Space Farms Zoo & Museum

Whatever dreams Ralph and Elizabeth Space harbored in 1927, when they bought a quarter acre plot in northern Sussex County, they could not have imagined that their tiny general store, gas station and repair shop would grow to the 100 acre recreational complex it is today. Space Farms might well be Northwest New Jersey's original Roadside Attraction and Menagerie, but only because Ralph wanted to supplement his family's income by trapping predators threatening farm animals for the state Game Department. Bobcats, foxes and raccoons were caged in the spring until their value as pelts would increase in the fall. But when the time came for their demise, many of the animals were saved by the pleas of the Space children. The animal collection soon grew to a size which began to attract attention.

Young Bengal tiger cubs graduate from their nursery to the grassy outdoor enclosure in the zoo. When released to their outdoor home, the infant cubs will weigh about 75 lbs..

Today, people still enjoy doing basically the same thing as they did more than 80 years ago... visit the animal collection and maybe have some candy and a soda. Of course, there's a little more to it than that, well into the third generation of Spaces hosting visitors to Beemerville. The zoo now holds the largest private collection of North American wildlife in the world, including over 500 animals from than 100 species from around the world including tigers, lions, newborn jaguars and bison. The zoo's most prominent resident was Goliath, who at 2,000 lbs. was the largest bear in the world until he died in 1991. As the zoo has grown, so has the Space Museum which, since the Great Depression, when people traded items for food at the Space General Store, has become home to over 100,000 items collected throughout the USA. Now displayed in eleven buildings, the assortment of rare autos, carriages, wagons, farm tools, antique firearms and artifacts of nearly every description are a marvelous portrait of American rural heritage.

Space Farms Zoo and Museum, located on Route 519 in Beemerville, is open daily through mid October. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Call 973-875-5800 or click to Website

Nearby accommodations and attractions

  • Float the Wild Side on the Wallkill River
  • , Sussex

  • Sussex County Fairgrounds
  • There's always something fun happening at the Sussex County Fairgrounds. Visit our web site for a full year of family fun, right in your own backyard.

    27 Plains Road, Augusta 07822, 973/948-5500

  • Ochs Orchard
  • ?Homegrown fruits and vegetables available when in season. Honey, peanut butter, jams and jellies, homemade hard and soft ice-cream. Cider made on site from Red Delicious for sweetness, Winesap for tang, McIntosh and Empire for body. Honey, peanut butter, jams and jellies, homemade hard and soft ice-cream. Market open June through January.

    4 Ochs Ln, Warwick 10990, 845/986-1591

  • Panther Lake Camping Resort
  • Camp on a private 45-acre lake on 160 scenic acres where you can enjoy swimming, boating, fishing or just relaxing on a sandy beach. It's a great escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

    6 Panther Lake Rd., Andover 07821, 800/543-2056

  • Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum
  • Thousands of photos and artifacts document the lake's long and illustrious history. Open every Sunday through June, 12-4pm, October thru May. Free admission, parking.

    323 Lakeside Blvd., Hopatcong State Park, Hopatcong 07843, 973/398-2616



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Karin Thompson
13 Jun 2012, 19:12
Can you come and remove 2 black rat snakes from a big rock wall we have in the back, at West Milford NJ?
Cathy Reulbach
20 May 2012, 09:17
I have taken my children to Space farms since they were little tykes. It's a great place to go as a family. It not as large as the big zoos so you don't have to worry about huge crowds and there are several grassy sections for children to run around on and expend their energy. They also have a small playground. There's a nice selection of animals and also the museums where one can see antique cars, firearms and all sorts of other old stuff. There is also an outside place to sit. relax, eat some ice cream or get a cold drink and if people want something more substantial, they serve burgers and such inside. It's changed a lot over the years. I highly recommend Space farms for all ages. \r\nPs parking was free when last I went which was a few years ago.
James N. Kennedy
26 Aug 2011, 12:03
Wonderful ! I took my wife, two granddaughters, and a friend. It was a beautiful day, your collections are terrific, and your animals are well cared for. Ours was a most enjoyable learning experience.\r\n\r\nThank you.
ken tilly
02 Mar 2011, 03:13
I visited Ralph Space Farms in August 1989 and was very impressed with the antique vehicles, and animals, that were on display. There was a PREMIER automobile that was claimed to be one of only two in the world and my friend here in South Africa has the other one. I would be obliged if you could let me know how to acsess the photographs of the vehicles that you have currently on display. Kind regards, Ken Tilly, President of the Durban Early Car Club of Durban, South Africa
Armando Guedez
11 Mar 2009, 06:44
Hey Liger will you like to but Ligers? I have two for sale.Two females.
kool aid
19 Oct 2008, 17:30
Hey Bruce Lauton why dont you call them and say these exact words "How do I book a group of school children (7) and 4 adults for Wed, 4/23?", but im sure you mean 2008 so there is no way that day has already passed.\r\nPS Ha Ha!!!\r\nPSS no JK but really just call'em dude!
03 Aug 2008, 19:58
sue mihail
30 Jul 2008, 04:39
i was wondering if you remove bats from chimenys.
Liger Omni
11 Jul 2008, 17:18
Nice to see someone that breeds such exemplary specimens!
joe Walker
19 May 2008, 16:01
From N. J. originally. Met Ralph Space as a kid in the early 50.s at the Morris County fair Space Farms Display. The rattlesnakes fascinated me. Did not know N. J. had rattlesnakes. I was full of questions and Ralph Space patiently answered them . I went back every day it was open. Nice man. Live in Texas now . Retired from the Army , Social Security . God Bless Joe W.
Yadira Nieves
18 Apr 2008, 23:10
I would like to book 2 trips :\r\n1) personal trip: 2 Adults, 1 child\r\n2)pre-school trip: 30-40 children, 5 adults\r\nHow do I go about booking those two trips?
Raoul Duke
14 Apr 2008, 17:32
Bruce Lauton
14 Apr 2008, 10:11
How do I book a group of school children (7) and 4 adults for Wed, 4/23\r\n\r\nThanks
Bruce Lauton
14 Apr 2008, 10:11
How do I book a group of school children (7) and 4 adults for Wed, 4/23\r\n\r\nThanks

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