Special Needs Field Trip Program

The Phoenix Zoo offers a multisensory 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. Students are introduced to live animal ambassadors to reinforce concepts and to allow students an opportunity to reach beyond their comfort zones. The animal families discussed are: invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. The “Animal Families” program is presented by Zoo Volunteers.

“Each station was filled with great learning tools. There were words associated with photos and objects, habitat information, and pelts to touch. I also think the presentation of animal families with live creatures was phenomenal. I would recommend the program to other teachers.” – High School SPED Teacher

Programs are offered on Mondays, October – April, by reservation only (at least two weeks in advance) and are free with paid admission to the Zoo. Click here to review the Special Needs Booking Form, or call us at 602.914.4333 for more information.

Special Needs Camp Zoo Program

Children will have fascinating adventures with the natural world at Camp Zoo at the Phoenix Zoo! Campers participate in outdoor activities such as up-close animal encounters, hands-on activities, games, in depth investigations, and hikes around the Zoo. We’ll also spend time in the classroom making crafts, using scientific tools and meeting Animal Ambassadors up close.

Sense of Wonder Camp offers a safe yet challenging educational experience designed to build a camper’s independence, confidence and skills. Although lessons are developed ahead of time, we leave room for individual self-expression and the program is flexible to meet the needs of individuals within the group. Sense of Wonder Camp is designed for children with sensory or orthopedic impairments.


* Please note that the Zoo does not employ specific individuals certified or extensively trained in Special Education; however, our camp instructors do receive pre-camp training that includes basic skills for working with children who have special needs. Our instructors possess respect and understanding for children and a deep passion for the natural world. They are well trained in interpretive techniques, group management and activity facilitation.