Join us in-person with these exciting new programs!

Our programs are offered for children starting at 18 months old and are designed to support their growing needs and abilities.

Many programs offer opportunities for parents or caregivers and children to learn and explore together,
making it an experience for the entire family.

Please note: In-Person Programs may be subject to COVID modifications.

Self-Guided Field Trips (Two weeks notice is required for scheduling)

The Phoenix Zoo offers an educational rate for all youth-oriented groups of $8.00 per person (including both children and adults) for admission to the Zoo for a minimum of 15 people per group. To apply for the educational rate, please fill out the form by clicking on the link below. In order to qualify for these rates, all students must be accompanied by at least one adult per 10 children.

Special Needs Education classrooms and schools working with kids are eligible for a reduced admission rate of $6 per person. To apply the special rate, please fill out the form by clicking on the link below. Please note that we are not currently offering the free, hands-on Special Needs field trip educational program. We look forward to welcoming our students back to our classroom soon, so check back for updates!

Qualified ZooReach** schools are eligible for the $4.00 rate per person. To apply for the educational rate, please fill out the form by clicking on the link below. In order to qualify for these rates, all students must be accompanied by at least one adult per 10 children.

If you’d like to book an educational program to complement your field trip,
please check our guided add-on options listed below.

Title 1 Schools may qualify for a ZooReach Scholarship. For more information, click here!

Field Trip Form: October – April | May – September

Guided Field Trip Add-ons 

Guide-led, walking field trip tours happen in conjunction with your daytime field trip to enhance your students’ experience. All our programs are designed to support academic standards, are grade-level appropriate and include a variety of inquiry-based techniques. Your Zoo instructor will encourage critical thinking and deductive reasoning as your students explore their surroundings using multiple senses, including actively viewing animals on exhibit. Choose from one of the topics below, each covering a wide span of animal and conservation sciences. Each guided field trip is 45 minutes in length.  

Subject to availability. Does not include behind the scenes viewing areas. 

Duration: 45 minutes
Cost: $2 per person (Zoo admission not included)
Group Size: 15 minimum (groups larger than 25 may be split into multiple groups)
How to Book: Call 602.914.4333 (three weeks advance notice required for scheduling)

Guided Field Trip Topics  

Crazy Classification: Arizona Animals (K-2 grades)

Mammal, bird or reptile? How do you know what type of animal you’re looking at? Through the Arizona Animals Guided Tour, students discover the five major traits that scientists use to categorize animals. A Phoenix Zoo instructor leads participants on a tour of the Zoo’s Arizona Trail, classifying desert vertebrate species. The instructor challenges participants with interactives and inquiry to improve their observation and critical thinking skills.

Crazy Classification: Rainforest Animals (K-2 grades)

Mammal, bird or reptile? How do you know what kind of animal you’re looking at? Through the Rainforest Animals Guided Tour, participants discover the five major traits that scientists use to categorize animals. A Phoenix Zoo instructor leads the tour of the Zoo’s Forest of Uco Trail, classifying rainforest vertebrate species. The instructor challenges participants with interactives and inquiry to improve their observation and critical thinking skills.

Desert Discoveries: Exploring Arizona (3-5 grades)

Food, water and shelter are hard to find in the Sonoran Desert. Avoiding predators and scorching temperatures are just some of the challenges living organisms must face. Through the Exploring Arizona Guided Tour, participants explore and learn about several desert animals along the Phoenix Zoo’s Arizona Trail by comparing and contrasting their habitats and adaptations. Utilizing manipulatives, a Zoo instructor will guide small discussion groups to uncover how various Arizona animals survive in the harsh extremes of our local ecosystem.

Nature’s Niche: Exploring the Rainforest (3-5 grades)

More than half of all the plant and animal species call tropical rainforests home. Just how do so many unique and valuable organisms manage to coexist in such tight quarters? By carving their own niche, finding their “job” to minimize competition, and benefitting one another and their environment. A Phoenix Zoo instructor leads participants on a tour of the Zoo’s Forest of Uco Trail to explore some of the many interesting inhabitants of a tropical rainforest and determine just what niche they fill in their environment. Through observations and discussions, participants are challenged to identify various components of a balanced ecosystem, including biotic and abiotic elements, as well as producers and consumers, and discover how valuable each one is to the other.

Desert Lives: Exploring AZ Native Plants & Animals (6-8 grades)

Food, water and shelter are hard to find in the desert. Avoiding predators and scorching temperatures are also the challenges desert plants and animals must face. In Arizona, there are four deserts, each one unique and presenting different trials. Through the Exploring Arizona Guided Tour, participants explore and learn about several desert animals along the Phoenix Zoo’s Arizona Trail by comparing and contrasting their habitats and adaptations. A Zoo instructor will guide discussion groups to uncover how various Arizona animals survive in the harsh extremes of our state deserts. 

