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.

Payment for group visits can be made one of two ways:

  • Pay on arrival through check (made out to NEW Zoo), cash, or credit cards (Visa or Mastercard.)
  • An invoice can be created for you upon your arrival; you can take that back to your school and then mail in the payment.

Please note:

  • We are unable to book programs the Monday through Thursday on the week preceding Memorial Day weekend, due to our annual Summer Intern Training
  • Classes and other programs are not available on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays of Zoo Boo event weeks in October

For information or to register

Program Details


  • $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


  • 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.  

Animal Storytime

  • This 30-minute program is specially designed for our youngest audiences.  We’ll share one or two animal-themed story books with the children, then introduce the audience to several different live animals – some of which they may be able to touch (depending upon audience age and other factors determined day of the program). 
  • Recommended for ages 5 and under.
  • This program is best for audiences of 35 participants max. If you have a larger group, we prefer that you split into smaller groups to better accommodate.

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 scales, and more. 
  • Recommended for grades 1 and 2.

Home Sweet Habitat

  • Students will travel the world as they discover 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 endangerment 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 working with animals in the “zoo world.” From Zookeepers to Veterinarians, many jobs are important to provide animals a healthy and enriching life. Included is discussion on what students can do to prepare themselves now for an animal career.
  • Recommended for grades 9 through 12. 

Plight of the Penguins

  • 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.

Custom Zoo Class Programs

  • If your class is studying a specific theme or topic, let us know – we can create a custom class program to fit your needs!
  • Cost starts at $3 per person (in addition to Zoo Admission)
  • These programs can be created for any age group
  • Please allow a minimum of 2 weeks for our staff to prepare the custom lesson plan when calling to reserve your program

NEW FOR 2020: See an Animal, Be an Animal

These classes combine the Zoo with the Adventure Park in a comfortable indoor environment! Students will see animals up-close while learning about the topic, then do an interactive, adventure-themed activity. Program attendees do not need to pay admission to the NEW Zoo to participate; if you choose not to add admission to your visit, our staff will walk your group members to and from the indoor program location. Zoo admission is optional.

  • Programs last 90 minutes 
  • Minimum of 15 and maximum of 30 participants per program (not including chaperones)
  • Cost is $10 per person (zoo admission is not required but can be added to your visit if you’d like)
  • Recommended for grades 3 and up

On the Move

  • Students will see animals up-close, watching and learning about how they move, then make comparisons to how humans get around. Students will practice their own movement skills, focusing on balance.

Think About It

  • Through live animal demonstrations, students will learn about ways animals adapt to challenges in their environments, then compare those skills to the ways humans solve problems. Students will practice their own problem-solving skills through hands-on, team-building activities.


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.

Zoo Tours are recommended for groups of up to 30 people, and for children in grades 4 and above.  If your group is larger or comprised of younger students, we will recommend that you consider a Zoo Class program instead.  Feel free to call us for details.

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 food to feed the giraffes, Nigel and Zuri. 
  • Appropriate for grades 4 and up.

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 6 and up. 

Custom Tour Program

  • If your class is studying a specific theme or topic, let us know – we can create a custom tour program to fit your needs.
  • Cost is $3 per person (in addition to Zoo Admission)
  • These programs can be created for any age group, although we typically recommend that Tour Audiences be 3rd grade or above (a Custom Zoo Class would be more appropriate for students 2nd grade or under)
  • Please allow a minimum of 2 weeks for our staff to prepare the Custom Tour when calling to reserve your program


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