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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 up to 25 guests

  • Length: 45 mins- Areas of the zoo

Program:
  • 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.  

  • Meet and greet with two of the animal ambassadors.

  • 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 up to 25 guests • $80 per group up to 45 guests

  • Length: About 15- 20 minutes

Program:
  • If you want a quick introduction to the zoo, this is for you! Enjoy an educational hands-on experience with 3-4 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.

Discovery Tour
  • For: We can accommodate up to ten people per tour

  • Cost: $50 per person 

  • Length: Tour lasts approximately 1 hour

Program:
  • As part of your zoo experience, you will first be met with one of our knowledgeable staff members that will lead you on an hour walking tour of the zoo. While on your way to your tour destination, they will discuss some of our zoo history, animal fun facts, new exhibit plans, and more. Guests will be able to have an up-close encounter with 3 or 4 of our education animal ambassadors.  The fee includes admission.  Please note that due to health and safety restrictions, there are some areas of the zoo that are not open for visitors. 

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

Internship
  • For: College students interested in pursuing an animal career

  • Cost: N/A

  • Length: One semester (spring/summer or fall/winter)

Program:
  • Students gain necessary experience working with animals and experiencing an in-depth enrichment and observation project. Intern positions are unpaid.

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: $15 per child per class including free admission for one caregiver. Each additional guest is $5.00.  Advanced registration and payment are required.

Program:
  • 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!