Reptacular Ranch

Frequently Asked Questions

How soon should I book my event?

We, recommend booking as soon as possible. It is based on a first come first serve basis and we fill up quickly. So, to guarantee the date, time, and package you’d like, book as soon as you know we have a service that can fit your needs.

Please keep in mind we get many phone calls a day and have a limited office staff. You might call in the morning with a certain date and time and it’s fully available, but in the afternoon it might be taken. To secure your event a non-refundable deposit MUST be given.

Do you only go to homes? Or can I host a party at your ranch?

Yes! We have a few ranch sites you can host your party or event, depending on availability. Please call the office or look at the site for ranch/venue info.

You have so many options, what type of animals or package should I get?

We get asked this question daily and that’s a hard one! Everyone is different. If there’s a birthday child, pick a package that includes their favorite animals! Let your child look through our photo galleries and videos and see what they respond the most to. Other people have a theme in mind and order animals that go along with that (i.e. petting zoo for barnyard theme, reptile show for safari theme, bird show for luau). Classrooms and camps that bring animals in for a one-day show tend to go for our mixes that feature a variety of animals. OR, do you want to host your birthday party or event at our Ranch? Bottom line: You really cannot go wrong with animals!

Do I need a deposit to book?

Yes, to officially book we require a non-refundable deposit of $200 or more, depending on the package. This will guarantee your event.

What forms of payments do you accept?

We accept all major credit cards, checks, PayPal, and Zelle.

Are there any taxes or hidden fees not listed?

You have your package fee, maybe a travel fee, and then gratuity is greatly appreciated. You can always book add-ons, petting zoo tarps, etc. but there are NO hidden fees! Just make sure you communicate about any difficult setups as that’s the only surprise you might encounter and will be charged extra for; this includes stairs, elevators, etc.

Do you service our area? (offsite event)

We service all of Southern California. Travel rates may apply if your location is a bit far from our locations. Please call our office to find out what that might be.

Do you guys have insurance? Do you have all your permits?

We sure do. We can provide our COI upon request and can even add your venue to our certificate for an additional fee. We are USDA certified and have all of our permits with the City Of Los Angeles Animal Control, which we can show upon request. Any other city or county might require its own permit, and if you are having your event in a public area you are urged to find out the rules within that district.

When is the remaining balance due?

The week of your event we will give you a confirmation call to go over all the details once again. At that point, the remaining balance will be due. We don’t pick up any balances on the day of the event. Exceptions are made to schools and city events. Any mailed-in checks need to be received a week prior to the event to ensure the payment has gone through prior to the 2-business day balance payment requirement.

What is your cancellations policy?

If an event is canceled within 1 week of the original event date, deposits may be applied to another event if the rescheduled date is within 30 days of the original date based on our availability, and at the discretion of Reptacular staff. Any changes made within 7 days of your event can result in loss of the deposit. Our office is closed on weekends. The emergency number is 818-624-3476, but only call on weekends for emergencies.

Should I tip (give gratuity) to my handlers? Is that a thing?

Yes, please do! Gratuity is not included in your party balance and can be paid directly to the handler by cash at the event. Most of our handlers also have Venmo if you don’t have cash! Gratuity can also be added to your invoice prior to the event or after by calling our office. Our staff loves what they do, and it will show during your time with them. Showing them a little extra love can go a long way.

How early can I expect the handlers to arrive if you are coming to us? (offsite event)

Arrival will depend on the package. We give ourselves anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. The larger petting zoos’ will require a 45-minute to hour arrival before the start time. Please ask our office what time to expect your handler/s.

Is the setup included in the time we book your service?

Offsite events: Our set up and break down times are NOT included in the time you’ve reserved our service. For example, if you book us from 3-4 pm, we will arrive before 3 pm, and break down after 4 pm.

Onsite events: We are in charge of the setup. Keep in mind we don’t allow balloons for the parties; due to the nature of our programs we try to be as environmentally friendly as possible. You get 15 minutes prior to your event start time and 15 minutes after your event has ended.

What do you need from us the day of our event, if we have Reptacular scheduled to come to our home? (offsite event)

PROXIMITY: A close set-up is needed without any obstructions or stairs. Difficult setups that require the handler to transport the animals long distances by hand, up or down stairs, or elevators will lengthen the time needed for setup and cut into your party time. Your event ends at the same agreed-upon end time regardless of when the event starts if the setup is difficult. You can purchase additional setup time when booking an event if your location requires more setup time. So, PLEASE let us know ahead of time if your setup space involves stairs, an elevator, or a long distance from the Reptacular vehicle.

PARKING: Please have a reserved parking space to ensure a timely set-up. If parking is not reserved, then it can increase your setup time and cut into your event time. Your event ends at the same agreed-upon time regardless of when the event starts if parking is not reserved. You can purchase additional setup time when booking if you cannot provide parking.

Do the Animals need shade while you're in my home? (offsite event)

Absolutely! A shaded or partially shaded area is required for all events to ensure animal safety. If this is not provided your event may be canceled at the discretion of the handler and Reptacular Animals with full payment required. If your location does not have a shaded area, you can add a pop-up tent to your event when booking for a small rental fee.

If you come to us, do we need to provide water? (offsite event)

Yes, you must ensure we have a close access point to potable water or you must be able to provide water if requested. All petting zoo events will require a minimum of 2 gallons of water per hour. Camel events require an additional 2 gallons of water per camel per hour.

