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:

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:

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:

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
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:

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:

April 2016: African Carnivore Keepers

Dates and Times
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
None currently scheduled

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
None currently scheduled

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

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:

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