The Phoenix Zoo has a variety of educational programs designed to connect children of all ages with the natural world. Our programs are offered for children starting at 18 months old and are designed to support their growing needs and abilities. We truly hope that your child will grow up with the Zoo! Many programs offer opportunities for parents or caregivers and children to learn and explore together, making it an experience for the entire family. See our many program offerings below and join our programs family today.

Interested in learning more about programs at the Zoo? Sign up for Phoenix Zoo Family Programs Newsletter!

Littlest Critters (Ages 0 – 18 months)

Get wild with your little one at the Phoenix Zoo! This all-new program allows our youngest visitors and their caregivers the chance to explore the world of animals. Spend the morning together in this inside/outside program featuring animal-themed music, games, movement activities and nature explorations. Each program focuses on animals from unique habitats all around the world and offer a chance to meet an animal up-close. For children 0 – 18 months and a caregiver.

Program Fee
Member Adult/Child Pair: $15
General Adult/Child Pair: $35
Register

Program Topics:

Littlest Critters programs are from 10 – 10:45 a.m. on the following dates:

October 7, 2015: Nocturnal Animals
November 11, 2015: Flying Animals
December 9, 2015: Aquatic Animals
January 6, 2016: Itsy Bitsy Animals

February 10, 2016: Savanna Animals
March 9, 2016: Rainforest Animals
April 6, 2016: Desert Animals
May 11, 2016: Farm Animals

Farm Tots (Ages 18 months –24 months)

Fun on the farm is what Farm Tots is all about! Designed around introducing some of our youngest animal lovers to some of the Zoo’s friendliest animals, Farm Tots teaches children the basics of animal respect and care. Free-play, activities and up-close animal encounters are all part of the fun with each month focusing on one of our farm animals. For children 18 months – 24 months and a caregiver.

Don’t forget to add a plush animal as a keepsake of your experience when making your reservations!

Program Topics:

  • October – December 2015
  • January – May 2016

October 2015: Horse

Dates and Times
October 9, 2015, 10 – 10:45 a.m.
October 10, 2015, 10 – 10:45 a.m.

Program Fee
Member Adult/Child Pair: $15
General Adult/Child Pair: $35
Register

Who says hay is just for horses? Join us for an exciting morning of learning and an up-close horse encounter during our Farm Tots Horse program. Children join their caregivers in free-play, horse-themed activities and a unique opportunity for a one-on-one encounter with the “mane” animal attraction of this program!

Guests meet their instructor at Harmony Farm and get started on fun activities right away. Once finished with the activities, we head over to the horse barn and spend time learning and playing in the horse play yard. But the fun does not stop there! Guests have the opportunity to enter the horse barn to meet one of our horses.

November 2015: Chickens/Turkeys

Dates and Times
November 6, 2015, 10 – 10:45 a.m.
November 7, 2015, 10 – 10:45 a.m.

Program Fee
Member Adult/Child Pair: $15
General Adult/Child Pair: $35
Register

Cluck, cluck! Gobble, gobble! What is a wattle? What is our chickens’ favorite food? There’s a lot of excitement down at Harmony Farm and you can learn the answers to these questions and many others when you join in the fun by attending the Farm Tots Chicken and Turkey program. Children join their caregivers for a morning of free-play activities geared toward all things chicken and turkey, followed by a unique, up-close opportunity to meet some of our fowl friends!

Guests meet their instructor at Harmony Farm and get started on fun activities right away. Once finished with the activities, we head over to the chicken and turkey coops and observe these friendly birds. Want even more up-close encounters? This program also includes the exclusive opportunity to help prepare breakfast for the chickens and deliver it right in the chicken coop!

December 2015: Cow

Dates and Times
December 4, 2015, 10 – 10:45 a.m.
December 5, 2015, 10 – 10:45 a.m.

Program Fee
Member Adult/Child Pair: $15
General Adult/Child Pair: $35
Register

Have you ever felt a cow’s nose? Was it smooth and slippery or sticky and slimy? Do cows really say moo? Join us for the Farm Tots Cow program and you learn all about cows while playing at the farm! Children join their caregivers for a morning of free-play cow activities, followed by the unique opportunity to meet our bodacious bovines!

Guests meet their instructor at Harmony Farm and get started on fun activities right away. Once finished with the activities, we head over to the petting zoo to meet our cows. Want even more up-close encounters? This program also includes the unique opportunity to assist keepers when we “browse the cows.”

January 2016: Sheep

Dates and Times
January 8, 2016, 10 – 10:45 a.m.
January 9, 2016, 10 – 10:45 a.m.

Program Fee
Member Adult/Child Pair: $15
General Adult/Child Pair: $35
Register

Are you feeling a little sheepish? There are plenty of sheeply shenanigans going on down at Harmony Farm and you can join in on the fun by joining us for the Farm Tots Sheep program! Here you learn all about sheep, while playing at the farm. Children join their caregivers for a morning of free-play sheep activities, followed by the unique opportunity to meet one of our wooly sheep friends!

Guests meet their instructor at Harmony Farm and get started on fun activities right away. Once finished with the activities, we head over to the petting zoo for interaction with the farm’s sheep.

