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UPPER EAST SIDE (PIX11)– On the Upper East Side, in the heart of the Big Apple, you’ll find a little piece of the country.

Founded in 2002, The Art Farm in The City teaches children how to care for the planet, animals, create art and even art. They also have summer camps and have birthday parties.

“We wanted to bring animals to the city,” said Valentina Van Hise, co-founder and director of The Art Farm. “You can actually touch, sit down, and hold an animal in your lap.”

“I love them, they’re so furry,” a boy, who attends The Art Farm after-school program, said.

“I like the bearded dragon,” said another one.

They have several different types of small animals such as: bunnies, turtles, fish, chinchillas, lizards, chickens and even a Madagascar hissing cockroach.

Teacher Gabby Sachs said these cute critters teach children to be kind and gentle.


“They’re really into animals and they know so much about the animals, it’s really a pleasure to teach them,” Sachs said. “Animals teach kids to be patient and loving animals don’t judge people.”

While you can’t take any of the little animals home, the shop upstairs is stocked with animal-themed toys, games and art supplies.