Wild Encounter Programs

For more information:

Our Wild Encounters are ideal for small groups of people, 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.  A variety of program dates are available for purchase now! Click the buttons below each program type to reserve a time, or contact us to inquire about other dates. Zoo Members receive a discount that will apply automatically to your cart when you are logged into the payment system. 

Please note: age restrictions described below are firm for each program. Children that are younger than the minimum age listed below will not be able to participate in the program. This is for the safety of both the animals and guests. Thanks for understanding!

Cancellations, No-Shows, and Rescheduling Opportunities:

  • Cancellations made more than 72 hours before the start of your program will forfeit 50% of the program fee.
  • To reschedule, you must contact us more than 24 hours before the start time of your program. If you contact us more than 24 hours in advance, you will be given the opportunity to reschedule once for no fee. However, if you contact us within 24 hours before the start of the program, there will be a $50 fee assessed to reschedule. Reschedules are subject to availability.
  • No-shows on the day of a program will result in the cancellation of your program with no refund or opportunity to reschedule.
  • Arriving more than 15 minutes late will result in cancellation of your program with no refund or opportunity to reschedule.

 

CREATURE ENCOUNTER

  • All ages welcome!
  • Designed especially for families or other small groups containing children aged 5 and under
  • $55 for up to 6 people aged 2 and above; OR $85 for up to 10 people aged 2 and above
    • Children under the age of 2 do not count towards the number and are welcome to participate!
    • Zoo Members receive a discount that will apply automatically to your cart when you are logged into the payment system. 
  • Approximately 30 minutes in length
  • You’ll meet up to four different live animals in our private classroom, along with ‘biofacts,’ like fur, feathers, and skull replicas, to learn all about these zoo animals. Kids and adults alike will be able to touch the animals and get up-close and personal with them
    • About a week before your program date, we will email you a list of animal options to choose from. Let us know what your favorites are from the list, and we’ll do our best to include those critters in your Encounter.
    • A variety of animals have the ability to participate in Creature Encounters. These are animals like turtles, hedgehogs, lizards, guinea pigs, snakes, rabbits, frogs, spiders, armadillos, and more!
  • Want to purchase a Gift Certificate for this program? Contact us today!
  • Currently available for select dates at 11:30am and/or 2:00pm
Creature Encounter Tickets

UNLIKELY ARTIST ENCOUNTER

Bearded Dragon Painting

  • All ages welcome!
  • $80 for up to 6 guests when counting those aged 2 and above; OR $135 for up to 10 guests when counting those aged 2 and above
    • Children under the age of 2 do not count towards the number and are welcome to participate!
    • Zoo Members receive a discount that will apply automatically to your cart when you are logged into the payment system. 
  • Approximately 30 minutes in length
  • Enjoy a private “painting session” with two of our Unlikely Artists who will paint a one-of-a-kind masterpiece just for you!
  • During the program, your group will choose the paint colors for your Unlikely Artists to use
  • Choose to meet and paint with two of the following Unlikely Artists (we will email you about a week before your program date to get your animal choices):
    • Armadillo
    • Snake
    • Lizard
    • Turtle
    • Tortoise
    • Hedgehog
    • Rat
    • Guinea pig
  • Program 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
    • Sizes may vary based on what our suppliers have in stock, but on average, the larges are typically around 9×12 inches, the mediums are 8×10, and the smalls are 5×7
  • Want to purchase a Gift Certificate for this program? Contact us today!
  • Currently available for select dates in May and for summer months on select dates at 10:30am
Unlikely Artist Tickets

Aldabra Tortoise Encounter Behind-the Scenes

  • Participants must be aged 6 or above
  • $80 for up to 6 people; OR $135 for up to 10 people
    • Zoo Members receive a discount that will apply automatically to your cart when you are logged into the payment system. 
  • Approximately thirty minutes in length
  • Learn all about Aldabra tortoises! Take photos, interact with the tortoises and take selfies with Tootie! Learn about the interesting history of this once-endangered species and  how we care for them at the NEW Zoo
  • Programs can be scheduled weekdays or weekends, mornings or afternoons, based on Educator availability
  • Want to purchase a Gift Certificate for this program? Contact us today!
  • Currently available for select dates in May and for summer months on select dates at 1:00pm
Tortoise Encounter Tickets