February 2016: Farm Visitors

Dates and Times
February 12, 2016, 10 – 10:45 a.m.
February 13, 2016, 10 – 10:45 a.m.

Program Fee
Member Adult/Child Pair: $15
General Adult/Child Pair: $35
Register

What types of animals visit the farm at night? Have you ever heard an owl hoot? How many legs does a spider have? Are there un-invited guests that also call the farm home? By joining us at the Farm Tots Farm Visitors program, you learn about farm animals which you might not even know are there! Children join their caregivers for a morning of free-play activities, followed by the unique opportunity to meet and touch some of these secret farm visitors.

Guests meet their instructor at Harmony Farm and get started on fun activities right away. Once finished with the activities, we’ll get up-close with some of these animal visitors.

March 2016: Horse

Dates and Times
March 11, 2016, 10 – 10:45 a.m.
March 12, 2016, 10 – 10:45 a.m.

Program Fee
Member Adult/Child Pair: $15
General Adult/Child Pair: $35
Register

Who says hay is just for horses? Join us for an exciting morning of learning and an up-close horse encounter during our Farm Tots Horse program. Children join their caregivers in free-play, horse-themed activities and a unique opportunity for a one-on-one encounter with the “mane” animal attraction of this program!

Guests meet their instructor at Harmony Farm and get started on fun activities right away. Once finished with the activities, we head over to the horse barn and spend time learning and playing in the horse play yard. But the fun does not stop there! Guests have the opportunity to enter the horse barn to meet one of our horses.

April 2016: Cow

Dates and Times
April 8, 2016, 10 – 10:45 a.m.
April 9, 2016, 10 – 10:45 a.m.

Program Fee
Member Adult/Child Pair: $15
General Adult/Child Pair: $35
Register

Have you ever felt a cow’s nose? Was it smooth and slippery or sticky and slimy? Do cows really say moo? Join us for the Farm Tots Cow program and you learn all about cows while playing at the farm! Children join their caregivers for a morning of free-play cow activities, followed by the unique opportunity to meet our bodacious bovines!

Guests meet their instructor at Harmony Farm and get started on fun activities right away. Once finished with the activities, we head over to the petting zoo to meet our cows. Want even more up-close encounters? This program also includes the unique opportunity to assist keepers when we “browse the cows.”

May 2016: Goat

Dates and Times
May 6, 2016, 10 – 10:45 a.m.
May 7, 2016, 10 – 10:45 a.m.

Program Fee
Member Adult/Child Pair: $15
General Adult/Child Pair: $35
Register

Sure, we all know them as a favorite animal on the farm, but what exactly makes goats so special? Join us for the Farm Tots Goat program and have a blast learning about goats and playing at the farm. Children join their caregivers for a morning of free-play goat activities, followed by the unique opportunity to enter our private stall and meet a goat!

Guests meet their instructor at Harmony Farm and get started on fun activities right away. Once finished with the activities, we head over to the petting zoo and spend some time interacting with gregarious goats before a special one-on-one meeting with one of the farm’s favorite goats.

Breakfast with the Animals (Ages 2 – 5 years)

Have you learned what a giraffe wants for breakfast? Have you watched a warthog wake up in the morning? Have you fed a giant tortoise breakfast? Join us for Early Childhood Animal Breakfasts and YOU CAN! Enjoy a light morning meal of “people food” along with child-focused and parent-directed activities, which include a variety of movement, discovery, reasoning, crafts, songs, guided and free play opportunities. Children and parents are encouraged to explore the activities at their own pace and instructors help facilitate an engaging and fun experience for all. We’ll finish the fun with an amazing animal encounter! For children 2-5 years and a caregiver.

Don’t forget to add a plush animal as a keepsake of your experience when making your reservations!

Program Topics:

  • September – November 2015
  • January – May 2016

September 2015: Timeless Tortoise

Dates and Times
September 11, 2015, 8 – 9 a.m.
September 12, 2015, 8 – 9 a.m.
September 13, 2015, 8 – 9 a.m.
September 18, 2015, 8 – 9 a.m.
September 19, 2015, 8 – 9 a.m.
September 20, 2015, 8 – 9 a.m.
September 25, 2015, 8 – 9 a.m.
September 26, 2015, 8 – 9 a.m.
September 27, 2015, 8 – 9 a.m.

Program Fee
Member: $20 per Child / $10 per Adult
General: $35 per Child / $15 per Adult
Register

Our program focuses on tortoises this month. You’ll learn about tortoise shells, tortoise eggs, how long tortoises live and much, much more! After breakfast and activities, you’ll enjoy a unique experience as we visit and feed the Aldabra tortoises in their exhibit!

October 2015: Amazing Rays

Dates and Times
October 2, 2015, 8 – 9 a.m.
October 3, 2015, 8 – 9 a.m.
October 4, 2015, 8 – 9 a.m.
October 16, 2015, 8 – 9 a.m.
October 17, 2015, 8 – 9 a.m.
October 18, 2015, 8 – 9 a.m.

