For the Phoenix Zoo, high-quality education is an integral part of our mission. We offer a wide variety of programs and materials to support students and teachers as they learn about science and nature concepts. All of our programs for schools and teachers are based upon Arizona State Academic Standards. Look below to see how we can enhance learning at the Zoo and in your classroom.

As a Phoenix-based community steward, along with a shared mutual love of animals, PetSmart and PetSmart Charities are proud Presenting Sponsors of ZooReach. ZooReach schools are Title 1 schools grades K-12 that have at least 50 percent of their entire enrollment in a free or reduced lunch program as listed by the Arizona Department of Education Health and Nutrition Services. To learn more about ZooReach scholarship opportunities, visit the Scholarships section below.

      

  • At the Zoo
  • Homeschool
  • Classroom
  • Teacher
  • Scholarships

Let the Zoo be your outdoor classroom with a field trip. Visit us during the day for a self-guided field trip or add an educational program with our staff to enhance your visit. Our Night Camp programs offer a great learning experience for students, and parents can spend the night, too.

Downloadable activities and lesson plans to use during your field trip are being updated. 

Educational Programs for Field Trips

Reserve an educational program in conjunction with your day-time field trip, to enhance your students’ experience. All of our programs are designed to support academic standards, are age-appropriate and include a variety of hands-on and inquiry based techniques. To register for a program please contact our Reservations Department at 602.914.4333 (or check off program choice on reservation form).

Available Programs: New programs coming soon!

Please check back, or send us your email if you’d like to be notified when new programs come online.

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Special Needs Programs

The Phoenix Zoo offers a program developed specifically for students with special needs. Live animals, photographs, skull models, pelts, animal figures, and more are used to engage students and demonstrate concepts. Our program utilizes a sensory motor approach – students move between stations and are encouraged to touch, smell, and feel all appropriate items. This program can be geared towards students of all ages and functioning levels. The animal families discussed are: insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The “Animal Families” program is presented by Zoo Volunteers.

Programs are offered on Mondays only, October – April by reservation only (at least two weeks in advance) and are free with paid admission to the Zoo. Call us at 602.914.4333 for more information.

Special Needs Reservation Form

Nightcamp

The Phoenix Zoo offers overnight programs especially for school groups. Spend the night with us and your experience at the Zoo will be like no other! Night Camp adventures include up-close interactions with animals, hands-on activities, night hikes, snacks, breakfast and more. Choose from six different themes that are designed to meet Arizona Department of Education Academic Standards as well as the Next Generation Science Standards. Camps can be schedule almost any night of the year, depending on availability. A minimum of 25 paid campers* are necessary to book a camp. Camps must be booked and paid in full at least three weeks in advance. To reserve your camp date, call Reservations at 602.914.4333.

The Phoenix Zoo offers a variety of Nightcamp types and program themes. To learn more about Nightcamp programs, locations and other info please visit our Nightcamp page.

2013-2014 Pricing

  School Group Rates*
  1st-6th grades 7th grade and up
Twilight Camp $40.00** $45.00**
Overnight Night Camp $50.00** $55.00**
Wilderness Experience $65.00 $70.00

*For all camps: School groups receive one FREE adult chaperone for every ten campers under the age of 18. One adult chaperone (at least 18 years of age) is required for each 10 children that attend. Free chaperones do not count toward the 25 paid camper minimum.

** Twilight and Overnight Night Camps have the option to add Hungry Howie’s Pizza for an additional fee of $5.00 per person, including chaperones.

Puppet Shows (included with Phoenix Zoo admission) (60 people max)

Introduce young children to friendly and fierce animals in a light-hearted and entertaining way! Join us for a live 20-minute puppet show featuring a fun and fantastical animal fantasy that encourages sing-along, interaction and laughter.

Performances are presented by our talented volunteers and offered on Thursdays, October through April in the C.W. & Modene Neely Education and Event Center at 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. All shows are available for school groups and general Phoenix Zoo guests alike; however, in order to guarantee seating for large groups, a two- week advance reservation is required.

Choose from three premier puppet pageants specially developed for pre-K through second grade audiences.

Barnyard Buddies (Pre-K)

Old MacDonald had a menagerie down on Harmony Farm! Sing along and meet some of the animals who make their home on the range, many of whom you might actually encounter at the Zoo’s very own Harmony Farm. Learn about Charlie Horse’s shoes, Thomasina’s turkey trot and why goats love to recycle. It’s a hand-clappin’ good time on the farm!

Parade of the Desert Animals (K – 2 grade)

Who’s who in the desert, and just how do they all survive in this hot and interesting habitat? Join Cala and Coyo the coyotes as they introduce us to some of their desert neighbors and find out just what it takes to be a desert native. It’s quite an adventure out there!

