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.

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 begin exploring the world of animals. Spend the morning together in this indoor/outdoor program featuring animal-themed music, movement activities and nature explorations. Each program focuses on animals from unique habitats all around the world and offers a chance to meet an animal up-close.

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

Program topics: Nocturnal Animals, Farm Animals, Flying Animals, Itsy Bitsy Animals, Savanna Animals, Rainforest Animals, Desert Animals, Aquatic Animals

Enroll Today

Farm Tots (Ages 18 months –24 months)
Fun on the farm is what Farm Tots is all about! Designed to introduce 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, child-focused 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 – 2 years and a caregiver.

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

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

General Adult/Child Pairs       $ 27       Extra Adult $10       Extra child (includes adult)   $20

Get Farming!

Program topics:

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 activities in the classroom, we will go into the horse barn to meet one of our horses up-close!

Chicken| Cluck, cluck! 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 program. Children join their caregivers for a morning of free-play activities geared toward all things chicken, 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 classroom activities, we will head over to the chicken coop 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!

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 classroom 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 in providing snacks for these captivating creatures!

Sheep| 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 classroom activities, we will have the opportunity to feed and interact with the farm’s sheep. 

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. 

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. 

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 classroom 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.

Get Farming!

Animal Breakfast Programs (Ages 2 – 5 years)

Have you learned what a giraffe wants for breakfast? Have you watched an otter 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!

Register Now

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

Dinosaur Program fees: 

Member Adult/Child Pair      $36     Extra Adult $12          Extra Child (includes 1 adult) $27 

General Adult/Child Pair        $47     Extra Adult $17          Extra Child (includes 1 adult) $35

Stingray Breakfast| Splash on in to this month’s breakfast adventure—the water is fine and the stingrays are spectacular! Through hands-on activities and exploration, you will learn all about these gentle, intelligent sea creatures. Discover how smooth, slippery, or slimy a stingray feels, what kinds of food they eat and much, much more! After breakfast and activities, you’ll enjoy a unique experience as we touch and feed the rays at Stingray Bay!

Donuts with Dinos| Stomp your feet and give a big “ROAR!” because this month’s breakfast adventure will be a blast from the prehistoric past! Through hands-on activities and exploration, participants will learn all about fossils, dinosaurs and the similarities and differences they share with modern animals with an up-close encounter with some of the Zoo’s dino descendants. Following breakfast and activities, we will travel back in time as we visit “Dinosaurs in the Desert!”

Giraffe Breakfast| Stretch as high as you can as you prepare to learn all about the tallest animals at the Zoo; the giraffe! In this month’s breakfast adventure, 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!

Amazing Otters| Get ready for a wildly entertaining time as we meet some of the Zoo’s most playful animals! In this month’s breakfast adventure, you’ll learn all about the Zoo’s amazing spotted-necked otters. Discover what they like to eat, the unique adaptations they have to survive in their river ecosystems and much more. After breakfast and activities, enjoy a behind-the-scenes experience as we get a sneak peek of the otters’ night house and watch them swim out onto their exhibit to begin the day!

Monkey Madness| Swing by for some “monkey business” in this month’s breakfast adventure! Learn how these precocious primates use their tails, how intelligent they are and much, much more! After breakfast and activities, a monkey keeper will show 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!

Fabulous Flamingos| “Flamingle” with the flock in this month’s breakfast adventure! Join in on the fun to discover what a flamingo nest looks like, learn about unique flamingo adaptations and most importantly—how flamingos get their pink color! Following breakfast and activities, we will get up-close with the flamingos as we join bird keepers to hand deliver their breakfast.

Incredible Elephants| They say elephants never forget, and we are certain YOU will never forget this amazing experience! In this month’s breakfast adventure, discover how elephants use their trunks, what they like to eat and much, much more! After breakfast and activities, you’ll learn more about the elephants that call the Phoenix Zoo home as we get an up-close look at their exhibit. We will assist 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!

Register Now

Critter Keeper (Ages 6 – 9 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 – 9 years old.

Register Now

For children 6 – 9 years.
Program time: 12 – 2 p.m.
Program fees

Members        $50

General           $67

Program topics: 

Rainforest Animals| 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, 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!

Endangered Species| Can you help us care for the most endangered animal at the Zoo? 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, 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!

Arizona Trail| 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!

Animal Trainers| 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!

Children’s Trail| How do we care for animals in a multi-species exhibit? What is a gibbon’s favorite type of enrichment?? 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, making and delivering behavioral enrichment. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn about the fun, challenging and always entertaining job of a zookeeper!

Reptiles| 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 techniques to properly handle a Zoo animal and feeding a giant reptile. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn about the fun, challenging and always entertaining job of a zookeeper!

Farm Animals and Horses| 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!

Savanna Animals| 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 delivering behavioral enrichment. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn about the fun, challenging and always entertaining job of a zookeeper!

Register Now

Critter Keeper Careers (10 – 13 years)

Have you ever wondered what a career at the Zoo might be like?  In this exciting program, you can find out! Critter Keeper Careers provides children with the opportunity to explore a variety of animal care careers through this non-stop, fun-filled afternoon! 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 young people experience the excitement, hard work and patience required to be a Zoo professional and care for Zoo animals. All Critter Keepers are outfitted with a t-shirt and water bottle.

For children 10-13 years.
Program time: 12 – 2 p.m.
Program fees

Members        $50

General           $67

Program topics: 

Animal Care Professionals: Zoo Vets| Get set to be a vet! Go on a tour of our Animal Care Center and learn first-hand what it’s like to provide healthcare to the animals at the Zoo. This program will take you inside the challenging and rewarding job of the animal care staff at the Phoenix Zoo.

Zoo Chefs: Nutrition Services| Do you ever help prepare your meals at home? Come to the Zoo and learn about all of the work that goes into feeding Zoo animals. You’ll take a tour of our Nutrition Services facility, help to prepare animal diets and even help a keeper deliver a meal to one of the Zoo’s residents!

Behavioral Enrichment| Zookeepers are constantly seeking ways to enrich the lives of the animals in their care. Through hands-on exploration and creation, Critter Keepers will discover the many different types of enrichment that are used at the Zoo to stimulate natural behavior and add a little creativity fun to the lives of our animals!

Animal Trainers| Have you ever wondered how zookeepers train the amazing animals that you’ve seen in our show? In this program, we will get an up-close look at all the work that goes into caring for our education animals and will learn from our animal trainers what it takes to plan an animal show. Critter Keepers will observe animal training techniques and learn how our animal professionals must communicate with both animals and people to convey conservation messages.

Enroll Today

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.

Register Now

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

Member Adult/Child Pair       $54      Extra Adult $20           Extra Child $40

General Adult/Child Pair         $72      Extra Adult $25           Extra Child $54

Program Topics

Animal Care Center Keepers| 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!

Farm Keepers| Did you know in addition to being a leader in exotic animal care, the Phoenix Zoo also proudly features domestic animals? Discover what it’s like to work with the special animals that call Harmony Farm home! Enjoy a pizza lunch alongside our farm keeper staff, who will answer questions about the rewards and challenges of their unique job, and tell heartfelt stories about the amazing animals they work with. Following lunch, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the horse barn and meet some of Harmony Farm’s incredible animals up close!

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!

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 will answer questions and tell 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!

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!

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 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!

Orangutan Keepers| 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!

Register Now

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!

For children of any age accompanied by a caregiver.

Program time: 1 – 3 p.m.
Program fees

Members        $5

General           $5