Get updates for new programs and sales date!

Sign up here for our quarterly announcements.

Zoo Troop

This summer, have your Toddler or PreK child join us for Zoo Troop on Saturdays.

Kindergarten-8th Graders can join us for summer camp.

Please note: If you would like to visit the zoo before, during or after a Zoo Troop class, you must make a Zoo Reservation. Spaces fill quickly, so reserve soon. All families can enter for Zoo Troop from Education parking lot, or from the Zoo. If entering from Zoo side, you must have a reservation.

Register Here

LEARN MORE


For Toddlers (18-36 months old)

Cost: Members: $70 / Non-Members: $85 (An adult must accompany child. No charge for accompanying adult.)

IMPORTANT: Please plan for one adult to stay with your child during these classes. We require adults accompanying their children to classes to wear masks at all times.


I Spy…

Our world is full of places to discover and explore, and our toddlers are doing just that! Join us for a four-week series as we explore our world by getting out into the Zoo, and looking up, down, and all around! You and your child will explore the outdoors, meeting animals who live in the water, underground, in the soil, and way up in the sky! Each week we will discover these animals through live encounters, Zoo hikes and dramatic and exploratory play, in our own Education backyard!

Steps

    1. Discover the words we use to describe nature.
    2. Identify animals and how they may be the same or different from one another.
    3. Use our senses to explore our surroundings.
    4. Develop senses of wonder and curiosity and our world and friends

Purpose
When I have finished this series, I will have discovered that animals can live up in the sky, in the trees, or under the ground.

Dates
Choose to come every Saturday for 4 weeks.

  • Saturdays, June 5, 12, 19, and 26: 9:30-10:15am or 11:00-11:45am
Animal Tales

Do you know what The Very Busy Spider was doing all day long? Can you imagine all the creatures that live In the Tall, Tall Grass? Have you ever asked, “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?” During this series, your Zoo Trooper will move and explore our world like the animals in our books through dramatic play, meeting animals in the classroom, and exploratory hikes through the Zoo!

.

Steps

    1. Use our bodies and senses to explore nature.
    2. Identify animals we see in books and make connections to our Zoo animals.
    3. Work on fine and gross motor skills through program activities.
    4. Make new friends by practicing communication, sharing, and caring.

Purpose
When I have finished this Zoo Troop adventure, I will have discovered that I can use my body and senses to explore my world like animals do!

Dates
Choose to come every Saturday for 4 weeks.

  • Saturdays, July 10, 17, 24, and 31: 9:30-10:15am or 11:00-11:45am

For Pre-Kindergarteners (ages 3-4 years old)

Cost: Members: $70 / Non-Members: $85

IMPORTANT: Please plan for one adult to stay with your child during in-person and virtual classes. We require children and adults attending class to wear masks at all times.


Art of Nature

It’s time to use our creativity to explore the great outdoors! Come outside with us to create our own art projects and discover the fascinating art palette nature has to offer! Each week of our series we will meet animals face-to-face inside and around the Zoo, as we get hands-on with nature in our own backyard

Steps

  1. Discover how we can paint and play with nature.
  2. Identify animals and how they may be the same or different from one another.
  3. Use our senses to explore our surroundings.
  4. Develop friendships and learn to share our space with them.

Purpose
When I have finished this Zoo Troop adventure, I will have fun playing and discovering that I can create art with nature.

Dates
Choose to come every Saturday for 4 weeks.

  • Saturdays, June 5, 12, 19, and 26: 10:00-11:00am
Reading and Romping

Can you hoot for mom like the Owl Babies? Are you as colorful as The Mixed-Up Chameleon? Can you move your body like an animal From Head to Toe? Through animal encounters, hands-on activities, and exploring the Zoo, your Zoo Trooper will begin to understand how the animals in these books are connected to the animals in the world around us!

Steps

  1. Discover how we can move and act like the animals in our stories.
  2. Use observation skills to find the similarities and differences between the real animals and the ones in our books.
  3. Use our bodies and brains to explore the world around us.
  4. Develop friendships and learn to share our space with animals and classmates.

Purpose

When I have finished this Zoo Troop series, I will have discovered the different ways animals at the Zoo and the animals in books interact with each other and their world.

Dates
Choose to come every Saturday for 4 weeks.

  • Saturdays, July 10, 17, 24, and 31: 10:00-11:00am

FAQs & Policies

Virtual Zoo Troop

How long is Virtual Zoo Troop?

Every Virtual Zoo Troop program is jam packed with interactive activities to keep your child engaged and learning about wildlife from the comfort of your home!

  • Pre-K Virtual Zoo Troop programs are 45 minutes long each week, for 4 weeks.
  • Kindergarten-8th Grade Virtual Zoo Troop programs are 1-hour long each week, for 4 weeks.

What happens during Virtual Zoo Troop?

Each week will follow the same general schedule to provide you and your child a predictable routine for the month. Each week includes an introduction with an activity or game, 1-2 animal encounters in the classroom, virtual hikes through the zoo and ends with a suggested craft or project. During each program, you will have 2-3 Zoo Educators interacting with Zoo Troopers. Zoo Troopers will be able to ask questions and interact with the Educators and other Zoo Troopers.

