When I first read about the Olympic Game Farm, I was a little concerned about the ethical implications of riding around and feeding wild animals bread. It just didn't seem very politically correct. But after some more research, I learned that these animals are on this farm because they used to be the animals (or offspring of) used in Disney nature films of years past. According to their website "Olympic Game Farm’s animals are the offspring of our past animal actors. Several others are either rescues; overflow from other licensed animal facilities; retired from acting in the entertainment industry (other trainers); or we just received as gifts and donations from licensed individuals."
So since these animals were not taken out of the wild and are provided a healthy diet (including the wheat bread guests feed them), I decided to give it a go.
It was so much fun!
We headed up a hill and started by feeding the llamas, which are one of my daughter's favorite animals. Fun enough. Then we got back in the car and headed down a hill and into a crazy world filled with yaks, zebras, deer, rhinos, and bears all waiting for food. Some of the animals were a bit disinterested by the bread but others were quite eager to have a snack. It isn't every day you feed a rhino! The yaks, deer and zebra roam free but the bears and rhino are behind a fence. The bears sit up on their hind legs and seem to prefer it when you ball up the bread and throw it to them to catch on their hind legs. Most of the bears looked old and well fed. They seemed to be the most popular with visitors because cars would stop and throw their bread at the bears for extended periods of time (even though we were told not to stop), creating traffic jams. My kids found the bears to be very entertaining but I felt some guilt throwing bread balls at bears. All that National Park training was gnawing at my conscious.
The next area we entered was filled with predators in cages. Most of the predators looked old, especially the lions and tigers. You drive by their cages and don't feed them- sort of like visiting a zoo from a car. The cages weren't all that big and reminded me of enclosures in zoos of the past.
One particularly unusual aspect of this area is the large number of domesticated bunnies which hang out around the predator cages. I thought it was pretty funny that the bunnies were on the outside of the cages and imagined them sticking their tongues out at animals which would be happy to eat them in the wild. I guess the predators aren't very concerned with the bunnies because I actually saw one bunny happily sleeping inside the tiger cage!
After the predators, the real fun began. We entered a new paddock and were greeted by huge elk sticking their heads in the car, looking for some bread! It was hilarious. My aunt was in the passenger seat and didn't want to feed the animals. An elk peeked in, saw she had no food, and gave her a huge lick on the side of the face! My son loved feeding the elk and my daughter enjoyed giving bread to the deer that followed (thought she only was willing to feed the girls, no boys allowed). The real highlight from the whole experience was the bison. These guys are huge and coming eye to eye with a snot-nosed beast in search of a snack is definitely a unique experience! The bison tended to linger with their giant heads in the car, so we had to be sure to keep moving slowly which would eventually cause them to give up their begging.
In the end, the bison drool on the side of your car will wash away but the laughter and memories from that day will stick in my memory for a lifetime. While normally I wouldn't be too keen on feeding wild animals, these animals are very tame and have been taken in by the family who runs this place, which is better than the alternative that many captive animals are forced to live in. If you are in the area, give it a go.
Note: Bread is available for purchase at the ticket gate or you can bring your own loaves. Just make sure it is whole wheat. 3 to 5 loaves per car load is typical.
Disclosure: My car received complimentary entry into the Olympic Game Farm so that I could review this experience. I did not receive any compensation and was not not asked to provide anything but my honest opinion of the experience.
AMAZING! My family and I were laughing and in awe the entire time. We started off by purchasing 3 loaves of whole wheat bread (you can bring your own or purchase at the gate if you want to feed the animals). As we drove through the farm, we were chased by lamas and a zebra, waved at by huge grizzly bears(hint-roll the bread into a ball and throw it to the bears) , sniffed by a few buffalo, and hounded by a number of deer and a few very large inquisitive elk. It was a fantastic stop! After the drive we walked through the petting zoo (small additional fee) filled with farm animals that the children can touch, and a huge walk though tank full of large fish. We just loved it all and will be back again. It was a little hard to find. Make sure to get driving directions. Well worth every penny!
I went to the Olympic Game farm as a teenager and just last year finally was able to take my 5yr old daughter. She was a little unsure at first having large animals right to the car window, but by the time we were half way through she was feeding them herself. I love this farm because it's unique and gets you face to face with animals, LITERALLY! Buffalos drool on your window and a Zebra will walk beside you. And who doesn't love a Bear that can Wave back at you?? So cool, so fun! I will bring my family again in a couple years when my son is older. Bring your own loaves of bread or pay a couple bucks at the gate. I think prices are reasonable for this fun adventure for the whole family! I love it so much I wrote a special blog about it on my travelersbarista site.
This is a fun, easy way to get up close and personal to animals! Being able to get an enormous buffalo to slobber on your car is definitely a way to create memories. It is worth it to buy or bring a bag of bread and go on the car tour. Our 18 month old got a kick out of seeing bears, zebras, peacocks and a huge rhinoceros all from the safety of our car. We still talk about the animals we saw 6 months later.
The Olympic Game Farm is a great place to get face-to-face with a wide range of exotic animals…while never leaving the greater Seattle area!
The animals roam free in this multi-acre park, and you spot them (sometimes very close!) from your car. There's also a petting zoo so you can get everyone out of the car for a while as well!
A Spokane WA mom of four visited recently with her kids, ages 4-12. “For all of you that love wildlife you need to check out the Olympic Game Farm where the animals walk up to your car! My kids say it was way better then Yellowstone and it’s right outside of Seattle!”
Take a road trip up to the Olympic Penninsula and visit this drive through park/zoo.. lots of neat animals you wont find just anywhere. At the end theres a petting zoo for the little ones as well. You drive through several acres of free roaming animals (some extinct) and you can feed them bread -which can be purchased on sight for $2.00 or u can bring your own- they prefer u bring wheat bread. Enjoy!