Tropical Treasures (6-9 grades)

Tropical rainforests are fragile ecosystems requiring a delicate balance for sustainability. So just what happens when you lose a rainforest? Through the Tropical Treasures Guided Tour, participants explore the Forest of Uco at the Phoenix Zoo, discovering the importance of rainforests, the resources acquired from them, and the interdependence of the inhabitants found therein. While a Zoo instructor facilitates a group examination and discussion of real-life conservation projects, participants gain an appreciation for the challenges we face in attempting to maintain a stable and diverse ecosystem and uncover the value of rainforests around the world.

Dynamic Deserts: Exploring Desert Conservation (9-12 grades)

Conservation in the desert requires a unique understanding and perspective of one of nature’s harshest, and often misunderstood, biomes. With scarce resources and fierce competition, life in the desert has adapted creative techniques for survival. During this tour, a Zoo instructor will lead participants on the Arizona Trail while exploring different adaptations from our resident plants and animals, and the impact humans play on this surprisingly rich and diverse ecosystem.

More Than a Zookeeper (10-12 grades)

How many people does it take to run a zoo? There’s a lot of work going on every day at the Phoenix Zoo that many never even notice. Throughout the More Than a Zookeeper Guided Tour, participants will view the zoo from a different perspective. A zoo instructor will lead the group in discussions and an activity, while exploring some of the jobs necessary to run a successful zoo and conservation program. Participants will discover the importance of the Phoenix Zoo’s role in conservation while uncovering STEM career opportunities along the way.

Enriching Experiences: Exploring Behavioral Enrichment (K-12)

Movies, music and video games provide us with hours of entertainment, but what does a zoo do to keep a monkey from getting bored or a zebra from being stressed? Behavioral Enrichment! By providing mental and physical stimulation through naturalistic settings and environmental enhancements, managed setting animals’ lives are greatly improved. The benefits include increased natural behaviors and healthy, stress-free individuals. The Enriching Experiences Guided Tour provides participants with the opportunity to explore and learn about different types of behavioral enrichment used by the Phoenix Zoo through comparing a variety of exhibits and species. Utilizing manipulatives, a Zoo instructor will facilitate observations and discussions to discover some of the intricacies involved in the behavioral management of managed setting animals — making life more stimulating for the Zoo’s animals and guests alike!

Let the Zoo come to you! Our fun, interactive outreach programs include an educator and 3-5 ambassador animals. These programs are a great way to add impact to any setting.

For schools: Let us bring the magic of the zoo right to your classroom!  Our 1-hour school aged topics are designed to align with Arizona State Academic Standards, and our 30–45-minute PreK topics include an interactive story to incorporate a literacy component.

For families or clubs: Let us bring the magic of the zoo right to your event! For kids under 5, our PreK programs are 30-45 minutes and include a book. For animal lovers age 5 and up, the programs last 45-60 minutes.

Duration: 5 and under: 30 – 45 minutes | Age 5 and up: 1 hour
Cost: $200 per Classroom | $260 Non-educational (second consecutive program is $150. Discounts available for 3 or more programs booked.)
Group Size: 30 for age 5 and under | 75 maximum for age 6 and up
How to Book: Call 602.914.4333 or fill out the request form (three weeks advance notice required for scheduling)

Title 1 Schools may qualify for a ZooReach Scholarship. For more information, click here!

PreKindergarten Topics

Each topic lasts 30-45 minutes and will include an interactive story in addition to live animals.

Shapes in Nature: Circle, triangle, or square, shapes can be found everywhere!  We’ll look for shapes in our world, on us, and on the animals too!  Literacy Component: The Shape of my Heart by Mark Sperring

Count the Zoo Desert Discovery: Arizona boasts four beautiful deserts, all full of wonderful plants and animals. Join us as we meet and count some of the animals you can see in the desert!   Literacy Component: Way Out in the Desert by T.J. Marsh and Jennifer Ward  

Colorful Creatures: Animals come in many colors … like red, green, brown, and blue. All those pretty colors might help them hide from YOU! A tale of a chameleon will help explain it all, we’ll explore animal colors and have ourselves a ball.  Literacy Component: The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle   

Movin’ and Groovin’ : Twist and shout, do-si-do and turnabout! While we all love to rock and sway, animals like to move their way. Find out if YOU can move like the animals do!

Literacy Component: Doing the Animal Bop by Jan Ormerod and Lindsey Gardiner 

School-Age Topics (Age 5 and up)

Animal Kingdom: Ideal for young animal lovers, and can be scaled to suit any age. From fur to feathers, scales to exoskeletons, discover the characteristics of the animal world. Identify and learn about the similarities and differences that help us categorize animals into distinct scientific groups.

Ask a Zoo Expert: Ideal for all learners. Customize your program to fit into your curriculum needs! Just tell us what you’re studying, and we will design a program just for your group. Some examples are nocturnal creatures, desert adaptations, and rainforests. After you’ve booked your program, a member of our education team will contact you to discuss your needs.

Call 602.914.4333 to book today!

Experience a unique, project-based program that incorporates STEAM concepts with the Zoo as your classroom! Perfect for learners 9-12 years old.

Join our educators for 3 consecutive morning classes at the Zoo as we learn in-depth about orangutans and design a new enrichment item for them. Project Orangutan is fun, fascinating and promotes hands-on authentic problem-solving. 

