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!

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.

NEW! Phoenix Zoo Family Nature Club (FNC)
Hosted by Phoenix Zoo educators, this nature play program will take us on family friendly-adventures near the Zoo and beyond. A glorious mashup of social club, play date and outdoor adventure, children of all ages along with their caregivers will spend time discovering the wonders of Arizona nature through play. Club “members” have the opportunity to help shape the direction of future FNC programs and activities!

With support from a grant from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Phoenix Zoo is pleased to offer family fee waivers for the Family Nature Club programs. To help keep our club inclusive and accessible for all, we ask that you please refrain from requesting a fee waiver if your family is able to afford the program fee. Thank you!

To request a fee waiver and register for a Family Nature Club Program, please call the Phoenix Zoo Reservations Department at 602.914.4333 . There is no application process or qualifications a family must meet to receive a fee waiver; families must simply request a fee waiver when calling to register for the program. Please note: Fee waivers are limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Register Today!

For children of any age accompanied by a caregiver.
Program time: 1 – 3 p.m.
Program fees:

Member and General – $4 per person

January 15, 2017 – New Year Nature – Park of the Canals in Mesa

February 12, 2017 – Neighborhood Nature – Location coming soon!

 

Littlest Critters (Ages 0 – 18 months)
Get wild with your little one at the Phoenix Zoo! This 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 stories, 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.

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For children 0 – 18 months and a caregiver.
Program time: 10 – 10:45 a.m.
Program fees:

Member Adult/Child Pair       $ 15       Extra Adult $5       Extra Child (includes 1 adult) $11

General Adult/Child Pairs       $ 20       Extra Adult $7       Extra child (includes adult)   $15

 

December 8 – Flying Animals

January 5 – Itsy Bitsy Animals

February 2 – Savanna Animals

March 2 – Rainforest Animals

April 6 – Desert Animals

May 4 – 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.

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For children 18 months – 2 years and a caregiver.
Program time: 10 – 10:45 a.m.
Program fees:

Member Adult/Child Pair       $ 15       Extra Adult $5       Extra Child (includes 1 adult) $11

General Adult/Child Pairs       $ 20       Extra Adult $7       Extra child (includes adult)   $15

March 4, 10 – Horse
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.

 

December 9 & April 1, 7 – Cow
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 7, 13 – Sheep
Are you feeling a little sheepish? There are plenty of sheep 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 an up-close interaction with the farm’s sheep.

February 4, 10 – Farm Visitors
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 in the classroom and around the farm.

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.

May 6, 12 – Goat
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.

Animal Breakfast Programs (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-directed, play-based activities which include a variety of movement, discovery, reasoning, art projects, songs, guided and free play opportunities. Children and parents are encouraged to explore the activities and instructors help facilitate an engaging and fun experience for all. We’ll finish the fun with an amazing animal encounter!

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For children 2 – 5 years and a caregiver.
Program time: 8 – 9 a.m.
Program fees:

Member Adult/Child Pair      $30     Extra Adult $11          Extra Child (includes 1 adult) $23 

General Adult/Child Pair        $40     Extra Adult $14          Extra Child (includes 1 adult) $30

January 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29 – Gentle Giant Giraffes
Our program focuses on giraffes this month. See how you measure up to a giraffe, discover 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 3, 4, 5, 17, 18 – Cheetah and Painted Dogs
Our program focuses on wild cats and dogs this month. Discover the wild adaptations of cheetahs and painted dogs, dress up and practice moving and communicating like a predator and much, much more! After breakfast and activities, you’ll enjoy a unique experience as we take a behind-the-scenes tour to assist zookeepers by making and delivering behavioral enrichment to our painted dogs!

March 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19 – Monkey Madness
Our program focuses on monkeys this month. Practice making monkey faces, create monkey habitats and much, much more! After breakfast and activities, you’ll enjoy a special zookeeper-led tour of Monkey Village before the exhibit opens to the public. Learn and see how behavioral enrichment items are prepared, ask the keeper monkey questions and watch as the monkeys receive their breakfast!

