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!

Register for a Field Trip  Inquire About School Programs

School Programs at the Zoo

School programs are available inside the Zoo for students ranging in K3-5. 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. To view which standards our current offerings meet, please review this document.

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.

All our in-person programs cost $65 and are one hour and fifteen minutes long. Inquire using the below form and our Registration Specialist will contact you. Schools will need to book their field trip separately through the Zoo.

Financial Assistance

With the generous support of Kohl’s, schools in need of financial support can apply for Zoo Learning Experience funding.

Learn More

Who Can Attend

Each program is designed and optimized for up to 25 children per class (due to physical distancing guidelines). 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.

COVID-19 Health & Safety

Prior to scheduling a program, please visit our COVID-19 Health and Safety page to review our policies and best practices.

Our Policies & Best Practices

Kid Petting Animal

Check Out Our Programs at the Zoo

To book a program, inquire here.

Animal Athletes
Animal Athletes
(K3-1st)

Can you run as fast as a cheetah or jump as far as a kangaroo? Students will find out who the animal kingdom’s top athletes are. We’ll play an “Animal Locomotion” matching game and practice some unique animal moves as we travel through the Zoo.

Animal Senses
Super Senses
(K3-2nd)

How do animals use their senses to survive? Polar bears can smell a seal through thick ice. An octopus uses their tentacles to taste. Students compare animals’ senses to their own five senses through hands-on activities. Make a senses matching board, and then head into the Zoo to observe animals and their senses in action.

Critter Covers
Critter Covers
(K5-2nd)

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.

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Jaws, Claws & Paws
(3rd-5th)

Join us to discover how predators succeed at hunting their prey through hands-on examination of skulls, claws, talons, and more. They’ll learn how speed, strength, stealth, and sensitivity can lead to capture or escape.

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Animal Adaptations Lab
(3rd-5th)

Come explore different animal adaptations at the Zoo! Let’s work together to think critically about how an animal survives in the wild. Does it have to do with physical changes to the animal’s body or behavioral changes? In this class, we will use interactive technology to take a closer look at different animals’ superpowers.

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“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.”