The Zoo is not just for kids, adults can join in the fun too. From our famous Horse Hands programs, to custom Night Camps, the Zoo has something for you. You can even earn your Master’s Degree with the Zoo. Looking for something unique and fun for your next business event or social outing? Spend the night at the Zoo with a custom Night Camp program or have us come to you with our ZooToYou Outreach programs.

Our program prices will be changing soon. Register today to take advantage of early-bird special rates* and get this year’s programs for last year’s prices! The more programs you register for, the more you will save.

FREE Nature Play Workshop for Parents

Nature Play Community Workshop
Sunday, February 26, 2017 | 1:30 – 4 p.m.

Location: South Mountain Environmental Education Center

Minimum program guests: 12
Maximum program guests: 60
This workshop is limited to 60 participants, but additional registrants will be added to a wait list. You will receive notice whether you are on the registration confirmed list or wait list.

Participant age: 18+ years old, this workshop is designed for parents, grandparents, and early childhood educators/caregivers

**Online registration closes on Thursday, February 23, 2017**

This workshop is designed to help participants understand the importance of nature play and gain skills and confidence to seek out play opportunities on their own as well as engage with others through a variety of resources in their local community. Research has shown that free play immersed in an outdoor setting is fundamental to connecting children with the natural world around them. The Phoenix Zoo feels strongly that time spent outside, playing, exploring, enjoying and discovering in an unstructured way, is an essential component in the development of healthy children. We also acknowledge that the desert environment and our hot Arizona climate can be an intimidating factor that can limit parent and child comfort.

By attending this introductory workshop, adult participants will become more aware of and versed in the benefits and practice of nature play. Discussions will explore the barriers to nature play and identify solutions. Participants will recognize ways they can encourage and techniques they can use to support child-directed play with the goal of becoming more comfortable encouraging nature play in both developed and wild environments.

Participants will receive

  • Growing Up WILD: Exploring Nature with Young Learners Activity Guide – a full-color 11”x17” activity guide that focuses on wildlife and nature exploration and features 27 field-tested, hands-on, nature-based, ready-made thematic units and over 400 experiences
  • Nature Play Resource Packet
  • “Inspiration Kit” of creative play materials
  • Access to an invitation-only Phoenix Zoo Nature Play focused Facebook group – share and be inspired by ideas, relevant articles, and local opportunities to build and strengthen community ties through nature play
  • A fun and exciting experience – learn and play in a supportive environment that encourages social interaction and collaborative effort
  • An opportunity for increased knowledge of and comfort and practice in facilitating nature play with young children

Register Today!

FREE Conservation Speaker Series

Presented by the Arthur L. and Elaine V. Johnson Foundation, these evening events showcase engaging speakers from around the world sharing stories about projects benefiting wildlife, habitats, and people. Many of these projects have been funded through the Zoo’s Conservation & Science Grants program, while others highlight important native species recovery efforts in our region. Our speaker series events are free to the public. Everyone is welcome, but content may be most appropriate for ages 10+.


NEW! Lunch with a Keeper (for adults)
Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of a zookeeper might be like? Do you want to experience a behind-the-scenes tour led by a person who knows the animals best? In this adults-only program, we provide an exclusive opportunity to learn from the animal experts—our zookeepers! Enjoy a pizza lunch while you ask questions that only a keeper can answer and listen to stories that only a keeper can tell. After lunch, be treated to a behind-the-scenes tour and animal experience. This unique experience is one of the best at the Zoo; you’ll truly understand the passion and dedication involved with being a zookeeper.

Register Now

For adults ages 18+.
Program time: 12 – 1:45 p.m.
Program fees:

Member Adult Ticket  $30      Adult Pair $54

General Adult Ticket   $40      Adult Pair $72

February 5 – Giraffe Keepers
What special care do the tallest residents at the Zoo need? How do zookeepers reach that high to feed them? Find out these answers and many more during an afternoon of fun and excitement as we discover what makes giraffes such a favorite animal at the Zoo. Enjoy a pizza lunch alongside one of our giraffe zookeepers, who answers questions and tells stories about the animals and their job. Following lunch, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the giraffe barn and have the opportunity for a private, up-close interaction at the giraffe deck with one of our giraffes!

April 2 – Elephant Keepers
What is it like to work with a 9,000-pound animal? Are elephants really as intelligent as some claim? Find out these answers and many more during an afternoon of fun and excitement as we discover what it takes to work with elephants. Enjoy a pizza lunch alongside one of our elephant zookeepers who will answer questions, and tell stories about the animals and their job. Following lunch, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the elephant barn and have the opportunity for an up-close look at these amazing animals!

