WAYLAND — It all started a few months ago when a friend suggested a petting zoo be set up at the leather shop.


Free Spirit Leather Shop Owner Cherie Carter is adding Dinky Doo Petting Zoo and Pony Rides Too  to her shop on May 6. The grand opening will go from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with visits from storytellers, a ice cream truck, and the chance to ride ponies.


Overland Morgan Horse Farm Co-Owner Michelle Vanderbosch is Carter’s best friend and she is the one who suggested taking on the petting zoo.


“My best friend approached me about the zoo, and I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it,” she said. “Michelle said she would keep some of the animals at her farm, and we would have some here.”


Among the animals are a couple of Llamas, mini-horses, mini-donkey, chickens, bunnies, a pig, goats, sheep and others. There will be a small horse for the pony rides.


Everyone will get a little stamp on their hand for the petting zoo.


The name, “Dinky Doo Petting Zoo, and Pony Rides Too” was like a nursery rhyme. Carter felt inspired by the mechanical horse family she calls Dinky, Pinky, and Stinky at her shop.


The barn was built about six weeks ago. There is a picnic area set up for school field trips and such.


It will cost $5 per-person to go in the zoo, and $5 per-person for a pony ride. Children two years old  and under are free.   


“All ages are welcome,” Carter said. “Everyone can come and be a kid again.”


The Dinky Doo Petting Zoo and Pony Rides Too will be open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11a.m. to 5 p.m.


Carter said there will be a lot of variety at the zoo.


“We will have about 20 bunnies, and we are building a little ledge for the kids to sit and hold the bunnies,” she said. “I want the kids to all be well behaved at the zoo, and be good to the animals.”


There is a coloring page that offers a gift certificate to children handed out at Steve’s Place in Wayland as well as the leather shop.


“The small businesses really help each other out,” Carter said.


Free Spirit Leather Shop employee Tanya McIntyre has been helping out a lot at the shop, and getting the zoo ready. 


Dinky Doo Petting Zoo and Pony Rides Too and Free Spirit Leather Shop are located at 1864 State Route 63 in Wayland. They can be reached at 585-978-5611.