VIPenguin Experience (Available April- October)

The ideal experience for the penguin lover who has it all! Join our knowledgeable penguin keepers in the Wings of Wonder bird house and get to know their handsomely feathered friends.

The fun begins in the penguin’s habitat with a meet and greet, featuring the Magellanic, Rock Hopper, and King penguins. After the meet and greet, venture to our exclusive VIPenguin Room and marvel as a talented penguin artist creates a one-of-a-kind canvas art piece for you to take home and enjoy.

This experience supports the animals in our care, and also supports our conservation partner SANCCOB (the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds).  SANCCOB works on the rehabilitation and release of ill and injured seabirds.

VIPenguin Details

The VIPenguin Experience is a private tour reserved for single groups of 1-5 guests.

Cost: 2 guests: $250

Up tp 5 guests: $500

Length of Tour: Approximately 30 minutes

Restrictions:

Children ages 10 and up are permitted with an accompanying adult.

Youth over the age of 15 are permitted to tour solo with the written permission of an adult or guardian.

You must wear closed toed shoes! Rubber boots or other waterproof shoes are encouraged.

All participants must present a signed liability waiver.

Being part of our animal care team takes careful preparation. Here are some things you need to know so that you can be prepared to work side by side with a member of our Aviculture team…VIPenguin

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Moe Hanging Out

‘Moe’mentous Sloth Encounter

Sloth encounters are sold out for the 2018 season. To be added to the notification list for the 2019 tour season, please email [email protected]

Slow down and enjoy this private, 30 minute encounter with ‘Moe’, the Zoo’s famous two-toed sloth and his keeper. Guests will have the opportunity to experience Moe up close and personal, including snack time and priceless photo ops!

This experience supports the animals in our care, and also supports our conservation partner The Sloth Institute.  The Sloth Institute focuses on the research, education and release of hand-raised and injured sloths into the Costa Rican Rainforest.

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'Moe'mentous Sloth Encounter Details

The Sloth Encounter is a semi-private tour for mixed groups with a total capacity of 6 guests.

Cost: $250 for 2 guests, $375 for 3 guests, $500 for 4 guests, $600 for 6 guests

Length of Tour: Approximately 30 minutes

Restrictions:

Children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult.

Youth ages 15 and up are permitted to tour solo with the written permission of an adult or guardian.

All participants must present a signed liability waiver.

Please view our SLOTH ENCOUNTER FAQ sheet for additional information. 

bugslifeIt’s a Bug’s Life (Available April-October, November-March by request)

Get up-close-and-personal with some of our residents in the World of Insects building. This 30-minute private tour allows you to meet some of our planet’s most amazing invertebrates. Thorny Devils, Giant Jumping Sticks, Emperor Scorpions and Giant African Millipedes are just a few of the awe inspiring creepy-crawlies you’ll meet in this up close and personal experience. You’ll learn how our keepers care for one of the finest collections of live-invertebrates to be found anywhere.

This experience supports the animals in our care, and also supports the American Burying Beetle Project. The American Burying Beetle Project participates  in the rearing and releasing of critically endangered American burying beetles.

It’s a Bug’s Life Experience Details:

Cost: $250 for up to 2 guests: $500 for up to 5 guests

Length of Tour: Approximately 30 minutes

Restrictions: Children ages 5 and up are permitted with an accompanying adult.

Youth over the age of 15 are permitted to tour solo with the written permission of an adult or guardian.

You must wear closed-toe shoes. 

All participants must present a signed liability waiver.

Being part of our animal care team takes careful preparation. Here are some things you need to know so that you can be prepared to work side by side with a member of our Insectarium team…It’s a Bug’s Life

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Gentle Giants:  Private Giraffe Encounter  (Available April-October)

Stroll behind-the-scenes of the Giraffe Barn and stand toe to toe with the Zoo’s tallest residents – the Maasai Giraffe!  Marvel at their long eyelashes and even longer purple tongue as they grasp their favorite fresh leaves from your waiting hand.  Skilled animal care staff will be on hand to educate you about giraffe behavior, nutrition and husbandry practices.  Don’t miss this mesmerizing experience! ADA Accessible

This experience supports the animals in our care, and also supports Wild Nature Institute.  The Wild Nature Institute researches Masai giraffe in Tanzania to help ensure the species’ survival.

