Wild Encounter Programs

For more information or to register:

Our Wild Encounters are ideal for small groups of people (ideally up to 15), unless otherwise noted. Several different types of private encounters are available, each described below.  Children must be accompanied by an adult, except in Zookeeper Adventure programs.  All prices listed are in addition to Zoo admission fees.  Please contact us for details.


Bearded Dragon Painting

  • $8 per person to meet 1 animal artist, minimum of $50 per program; $10 per person for 2 animal artists, minimum of $70 per program
  • Approximately 30 minutes in length
  • Enjoy a private “painting session” with one of our Unlikely Artists who will paint a one-of-a-kind masterpiece just for you!
  • Your group may choose up to three paint colors for your Unlikely Artist to use
  • Choose to meet and paint with one of the following Unlikely Artists:
    • Armadillo
    • Snake
    • Lizard
    • Turtle/Tortoise
  • Includes your choice of the following painting size options per animal friend:
    • One (1) large Canvas Paintings
    • Two (2) medium Canvas Paintings
    • Three (3) small Canvas Paintings
    • Additional canvas paintings of any size can be added for just $5 each, up to five paintings total per animal

ZOO ENCOUNTER (Penguin, Giraffe, or Tortoise) $12 per person ($100 minimum per program)

Giraffe Encounter

  • Approximately thirty minutes in length
  • Our Zoo Encounter program takes place out in the Zoo, where your group will have the opportunity to experience one of the zoo exhibits and its animals in a fun and personal way. These programs can include anything from a special keeper chat to an animal enrichment session, and they offer you a way to get to know your favorite zoo animals better.  We currently can offer behind-the-scenes GIRAFFE ENCOUNTERS, PENGUIN ENCOUNTERS, and  ALDABRA TORTOISE ENCOUNTERS.  Call for availability

OPTIONAL ADD-ON TO ZOO ENCOUNTER: PERSONALIZED ANIMAL PAINTING (fee becomes $15 per person or $125 minimum)

Giraffe Painting

  • Can be added on to either a Penguin Encounter or a Giraffe Encounter (subject to availability)
  • Will increase the length of a Zoo Encounter by approximately 10 minutes
  • You choose up to three paint colors for your Animal Artist to use on your canvas board(s)
  • Includes your choice of following painting sizes:
    • One (1) large Canvas Paintings
    • Two (2) medium Canvas Paintings
    • Three (3) small Canvas Paintings
  • Additional canvas paintings of any size can be added for just $5 each, up to five paintings total



  • Our most-popular “Wild Encounter!”
  • *Approximately 2 hours in length. A 4 hour program can be scheduled for a total price of $200
  • This program is designed for one person, especially for those interested in the life of a zookeeper! Even Children (ages 8 and up) can participate in this adventure that will involve a variety of “zookeeper activities,” from cleaning to feeding to educating. Participants are sure to experience an unforgettable day!


  • 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
  • Learn more about these behind-the-scenes tours here.


  • If you are interested in proposing to that special animal-lover in your life and want to do it in a unique way, look no further!  There’s no need to stress over creating a special experience – we are here to help.  Our Educators will work with you to design an experience that is perfect for you and your partner. A variety of critters can be incorporated into these program; just contact us to discuss the options. Our experienced team members will even ensure your plans are kept secret until just the right moment.
  • Length of program, pricing, and details vary, based on you and your partner’s interests.  Contact us for details and options


For more information, or to register for a Wild Encounter, please call 920-662-2405 or email education@newzoo.org.



Get in touch