Behind the Scenes Programs

The NEW Zoo’s Education Department has a wide variety of programs available for nearly any audience or group.  We cater to the young and to the young-at-heart!  If you are interested in adding a little “something extra” to your zoo visit, consider booking an educational program with us.  All of the programs listed below are appropriate for small or large groups, including families, corporations, and more.

Small Group Programs

  • “Wild Encounters” are private group programs get you up-close and personal with select zoo critters. Geared towards small groups of up to 8* people, Wild Encounters provide a wonderful way to make your visit a once-in-a-lifetime experience!  *Additional guests may be added, depending on program.

Behind-the-Scenes Tours

  • Join Zoo experts behind-the-scenes at the NEW Zoo for an Insider’s Encounter. You’ll learn all about the wild ways zoo staff care for animals while hearing stories and enjoying experiences you can’t get anywhere else. Every Insider’s Encounter includes behind-the-scenes tours and meeting live animals!
  • These programs can accommodate large groups of up to 50 people.

Penguin Feedings

  • Learn all about African penguins and conservation related to this endangered species.  Ticket holders will get to go INSIDE of the penguin exhibit with a zookeeper and toss fish to the penguins.

Daily Otter Feedings

  • Available for a limited time; occur daily at 12pm.
  • Purchase tickets in advance or on arrival – but quantities are limited!
  • Buy Tickets

Private Otter Feedings

  • Ideal for small groups. Learn all about North American river otters and how we care for them here at the NEW Zoo.  Participants will get to toss tasty, frozen fish treats to the otters!

Zookeeper for a Day

  • This popular program provides hands-on experience making animal diets, cleaning exhibits, and more!  Perfect for children (ages 8 and up) who love animals and want to know what it’s like to work with them.  This program can be purchased as a gift – and it makes a great one!  Visit the Wild Encounters page for details.

Art for Animals

  • These programs get you up-close with a critter while also creating a canvas painting featuring one of our animals. These programs are for anyone aged 16+, no painting experience necessary! Our talented artist will lead you through the painting process.  Proceeds benefit conservation.

Breakfast with the Animals

  • Join Zoo Director Neil Anderson for an all-you-can-eat, made-to-order breakfast at the NEW Zoo.  All ages are welcome and kids under 3 are FREE with an adult ticket holder. Tickets to the Breakfasts include admission into the zoo after program ends.  Proceeds benefit conservation.

Overnight Programs

  • Our ZOO SNOOZE program is perfect for any group!  Although most-popular with Scout groups, we can also accommodate church groups and school groups.  We even have special school group rates for weekday programs. Our Snooze programs can be tailored for nearly any group type, including families.

Daily VIP Summer Experiences

  • Go behind the scenes! During the Summer season, we offer a selection of Daily Experience Programs. Tickets must be purchased on arrival to the NEW Zoo and some age limits exist, depending on the program. Stay tuned for the 2020 Schedule.


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