Gentle Giants Experience Details

Gentle Giants is a private tour reserved for single groups of 1-5 guests.

Cost:  $250 for up to 2 people; $500 for up to 5 people

Length of Tour: Approximately 30 minutes

Restrictions:  Children must be over the age of 5 with an accompanying adult.

Youth over the age of 15 are permitted to tour solo with the written permission of an adult or guardian.

You must wear closed toe shoes.  No drawstrings or loose shoe strings will be permitted.

Note:  This experience includes an incline path that guests must be able to travel.

All participants must present a signed liability waiver.

Being on our animal care team takes careful preparation.  Here are some things you need to know so that you can be prepared to work side by side with a member of our Zoo staff…Gentle Giants Details (PDF)

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Wild & Wonderful Wallabies   (Available April-October)

_DSC0226Snuggle up and enjoy quality, hands-on time with our wallabies while learning about the TLC given to them every day by their loyal care team. Be sure to sit down and relax – you may end up with a wallaby in your lap!

Both the larger Bennett’s wallaby and smaller Parma wallaby species are included in this unique and memorable experience.

This experience supports the animals in our care, and also supports Zoos Victoria and their efforts to prevent the extinction of Australian terrestrial vertebrate species.

Wild & Wonderful Wallabies Details

Wild & Wonderful Wallabies is a private tour reserved for single groups of 1-5 guests.

Cost: $250 for up to 2 people: $500 for up to 5 people

Length of Tour: Approximately 30 minutes

Restrictions: Children must be over the age of 4 with an accompanying adult.

Youth over the age of 13 are permitted to tour solo with the written permission of an adult or guardian.

You must wear closed toe shoes. No drawstrings or loose shoe strings will be permitted.

All participants must present a signed liability waiver.

Being a zookeeper takes careful preparation. Here are some things you need to know so that you can be prepared to work side by side with a member of our animal care team… Wild & Wonderful Wallabies Details (PDF)

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Friends on the Farm Experience (Available April – October)

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Come on down to Blakely’s Barnyard and meet our Friends on the Farm.  This new and exciting experience is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the animal-loving child – or adult!

Have you ever wished you could be the one leading the alpaca around the park on a walk? Here’s your chance! Learn from our animal care staff how to properly feed and harness a friendly alpaca before taking a stroll around the Zoo. (*Alpacas will be double led by Zoo staff for safety.*)  Next, marvel at our mini pigs as you lead them through a miniature hurdle course while learning all about the special training and operant conditioning methods that our keepers use to keep their animals in tip-top shape.  Finish of your day on the farm by meeting our talented goat artists.  Our goats will conclude the tour by painting your group your very own Van”Goat” painting!

This experience supports the animals in our care, and also supports Gabriel’s Place.  Gabriel’s Place is an Urban Agriculture Education Program teaching food education in Avondale from garden to table.

Friends on the Farm Experience Details

The Friends on the Farm Experience is a private tour reserved for single groups of 1-5 guests.

Cost: $250 for up to 2 guests and $500 for up to 5 guests

Length of Tour: Approximately 30 minutes.

Restrictions:

Children ages 4 and above are permitted with an accompanying adult.

Youth over the age of 13 are permitted to tour solo with written permission of an adult or guardian.

You must wear closed toe shoes! No loose shoestrings or drawstrings will be permitted.

All participants must present a signed Liability Waiver.

Being a zookeeper takes careful preparation. Here are some things you will need to know to be prepared to work side by side with a member of our Children’s Zoo team… Junior Zookeeper Experience Details(pdf)

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Elephant Extravaganza  (Available April- October)

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Have you ever dreamed of meeting an elephant up close and personal? Come and enjoy this jaw-dropping experience! The Elephant Extravaganza includes a tour of our historic Elephant House and the opportunity to learn about our three Asian elephant cows (Jati, Mai Thai, and Schottzie) along with Sabu, our bull (male).  Following your stroll around the building, watch one of our elephants paint a custom masterpiece, featuring the colors of your choice, for you to take home and enjoy.