Can we still have a Reptacular Edventure or Reptacular Petting Zoo if we have stairs? (offsite event)

It depends on the package. You must inform us if there are stairs at the time of booking. Stairs always require additional time. If you have a large set of stairs there might be an additional fee to allow the handler extra time for set up. We can also let you know at the time of booking if stairs are a problem for the type of package you want to book. Your event ends at the same agreed-upon time regardless of when the event starts if you do not disclose the presence of stairs. Note: Some farm animals are not able to climb/ go downstairs. You are responsible for the full balance of the event whether or not the animals can get to your event space if stairs are present.

I’ve hired you for a petting zoo, and know that grass is preferred, but WILL THE ANIMALS RUIN MY GRASS? (offsite event)

Set-up on grass is preferred to ensure cleanliness. Grass is ideal for all petting zoos. If you do not have access to grass at your party location, a patch of dirt will work as well. You can add a tarp and hay to your event when booking for an additional fee. Please note, however, that putting a tarp on top of grass may not be stable for your guests to walk around in. You might have to provide pictures and/or videos of the space to allow our staff to see if it’s a suitable area to add tarp and hay.

When booking a petting zoo on grass you understand that petting zoo animals will eat the grass and we are not responsible for the state of the grass after a petting zoo. We’ve done many petting zoos in country clubs with no permanent damage done to the grass. Note: Astroturf/ artificial grass is not appropriate for petting zoos. We cannot have animals ingesting plastic. Also note: Pigs WILL root in the space you provide, nothing too damaging, but it will happen.

What happens if the handler arrives late to my home? Will that cut into my time? (offsite event)

Our handlers will call the contact number to let you know if they will be later to arrive than the set arrival time. For this reason, it is important to provide more than one number when booking. If they arrive late and are late to start the event, they will adjust the time frame to ensure you get the length of party you booked. If you have an issue with the start time you need to bring that to the handler’s attention prior to them unpacking and setting up the animals. If you allow the handler to unpack and start the show, then you agree to the full balance paid for the event and are not entitled to a refund.

What if we are running late to our event scheduled at the Reptacular Ranch? (onsite event)

If you are running late to your event in our venue, unfortunately, it will cut into your scheduled time. We often have another event to prepare for right after yours. This means we might have to change the pre-discussed schedule.

Oh no! It’s raining! How will this affect my event?

Offsite: We can show up rain or shine. It is your responsibility to provide a covered area or shelter in the event of rain. No petting zoos or animal shows can be done in direct rain. If you are unable to provide a sheltered area you can apply the deposit to any other event you might have within 30 days. If it happens to be under 65 degrees for that day, any event that has reptiles must be done indoors in a building with heat, or we must reschedule.

Onsite: Unfortunately we don’t have a covered area for our events. We would have to find a time and day we can reschedule.

It’s supposed to be close to the 100’s this week. Are the animals ok in the heat?

Offsite: Some animals are not able to be taken out in extreme heat. Please ask when booking if you have a specific animal you are expecting. Note: Chinchillas are not available for events if it is over 85 degrees. Bunnies are not available in petting zoos on extremely hot days and will be substituted for another farm animal.

Onsite: We will provide a shaded area for your guests to rest in.

I have some carrots in my fridge, can our family and friends feed the animals? (offsite event)

Awwwww, that is so kind of you to offer. But we cannot allow any feeding from any area not inspected by the USDA. Yep, our animals eat a lot better than our staff members.

I am planning a large fundraiser with 100 people. Are you able to service our event? (Offsite)

Large events (anything over 2 hours with over 50 people) will require 2 animal handlers. For the safety of the animals and the people, this will allow all parties to fully enjoy the services in a safe and fun environment. Please reach out to our office to talk about options.

Also, depending on the package and the time you hire us for, most longer events will require that animals receive breaks during the party time. Most breaks are between 15-30 minutes. The break time and length are determined at the event by the handler based on the length of the event, the number of event participants, the weather that day, and the type of animals present.

My event is at a public park. Is that ok? (offsite event)

We sure can. However, every city and county down to the individual park might be different. Please call and find out if you can have live animals within their premises. We are fully insured and have all our federal permits. But if the park requires anything additional than what we have it will be your responsibility to obtain and pay for such permits and/or licenses.

Can I make any changes to my booking?

All changes to any event must be made a minimum of 7 days before your event to have the deposit applied. If you would like to make a last-minute package change, we’ll do our best but cannot guarantee that we can accommodate your change. Downgrading packages within 7 days of your event date (not due to weather-related issues) will forfeit the original deposit.

I have a 3 year old. Are these programs appropriate for my child?

Offsite-Any type of petting zoo will be! Do NOT try to get little ones to sit down for a formal show. If you want the types of animals featured in one of our shows, we can always modify it for an “open house” program where we let the kids come and go as they please. We still allow for a hands-on experience, but just don’t do a presentation with it.
Onsite-It sure is. We just modify the information we share.

Can I bring balloons to decorate the space in your venue? (onsite event)

No balloons are allowed in our party/event area. We try to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

Can I bring sparklers or glitter? (onsite event)

NO, sparklers or glitter. Glitter is not very environmentally friendly and we are in a high fire zone. So, no open flame is allowed.

Can I bring a jumper for our event? (onsite event)

Unfortunately, no jumpers are allowed at the ranch. Some of our animals who are not used to going out of the ranch are not used to them, and it can be stressful for them.

What is your physical address? (onsite event)

Reptacular Animals Ranch: 8828 Gold Creek Rd., Sylmar, CA 91342. Please make sure you don’t go to our mailing address in Sun Valley.

Reptacular Ranch