Program Fee
Member: $20 per Child / $10 per Adult
General: $35 per Child / $15 per Adult
Register

Our program focuses on stingrays this month. You’ll learn about stingray food and discover how smooth, slippery or slimy a stingray feels and much, much more! After breakfast and activities, you’ll enjoy a unique experience as we touch and feed the rays at Stingray Bay!

November 2015: Wild Warthogs

Dates and Times
November 6, 2015, 8 – 9 a.m.
November 7, 2015, 8 – 9 a.m.
November 8, 2015, 8 – 9 a.m.
November 13, 2015, 8 – 9 a.m.
November 14, 2015, 8 – 9 a.m.
November 15, 2015, 8 – 9 a.m.

Program Fee
Member: $20 per Child / $10 per Adult
General: $35 per Child / $15 per Adult
Register

Our program focuses on warthogs this month.  You’ll learn about warthog intelligence, warthog greetings, how much they like mud and much, much more! After breakfast and activities, you’ll enjoy a unique, behind-the-scenes experience assisting zookeepers as they prepare and deliver the warthogs’ breakfast!

January 2016: Gentle Giants (Giraffes)

Dates and Times
January 8, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
January 9, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
January 10, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
January 15, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
January 16, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
January 21, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
January 23, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
January 24, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
January 28, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
January 29, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
January 30, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
January 31, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.

Program Fee
Member: $20 per Child / $10 per Adult
General: $35 per Child / $15 per Adult
Register

Our program focuses on giraffes this month. You’ll learn about what giraffes eat, how they use their tongues and much, much more! After breakfast and activities, you’ll enjoy a unique experience going behind-the-scenes to meet the tallest animals at the Zoo!

February 2016: Cheetah and Painted Dogs

Dates and Times
February 5, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
February 6, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
February 7, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
February 12, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
February 13, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
February 14, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.

Program Fee
Member: $20 per Child / $10 per Adult
General: $35 per Child / $15 per Adult
Register

Our program focuses on wild cats and dogs this month. You’ll learn how wild cats and dogs are different from our pets, why they are highly successful predators and much, much more! After breakfast and activities, you’ll enjoy a unique experience as we take a behind-the-scenes tour of the painted dogs’ night house. We then assist zookeepers by making and delivering behavioral enrichment to our African carnivores!

March 2016: Monkey Madness

Dates and Times
March 4, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
March 5, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
March 6, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
March 11, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
March 12, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
March 13, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
March 18, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
March 19, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
March 20, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
March 25, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
March 26, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
March 27, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.

Program Fee
Member: $20 per Child / $10 per Adult
General: $35 per Child / $15 per Adult
Register

Our program focuses on monkeys this month. You’ll learn how monkeys use their tails, how intelligent they are and much, much more! After breakfast and activities, a monkey keeper shows us how behavioral enrichment items are prepared for the squirrel monkeys of Monkey Village. You can even ask the keeper monkey questions and we will follow the keeper into Monkey Village before the zoo opens to watch as the monkeys receive their breakfast!

April 2016: Bear Breakfast

Dates and Times
April 1, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
April 2, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
April 3, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
April 8, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
April 9, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
April 10, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
April 15, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
April 16, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
April 17, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.

Program Fee
Member: $20 per Child / $10 per Adult
General: $35 per Child / $15 per Adult
Register

Our program focuses on bears this month. You’ll learn about the many types of bears that live around the world, what they eat, why some bears hibernate and much, much more! After breakfast and activities, participants help a zookeeper deliver behavioral enrichment to our bears!

May 2016: Incredible Elephants

Dates and Times
May 5, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
May 6, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
May 7, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
May 8, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
May 12, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
May 13, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
May 14, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
May 15, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
May 19, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
May 20, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
May 21, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
May 22, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
May 26, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
May 28, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
May 29, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.

Program Fee
Member: $20 per Child / $10 per Adult
General: $35 per Child / $15 per Adult
Register

Our program focuses on elephants this month. You’ll learn how elephants use their trunks, what they like to eat and much, much more! After breakfast and activities, you’ll learn about our elephants and assist an elephant keepers with their daily behavioral enrichment by hiding “elephant cookies” in the elephant yard and watching as the elephants search for the hidden treats!

Gifts for the Animals (Ages 2 – 5 years)

Whether it’s for a holiday or “just because” – giving gifts is fun! It allows us to show how much we care. The same is true for the animals at the Zoo. Join us for some generous fun — animal style — at our Gifts for the Animals program. Children join their caregiver and their instructor on a guided safari around Harmony Farm. We’ll take time to stop and observe animals and participate in hands-on learning activities. Activities are informal, fun learning opportunities, designed to foster excitement and learning between caregiver and child. This program offers the amazing opportunity to assist zookeepers by providing enrichment for many of our farm animals — in the form of special gifts! For children 2 – 5 years and a caregiver.

Dates and Times
December 12, 2015, 8 – 9 a.m.
December 13, 2015, 8 – 9 a.m.
April 23, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.
April 24, 2016, 8 – 9 a.m.