Leave the paint to dry as you help our elephant staff give one of our elephants a bubble bath while learning about her daily care routines.

This experience supports the animals in our care, and also supports our conservation partners Asian Elephant Support, International Elephant Foundation, and research for the cure of the Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpes Virus (EEHV).

Elephant Extravaganza Details

The Elephant Extravaganza is a private tour reserved for single groups of 1-5 guests.

Cost: $600 for up to 2 guests, $800 for 3 guests, $1000 for up to 5 guests

Length of Tour: Approximately 60-75 minutes

Restrictions:

Children ages 5 and above permitted with an accompanying adult.

Youth over the age of 15 are permitted to tour solo with the written permission of an adult or guardian.

Guests must wear closed toe shoes while inside the Elephant House.

Signed liability waiver

Being a zookeeper takes careful preparation. Here are some things you need to know so that you can be prepared to work side by side with a member of our Elephant team. Elephant Extravaganza Details (pdf)

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Hangin’ with Hippos (Available May-September)

During this experience, care team members from Team Fiona will lead groups around Hippo Cove to get a closer look at what it takes to care for our hippos. Groups will have the opportunity to see Bibi and Fiona’s habitat inside the hippo building as well as the care team’s prep areas, including the kitchen space. After viewing the indoor areas, groups will venture outside where they will have the opportunity to meet the hippos and watch them participate in a training session. Groups will walk away with one custom canvas painting created by one of our resident hippo artists. Our hippos are managed through protected contact and groups will not have the opportunity to touch the hippos during the tour.

This experience supports the animals in our care, and also supports VulPro and the Uganda Waterways Project.  VulPro supports the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of ill and injured vultures. The Uganda Waterways Project supports the patrols of rivers to prevent poaching of hippos and other African wildlife.

Hangin’ With Hippos Details

Hangin’ With Hippos is a private tour reserved for groups up to 5 guests.

Length of Tour: Approximately 30 minutes

Cost: $600 for up to 2 guests, $800 for 3 guests, $1000 for up to 5 guests

Restrictions: Children must be over the age of 10 with an accompanying adult.

Youth over the age of 15 are permitted to tour solo with the written permission of an adult or guardian.

You must wear closed-toe shoes. No drawstrings or loose shoe strings will be permitted.

All participants must present a signed liability waiver.

Book Encounter

Side view of a KeaKrazy About Kea – Clown of the Mountains Encounter

Fly on down to our free flight aviary for an up-close experience with our Kea, the world’s only alpine parrot! During this experience, our keepers will take groups into the aviary for a private interaction with our Kea. Guests will learn all about the natural history of these beautiful ambassadors, as well as the conservation efforts the Zoo is involved with to support these birds. During this experience, guests will have an opportunity to view a training session with our Keas as well as watch them show off their painting skills! Each guest will walk away with a one-of-a-kind masterpiece painted by our Kea.

This experience supports the animals in our care, and also supports Kea Conservation Trust.  The Kea Conservation Trust supports the conservation of wild kea and the husbandry of kea in human care.

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A portion of the proceeds from this experience goes to support the Kea Conservation Trust.

*Admission + parking not included

Marvelous Manatee Tour

Join us on a journey down to Manatee Springs, where your group will go behind-the-scenes to receive a closer look at the Zoo’s Florida Manatee residents!

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is one of two U.S. Zoos outside of Florida that participate in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Manatee Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Release Program.

Behind-the-scenes, you will learn all about the manatee program, and their journey to be re-released into their native habitat. The rehabilitation process requires a hands-off approach, so you will not have the opportunity to touch or feed the manatees during this experience.

You will have the opportunity to learn all about our manatees, the rehabilitation process, and receive a VIP viewing of these curious creatures. Make sure to bring your camera, because you are encouraged to take your own photos on this experience.

This experience supports the animals in our care, and also supports Wildtracks.  Wildtracks supports the rescue, rehabilitation and reintroduction of Antillean manatees.

Book Encounter

Experience Details

Liability Waiver

A portion of each Behind-the-Scenes Experience is tax-deductible.

Do you have a zoo-nique engagement idea for your Behind the Scenes Tour? Contact [email protected] for assistance!
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