April 8, 9, 14, 15, 21, 23 – Bear Bonanza
Our program focuses on bears this month. Discover types of bears that live around the world, learn what bears eat, go on a make-believe bear tracking adventure and much, much more! After breakfast and activities, you’ll help a zookeeper deliver behavioral enrichment to our Andean bears!

May 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 – Incredible Elephants
Our program focuses on elephants this month. Practice using a trunk like an elephant, find out what elephants like to eat and much, much more! After breakfast and activities, you’ll assist an elephant keeper with daily behavioral enrichment by hiding “elephant cookies” in the elephant yard and then 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 a Zoo instructor on a guided safari around Harmony Farm. We’ll stop and observe animals, discuss what presents each might enjoy, then assist zookeepers by preparing and delivering delicious behavioral enrichment gifts all around the farm.

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For children 2 – 5 years and a caregiver.
Program time: 9 – 10 a.m.
Program fees:

Member Adult/Child Pair       $20     Extra Adult $7             Extra Child (includes 1 adult) $15

General Adult/Child Pair         $25      Extra Adult $9           Extra Child (includes 1 adult) $20

Nature Explorers (Ages 6 – 9 years)

With imaginative play in nature at the forefront of this program, children ages 6-9 will see the Zoo as a fantasy world meant for exploring. We adventure as a group through the Zoo’s nooks and crannies; discovering secret paths as we take on top-secret missions and hunting for clues that lead us on magical journeys through nature. Participants are encouraged to come to the program wearing dress-up clothes that match the program topic, but keep in mind … we will be getting messy as we learn and play!

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For children 6 – 9 years.
Program time: 1 – 3 p.m.
Program fees

Members        $24

General           $30

January 21 – Fairies and Forest Dwellers
Fairies and forest dwellers are our guides as we traverse through uncharted terrain to learn about famous explorers and scientists who have played a key role in our understanding and appreciation of the environment. This program inspires young children to use imagination and creativity to engage in nature play as we combine fact-finding and exploration with fiction and fairy tales. Sparkly clues left behind by magical forest creatures encourage children to work together during adventures that require critical thinking and cooperative problem-solving. Participants are encouraged to attend Nature Explorers dressed in their favorite fairy, forest dweller or adventure attire!

December 17 & February 18 – Secret Mission: Conservation
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, will be to journey to a world of the unknown and explore an untamed environment ripe for research and full of fun. This program inspires young children to use imagination and creativity to engage in nature play as we tinker in the natural sciences and make important discoveries through action-adventure and nature-based role-play. While on a top secret mission, children trek through a mystical land where teamwork and critical thinking are required if all are to survive. Participants are encouraged to attend Nature Explorers dressed in their favorite adventure attire!

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, preparing and distributing diets, behavioral observation and preparing enrichment items for our animal collection. As expected, up-close animal encounters with exhibit and ambassador animals are an exciting part of this program. Small class sizes allow us to offer an exclusive and personalized adventure where children experience the excitement, hard work and patience required to be a keeper and care for Zoo animals. All Critter Keepers are outfitted with a t-shirt and water bottle.

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For children 6 – 10 years.
Program time: 12 – 2 p.m.
Program fees

Members        $40

General           $50

December 10 – Arizona Trail

January 14 – Animal Trainers

February 11 – Children’s Trail

March 11 – Reptiles

April 8 – Farm Animals and Horses

May 13 – Savanna Animals

Lunch with a Keeper (for families)
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 who 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.

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For children 6 – 10 years and a caregiver.
Program time: 12 – 1:45 p.m.
Program fees

Member Adult/Child Pair       $54      Extra Adult $15           Extra Child $40

General Adult/Child Pair         $72      Extra Adult $20           Extra Child $54

December 11 – Equine Keepers
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!

January 22 – Animal Trainers
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 19, 25 – Giraffe Keepers
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 4, 19 – 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 answers questions and tells stories about the animals and their job. Following lunch, we prepare decorative treats 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 1, 23 – African Carnivore Keepers
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 African carnivores here at the Zoo. 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 6, 21 – Orangutan Keepers
What is an orangutan’s favorite food? 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!