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

  • High Point Mountain Motel
  • Pet friendly, AAA-rated motel offers all the comforts of home on seven country acres on a spectacular hillside location minutes from High Point State Park and Appalachian Trail. Cozy, warmly decorated rooms with up-to-your-door parking offer free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, plus microwaves and minifridges. Kids age 12 and under stay for no extra charge.

    1328 Route 23, Wantage 07461, 973/702-1860

  • 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

  • Tall Timbers Seasonal Resort Community
  • Private campground community offering affordable vacations that include central water and sewage disposal, boating, hiking,fishing and planned activities throughout the summer for all ages. Located minutes from Mountain Creek and only 55 minutes from New York.

    100 Tall Timbers Rd, Sussex 07461, 973/875-1991

  • Wilbur's Country Store
  • Wilbur's is the perfect destination on a drive through the New Jersey countryside. British foods and candy, Yankee candles, wind chimes, pet-themed gifts, preserves, much more. Charming location in barn complex between Newton and Blairstown.

    735 Route 94, Newton 07860, 908/362-8833

  • The Great Divide Campground
  • Private, family friendly campground with amenities for tents, RVs and seasonal guests. Fully furnished cabin rentals available. Open from early May to mid October. Heated pool, fishing & boating lake, playground, planned events and activities.

    68 Phillips Road, Newton 07860, 973/383-4026



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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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