Zoo Classes & Zoo Tours

The NEW Zoo makes teaching easier for you!  Our educational programs meet national as well as Wisconsin state standards.  We can supplement teacher curricula in innovative ways.  Information about the programs is provided below, but you can also download a copy of our annual Field Trip Guide.  The Guide is in PDF format.

For information or to register

Program Details

Cost

  • $2.00 per person is addition to Zoo Admission (unless otherwise noted below)
  •  Minimum of $20 charge per program
  • Program fee applies to both adults and children

Length

  • 30 minutes for Pre-K and K students
  • 45 minutes for all other age groups

Start times

  • 9:30 a.m.
  • 10:30 a.m.
  • 11:30 a.m.
  • 1:00 p.m.
  • Other times may be available upon request

Zoo Classes

Our classes  provide students with unique educational opportunities in understanding a variety of science concepts including: interdependence, environmental changes, animal habitats and adaptations, and conservation.  We can adapt our programs (listed below) for nearly any age group.  We can also create a program specifically for your class.  Zoo Classes take place in our Education & Conservation Center Classroom.  For a full 360-degree tour of the room, click here.  

Fur, Feathers, Shells & Scales

  • This basic introduction to animal classification focuses on animal ‘coverings’ to teach the differences among mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and invertebrates. Recommended for grades Pre-K and K.

Creatures Have Class

  • This slightly-more advanced classification program discusses four of the five major groups of vertebrates. Students will learn which groups do and don’t lay eggs, drink milk, have warm blood, and more. 
  • Recommended for grades 1 and 2.

Home Sweet Habitat

  • Students will learn about different habitat types and the variety of animals that are found within them.
  • Recommended for grades 1 through 4. 

Animal Adaptations

  • This class defines and then focuses on physical and behavioral adaptations that animals have to survive in their environments.  Recommended for grades 4 through 6.

Conservation Connection

  • Students will examine the five major causes of species endangerments and extinctions worldwide.  Included is discussion on daily actions students can take to help protect animals and their environments. 
  • Recommended for grades 6 through 12.

Wild Careers

  • In this class, students will learn about career options in the “zoo world,” from jobs based on science and engineering to business management and accounting. 
  • Recommended for grades 9 through 12. 

Plight of the Penguins (NEW!)

  • Using African Penguins as a spotlight species, we discuss the causes and effects of species endangerment, including discussion about the ways zoos work to save threatened and endangered species. 
  • Recommended for grades 4 and up.

Zoo Tours

Give your students an experience to remember with a privately-led tour of a portion of the NEW Zoo.  You can choose to focus on a particular area of the Zoo, or you can choose to learn about animals that relate to a specific topic (listed below) on your tour.  Either way, your group members will learn those interesting facts that only our expert tour-leaders can teach them.  We can also create a tour program specifically for your group.

Native Neighbors Tour

  • Explore the “Wisconsin Trails” portion of the NEW Zoo, focusing on the adaptations of native species found right in our own backyards. 
  • Appropriate for all ages.

Animals of Africa Tour

  • Students will learn about the adaptations of African animals, from lions to penguins.  This tour includes a stop at our Giraffe Stand, where guests can purchase crackers to feed the giraffes, Hodari and Zuri. 
  • Appropriate for all ages.

Endangered Species Tour

  • The NEW Zoo participates in a variety of endangered species recovery programs, including Species Survival Plans and Population Management Plans. This tour focuses on our endangered species and how zoos work to save them.
  • Appropriate for grades 4 and up. 

Wild Careers Tour

  • This tour focuses on the challenges that people face when working with exotic animals.  Students will also learn about career options in the “zoo world,” from jobs based on science and engineering to business management and accounting. 
  • Appropriate for grades 7 and up.

Veterinary Tour

For students interested in veterinary medicine or advanced sciences, we offer a special tour that includes a behind-the-scenes look at our Animal Hospital.  Our NEW Zoo veterinarian will discuss with your students what “zoo vets” do, and also talk about training and schooling opportunities.  When weather cooperates, students will also take a tour of a portion of the zoo to learn about some of our past medical cases.   Veterinary Tours cost $5 per person in addition to Zoo Admission, with a minimum fee of $25 per program.  Availability is limited and based on the veterinarian’s schedule.  Typically, it is easiest to schedule these programs on Wednesday or Thursday mornings.  Call or email to schedule.

If you don’t see a program that meets your needs or interests, ask about our made-to-order programs.  Programs can be scheduled Monday through Friday, as well as on select Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year.  Call or email for details.