Program Fee
Member Adult/Child Pair: $20
General Adult/Child Pair: $40
Register

Critter Keeper (Ages 6 – 10 years)

Experience what it’s like to be a zookeeper! During this non-stop, fun-filled afternoon, young Critter Keepers participate in all aspects of animal care including cleaning, distributing diets and preparing enrichment items for our animal collection. Small class sizes allow us to offer an exclusive and personalized adventure in which children experience the excitement, hard work and patience required to be a zookeeper and care for Zoo animals. All Critter Keepers are outfitted with a t-shirt and water bottle. For children 6 – 10 years.

Program Topics:

  • October – December 2015
  • January – May 2016

October 2015: Rainforest Animals

Dates and Times
October 3, 2015, 12 – 2 p.m.
October 4, 2015, 12 – 2 p.m.

Program Fee
Member: $40
General: $50
Register

Have you ever wondered how we keep rainforest animals happy and healthy in the desert? Critter Keeper Rainforest Animals takes place in the Zoo’s Forest of Uco and is designed to support children in discovering answers to questions, while having incredible encounters with Zoo animals and within Zoo exhibits. The non-stop program parallels the daily schedule of a zookeeper and begins when children meet their instructor on the bridge and walk to a Zoo classroom to get outfitted and briefed for their day of “work.” The small group of future animal caretakers moves right into all aspects of caring for rainforest animals, including cleaning an animal’s night house, measuring and distributing a portion of their diet and creating and delivering behavioral enrichment items. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn about the fun, challenging and always entertaining job of a zookeeper!

November 2015: Endangered Species

Dates and Times
November 7, 2015, 12 – 2 p.m.
November 8, 2015, 12 – 2 p.m.

Program Fee
Member: $40
General: $50
Register

Can you help us feed the most endangered animal at the Zoo? Have you ever wanted to touch an endangered species that calls Arizona home? Critter Keeper Endangered Species is focused on threatened and endangered species and is designed to support children in discovering answers to questions, while having incredible encounters with Zoo animals and within Zoo exhibits. The non-stop program parallels the daily schedule of a zookeeper and begins when children meet their instructor on the bridge and walk to a Zoo classroom to get outfitted and briefed for their day of “work.” The small group of future animal caretakers moves right into all aspects of caring for some very special animals, including counting and finding all animals in a multi-species exhibit, delivering diet and creating and delivering behavioral enrichment items. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn about the fun, challenging and always entertaining job of a zookeeper!

December 2015: Arizona Trail

Dates and Times
December 5, 2015, 12 – 2 p.m.
December 6, 2015, 12 – 2 p.m.

Program Fee
Member: $40
General: $50
Register

Do you know what the coati’s favorite treat is? Have you ever been face-to-face with the fastest animal in the Western Hemisphere? Critter Keeper Arizona Trail is designed to support children in discovering answers to questions, while having incredible encounters with Zoo animals and within Zoo exhibits. The non-stop program parallels the daily schedule of a zookeeper and begins when children meet their instructor on the bridge and walk to a Zoo classroom to get outfitted and briefed for their day of “work.” The small group of future animal caretakers moves right into all aspects of caring for Arizona animals, including cleaning an animal’s exhibit, measuring and distributing a portion of their diet, creating and delivering behavioral enrichment items and witnessing a training session by one of our keepers. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn about the fun, challenging and always entertaining job of a zookeeper!

January 2016: Show Animals

Dates and Times
January 9, 2016, 12 – 2 p.m.
January 10, 2016, 12 – 2 p.m.

Program Fee
Member: $40
General: $50
Register

Have you ever wondered how zookeepers train the amazing animals that you’ve seen in our show? Have you ever wondered where all of the Zoo’s programs animals live? Critter Keeper Show Animals is focused on the Zoo’s show animals and is designed to support children in discovering answers to questions, while having incredible encounters with Zoo animals and within Zoo exhibits. The non-stop program parallels the daily schedule of a zookeeper and begins when children meet their instructor on the bridge and walk to a Zoo classroom to get outfitted and briefed for their day of “work.” The small group of future animal caretakers moves right into all aspects of caring for show animals, including preparing animal diets, observing animal training and husbandry and touring the behind-the-scenes home of our programs animals. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn about the fun, challenging and always entertaining job of a zookeeper!

February 2016: Children’s Trail

Dates and Times
February 6, 2016, 12 – 2 p.m.
February 7, 2016, 12 – 2 p.m.

Program Fee
Member: $40
General: $50
Register

What is an ocelot’s favorite food? Does a warty pig really have warts? Critter Keeper Children’s Trail is designed to support children in discovering answers to questions, while having incredible encounters with Zoo animals and within Zoo exhibits. The non-stop program parallels the daily schedule of a zookeeper and begins when children meet their instructor on the bridge and walk to a Zoo classroom to get outfitted and briefed for their day of “work.” The small group of future animal caretakers moves right into all aspects of caring for some very fun zoo animals, including cleaning an animal enclosure, learning to properly handle a Zoo animal, making and delivering behavioral enrichment and preparing diet for an elusive carnivore. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn about the fun, challenging and always entertaining job of a zookeeper!

March 2016: Reptiles

Dates and Times
March 5, 2016, 12 – 2 p.m.
March 6, 2016, 12 – 2 p.m.

