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Zoo Experience

Let us be the educators for a day! Take your students on a trip around the world to a place where people connect with animals. Our animal programs offer an enriching and stimulating experience for all.  

On-site Programs

Guided Zoo Tour
  • For: Small Groups – Fee does not include admission

  • Cost: $100 per group of up to 25 guests

  • Length: Approximately 1 hour-  General areas of the zoo

  • Take a walk on the wild side with one of our special tours by an experienced guide who will show your group around the zoo. Groups will enjoy hearing 'behind the scene' stories, animal facts, and trivia, as well as exploring the artifacts from our tour bag.  

  • No animal contact experiences included

  • Tours must be scheduled at least 2 weeks in advance and reservations are restricted by staff availability.

Animal Education Program
  • For: Groups visiting the zoo - Fee does not include admission

  • Cost: $60 per group of up to 20 guests                                                   $80 per group of up to 40 guests

  • Length: About 15-20 minutes

  • If you want a quick introduction to the zoo, this is for you! Enjoy an educational hands-on experience with 2 - 3 of our education animal ambassadors. We can't guarantee species availability, but we will try and accommodate your lesson topics. 

  • All programs must be scheduled at least 2 weeks in advance and reservations are restricted by staff availability.

Specialty Tour
  • For: We can accommodate up to ten people per experience

  • Cost: $50 per person - fee does not include admission

  • Length: Approximately 30 mins

  • You'll have the opportunity to get up close with a few of our ambassador animals, in a special meet and greet . 

  •  Speak with Education staff about our animals and the important role they play as an ambassador for their wild counterparts touching and feeding may or may not be allowed depending on the animal and their comfort.

  • Please note that due to health and safety restrictions, there are some areas of the zoo that are not open to visitors. 

  • Tours must be scheduled at least 3 weeks in advance and reservations are restricted by staff availability.

What To Know Before You Book
  • All tours are walking tours. No transportation is provided.

  • There may be a fee for parking which is separate from the zoo.

  • Please dress for the weather and the visit.

  • Closed-toe shoes are required for all tours.

  • Due to the unpredictability of animals, tour experiences may vary.

  • Face masks are recommended but not required.

  • All guests should be aware of Zoo services and policies and must abide by staff instructions at all times.

  • Each experience has requirements listed in the tour description.

  • For safety reasons, children under 18 must be accompanied by a paid adult.  

  • While all of our public spaces and guest amenities are fully accessible, some of the behind-the-scenes areas visited through our tour program may not be. If there are any physical, cognitive, or behavioral needs within your group, please notify us at booking so our staff can be prepared to make any reasonable accommodations.

  • In compliance with best practices for zoo animal welfare — and the quarantine protocols outlined by federal regulations and the accreditation standards service animals are not permitted in our behind-the-scenes animal areas.

  •  No refunds or rescheduling opportunities will be given for no-call/no-shows.

  • No photographs or video is allowed in behind-the-scenes areas.

  • The Washington Park Zoo reserves the right to cancel any tour due to unforeseeable animal health, weather, or staffing issues. In case of such an event, the Zoo will contact you to reschedule your tour.

Other Educational Experiences

Cub Club Tot Program
  • For: Ages: 2 thru 5-year-olds with one caregiver

  • Time: 10:30 am – 11:30 am    Monday

  • Where: The Classroom at the Washington Park Zoo

  • Description: This program is designed for toddlers and adults to discover the natural world together. We will use the alphabet to explore different animals in our zoo. In each class, you will discover different types of animals such as mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects. Your classroom experience will include stories, projects, and special animal visitors. All children must be accompanied by an adult who is willing to take part in the activities.

  • Each session features classes with a slightly different theme so, you can attend one or all six!

  • Registration: $20 per child per class including free admission for one caregiver. Each additional guest is $6.00.  Advanced registration and payment are required.

  • Session one - Mad about Mammals: We are mad about mammals here at the zoo! From lions to tigers to hedgehogs, oh my! Join us to learn what makes a mammal a mammal, and why they are so great!

  • Session two – Feet, Fins, and Feathers:  Why do ducks have webbed feet and fish have fins? Some animals have fast feet while others are slow and sneaky. We will focus on animals that are good at evading their predators, whether it’s with speed or with trickery!

  • Session three – Creature Covers:  Why does an Arctic Fox coat change colors with the season, and why is a tiger’s fur striped? Why does a hedgehog wear spikes when a snake has smooth scales? We’ll explore what animals wear on the outside through tactile opportunities with live animals and animal artifacts. Fur, feathers, scales, shells!

  • Session four - Barnyard Buddies: Grab your overalls, it’s time to be a farmer! Meet the goats, horses, rabbits, and more! Learn about farm life.

  • Session five – Furry Tails: Bib bidi bobbidi ZOO! Join us on a magical journey as we explore the animals in our favorite fairy tales. Stories will come to life as tots meet a charming frog prince and the delightful dragon!

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