Interactive & Educational Experiences for Students

The Zoo offers a unique opportunity for learning and understanding wildlife, life sciences and conservation. The Zoological Society’s experienced educators know the Zoo and its animals inside and out! Turn a regular field trip into an amazing and interactive experience by booking one of our school programs at the Zoo today.

When school is out, our education programs keep going! During the summer, Kohl’s Wild Theater takes guests on a journey of imagination and story-telling through animal- and conservation-themed performances and interactions with guests at the Zoo.

At The Zoo Intro

Plan a Field Trip

A field trip to the Zoo is an adventure for all students. It’s a wonderful opportunity for children to see animals they may never see in the wild and build a greater appreciation for the natural world. When choosing a field trip, schools have the opportunity to add an educational school program that enhances a teacher’s science curriculum. To amplify your next field trip to the Zoo, inquire below and our registration specialist will get in contact with you about adding an in-person school program! It’s as easy as booking the field trip with the Zoo and letting us know you want to add a program!

Inquire About School Programs  Field Trip Admission

School Programs at the Zoo

School programs are available inside the Zoo for students in grades K3-8. These programs are a great add-on to a field trip experience and align with teaching curriculum to help satisfy science guidelines from Next Generation Science Standards and Wisconsin State Standards.

What to Expect

Zoological Society educators work to make each program age appropriate. For younger students, our programs include hands-on learning accompanied by activities or even songs. As students get older, the curriculum dives deeper into topics, to expand critical thinking capabilities and develop a stronger understanding of animals in the Zoo and in the wild. Some programs may even include a live animal or biofacts such as fur, teeth, or bone.

Inquire using the below form and our Registration Specialist will contact you. Schools will also need to book their field trip separately through the Zoo.


At Zoo Field Trip 1- to 1.25-Hour Educational Programs
30 students max in each program
$120 first program
$80 second program of the same type on the same day

At Zoo Field Trip 2-Hour Educational Programs
60 students max

Prices do not include Zoo admission. Schools will need to book their field trip separately through the Zoo.

Who Can Attend

Our programs can accommodate a variety of group sizes, up to 60 students. We do require a minimum of 1 adult per 10 children with a maximum of 5 adults, including the teacher. All children attending and participating in the program must be enrolled in that grade.

Kid Petting Animal

Our Field Trip Programs

We are no longer taking school program bookings for this spring. If you are interested in booking a school program for the 2024-2025 school year, please complete this inquiry form. We will contact you to book your program starting in August. Limited scholarships are available to reduce program fees. Mark your interest on the form and we will contact you.

Animal Athletes
Animal Athletes

Can you run as fast as a cheetah or jump as far as a kangaroo? Find out as we hand out awards to the animal kingdom’s top athletes. Practice moving like your favorite animal athletes during an animal movement game! Program is one hour at the Zoo.

Bugs, Bugs, Bugs

Butterflies, spiders, bees and worms – which of these animals are insects and which are not? Discover the tricks to identify insects and create your own insect guide.

African Safari
African Safari

From gigantic giraffes to enormous elephants, learn about some of the biggest animals in Africa as you stomp into our savanna classroom. Touch real hides and horns and sing a song in Swahili, a native language of coastal Africa. Program is one hour. Available February-May.

Penguins Icon
Animals in Winter

Hibernate, migrate or adapt? Animals have different ways of surviving winter. Enjoy our “winter wonderland” classroom as you mimic these behaviors at wildlife activity stations and design your own “Animals in Winter” book. This program is 1 hour. Available September-January.

Animals In Winter Icon
Critter Covers

Is the animal a mammal, bird, reptile, fish or amphibian? Students will learn how scientists classify the 5 groups of vertebrates while examining real fur, feathers and scales. Create a classification decoder that you can use in the Zoo to find and classify animals. Program is one hour at the Zoo.

Food Chains Icon
Hungry, Hungry Animals

Explore the Zoo as you learn about the wild world of animals and their favorite foods! Students will practice their map skills as they navigate to the four stations in the Zoo with their teachers and chaperones. They will meet knowledgeable educators and animals at various locations. This two-hour and 15-minute program involves some self-led portions and is largely outdoors so dress for walking in all sorts of weather!