Program Fee
Member: $40
General: $50
Register

Does a snake feel different than a lizard? How can you tell a turtle and a tortoise apart? Critter Keeper Reptiles is designed to support children in discovering answers to questions, while having incredible encounters with Zoo animals and within Zoo exhibits. The non-stop program parallels the daily schedule of a zookeeper and begins when children meet their instructor on the bridge and walk to a Zoo classroom to get outfitted and briefed for their day of “work.” The small group of future animal caretakers moves right into all aspects of caring for these radical animals, including cleaning an animal enclosure with the animal still inside, learning to properly handle a Zoo animal and feeding and touching a giant reptile. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn about the fun, challenging and always entertaining job of a zookeeper!

April 2016: Farm Animals

Dates and Times
April 2, 2016, 12 – 2 p.m.
April 3, 2016, 12 – 2 p.m.

Program Fee
Member: $40
General: $50
Register

The non-stop program parallels the daily schedule of a zookeeper and begins when children meet their instructor on the bridge and walk to a Zoo classroom to get outfitted and briefed for their day of “work.” The small group of future animal caretakers moves right into all aspects of caring for farm animals, including feeding animals, providing behavioral enrichment, observing animal training and husbandry and touring the behind-the-scenes home of our farm animals. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn about the fun, challenging and always entertaining job of a zookeeper!

May 2016: Savanna Animals

Dates and Times
May 7, 2016, 12 – 2 p.m.
May 8, 2016, 12 – 2 p.m.

Program Fee
Member: $40
General: $50
Register

What is one of the smartest animals on the savanna? Where do the giraffes go every night to sleep? Critter Keeper Savanna Animals is focused on the animals that call our savanna exhibit home and designed to support children in discovering answers to questions, while having incredible encounters with Zoo animals and within Zoo exhibits. The non-stop program parallels the daily schedule of a zookeeper and begins when children meet their instructor on the bridge and walk to a Zoo classroom to get outfitted and briefed for their day of “work.” The small group of future animal caretakers moves right into all aspects of caring for savanna animals, including visiting the commissary and preparing animal diets, cleaning the giraffe’s night house, meeting a very smart savanna animal up-close and deliver behavioral enrichment. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn about the fun, challenging and always entertaining job of a zookeeper!

Lunch with a Keeper (Ages 6 – 10 years)

Lunch with a Keeper is like a coveted backstage pass to meet the band! Enjoy a pizza lunch while you make friends with and learn from animal experts – our zookeepers. 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 awesome animal experience led by the person that knows the animals best. This unique experience is one of the best at the Zoo. You’ll truly understand the passion and dedication involved with being a zookeeper. For children 6-10 years and a caregiver.

Program Topics:

  • October – December 2015
  • January – May 2016

October 2015: Equine

Dates and Times
October 24, 2015, 12 – 1:45 p.m.
October 25, 2015, 12 – 1:45 p.m.

Program Fee
Member Adult/Child Pair: $50
General Adult/Child Pair: $75
Additional Member Adult: $15
Additional General Adult: $30
Register

Did you know that in addition to being a leader in exotic animal care, the Phoenix Zoo is also home to the Thunderbird Charities Equine Facility? This incredible facility serves as a home to many horses, ponies and other animals. The talented keepers that work in this area not only care for and train these amazing animals, but also teach others to ride and care for them! Discover what it’s like to work with these special animals and the rewards and challenges of their job. Enjoy a pizza lunch alongside our equine staff, who will answer questions and tell stories about the animals and their job. Following lunch, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the equine facility and meet these incredible animals up-close!

November 2015: Animal Care

Dates and Times
November 15, 2015, 12 – 1:45 p.m.

Program Fee
Member Adult/Child Pair: $50
General Adult/Child Pair: $75
Additional Member Adult: $15
Additional General Adult: $30
Register

Did you know the Phoenix Zoo has its very own animal care center? It is a special place that serves as hospital, doctor’s office and holding area for the many animals that call the Phoenix Zoo home. Discover what it’s like to care for the many different animals that call the Phoenix Zoo home and the rewards and challenges of this unique field. Enjoy a pizza lunch alongside our animal care staff, who will answer questions and tells stories about the animals and their job. Following lunch, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the animal care center and see for yourself what it’s like to be an animal care professional!

December 2015: ZooLights

Dates and Times
December 13, 2015, 4 – 5:45 p.m.

Program Fee
Member Adult/Child Pair: $50
General Adult/Child Pair: $75
Additional Member Adult: $15
Additional General Adult: $30
Register

Would you like to know what goes into making the ZooLights season such a success at the Zoo? How do they make all of the animal shapes and who decides where they go? Find out these answers and many more during an afternoon of fun and excitement as we discover what it takes to put together the entire ZooLights experience. Enjoy a pizza dinner alongside one of our ZooLights technicians, who answers questions and tells stories about the ZooLights design and decoration process and their job. Following dinner, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the ZooLights garage and see how the armatures are made, what equipment is used and how it all comes together. Children then get the fun and fascinating opportunity to ride up and down in a real ZooLights snorkel-lift!

January 2016: Animal Trainers

Dates and Times
January 16, 2016, 12 – 1:45 p.m.
January 31, 2016, 12 – 1:45 p.m.