Meets Arizona Academic Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.

Focusing on the critically endangered Bornean orangutan, students will:

  • Discover how the Zoo cares for their complex needs
  • Use the engineering design process to build an enrichment item that stimulates their natural behavior
  • Research orangutan conservation and how responsible consumer choices can make a positive impact on their future

Duration: Three 90-minute classes
Times:
October 4, 5, 6
March 7, 8, 9
(9-10:30 a.m.)

Cost: $90 non-members | $75 members

How to Book: Click here to register

Experience a unique, project-based program that incorporates STEAM and Biomimicry concepts with the zoo as your classroom! Perfect for learners 12-16 years old (6th-8th grade).

Join our educators for three consecutive morning classes as we learn in-depth about biomimicry and use our understanding & observations of nature to solve problems for humans. BioConnect is fun, fascinating and promotes hands-on authentic problem-solving. Meets Arizona Academic Standards
and Next Generation Science Standards.

Duration: Three 90-minute classes
Times:
September 6, 7, 8
February 7, 8, 9
(9 – 10:30 a.m.)
Cost: $90 non-members | $75 members
How to Book: Click here to register!

Custom Guided Tours are designed based on your specific interests and needs. Our trained Zoo staff works with you to create a completely customizable 60-minute educational walking tour of one of our Zoo trails – covering the exhibits and topics you are interested in.  

Subject to availability. Does not include behind-the-scenes viewing areas.   

Guided Tours are popular programs for school groups, so teachers and schools are encouraged to make reservations early. When making your reservation, please inform us of any cultural or religious aversions to any animal species or type of animal. We can adjust the tour to fit your needs. Please be sure to arrive early for your program, as extended time cannot be guaranteed past 10 minutes. 

Duration: 60 minutes
Cost: $5 per person (Zoo admission not included)
Group Size: 10 minimum (groups larger than 25 may be split into multiple groups)
How to Book: Call 602.914.4333 (two weeks advance notice required for scheduling)

All tours occur in any weather condition.

Zigazoo is the leader of peer-to-peer video sharing for remote learning.

With its stellar safety ratings from children’s advocacy organizations, Zigazoo gives teachers, pod leaders, and families access to hundreds of projects built for at-home and at the Zoo learning and the tools to share video responses with.

Teachers can create a Zigazoo Classroom and parents can join the Zigazoo Global Community to start assigning or responding to projects today.

Next time you’re at the Zoo, look for the six Zigazoo prompts on Zoo grounds.

Zigazoo is free for all users. Download the app at zigazoo.com.

Enjoy a nice leisurely walk around the Zoo’s ponds looking for native and migratory birds with Zoo staff. All levels welcome.

Duration: 60 minutes
Cost: $8 members | $10 non-members (Zoo admission not included)
When: 9:30 a.m. | Third Thursday of the month:
9/15, 10/20, 11/17, 12/15, 1/19, 2/16, 3/16, 4/20, 5/18
How to Book: Registration coming soon!

Tips, tricks, and technique guidance abound in this casual walkabout program led by one of the Zoo’s expert volunteer photographers. 

Duration: 1.5 hours (9:30 – 11 a.m.)
Cost: $18 (Zoo admission not included)
When:
New dates coming soon!

Group Size: 6

February 24, 2023

Celebrate the ACNC’s conservation efforts at Conservation Science Night at the Phoenix Zoo. Meet real conservation scientists and learn about the work we do to help save species in Arizona and around the world.

This event is geared toward families with school age children, but there is something for everyone! Explore a variety of activity booths to try your hand at conservation science activities, including:

  • Tackle engineering challenges to help save endangered species!
  • Try your hand at tracking using telemetry!
  • See if you have what it takes to graduate ferret bootcamp!
  • Find out what you can do to help conservation!

This event is free, but advanced registration is required as space is limited. 

COVID Modifications 

We are monitoring the trends in community spread of the Covid virus very closely. We have accommodation policies for the safety of the humans and Zoo animals involved with in-person programs, and we activate those policies based on a variety of factors, including data released by the Arizona Department of Health Services and recommendations from national and international health agencies.   

At times the COVID numbers are such that we cannot safely conduct offsite, in-person programs. If you have an in-person program booked and the conditions rise to this level, you will be given the option to switch to a virtual version, postpone to a later date, or receive a refund.  

At times we can safely conduct offsite, in-person programs with certain precautions in place to mitigate the risk associated with the presence of the virus in such settings. Those precautions are:  

  • No more than 20 guests (children and adults) in a large classroom -sized room  
  • No more than 40 guests in a hall/gymnasium  
  • No touching of the animals will be allowed  
  • Masks required at all times by all participants and staff  
  • Table must be set up with a minimum of 10 feet around it  
  • Staff will have hand sanitizer available for participants to use on entry  
  • Guests will remain seated at all times unless instructed otherwise by zoo staff  
  • Zoo staff retains the right to cancel or end program for safety concerns  
  • Back-to-back programs will be shortened by 5 minutes to allow for decontamination of space between groups.  
  • We will sanitize our equipment ask that our hosts wipe down the guest areas 

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.