Rare and Special Animals (2 – 3 grade)

Pandas, tigers and polar bears are all quite unique and rare. They face many challenges today, but there is something we can all do to help! Meet some of the special animals found around the globe and find out why they are so important to us. Explore the world and be inspired!

Field Trip Information and Documents

The Phoenix Zoo offers an educational rate for all youth-oriented groups of $5.00 per person (including both children and adults) for admission to the Zoo for a minimum of 15 people. In order to qualify for these rates, all students must be accompanied by at least one adult per 10 children. If you qualify as a ZooReach** school you are eligible for the $2.00 rate per person.

Groups are welcome to schedule field trips throughout the year. Please note however, that we are closed to field trips during the month of March due to high visitation, and school reservations are limited each day in February and April. If you are planning a trip for the spring, please check the cover page of the Field Trip Reservation Form for sold out dates.

To schedule your field trip, complete the Field Trip Reservation Form and fax it to 602.914.4328.  If you have questions, please contact our Reservations Department at 602.914.4333.

** ZooReach schools are Title One Schools grades K-12 that have at least 50% of their entire enrollment in a free or reduced lunch program as listed by the Arizona Department of Education Health and Nutrition Services. To learn about all of our ZooReach scholarship opportunities visit the our Scholarships section of this page. 

 

Download Forms for Your Visit:

The forms below are required for your field trip. Please contact our Reservations Department at 602.914.4333 if you need assistance.

Field Trip Reservation Form

School Group Map – This Zoo map is designed specifically to aid in your field trip.

School Bus Driver Letter (Academic Year) – Give this to your bus driver for information about parking during the regular academic year.

School Bus Driver Letter (Summer) – Give this to your bus driver for information about parking if you are visiting during the summer.

School Group Lunch Order Form

Wild Science Academy

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 in zoos. Each class is also developed using Arizona Science Standards.

Single Class Pricing

Zoo Member $18, $14 second child | General $24, $19 second child

Three Class Package Pricing

Package 1: September, October, November

Package 2: December, January, February

Package 3: March, April, May

Zoo Member $45, $36 second child | General $63, $54 second child

All classes run 1:00–3:00p

Junior Wild Scientists (ages 6 – 9)

September 20 | Arizona’s State Animals
Take a look at the official animals of the state of Arizona and the interesting habitats they live in! How does the state bird interact with the state tree? What is the official snake of Arizona? Learn the answers to these questions and more as we explore the Zoo’s Arizona Trail!

October 11 | Arizona’s Native Animals & People
Arizona has a vast and inspiring history. In this class, we travel back in time and analyze the native stories and traditions handed down from generation to generation. We’ll even create our own “Animal Tale!”

November 8 | Arizona’s Invasive Species
Invasive species are quickly becoming an issue in Arizona because they can take over the natural habitat of many native animals and plants. We’ll get down and dirty to discover who these intruders are, and come up with solutions on what we can do to protect our native wildlife!

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December 13 | Endangered Species
In this class, we’ll examine the beautiful, unique animals all over the planet whose populations have, unfortunately, declined for a variety of reasons. Students will have a chance to learn more about the life-saving work the Phoenix Zoo is doing to preserve species and habitats in countries around the world!

January 17 | Bump in the Night
As the sun goes down, what animals are just beginning to wake up? Learn about our nocturnal neighbors and the myths and legends that surround them. As we study their remarkable adaptations to live in darkness, we’ll have some fun and create our own myths to accompany them!

February 21 | Intelligent Animals
Humans aren’t the only smart animals around! Many animals can change their behavior in order to adapt to their environment. Through a variety of fun experiments, students will test their skills against some of the most clever members of the animal kingdom. We’ll put our own intelligence to the test as we train bugs to navigate through a maze!

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March 21 | Extreme Animals
Due to the heat, Arizona can be a harsh environment. In order to survive in these difficult conditions, many species have made incredible adaptations like unique defensive mechanisms, amazing methods of conserving water and more practical ways of getting around. Students will create their own one-of-a-kind adaptation to thrive in an extreme environment!

April 16 | Animal Engineers
Get your hands dirty as we become animal engineers! Discover why some animals choose to live underground in the Sonoran Desert and find out what animal is crazy enough to build its home in the arms of a cholla cactus.

May 16 | The Bone Lab
How are the bones of a bird different from those of a cow? How do carnivores process the bones in their food? Our bones play a vital role in keeping our bodies upright, but what animals that don’t have a skeleton? We’ll look closely at the extraordinary differences and similarities between bones of multiple species.