Program Fee
Member Adult/Child Pair: $50
General Adult/Child Pair: $75
Additional Member Adult: $15
Additional General Adult: $30
Register

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to train animals? What kinds of things do animal trainers have to learn that other zookeepers do not? Find out these answers and many more during an afternoon of fun and excitement as we discover what it takes to put on a show with animals. Enjoy a pizza lunch alongside one of our animal trainers, who answers questions and tells stories about the animals and their job. Following lunch, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the programs animal enclosures and watch a training session with our show animals!

February 2016: Giraffe Keepers

Dates and Times
February 27, 2016, 12 – 1:45 p.m.
February 28, 2016, 12 – 1:45 p.m.

Program Fee
Member Adult/Child Pair: $50
General Adult/Child Pair: $75
Additional Member Adult: $15
Additional General Adult: $30
Register

Why do giraffes have such long necks? 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 (the giraffes’ very large night house). Once we have appreciated their true size by touring the barn, we make our way to the giraffe deck where you have the opportunity for private, up-close interaction with one of our giraffes!

March 2016: Elephant Keepers

Dates and Times
March 12, 2016, 12 – 1:45 p.m.
March 27, 2016, 12 – 1:45 p.m.

Program Fee
Member Adult/Child Pair: $50
General Adult/Child Pair: $75
Additional Member Adult: $15
Additional General Adult: $30
Register

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 answers questions and tells stories about the animals and their job. Following lunch, we prepare cardboard boxes stuffed with treats and melon heads as behavioral enrichment for our elephants.  After a short walk to a behind-the-scenes elephant area, watch as the keepers deliver your handmade enrichment items to the elephants!

April 2016: African Carnivore Keepers

Dates and Times
April 16, 2016, 12 – 1:45 p.m.
April 24, 2016, 12 – 1:45 p.m.

Program Fee
Member Adult/Child Pair: $50
General Adult/Child Pair: $75
Additional Member Adult: $15
Additional General Adult: $30
Register

What makes the African painted dog the most successful hunters on the African savanna? What special care do carnivores require every day? Find out these answers and many more during an afternoon of fun and excitement as we discover what it takes to work with Africa’s most successful hunters. Enjoy a pizza lunch alongside one of our carnivore zookeepers who answers questions and tells stories about the animals and their job. Following lunch, take a behind-the-scenes tour of an African carnivore’s night house. Delivering enrichment items to the animals is thrilling as we watch them demonstrate some of their amazing adaptations!

May 2016: Orangutan Keepers

Dates and Times
May 14, 2016, 12 – 1:45 p.m.
May 22, 2016, 12 – 1:45 p.m.

Program Fee
Member Adult/Child Pair: $50
General Adult/Child Pair: $75
Additional Member Adult: $15
Additional General Adult: $30
Register

What is an orangutan’s favorite food? Do they like to play just like we do? What are some of the challenges of working with such an intelligent, unique and strong animal? Come find out these answers and many more during an afternoon of fun and excitement as we discover what it takes to work with orangutans. Enjoy a pizza lunch alongside one of our orangutan zookeepers who answers questions and tells stories about the animals and their job. Following lunch, participants have an up-close look at the Zoo’s orangutans!

Nature Explorers (Ages 6 – 9 years)

The Phoenix Zoo is excited to introduce a new kind of program — Nature Explorer. This program consists of two distinct experiences, designed with nature play as their goal! Understanding that boys’ and girls’ interests may develop differently, particularly with regard to playtime as well as the sciences, we’ve created these programs to provide kids with the opportunity to explore their interests in a single-sex environment. We encourage participants to dress-up however they choose for their adventure, but keep in mind … we will be getting messy as we learn and play!

Nature Explorers for Girls

Girls, ages 6-9, are invited into an unexplored side of the Zoo! Traverse uncharted terrain and learn about famous female explorers and scientists who have played a key role in our understanding and appreciation of the environment. This program inspires young girls to explore all of their interests, encouraging fact-finding and exploration in conjunction with fiction and fairy tales, all while engaging with their natural surroundings. Girls will encounter problem-solving and critical thinking adventures, creative opportunities and challenging group engineering and science-themed projects. Participants are encouraged to attend Nature Explorer dressed in their favorite adventure attire — be it pirates, princesses or pachyderms!

Dates and Times
January 30, 2016, 1 – 3 p.m.
March 26, 2016, 1 – 3 p.m.

Program Fee
Member: $25
General: $45
Register

Nature Explorers for Boys

Boys, ages 6-9, are invited to participate in a unique Zoo experience! Journey through a world of the unknown and explore an untamed environment ripe for research and super fun. This program inspires young boys to pursue their interests, while promoting natural sciences and discovery through action-adventure and nature-based role-play. Boys will trek through novel environments, face challenges requiring teamwork, creativity and critical thinking, all while on the hunt for new adventures. Participants are encouraged to attend Nature Explorer dressed in their favorite adventure attire — be it knights, ninjas or night crawlers!

Dates and Times
December 12, 2015, 1 – 3 p.m.
February 6, 2016, 1 – 3 p.m.

