Platypus Circle

Behind-the-Scenes Tours – Basic

These transferable tours are available to Platypus Circle members at the $500-$2,499 giving level.

Aquatic & Reptile Center and Winter Quarters Encounter

View marine exhibits including all three behind-the-scenes levels of the Aquatic & Reptile Center. Travel underground to the Winter Quarters (also known as hoofstock barns) to see where zebras, antelopes, tapirs and other African animals spend the winter. You will also tour the animal food storage/distribution areas and see the train quarters and greenhouse. Ages 10 and older.*

Behind the Magic of our Trains

Railroad enthusiasts can see where the Zoo’s train crew carries out daily maintenance operations. You’ll learn about the history of the train and see areas where engineers ready, store and service the steam and diesel trains. Only available at 10:30 a.m. for about one hour. All ages.*

Great Apes, Primates and Pachyderms

Go behind the scenes to learn curious facts about gorillas, bonobos, orangutans and mandrills. Your personalized tour will broaden your knowledge of primates’ distinctive behaviors. You will also see the food-prep and mandrill service areas. Next, you will travel to the pachyderm area
to learn about specialized care facilities and the exceptional attention provided to elephants, rhinos, giraffes and hippos. Ages 10 and older.*

Lil’ Tikes Tour

This personalized behind-the-scenes tour ventures to places in the Zoo that are particularly safe, fun and friendly for families with young children. You and your tikes will be excited to feed select animals in the Northwestern Mutual Family Farm. There may be opportunities to get up-close-and-personal with a cow in the milking parlor or mingle with and feed the goats. This adventure might even take you to the Moose Barn’s hidden feeding doors. Recommended for families with children ages 10 and under.*

North American Wild Trek

Venture behind the scenes to off-exhibit areas to learn about the role of zookeepers and specialized animal care. Touring options might take you to quarters for bears, moose, elk, or the Aquatic & Reptile Center. Other fascinating areas could include Winter Quarters (also known as hoofstock barns), the Animal Commissary, hidden areas of the Wolf Woods exhibit and/or the Northwestern Mutual Family Farm. Ages 8 and older.*

Ride In Style

Just sit back and enjoy the ride! This tour takes you on your own customized in-front-of-the-scenes cart driven tour of the Zoo. Your trained guide will chauffer you and your guests through the Zoo while sharing fascinating animal facts and stories. This tour is a fantastic option for people with mobility concerns. For safety reasons, guests with wheelchairs, walkers, or who require assistance transferring onto and off of the cart must be accompanied by a caregiver. All ages.*

* For safety reasons, children up to age 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Due to the unpredictability of animals, tour experiences may vary. The Zoological Society reserves the right to cancel or modify any tour due to unforeseen circumstances. All participants must abide by staff instructions at all times.

Other Platypus Circle Behind-the-Scenes Tours: