The Holtsville Ecology Center also known as The Town of Brookhaven Ecology Site, and Park & Animal Preserve is located in central Suffolk County in Holtsville. Open daily, year round, the Holtsville Ecology Center makes a perfect outing for children of all ages. The best part? It’s free! Both parking and admission are FREE!
Upon entering the ecology center, you’ll be greeted by a large Bison and some eager goats. You can feed the goats from the feed machine for a mere $.25! And yes, there’s a sink, equipped with soap to wash up afterwards! No towels though which makes for cold hands on chillier days.
As you walk down a small hill, you’ll see llama, ducks, and can even take your photo of your “farm” family using the photo cutout. There are plenty of animals to see from bald eagles to farm chickens to nocturnal birds like the Great Horned Owl. All the animals are either injured and cannot return to the wild, or were once wild animals kept captivated as pets and lack the necessary survival skills to live independently.
We love to see the deer, peacocks and our favorite the Brown Bears. You’ll see ordinary animals like a mama sow (pig) to extraordinary birds like the Emu. There is always something new to learn, especially if you arrive in the morning hours during feeding time.
The paved trail makes it easy for strollers, and new walkers alike to get a close look at a variety of animals. There are plenty of benches to stop and sit and listen to the quiets of nature, or rest while the little ones explore. Quieter voices are encouraged so that the animals are not disturbed or frightened.
Surrounding the ecology center is a small greenhouse (where the bathrooms, equipped with changing station, are located). We usually pack a picnic lunch and sit on a bench to eat. There are a few vending machines and a water fountain. Directly adjacent to the ecology center are two playgrounds that offer swings, slides and plenty of bars to climb.
During summer hours, there are also three pools located on the grounds. Fees apply.
The Holtsville Ecology Center is a great year round outdoor activity. We visit often and either stay the whole day or take in some fresh air and wildlife and call it quits. Either way, the children love to go and hate to leave! We’re sure your family will feel the same.
Where: 249 Buckley Road
Holtsville, N.Y. 11742
Winter hours (October 1 – April 30): 9am – 3pm Monday through Friday
9am – 4pm Saturday and Sunday (weather permitting)
Summer Hours of Animal Preserve (May 1 – September 30): Open daily from 9am – 4pm 7 days a week
Park is closed Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
Contact Info: (631) 758-9664