10 reasons you should visit a menagerie of marsupials at Washington's Outback Kangaroo FarmFess up. You've always wanted to pet a kangaroo, right? Here's your chance at The Outback Kangaroo Farm in Arlington, WA. Located about an hour north of Seattle, The Outback is home to quite a few exotic and not-so-exotic animals that the whole family will love. The farm is open Wednesday through Sunday, March 1 through October 30, with owners Ray and Joey Strom providing four tours a day. What can you expect at The Outback?
1. Marsupial madness. During a guided tour, you'll have a chance to meet kangaroos, wallabies and wallaroos as you walk through their habitats. Ray and Joey will let you know which animals like a nice scratch behind the ears and which ones are kind of shy. At the end of the tour, if it's not naptime in the nursery, you might have a chance to hold a baby wallaby or a baby roo.
2. Close encounters of the lemur kind. Expect high energy shenanigans from this group as they entertain you before and after your tour. They'll definitely show you why the nickname "leaping lemurs" is the perfect fit.
3. Trivia time: What family does the peacock belong to? The crane family, the loon family, or the pheasant family? Do a little research, then show off your knowledge at The Outback while you watch the gentlemen peacocks show off their brilliant colors as they woo their ladies.
4. All those pygmy goat videos on YouTube and Facebook...pretty cool. Pygmy goats in person? Cuteness overload.
5. Scrapbookers and camera junkies, start your engines. Everywhere you look there's a photo begging to be taken. Capture the hellooooos of the wallaroos, tots tiptoeing up to tortoises, and geese gathering their goslings. And don't forget, the parrots are especially fond of preening for a portrait.
6. Does the farm have a KissCam? Nope, but it should. After all, it's not that often that you have a chance to kiss a llama. Breath mints not required.
7. Speaking of kissing, here's a spoiler alert: the kangaroo farm has an amorous political scandal involving emus. Yep. Who woulda thunk it? I won't divulge the secret here, but rest assured the tale is kept PG and the adults in the crowd will enjoy a good laugh.
8. It's a Goldilocks of a tour - not too long, not too short, just right. Plan on spending about an hour at The Outback, longer if you bring snacks to enjoy at the picnic tables. Just be sure to leave drinks and food in the car while you're visiting the animals - you wouldn't want an alpaca to pack away your lunch.
9. Dress for the weather and all that farm life has to offer. Keep in mind that you might need to clean some Roo Poo from your shoes by the end of the tour. Be sure to wear sensible, comfy shoes - you'll be walking along dirty trails (sometimes muddy trails), not the Red Carpet.
10. Count on the tours starting on time. Be sure to arrive a few minutes early so you can pay for your tickets (cash or check) and gear up for fun. You won't be bored while you wait for the tour to start. The gift shop is open for browsing and several animals are on hand for preshow entertainment.
BONUS: Over the age of 18? You're in luck. Adults are very welcome at The Outback, though they often experience facial muscle strain, a common result of Smiling Ear-to-Ear Syndrome.
The Outback Kangaroo Farm
10030 State Route 530 NE
Arlington, WA 98223
Open March 1 – October 30
RaeJean Hasenoehrl is a freelance writer from Washington State. Her articles have appeared in several newspapers, including The (Everett) Daily Herald, and her book, "Everett Fishermen," is available at book retailers.