Senior Wild Scientists (ages 10–13)

September 20 | Ecology 101
Kick off 2018 with a crash course in ecology and ecosystems! We’ll examine Arizona’s unique ecosystems from the Sky Islands to the low desert and back up into the mountain forests. Each  area is home to plants and animals specifically adapted to these environments who also play a distinct role within the ecosystem. We’ll cap off the class with Wild Science on the Tropics Trail!

October 11 | Arizona’s Invasive Species
Invasive species are quickly becoming an issue in Arizona because they can take over the natural habitat of many native animals and plants. We’ll get down and dirty to discover who these intruders are, and come up with solutions on what we can do to protect our native wildlife!

November 8 | Arizona’s Native Animals & People

Arizona has a vast and inspiring history. In this class, we travel back in time and analyze the native stories and traditions handed down from generation to generation. We’ll even create our own “Animal Tale!”

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December 13 | History of Zoos
If you love the Phoenix Zoo, this is the class for you! Zoos have existed for thousands of years showcasing animals from the far reaches of the world. In the past, zoos were mostly a way for wealthy or royal families to display how powerful they were. Now, however, zoos are for everyone! Most importantly, zoos are centers of conservation and safe spaces for animals. In this class, we’ll examine the various methods of behavioral enrichment  that keeps our animals happy and healthy.

January 17 | CSI: Critter Scene Investigators
A series of crimes have occurred at the Zoo! Students in this special CSI class will help us identify the culprits in an assortment of animal mysteries including, “The Case of the Vanishing Frogs” and “Who Stole the Ferrets?” Each mystery will reveal a new clue in how the Zoo works to protect native species.

February 21 | Genetics
Exactly what are genes? In this class, we’ll learn the basics of genetics to determine what makes you, you. Students will discover how cells work and the vital role DNA plays in everything from our hair color to adaptations that help animals survive. To wrap up our genetics lesson, we’ll swing by the habitats of a few of the Zoo’s larger animals to see firsthand how genetics helps species thrive.

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March 21 | Geography & Species
Wait, that animal lives where? In this class, students will learn the basics of charting and plotting to discover how field scientists use maps to protect hundreds of different species. We’ll also apply mapping technology to conduct our own species investigation to discover one of Africa’s most endangered species living right here at the Zoo.

April 18 | Micro-Critters 
The Phoenix Zoo is a great place to see enormous animals from all over the world, but what about the creatures living right under your nose? Students will use microscopes to zoom in on the versatile scales on a snake and the intricacies of a butterfly’s wings. Then we’ll get even smaller as we examine water samples to see the tiny organisms that play a major role in our water ecosystems. 

May 16 | Vet Science
How do zookeepers and staff ensure each and every one of the Zoo’s animals stay healthy? Let’s dive into the basic needs for life while investigating different needs for individual species. We’ll also use creative problem solving to diagnose animal ailments and potential ways to care for various species. Students will be treated to a special tour of the Zoo’s Animal Care Center to see how awesome our veterinary staff is!

Let us bring the Phoenix Zoo to You! Our ZooToYou, Zoomobile, and Distance Learning programs align with Arizona Department of Education Academic Content Standards at primary and secondary levels.

Inspiring people to live in ways that promote the well-being of the natural world is part of the Phoenix Zoo’s mission statement. Our Outreach program fulfills this mission by delivering educational and exciting programs to your organization. Phoenix Zoo Outreach Specialists strive to engage audiences about the wonders of our earth and the animals with whom we share it.

Phoenix Zoo Outreach has three different programs depending upon your location in Arizona:

ZooToYou (within Metro Phoenix) | Zoomobile (outside Metro Phoenix)
Distance Learning (to anywhere)

Please visit our Outreach Programs page for more information on the currently available outreach programs.

Project WILD and Growing Up WILD Curriculum Training at the Zoo or At Your Site!

Project WILD Curriculum Training
Project WILD is an opportunity to explore and share the fascinating world of wildlife and ecosystems using fun, hands-on educational activities. It is an award-winning environmental education program that includes subjects from science and language arts to math and music. The K-12 guide contains more than 150 interdisciplinary activities in lesson-plan style cross-referenced to grade, subject, topic, skill and length, all correlated to state and national standards. The goal of Project WILD is to develop awareness, knowledge, skills and commitment that will lead to informed decisions, responsible behavior and constructive actions concerning wildlife and the environment.

This workshop offers exciting new teaching ideas for use in science, math, social studies, language arts, physical education, music, art and more! Learn how to use these hands-on activities to fit into your school or organization’s STEM program.

All participants will receive…
CEU instruction time including:

  • Review of pedagogy behind the projects
  • Time working with the format
  • Ideas on integration into curriculum
  • Time with references and extensions
  • Project WILD Guide full of innovative, teacher-tested activities for grades K through 12

Check back for future workshop dates, or if you are interested in having the training at your school, please contact the Call Center at 602.914.4333 for more information.

