Have you ever wanted to find your Zen doing yoga with kangaroos, or spend your night sipping wine with sloths?
If your answer is yes to either of these questions, then Barn Hill Preserve of Delaware has an experience for you. Located at 34215 Peppers Corner Road in Frankford, the preserve was established in 2015 by Josh Mueller. The Delaware native also has a sanctuary in Ethel, Louisiana as he is a Louisiana State University wildlife ecology graduate.
The “mission of Barn Hill Preserve of Delaware is to educate the next generation about animals and conservation through interactive and immersive animal experiences,” according to the company’s website.
Two of the preserve’s most popular events are kangaroo yoga and wine tasting with sloths.
Originally, the wildlife sanctuary began offering kangaroo yoga at local gyms earlier this year to help raise relief money for Australia’s bushfires. Unsurprisingly, it was a hit and ended up becoming a regular event.
When the pandemic hit and virtual meetings began taking over, Barn Hill Preserve still wanted to find a way to bring people an interactive experience with their unique animals. So, they pivoted their business model and began hosting yoga sessions in their 8,000 square foot enclosure.
“We allow you to go inside of the enclosure for about a 45-minute yoga flow, and during your yoga session there’ll be five kangaroos hopping around,” Mueller says.
The marsupial’s names are Rufus, Tyson, Chandler, Arnie and Mack, and they range anywhere from one year to two years old, making them very interactive.
“They sometimes sleep on people’s yoga mats or they’ll give people hugs, all sorts of fun things happen during the session,” Mueller says.
And don’t worry; you don’t need to be a yogi to participate. The sessions accommodate all fitness levels, and the kangaroos will not judge your flexibility—or lack thereof.
Each yoga session allows up to 25-35 people and is socially distanced to adhere to CDC guidelines. To book your visit, visit Barn Hill Preserve’s website and pick a preferred date and time.
If drinking wine is more your style, the preserve also offers Sippin’ with Sloths. Mueller began the event after being inspired by a visit to Salted Vines Vineyard, also located in Frankford.
“We have another location down in Louisiana that does a similar event, so when I was at Salted Vines one day I looked around and thought that we could definitely team up with them,” Mueller says.
The event has expanded to work with other wineries, including Bordeleau Vineyards & Winery of Eden, Maryland and Costa Ventosa Winery & Brewery of Whaleyville, Maryland.
A ticket to Sippin’ with Sloths is $40 per person and includes a glass of wine, a complementary cheese plate and an individual encounter with a sloth.
“The groups will go at one time, you’ll get your experience and then we let you go back and enjoy your wine for the rest of the evening,” Mueller says. “Once all the groups have had a chance to do it, then we bring the sloths over to where everyone’s sitting and let them hang out.”
Barn Hill is also gearing up for Halloween with a themed event occurring the last two weekends of October, complete with a costume contest and other spooky activities. And as the holiday season rolls around, they’ll be offering a unique Christmas tree shopping experience, so that families can pick out their tree and hang out with animals while they’re doing it.
Registration for activities and other information on Barn Hill Preserve can be found on their website.