NEW! Photography Walkabouts

Dates: Varies by instructor. (see below)

Price: $15 member/$15 general + admission to the Zoo (separate ticket or use membership)

Minimum program guests: 1

Maximum program guests: Maximum program participants: 6

Program Description:

Tips, tricks and technique guidance abound in this casual walkabout program led by one of the Zoo’s expert volunteer photographers. This program is entirely focused on practicing skills, getting instant feedback and having fun while capturing great images at the Zoo. While some dates may have a specific focus, participant interest shapes each class making this a dynamic and social experience for all. Whether your camera is professional quality or simply a phone camera, there is a walkabout program for you!

More info/How to be prepared:

  • Walkabout programs are open to photographers with any type of camera or skill level, unless specifically noted otherwise.
  • These programs have a casual, conversational feel and participants are encouraged to help guide the direction of the walkabout by expressing their interests and asking questions of the instructor.
  • Being familiar with your camera (how to access settings, etc.) prior to the program is always appreciated. The walkabout programs focus on practice with (and feedback from) an expert photographer; this is not a lecture class.
  • Bring your camera manual to the walkabout. Each camera brand and model can be slightly different. Our instructors are extremely talented photographers, but we’d never expect them to be fully versed in operating every single camera on the market. Your camera manual can be a useful tool for you and for the instructor.
  • Consider signing up for multiple photo walkabouts. Our photographers each have different styles of instruction, personal interests and experiences which contribute to the walkabouts they lead. Additionally, engaging with fellow participants to learn from and share with each other makes each of these programs unique and dynamic.
  • The Photo Walkabout program fee does NOT include admission to the Zoo. Non-members must purchase a Phoenix Zoo admission ticket along with the program.

Photo Walkabout Instructors:

These walkabout programs are led by Phoenix Zoo Volunteers, who are accomplished photographers with many years of experience and a unique level of expertise in a Zoo setting. You can frequently see their photographs featured on the Zoo’s social media pages and website.

jq-progile-picJohn Qoyawayma has been taking photographs at the Phoenix Zoo for four years, but has been working in the field of visual media and marketing for over 30 years. He got his start in photography by color correcting photographs taken by others, specifically landscape panoramas. Around five years ago, he began doing commercial photography in his own studio. In addition to the commercial work he does, John enjoys photographing nature and wildlife, and capturing portraits.

John uses Nikon equipment and his favorite animal to capture images of at the Phoenix Zoo is the Ruppell’s griffon vulture. His style of teaching is to “keep it fun,” and he enjoys listening to what others want to learn and sharing with them in practical ways. John hopes to help photographers in the Photo Walkabouts he leads to truly enjoy the scenery and animals at the Zoo while continuing to perfect their photography skills.

  • Saturday, February 25, 9:30 – 11 a.m.– Limited spots remaining!
  • Saturday, March 4, 9:30 – 11 a.m.
  • Saturday, April 29, 9:30 – 11 a.m.
  • Saturday, May 13, 9:30 – 11 a.m.

dave-seibertDave Seibert took some of his first photographs as a child at the Phoenix Zoo in 1965! He has been working in professional photojournalism for more than 40 years and is currently freelancing in photography and video storytelling with a variety of valley companies. Dave also teaches photojournalism and multimedia at the Walter Cronkite Journalism School at Arizona State University.

Dave uses Canon equipment. Though he has worked with the Phoenix Zoo both professionally and personally for many years and is a talented photographer of animals, he most enjoys capturing the emotion of those at the Zoo that walk on two legs – the people! Dave hopes to help photographers in the Photo Walkabouts he leads to learn how to see light, frame with composition techniques and wait for the right moment to take a photo.

  • Friday, February 10, 9:30 – 11 a.m.– Limited spots remaining. Call 602.914.4333 to register
  • Friday, February 10, 9:30 – 11 a.m.
  • Sunday, March 26, 9:30 – 11 a.m.
  • Sunday, April 9, 9:30 – 11 a.m.
  • Sunday, May 7, 9:30 – 11 a.m.

*Zoolights walkabouts require a DSLR or mirrorless camera.

Horse Hands Program
If you have never been on a horse before, or if you are somewhat experienced with horses but would like to learn more about their behavior and caregiving, or just generally brush up on your horsemanship skills, then this program is for you. Each Horse Hands Program is a four-week series. Participants must attend all four sessions to develop riding skills and receive a certificate.  Participants will learn about horsemanship, animal observation, behavior, and bonding. For more information please visit our Horse Hands page.