Giraffe Encounter Behind-the-Scenes

  • Participants must be aged 8 or above
  • $100 for up to 6 people; or $160 for up to 10 people
    • Zoo Members receive a discount that will apply automatically to your cart when you are logged into the payment system. 
  • Approximately thirty minutes in length
  • Meet our giraffe herd! Go behind-the-scenes to learn more about how we care for the giraffes at the NEW Zoo, and enjoy a private giraffe feeding experience! Take photos and videos while you’re face to face with our gentle giants
  • Want to purchase a Gift Certificate for this program? Contact us today!
  • Currently available for select dates in May and for the summer months on select dates at 1pm
Giraffe Encounter Tickets

African Penguin Encounter

  • Participants must be aged 6 or above
  • $150 for up to 6 people; OR $250 for up to 10 people
    • Zoo Members receive a discount that will apply automatically to your cart when you are logged into the payment system. 
  • Approximately thirty minutes in length
  • Learn all about penguins, with a focus on African penguins! Take photos and interact with the bird. Learn about how we care for the penguins at the Zoo, and how we are working to save endangered penguins from extinction – and how you can help, too! Touching of the penguin is not guaranteed, but if the penguin is comfortable with your group and allows touching, we do incorporate it whenever possible.
  • Want to purchase a Gift Certificate for this program? Contact us today!
  • Currently available for select dates in May and during summer months on select Fridays and Saturdays at 11:00am or 11:30am
Penguin Encounter Tickets

Penguin Painting Encounter

  • Participants must be aged 8 and above
  • $200 for up to 6 guests, or $300 for up to 10 guests
    • Zoo Members receive a discount that will apply automatically to your cart when you are logged into the payment system. 
  • Approximately 40-45 minutes in length
  • Learn all about penguins, with a focus on African penguins! Take photos, interact with the bird. Learn about how we care for the penguins at the Zoo, and how we are working to save endangered penguins from extinction – and how you can help, too!
  • Your African penguin friend will create a painting just for you! You choose the paint colors your penguin artist will use during the program.
  • 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
  • Sizes may vary based on what our suppliers have in stock, but on average, the larges are typically around 9×12 inches, the mediums are 8×10, and the smalls are 5×7
  • Currently available for the summer months on select Sundays and Thursdays at 9:15am
Penguin Painting Tickets

ZOOKEEPER ADVENTURE

  • $160 for 1 participant, 2 hours program length
    • Participant must be at least 8 years old to participate
    • Includes admission to the Zoo for the day for the participant
    • Zoo Members receive a discount that will apply automatically to your cart when you are logged into the payment system. 
  • This program is designed for one person, especially for those interested in the life of a zookeeper! Anyone aged 8 and up can participate in this adventure that will involve a variety of “zookeeper activities,” from preparing meals and feeding animals, to cleaning habitats and interacting with animals. Participants are sure to experience an unforgettable day!
  • Can be scheduled on weekdays or weekends, during morning hours, according to Educator availability; Zookeeper Adventures typically begin at either 8am or 8:30am
  • Zookeeper Adventures make great gifts!! We can create a certificate for you to give to the recipient, and the recipient (or his/her parents/chaperones) can call us to schedule the program at a later date. Want to purchase a Gift Certificate for this program? Contact us today!

PERFECT PROPOSAL PACKAGE

  • 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.  Prices start at $250. Contact us for details and options

INSIDER’S ENCOUNTER

  • 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
  • For ages 10 and above
  • Learn more about these behind-the-scenes tours here.
  • Want to purchase a Gift Certificate for this program? Contact us today!

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

 

 

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