ranch. There is also a playground, picnic area, snack bar, and small gift shop. Lazy 5 Ranch is open year-round. See their website for hours and rates. I will note that they accept cash only. I highly recommend this for family fun that will leave you with lots of laughs, great pictures, and hopefully no permanent souvenirs on your vehicle.