Creatures Of The Night
Creatures of the Night

Discover how bats, owls and other night dwellers use their adaptations to survive in a world of darkness. We will explore our senses as we discover what it takes to be a nocturnal creature. Program is one hour and 15 minutes at the Zoo.


What makes a habitat a home? It’s all about food, water, shelter, and space! From dodging predators to finding food, living in a habitat has its challenges. Come play the Animal Habitats Game as we investigate a variety of habitats to learn how animals survive in these habitats. Program is one hour and 15 minutes at the Zoo.

Zoo Veterinarian
Zoo Vet

Learn about one of the most important jobs at the zoo! The veterinarians at the Milwaukee County Zoo are in charge of keeping more than 2,100 animals happy and healthy by preventing and treating a wide range of illnesses and injuries. We’ll practice our vet skills by reading X-rays, looking at dental impressions, and even observing an animal ambassador up close! Program is one hour and 15 minutes at the Zoo.

Animal Senses
Go With the Flow

Dive into the world of aquatic animals in search of the challenges these animals face in these underwater spaces. Students will meet with knowledgeable educators at stations around the Zoo to discover conservation actions they can take to protect these water-loving animals and their habitats. This two-hour and 15-minute program involves some self-led portions and is largely outdoors so dress for walking in all sorts of weather!

Animal Adaptations Lab
Animal Adaptations Lab

Come explore different animal adaptations at the Zoo! Discover which physical and behavioral adaptations help animals survive in habitats all over the world through interactive stations and hands-on learning. We’ll work together to think critically about how animals survive in the wild and get an up-close look at these animal superpowers. Program is one hour and 15 minutes at the Zoo.

Jaws, Claws &Amp; Paws
Jaws, Claws, Paws

Discover how predators succeed at hunting their prey. Learn through hands-on examination of skulls, claws, talons and teeth. We’ll take an active role in analyzing the predator-prey relationship and look at one of our Zoo predators up close! Program is one hour and 15 minutes at the Zoo.

Customize a Class
(Middle and High School)

Looking for something more specific for your middle or high school class and curriculum? Contact us to modify an existing program or build something unique to better meet your content or learning goals! Applicable to grades 6-12 only. Additional fees may apply.

Zoo Exhibit Design
Exhibit Design
(Middle and High School)

Zoos excel in providing unique habitats for their animals, balancing the needs of animals, visitors and the Zookeepers! Exhibits are engineered immersive experiences to educate and provide a conservation haven for animals. Learn about our own animals and exhibits and follow the engineering process as you research, design, build and improve an animal exhibit of your own! Class is one hour and 15 minutes at the Zoo.

Critter Covers
Zoo Tour
(Middle and High School)

Join us for a tour featuring the animals who call the Milwaukee County Zoo home! Make observations of the animals, discuss their habitats here and in the wild, and learn about conservation issues affecting them. The current focus of the tour is Wisconsin wildlife and water habitats, although we may be able to accommodate other requests. Class is one hour and 15 minutes at the Zoo.

Zoo Science Investigation: Snow Leopard
Introduction to Animal Science Field Work
(High School)

Take a deep dive in animal science and zoology by learning how to study the natural environment. Get an in-depth look at some of the Zoo’s animals, chart animal behavior with an ethogram, and head out in to the Zoo’s natural spaces to get hands-on experience in field work identifying and cataloging our local species! Class is one hour and 15 minutes at the Zoo.

Penguin Testimonial Picture

“Thank you for providing programs like this to our youngest scholars. It helps so much with science and reading/language arts. Many of my scholars get a renewed joy of non-fiction reading and informational writing after programs like this.”

“This was our first class and we had a great time. It was perfect for my 4 and 6 year olds. The games/songs and hands on interaction were perfect and kept the class fun and fast paced. We will be back!!!”

“Wonderfully interactive, hands-on, and great artifacts. Wish I had time to create similar educational experiences in my classroom.”