Program Fee
Member: $25
General: $45
Register

Wild Science Academy (Ages 5 – 8 years)

Wild Science Academy lets you explore the world of science with the Zoo as your classroom! These affordable and educational two-hour classes teach science through animal interactions, behind-the-scenes experiences, laboratory investigations, group projects, Zoo hikes and other inquiry-based learning activities. Designed for home school students, but open to all, Wild Science Academy is perfect for any young student with a desire to learn more about the science of zoos. Each class is also developed using Arizona Science Standards. For children ages 5 – 8 years.

Program Topics

  • September – December 2015
  • January – May 2016

October 2015: Animal Lifecycle

What do a cub, a tadpole, a mealworm and a caterpillar all have in common? Find out in this course as students investigate various animal life cycles to discover how animals grow and develop. Through inquiry investigations and up-close animal encounters, students explore animal life cycles with the Zoo as their classroom!

Dates and Times
October 14, 2015, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
October 17, 2015, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Program Fee
Member One Child: $18
Member Two Children: (+$12)
Member Three children: (+22)
General One Child: $30
General Two Children: (+$24)
General Three Children: (+$44)
Register

November 2015: Skin and Scales

Did you ever wonder why turtles have shells or otters have such thick fur? Every animal on Earth looks a little different, and those differences help them survive. In this course, students discover animal outsides and protection strategies through up-close animal encounters, inquiry driven exploration and interactive games.

Dates and Times
November 11, 2015, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
November 14, 2015, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Program Fee
Member One Child: $18
Member Two Children: (+$12)
Member Three children: (+22)
General One Child: $30
General Two Children: (+$24)
General Three Children: (+$44)
Register

December 2015: Camouflage and Mimicry

Blending into surroundings and even with other species is essential to various animals’ survival. Many predator and prey species rely on camouflage, mimicry and counter-shading to thrive in their habitats. In this class, students discover the mechanisms and reasoning behind nature’s escape artists and hide and seek all-stars through up-close animal encounters and investigative research and exploration.

Dates and Times
December 16, 2015, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
December 19, 2015, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Program Fee
Member One Child: $18
Member Two Children: (+$12)
Member Three children: (+22)
General One Child: $30
General Two Children: (+$24)
General Three Children: (+$44)
Register

January 2016: Animal Senses: Taste, Touch and Smell

Our senses are critical to understanding the surrounding world. Many animals rely on their senses of taste, touch and smell to learn about their habitats and surroundings, which helps ultimately helps them survive. In this course, students investigate the senses taste, touch and smell in various animal ambassadors through up-close encounters, interactive games and inquiry driven experiments.

Dates and Times
January 20, 2016, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
January 23, 2016, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Program Fee
Member One Child: $18
Member Two Children: (+$12)
Member Three children: (+22)
General One Child: $30
General Two Children: (+$24)
General Three Children: (+$44)
Register

February 2016: Animal Senses: Eyes and Ears

Just as we use our eyes and ears to interpret our surroundings, animals use their senses of vision and hearing to help them survive. In this course, students study the purpose, structure and function of different animal eyes and ears with the Zoo as their classroom. Through hands-on activities, animal encounters and scientific explorations, students will see and hear with new perspective.

Dates and Times
February 17, 2016, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
February 20, 2016, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Program Fee
Member One Child: $18
Member Two Children: (+$12)
Member Three children: (+22)
General One Child: $30
General Two Children: (+$24)
General Three Children: (+$44)
Register

March 2016: Animal Movement

There are lots of ways to get around, and the animal kingdom is filled with creative movement styles. In this course, students investigate various animal “moves” around the Zoo and even test out a few during an interactive experiment. Through up-close animal encounters and hands-on activities, students discover how animal movement adaptations aid in species survival and they may even learn a few new “moves.”

Dates and Times
March 16, 2016, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
March 19, 2016, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Program Fee
Member One Child: $18
Member Two Children: (+$12)
Member Three children: (+22)
General One Child: $30
General Two Children: (+$24)
General Three Children: (+$44)
Register

April 2016: Nature Did it First

The animal kingdom is full of amazing adaptations and survival strategies and many animals have inspired some of the greatest inventions we use today. Students in this course will discover the origins of some famous nature-inspired inventions through guided inquiry investigation, meet Zoo animals and try their hand at inventing an inspired by nature product, based on their learning. Don’t forget your thinking cap!

Dates and Times
April 6, 2016, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
April 9, 2016, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Program Fee
Member One Child: $18
Member Two Children: (+$12)
Member Three children: (+22)
General One Child: $30
General Two Children: (+$24)
General Three Children: (+$44)
Register

May 2016: Humans and Nature

Humans play an important role in ecosystems around the world. Here in Arizona, human interactions with nature help shape our landscape every day. In this course, students explore how humans relate to the natural world through case studies in species populations, conservation efforts and ecosystem management. Students will discover ways to help protect the natural world through inquiry driven investigation, hands-on activities and up-close animal interactions.

Dates and Times
May 18, 2016, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
May 21, 2016, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Program Fee
Member One Child: $18
Member Two Children: (+$12)
Member Three children: (+22)
General One Child: $30
General Two Children: (+$24)
General Three Children: (+$44)
Register

Wild Science Academy (Ages 9 – 13 years)

Wild Science Academy lets you explore the world of science with the Zoo as your classroom! These affordable and educational two-hour classes teach science through animal interactions, behind-the-scenes experiences, laboratory investigations, group projects, Zoo hikes and other inquiry-based learning activities. Designed for home school students, but open to all, Wild Science Academy is perfect for any young student with a desire to learn more about the science of zoos. Each class is also developed using Arizona Science Standards. For children ages 9 – 13 years.

Program Topics:

  • September – December 2015
  • January – May 2016

October 2015: Cell Anatomy and Physiology

The smallest unit of life – the cell – is at the center of all living things. During this course, students will get up-close and personal with these basic building blocks to discover what makes up a cell and how cells dictate daily animal function and survival. Through animal interactions, inquiry investigations and hands-on activities, students will gain an appreciation for the microscopic world and discover its importance in our own survival.

Dates and Times
October 14, 2015, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
October 17, 2015, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Program Fee
Member One Child: $18
Member Two Children: (+$12)
Member Three children: (+22)
General One Child: $30
General Two Children: (+$24)
General Three Children: (+$44)
Register

November 2015: Animal Senses

Essential to animal survival is the ability to collect information from the environment, interpret those signals and respond accordingly. Animals have developed acute sensory receptors to collect this information as well as communicate with one another. Students will explore animal senses and the nervous system through inquiry investigations, animal encounters and hands-on experiments.

Dates and Times
November 11, 2015, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
November 14, 2015, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Program Fee
Member One Child: $18
Member Two Children: (+$12)
Member Three children: (+22)
General One Child: $30
General Two Children: (+$24)
General Three Children: (+$44)
Register

December 2015: Amazing Adaptations

From organelles within animal cells to complex behavioral traits, animals are well adapted to survive in their habitats. This course explores the diversity of such survival adaptations as well as how animals may respond to habitat disruptions. Students explore case studies in animal survival tactics and get up-close to animal ambassadors embodying unique survival adaptations.

Dates and Times
December 16, 2015, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
December 19, 2015, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Program Fee
Member One Child: $18
Member Two Children: (+$12)
Member Three children: (+22)
General One Child: $30
General Two Children: (+$24)
General Three Children: (+$44)
Register

January 2016: Animal Survivors

Calling all biologists, innovators and engineers! There is a great deal we humans can learn from our fellow members of the animal kingdom —how to survive and thrive in our environment. In this course, students will explore how humans have engineered innovative structures, materials and other devices to improve our quality of life, simply by looking to nature for inspiration. This will be accomplished through up-close animal encounters, creative group engineering and looking into nature for inspiration.

Dates and Times
January 20, 2016, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
January 23, 2016, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Program Fee
Member One Child: $18
Member Two Children: (+$12)
Member Three children: (+22)
General One Child: $30
General Two Children: (+$24)
General Three Children: (+$44)
Register

February 2016: Ecosystem Science: Predators

Lions, Tigers and Bears! Oh my! Predators around the world are often feared and revered for their unbelievable strength, stealth and survival tactics. They are also integral members of their ecosystems. Students will explore common traits among some of the world’s top predators though guided discovery, animal encounters and a case study investigation.

Dates and Times
February 17, 2016, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
February 20, 2016, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Program Fee
Member One Child: $18
Member Two Children: (+$12)
Member Three children: (+22)
General One Child: $30
General Two Children: (+$24)
General Three Children: (+$44)
Register

March 2016: Ecosystem Science: Prey

Just as predators serve an important role in the ecosystem, so do their food items – the prey species. Though prey species take on many forms, from tiny insects to gigantic giraffes, they all face a similar challenge- avoiding being eaten! In this course, students explore defining features of prey species, investigate survival adaptations through hands-on simulation experiments and get up close to some fascinating creatures.

Dates and Times
March 16, 2016, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
March 19, 2016, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Program Fee
Member One Child: $18
Member Two Children: (+$12)
Member Three children: (+22)
General One Child: $30
General Two Children: (+$24)
General Three Children: (+$44)
Register

April 2016: Ecosystem Science: Decomposers and Scavengers

It’s a dirty job, but someone or some species- has got to do it! The world would be a messy, dirty place without decomposers and scavengers. Students in this class will follow a day in the life of decomposers and scavengers, revealing the important services these organisms provide through investigative experiments, animal interactions and hands-on discovery.

Dates and Times
April 6, 2016, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
April 9, 2016, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Program Fee
Member One Child: $18
Member Two Children: (+$12)
Member Three children: (+22)
General One Child: $30
General Two Children: (+$24)
General Three Children: (+$44)
Register

May 2016: Ecosystem Science: Conservation

Ecosystems are complex organizational structures, with many moving and nonmoving parts. How does such a balance exist, and what can we humans do to impact the system? Through case studies and up-close animal encounters, students will investigate population dynamics within an ecosystem and explore the role humans play in both helping and hindering such balance.

Dates and Times
May 18, 2016, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
May 21, 2016, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Program Fee
Member One Child: $18
Member Two Children: (+$12)
Member Three children: (+22)
General One Child: $30
General Two Children: (+$24)
General Three Children: (+$44)
Register