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Welcome to our little world!
Noah's ARk Farm and
Noah's ARk on Wheels!
We bring farm fun to you and/or let you come
have some 'farm fun' here!
We offer: FARM PARTIES, PARTIES TO YOU, FIELD TRIPS AND SUMMER CAMP!
WE HAVE: PETTING ZOO ANIMALS, HAY RIDES, PONIES AND DONKEYS!
ABOUT US: Noah's Ark Farm is in Odessa, Northwest
Hillsborough County, in Sunny Florida. Directly off of
Tarpon Springs Road and Tyler Rd. We have ten acres of
natural habitat for our beloved pets. Our family business
has been operating and serving the Tampa Bay Area for
16 years. We have a solid reputation for dependability,
cleanliness and fun! Events with our animals can be booked
by appointment, on the farm or at your home, a park or
place of business.
(WE ARE NOT OPEN TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC.
GROUPS and PARTIES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.)
Our Mission Satement:
To have children and adults alike experience the
joy that comes from petting and learning about
our farm animals.
To accomplish this in a safe, clean, environment,
both on and off the farm, with our beloved "family" pets.
We want to share this wonderful world with you,
one touch at a time!
WE WOULD LIKE TO SHARE OUR STORY, SIT BACK AND WATCH AS TEN NEWS
CAPTURES ALL THE FUN YOU WILL EXPERIENCE TOO!!
click here to watch
Meet the family behind all the fun...
Hi I'm Marousa-- As the founder and owner of Noah's Ark, I always try to find time to cuddle with the animals! Here I am with David the lamb.
Hello there, I'm Farmer Ben--I enjoy chatting with you all at the events and making your birthdays enjoyable! Here I am with Dennis our barn cat. He loves to ride in my truck!
Our business is a family affair. We do not sub contract out our services.
That means we all have a vested interest in creating
satisfied customers everytime we show our pets.
We enjoy what we do and want to share it with you.
In addition to running Noah's Ark, we are educators and parents to 8 or more children at any given time! (including foster children.)
With backgrounds like that, we are well
equipped to handle your requests! Give us a "holler" if you
have questions or need information.
IF you really want the
scoop on our beginnings--I think the Tampa Tribune did a
great job! See below!
A Moving Experience: Mother's Farm Dream Comes True
Tribune photos by CANDACE C. MUNDY
Article by ELAINE MARKOWITZ
Published: September 3, 2008 Tampa Tribune
Serenity reigns on the property. Mostly, one hears only the geese,
goats, sheep, turkeys and rabbits engaged in their own kind of
chatter. These furry and feathered creatures roam the land freely
by day and are ushered into their pens at night. Sometimes a family
of sandhill cranes ambles by, their calls resembling machinery in
need of oil.
Placiotis owns Noah's Ark on Wheels, a traveling petting zoo that has
blossomed into a success story. She said the business evolved
accidentally, beginning on an earlier, smaller farm she owned in
the Keystone area.
Son Jamison carries his pet goose
From unexpected beginnings, a booming business has grown up. The zoo,
Placiotis said, is not just about earning money. She said she is committed to
educating children about farm animals and, at the same time, paving the way
for a future business venture for her sons.
Having a business was not part of the initial plan in owning a farm. "I started
with a goat and a couple of rabbits to teach our children responsibility," she said.
The farm animals soon attracted a small crowd.
"Other home-schooling moms brought their children to the farm just for fun
and playtime," Placiotis said one recent morning. "Before they left, the mothers
put donations in a jar they put on the table, with money to feed the animals."
Son Niko 12 helps with the goats
Soon her church brought preschool children out to the farm and also
insisted on making a contribution.
"That's how it all started 13 years ago," she said. "I saw a way to feed the
animals by doing a couple of parties a month."
While continuing to hold parties on the farm in Odessa, Placiotis began taking
her show on the road as well.
"For my first event, I loaded the animals into my Dodge minivan and took them
to another preschool," she said.
The mother turned entrepreneur has expanded her zoo in recent years and now
has 85 assorted animals, including 2 ponies and 32 sheep and goats. She added
pens for the animals, a wooden barn and two traveling trailers.
She hosts parties on the farm every weekend and travels to events too.
The bright red trailers, parked next to the pen for goats and sheep,
resemble small cabooses. These vehicles cart some 15 farm animals,
including a small riding pony, to children's birthday parties.
In December they carry goats and sheep plus a donkey or two to
local churches for Nativity plays.
Placiotis initially got customers by word of mouth.
She was mainly concerned with making feed money for the animals.
Now business seems to come to her, and kidsof all ages take to
the animals and she books two-three months in advance.
"Kids love the parties," said Ben Jensen, owner of a local
ranch-hand service, who came on board with Placiotis in 2006. "I teach the
children something about every animal when I'm out at a party," he said.
"When we are hired for city kids who haven't been exposed to farm animals,"
said Placiotis, "they are terrified at first."
She said the children warm up as soon as they realize how tame the pets are."
These kids are experiencing a little bit of farm," she said, "and farms are a
disappearing style of life."
Placiotis offers standard zoo packages for birthday parties for $250. The fee
includes 15 petting animals and a pony ride. She brings an attendant
who carries a hand sanitizer for the petting ring and also requires
clients to provide access to soap and warm water.
"You can't leave the petting ring without slathering your
hands with sanitizer," she said. "We've never yet had a problem
with anyone getting ill from our parties."
Her business is licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and also is also
Placiotis is committed to the rural lifestyle and the animals she has grown to love.
She comes to her choice naturally.
Born to immigrant Greek parents, she grew up near 90 acres of family land,
where her father boarded horses and raised small numbers of turkeys,
goats and chickens. She also spent summers in Greece with her
grandparents, who had goats, sheep and chicken on their land.
"I knew I'd live on a farm," she said, envisioning life as an adult.
"It would be either my family's farm or one of my own.
"Placiotis purchased a small farm property in New Jersey in 1988.
But in 1991 followed her parents to Tarpon Springs when they retired.
The Gulf of Mexico, she found, was no subsitute for farmland.
"Everyday I'd go searching for land to start my farm," she said.
After a series of smaller purchases, Placiotis settled in the Keystone
area of Odessa, and doesn't plan to leave her dream farm.
"I can be a stay at home mom, earn a little money and also do
something for the community. Who could ask for more?"
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Another great party idea we offer: Kayak Parties!