LEarn more about our animal tours

If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, join us for a Backstage Adventure and get an insider’s glimpse of some of our animal habitats. Experiences are offered daily and can last 30 minutes to an hour.  Check out all the various options below!

Each tour has a maximum capacity of 10 guests unless stated otherwise. 

Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a paid person 16 years of age or older.

Certain age restrictions apply. 

Zoo admission is not included in tour price.

Visitas con guía turístico disponible en español de forma limitada. Llame a nuestro centro de llamadas al 602.914.4333 para consultar.

[NEW!] Equine Experience Backstage Adventure

Just here for the day and want to spend some quality time with horses with the whole family? Or just want to see if your little one enjoys horses before signing them up for lessons?  Then this experience is for you!

In this experience, two riders ages 7 and up can ride simultaneously while your family cheers them on from the sidelines waiting for their turn while grooming and bonding with two other horses. Each rider will receive instruction on how to direct the horse, properly stop and go forward.  Already have experience riding? Depending on your skill level you can polish your skills at a walk and trot or possibly a canter.  Your little ones ages 3 – 6 will be led on a horse as they learn the basic of using the reins to stop and steer and make the horse go forward.  This is also a great experience for parents who have never been on horseback or for the older members in the family that just want a chance to groom and be next to these magnificent animals!

  • 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday & Friday
    • NOT AVAILABLE MAY – SEPTEMBER
  • 1 hour tour.
  • Minimum of 2 participants and maximum of 6 participants.
  • Age restrictions of 3 years old and up.
  • Must be 7 years old and up to ride a horse on their own. Ages 3 – 6 will be led by an Instructor.
  • Maximum weight limit for riders is 200lbs
  • Every experience is on very gentle, well-trained horses and Instructed by Certified Horsemanship Association trained Instructors. 
  • Approximate ride time for each rider is 20 minutes.
  • We provide necessary safety helmets for each rider.
  • Each rider will need to sign a Liability Waiver when they arrive at the Equine Center prior to the tour.
  • Younger children are permitted, if they are being carried.  No strollers allowed in barn or arena. 
  • Other members not paying for the experience can watch outside the arena in our viewing areas.

Pricing: $139 per person (Zoo admission not included)

Greater One-horned Rhinoceros Backstage Adventure

Have you ever wanted to meet a greater one-horned rhino? Go behind the scenes and greet, touch and feed Chutti! Plus, you’ll get to speak with his caretakers and get answers to your questions while this gorgeous animal is outside in his vast habitat.   

Monday – Thursday & Saturday at 3 p.m. (30-minute tour) 

    • NOT AVAILABLE MAY – SEPTEMBER
  • No age restrictions

Pricing: $139 per person (Zoo admission not included)

  • As with all Backstage Adventures, there is a group size of no more than 10 people (unless otherwise stated). There is a maximum of 2 children per adult.
  • Due to the size of this animal, young children will need to be held for the entirety of the tour.

[NEW!] Meet “Chutti” the Greater One-horned Rhinoceros in His Barn for an Even LONGER Experience!

Want even more time with Chutti, our greater one-horned rhino? Enter his barn with the keeper staff. Not only will you get to greet, touch and feed Chutti, but you will be able to give him shower as well and see keepers shift this gorgeous animal outside to his vast habitat!

Sundays at at 8:45 a.m. (45-minute tour) 

  • June – August: Sundays at 10 a.m. 
  • May & September: Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
  • No age restrictions

Pricing: $169 per person (Zoo admission not included)

  • As with all Backstage Adventures, there is a group size of no more than 10 people (unless otherwise stated). There is a maximum of 2 children per adult.
  • Due to the size of this animal, young children will need to be held for the entirety of the tour.

Giant Anteater Backstage Adventure

Go behind the scenes with this special adventure at the night house of the giant anteater. You’ll meet a zookeeper and learn what it takes to care for this special creature… and if the animal chooses to, you’ll get to see one up close! If anyone in your group is showing signs of illness, we ask that you please reschedule.

Guests will need to either wear disposable gloves (Zoo will provide) or wash their hands at the night house prior to the tour since there is hand-feeding potential.

  • Fridays at 11 a.m. (30 minute tour)
  • May – September: Fridays at 10 a.m. 
  • No age restrictions

Pricing: $139 per person (Zoo admission not included)

  • As with all Backstage Adventures, there is a group size of no more than 10 people (unless otherwise stated). There is a maximum of 2 children per adult.

Ambassador Animal Resources Backstage Adventure

Travel behind-the-scenes of our newly remodeled Ambassador Animal Resources area to see what it takes to care for the many unique species of animals that participate in our Zoo shows and often make media appearances. See our animal ambassadors at work up-close and learn from their keepers about behavioral enrichment and how we use positive reinforcement training techniques.

  • Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m.
  • June – August: Tuesdays at 9 a.m. 
  • May & September: Tuesdays at 10 a.m. 
  • No age restrictions

Pricing: $139 per person (Zoo admission not included)

Greater Flamingo Backstage Adventure

Begin your 30-minute Flamingle adventure as you join the keepers in the flamingo habitat where you will enjoy an exclusive opportunity inside of their exhibit to get up close and feed these magnificent birds. Talk with their caretakers and learn all about their unique and quirky personalities.

  • May – September: Daily at 8:30 a.m.
  • Daily at 9:30 a.m. October – April
  • Ages 5 and up

Pricing: $99 per person (Zoo admission not included)

Asian Elephant Backstage Adventure

Go behind-the-scenes and learn what it takes to care for the Zoo’s largest animals – the Asian elephants. Your adventure includes a tour of the elephant barn and up-close viewing opportunities. 

  • Fridays at 1 p.m. 
  • June – August: Fridays at 10 a.m. 
  • May & September: Fridays at 10:30 a.m.
  • No age restrictions

Pricing: $139 per person (Zoo admission not included)

  • Due to the size of this animal, young children will need to be held for the entirety of the tour.

Stingray Bay Backstage Adventure

Go backstage and learn what it takes to care for the Zoo’s cownose stingrays. Your adventure includes a tour of the behind-the-scenes area and an in the water experience with the rays!

  • Thursdays at 1 p.m. (45 minutes)
  • May – September: Thursdays at 11 a.m. 
  • Ages 12 and up
  • Maximum of 5 guests in the water at one time

Pricing: $139 per person (Zoo admission not included)

Sloth Backstage Adventure (Currently unavailable)

Meet one of the Valley’s most famous and beloved residents: Fernando the Linne’s two-toed sloth!* Go inside Fern’s habitat (either inside or outside depending on where his mood takes him), chat with his keeper during a feeding, learn all about his nocturnal nature and snap photos and videos of your experience. Masks are required for this tour.

*Given that he is a sloth, and lives life in the slow lane, there could be a chance he chooses to sleep through your experience. 

  • Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m. (30 minutes)
  • No age restrictions (Please note this tour only allows up to five guests.)

Pricing: $139 per person (Zoo admission not included)

Reptile Backstage Adventure 

What’s a tortoise’s favorite treat? Find out in this ultimate reptile adventure. Your adventure includes a visit to the Galapagos or Aldabra tortoise enclosure where you’ll have a chance to meet and touch some of these friendly giants! You’ll also have the opportunity to meet a reptile keeper and get up close with other creatures from our reptile collection.

  • Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.
  • No age restrictions

Pricing: $139 per person (Zoo admission not included)

Galápagos Tortoise Backstage Adventure 

Want to meet a gentle giant? Your 30-minute adventure includes a visit to the Galápagos habitat where you’ll meet, touch and feed some of these amazing giant tortoises! How long do they live? What do they eat? You’ll have the opportunity to learn all about them. 

  • Every day at 11 a.m. (30 minute tour)
  • June – August: Daily at 8 a.m. 
  • May & September: Daily at 9 a.m.
  • No age restrictions

Pricing: $99 per person (Zoo admission not included)

Arthur L. and Elaine V. Johnson Native Species Conservation Center Backstage Adventure 

For many animal and plant species, survival is an increasing challenge due to a variety of influences. Join us on this exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour to see how the Phoenix Zoo cares for species of conservation concern in Arizona and around the world and encourages others to join in the effort.

  • Mondays at 10 a.m.
  • Ages 8 and up

Pricing: $139 per person (Zoo admission not included)

that's zoo we are

The Phoenix Zoo is one of the largest non-profit zoos in the U.S., caring for over 3,000 animals, with nearly 400 species represented, including many threatened/endangered species.

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