City Zoos Education
The Central Park Zoo offers a variety of educational programs for youngsters of all ages. Whether you are seeking to enrich your little one’s zoo visit with hands-on discovery, introduce students to science concepts or wildlife conservation issues, or enroll an animal lover in zoo camp, you’ll find a program that suits your needs
Zoo Programs for Students
Teachers’ Aids: Brochure and Video
Planning a field trip to the Central Park Zoo? Download our Wildlfe Adventure Guide to get pre- and post-visit suggestions for making the most out of your class’s visit. The brochure also offers general guidelines and an overview of the zoo’s exhibits and programs. To see a sampling of our fun and educational programs for visiting classes, watch our
Zoo School video preview.
Tours for School Groups
Take a tour of the Zoo with your school group. Experienced wildlife guides can tailor tours to your interests. Fees and registration are required.
Enroll your students in one of our interactive classes. Morning and afternoon sessions are available for all programs. Younger children will enjoy lessons incorporating movement, storytime, and live animal demonstrations, such as Penguin Pals, Colorful Creatures, and Barnyard Bonanza. Older students can explore habitats and embark on scientific expeditions with Trekking the Tropics, Polar Expedition, and Habitat Adventure. Enhance your reptile unit with Hooray for Herpetology! And get an up-close look at some furry friends in Marvelous Mammals.
Rates and Restrictions
School Program Fee: $130 per class, effective September 2007 (includes zoo admission)
Class size limits: Preschool groups Maximum of 25 children and 5 adults
Grades 1–12 Maximum of 32 students and 5 adults
Wildlife Theater Players
In-School Programs: Wildlife Theater
The Wildlife Theater Players are available for school performances throughout the greater New York region. Our fun, engaging productions highlight key issues and principles of wildlife conservation. Through music, drama, puppetry, and audience participation, we invite your students to explore their environment and learn how they can make a positive impact on the world around them. They’ll embark on a journey to the tropics, an expedition to the Antarctic, or unravel the mystery of a marsh, without ever leaving school grounds!
Two sets of programs include an auditorium series for up to 300 students in kindergarten through fifth grades, as well as a classroom series for groups of 30 or fewer students in pre-K through first grade. For more information on how you can bring Youcan the Toucan, Captain Cocoa, or a nine-foot heron puppet to your school, click here. A list of shows and their target audiences will help you decide which performance is right for your students.
For more information, please call 212-439-6540 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Workshops for Families and Children
The Central Park Zoo Education Department offers toddler programs for caregivers and little ones, preschool programs, after-school workshops and weekend classes for school-age children, and camp programs. Spring/summer program descriptions are available in February and fall/winter sessions are available in September.
To see a sampling of the workshops we offer for you and your child, watch our video introduction.
Zoo Sleepovers: Snooze at the Zoo
Host your next sleepover at the Zoo! Camp out with the animals, embark on a tropical adventure, and learn what you can do to save the rain forest
Take a tour with your private group. Experienced wildlife guides can tailor tours to your interests. Fees and registration are required.
Advanced registration and payment are required for all programs. To register by mail, print the form provided at the top of the page and mail it to the Central Park Zoo Education Department, 830 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10021. To register by phone, call 212-439-6583 and press 4.
Programs at the Zoo
Prospect Park Zoo Discovery Center
Calling all aspiring veterinarians, scientists, and young naturalists! At the Prospect Park Zoo’s new interactive Discovery Center, we’re looking for volunteer vets to examine our animal puppets, and field detectives to help trace clues about wildlife. Open from 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. every weekend, the Discovery Center is made up of various learning stations where children can hone their science skills with the same tools that the experts use. Visitors can peer through a microscope lens, try on a pair of butterfly wings, and explore the zoo’s living laboratory. Featured stations include Zoo Vet Center, Fish Crows and American Kestrels, Young Naturalist, and Camping Exploration.
The Discovery Center is also open by reservation to groups during the week. All visits for pre-registered groups include a live animal encounter and a 30-minute exploration of the center. Spaces are limited, so register in advance. Call 718-399-7327 or email email@example.com for more information or to make a reservation.
Interactive Tours for Schools and Groups
Get more out of your trip to the Prospect Park Zoo! Call in advance to book a free interactive tour. Our staff will tailor your tour to meet your interests or complement your curriculum. There are a limited number of free tours that can encompass highlights of the entire zoo or focus on an area of particular interest to your group. To participate in these programs, please book at least two months in advance. To register for a free tour, call 718-399-7327 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Prospect Park Zoo has developed three different self-guided tour packets that highlight various areas of the zoo. These packets include pre- and post-visit activities, a list of vocabulary words, and a take-to-the-zoo sheet for children in grades K–2 and 3–8. These tour packets are free. Please email email@example.com to obtain your packet today! Please note that if your group would like to visit the zoo without a tour, you do not need to book in advance. The Prospect Park Zoo opens every day at 10:00 a.m.
Have a wild birthday party at the Prospect Park Zoo! Kids age 3–10 can get up close and personal with some of our resident animals, create a craft to take home (or prepare a special snack for one of the animals), and explore an exhibit in the zoo. There are six exciting party themes including Sea Lion Celebration and Junior ZooKeeper.
For more information, call 718-399-7324 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Click Here for a List of Birthday Party Themes
Community Outreach Programs
Let the zoo come to you! Inspire your children with a FREE visit from the Prospect Park Zoo Outreach Program. Through creative and interactive activities, our staff brings elements of the zoo straight to you and your community. Combining storytelling with art and examination of animal specimens, our programs introduce children to key concepts of wildlife and the natural world. Program sites range from HeadStart centers and libraries to local parks and streetfairs.
Program demand is high, so register soon.
For more information or to register, contact Audrey Lucas at 718-399-7326 or at email@example.com.
Click Here for a 2007-2008 Outreach Brochure.
Free Brooklyn Public Library Programs
Visit the following branches on the days listed and participate in our Animal Tales program or other popular programs such as Sssuper Sssnakes and Creature Features. Participating children are invited to listen to a couple great books, touch animal biofacts, and enjoy a crafts activity. All programs are FREE.
Pre-school Animal Tales Series
McKinnley Park Branch 10:30-11:15 am
January 8, 15, 22, & 29
Brownsville Branch 10:30-11:15 am
January 9, 16, 23, & 30
Prospect Park Zoo Volunteers
Are you a teen interested in wildlife? Then consider becoming a Prospect Park Zoo Discovery Guide! Teen volunteers help to maintain a friendly atmosphere for zoo visitors by staffing exhibit areas, assisting with special events, and talking to the public. Zoo internships can satisfy school community service hours, be applied toward school credit (check with your school), provide an introduction to careers in the animal field, or be a satisfying part of a summer vacation.
Applicants must be at least 14 years old, have a strong interest in wildlife and conservation, and have completed a highschool-level biology, wildlife, or environmental science course. Summer applicants are advised to apply well in advance, as the program is quite competitive. Contact Debbie Dieneman at 718-399-7324 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Discovery Guide Application
Prospect Park Zoo is looking for dedicated volunteers who are willing to become Zoo Docents. As a volunteer educator, your level of commitment to the zoo is much greater than that of a seasonal volunteer. Those who are accepted into the program will attend weekly training sessions for approximately four months. Session topics will include conservation, biology, and informal learning. Once you have successfully completed training, you’ll be ready to give tours, manage discovery stations throughout the zoo, and help with special events. Applicants with backgrounds in science and/or education are encouraged to apply, but those with an interest in animals are needed as well. If you would like to begin volunteering before docent training begins on January 2008, you can begin helping out in our new Discovery Center. Contact Debbie Dieneman at 718-399-7324 or email email@example.com.
Zoo Docent Application
BCAP Summer Camp
Brooklyn Cultural Adventures Programs (BCAP) Summer Camp is a day camp sponsored by Heart of Brooklyn, a unique partnership among six of Brooklyn’s most treasured cultural institutions: Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Museum, Prospect Park and Prospect Park Zoo. BCAP takes advantage of these incredible resources by offering hands-on experiences for youth: projects, games, and educator-led tours that weave connections between art, world culture, literature, history, nature, and science. All lessons are consistent with New York State Learning Standards and are taught by professional educators. This year’s theme is Transformations.
BCAP is for youth ages 7-12, and runs Monday–Friday, 9am–3:30pm, with optional Stay &Play After-Camp Program from 3:30–6pm. Camp is available in 2-week sessions from June 30–August 8, 2008. Drop off and pick up is at the Brooklyn Museum. Tuition assistance is offered for qualifying campers.
For more information or to register, go to www.heartofbrooklyn.org/camp or call Heart of Brooklyn at (718) 638-7700 x10.
Programs at the Zoo
The Queens Zoo is offering exciting opportunities to learn about wildlife and wild places through its brand new theater program. Visit the domestic area from June through Labor Day to see one of several shows offered daily.
Queens Zoo Wildlife Theater
In our engaging performances, Wildlife Theater Players encourage children to waddle like a duck and jump like a frog in Shape, Waddle and Grow; help Mr. Dredge discover an important treasure for all in The Great Treasure Hunt; and learn about a royal tunneling animal with a key job in King of the Prairie.
Don't forget to look for wildlife enthusiasts Pete Bog or Lily Marsh at the marsh exhibit during your visit!
Call 718-271-7361 for more information.
Enjoy a guided tour by one of our expert zoo educators. The Education Department offers engaging, interactive tours for all children’s groups and schools. Dance or dabble, squawk and cackle. Learn about animal adaptations, and how your favorite critters move or talk. Choose a pre-designed tour or ask us to create a tour that fits your needs.
We also offer tours for adults and seniors. Learn about animals, zoo exhibits, and local wildlife, and discover how zookeepers collaborate with WCS field scientists around the world to help care for the animals right here in the Queens Zoo.
Tours are free with the price of admission but must be scheduled in advance, call the Registrar at 718-271-7361.
Community Outreach Programs
The Education Department now is offering free community outreach programs, serving all ages, in public libraries, after-school programs, community or senior centers, Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs, YM or YWCAs and childcare centers located in the borough of Queens.
If you work with a local organization and would like to book a program or for more information on additional offerings that can be tailored for your group, contact Jessica Lissow, Outreach Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-271-1500 x313.
Queens Zoo Volunteers
Embark on an unforgettable educational adventure by volunteering at the Queens Zoo. The Queens Zoo Education Department provides conservation education to a wide range of people from New York City and Long Island.
Click here to become a Volunteer.