Growing Up Wild Curriculum Training: Exploring Nature with Young Children
Growing Up Wild is an early childhood education activity guide that builds on children’s sense of wonder about nature and invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them. Through a wide range of activities and experiences, it provides a foundation for developing positive impressions about nature while also building lifelong social and cognitive skills. Workshop participants will receive a copy of the guide and 4 hours toward continuing education.

Growing Up WILD’s activity guide:

  • Is written for early childhood educators of children ages 3-7.
  • Features 27 field-tested, hands-on, nature-based activities in a full-color 11”x17’’ activity guide.
  • Includes crafts, art projects, music, conservation activities, reading and math connections and much more.
  • Involves social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive domains to help foster learning and development in all areas.
  • Supports developmentally appropriate practice allowing children to learn at levels that are individually, socially, and culturally appropriate.
  • Is correlated to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards and the Head Start Domains.

Check back for future workshop dates, or if you are interested in having the training at your school, please contact the Call Center at 602.914.4333 for more information.

~ Check back later for Fall programs ~ 

Through generous donations from local individuals, corporations, and foundations the Phoenix Zoo is able to offer discounted and free rates for some of our educational opportunities under our ZooReach scholarship program. The ZooReach Scholarship is available for Arizona Department of Education designated Title One schools grades K-12 that have 50% or more of their enrollment on a free or reduced lunch program. Below you’ll find the variety of scholarships that are available.

Zoo Field Trips

Your school group is welcome to enjoy a day at the Zoo anytime for a reduced rate. The ZooReach Scholarship provides a $3 discount off the already discounted school/youth group rate. When you make a reservation, you will be quoted a rate of $2/person (including chaperones, teachers and/or parents) for a minimum group size of at least 15.

Discounted rate is available for multiple trips, different teachers, or classes.

ZooReach Scholarship Guidelines

Each qualifying ZooReach School is also eligible to receive the following programs for their school each year until funds are exhausted. Programs are based on Arizona State Academic Standards. Call 602.914.4333 for reservations.

ZooReach Outreach – Let us bring the Zoo to You!

Choose between one of the following:

ZooToYou Outreach Program – A one-hour presentation at your school for a group of up to 75 people. Presentation includes live animal ambassadors presented by engaging and knowledgeable instructors. ZooToYou scholarship programs are available on Mondays or Tuesdays throughout the year based on availability. Additional consecutive presentations can be scheduled at a cost of $150 for each additional hour.

Note: If your school is located outside the Phoenix metro area, but within Arizona , you are eligible to receive a free visit from our Zoomobile Outreach Program. Call our Zoomobile office at 602-914-4329 for more details.

OR

Distance Learning Outreach Program – A 45 – 60 minute live web broadcast presentation designed for a class size of up to 40 people. Presentation includes live animal ambassadors and engaging visual content presented by knowledgeable instructors. Distance Learning scholarship programs are available on Wednesdays or Thursdays throughout the year based on availability.

ZooReach Night Camp

An unforgettable overnight experience!

Includes dinner, live animal presentations, activities, hikes on Zoo grounds, continental breakfast, and zoo admission for the following day.

A minimum of 25 campers (children & chaperones) is required to hold a camp.

ZooReach Scholarships provide funds for 36 children and 4 adults to attend Night Camp, including a pizza dinner.

Scholarship includes up to 36 t-shirts for the students attending the camp. Adult shirts are not included but can be purchased at the gift shop.

ZooReach Night Camp scholarships become available September 7, 2015, and can be scheduled for any night from September 28, 2015, until March 1, 2016.

Final numbers need to be submitted 16 days prior to your arrival. You are responsible for the total number you have reserved – there are no refunds for no-shows!!

*IMPORTANT: If less than 16 days notice is given for a cancellation, or if your group arrives for Night Camp with less than the 25 person minimum, your school will not be permitted to reschedule using scholarship funds this year nor will it be permitted to participate in the ZooReach Scholarship the following year. Night Camp has arranged for food and instructors for the number of people reserved so the ZooReach Scholarship program is still charged for these no-shows, and funds are limited.

*If you wish to add campers above the number covered by the scholarship, the costs are as follows and must be paid for 16 days prior to your camp date:

$45.00 (1st through 6th grade campers)

$50.00 (7th grade & above, including teachers/chaperones)

(One free adult chaperone for every 10 paying campers under the age of 18)

Pizza $5.00/person

T-shirts $14.00/person

Please call 602.914.4333 with any questions, to make a reservation, or be put on a wait list. Thank you.