What platform is used for Virtual Zoo Troop?

We will be using Zoom as our platform for class each week. Check your Zoo Troop Ticket for the link to the Virtual Zoo Troop Portal and password.  The portal will contain links to the Zoom meetings, recordings of past Zoo Troop weeks, and resources, including a PDF that explains the basic features Zoo Troopers will need to know how to use during Virtual Zoo Troop.

More about the Virtual Zoo Troop Portal.

All registered Virtual Zoo Troopers have access to the Virtual Zoo Troop Portal one week before the start of the series, during the series, and one week after the series. The link and password is provided on your ticket. Each series will have a separate password to access the Virtual Zoo Troop Portal. The Virtual Zoo Troop Portal contains links to the Zoom meeting, recordings of the live Virtual Zoo Troop, and resources for Zoo Troopers, such as an instructional PDF on Zoom features that will be used.

If the Virtual Zoo Troop Portal information is not located on your ticket, please contact [email protected] to have a new ticket sent to you.

Will my child need supplies for virtual Zoo Troop?

Your child may need a few simple supplies for their class such as paper and a writing utensil. At the end of PreK and Kindergarten classes, the instructor will show you an optional craft that you and your child can work on after class! We will let you know if any other supplies are needed.

I’m worried about screen time.

We totally understand and respect parents’ concern about increased screen time for children of all ages. We are an environmental education organization that wants to see children spend more time outdoors and less time in front of screens. Our goal is to provide content and activities that leaves your kids begging to go outside and collect things and observations they can share with us and their peers in the following weeks’ Virtual Zoo Troop online classroom.

Can my child see their friends in a virtual zoo troop class?

Yes! If participants allow their camera to be turned on during the program, they will be able to see and be seen by other friends in class. We encourage cameras to be turned on to help create an interactive experience during our zoo troop sessions.

In-Person Zoo Troop

What will be required to attend Zoo Troop?

Prior to entering the building, a Zoo employee will conduct a temperature check using a touchless thermometer, on all children and adults.
Children in PreK and above will be required to wear masks during Zoo Troop. See more information below.
Adults will be required to wear masks at all times.
Zoo employees are required to wear masks at all times.

Are Zoo Troopers required to wear a mask?

Masks are now required for Zoo Guests 3 years and older at all times.

  • Toddler classes will be limited to 5 children (and 5 adults). One adult is required to attend with each child.
    • Adults are required to wear a mask at all times.
  • PreK classes will be limited to 9 children (and 9 adults). One adult is required to attend with each child.
    • PreK Zoo Troopers and Adults are required to wear a mask at all times.
  • Kindergarten-8th Grade classes will be limited to 9 children. No adults attend these programs.
    • Zoo Troopers are required wear masks at all times.
  • Adults are required to wear a mask at all times.
  • All Zoo employees are required to wear a mask at all times.

Zoo Educators will remind participants when it is time to put masks on and when masks can be taken off. We know this is an adjustment for young children and we will do everything we can to make them feel comfortable throughout the program.

Are there any exceptions to adults wearing masks ?

Any adults accompanying their child in the Toddler or PreK class must wear a mask. Due to the nature of the Zoo Troop experience, it is our priority to keep all attendees, animals and staff safe. Live animal encounters allow attendees to be up close and personal with a variety of animals, including mammals that may be susceptible to the disease. If the intended adult accompanying the child in class is unable to wear a mask, we ask that a different adult that is able to wear a mask attends with the child. If that is not an option, we kindly ask that the adult and child refrain from attending classes for the time being. If your child is in PreK, you may consider registering for virtual Zoo Troop.

Can a younger sibling come with us to the Toddler or PreK class?

Due to the guidelines issued by the State of Ohio, we must adhere to the child/adult ratio and minimum square footage per child in the class. Therefore, we cannot have additional siblings attend class without being registered. The exception is young children who are not yet mobile and therefore will be in a carrier or be held for the entire class. If your registered child has a sibling that is mobile, we ask that you leave the sibling with another caregiver or register them for their age-appropriate Zoo Troop class. We offer Zoo Troop classes for children 18 months – 8th grade. We also ask that each child in the Toddler and PreK class only has one adult attend the program with them.

How many participants will be in a group?

  • Toddler classes will be limited to 5 children and 5 adults. PreK classes will be limited to 9 children and 9 adults.
    • Since we require one adult with each child, this class will be held in a large indoor space.
  • Kindergarten-8th Grade classes will be limited to 9 children. No adults attend these programs.

Will Zoo Educators be wearing masks during class?

Zoo staff are required to wear a mask at all times. Educators may take their masks off to drink water but will stay distanced during these moments.

What is your cleaning protocol for Zoo Troop?

The Cincinnati Zoo staff will be cleaning shared spaces (like bathrooms) at least once an hour with approved COVID-19 cleaning supplies following CDC guidelines. Staff will take Zoo Troopers to private bathrooms for hand washing throughout the program and/or utilizing hand sanitizer.

Will Zoo Troopers be socially distanced?

It is not currently a guideline for children to maintain 6’ distance within their group for an entire program. All Zoo Troop groups will remain a safe distance apart at all times, and shared spaces will be disinfected between use.

While in the Zoo, visitors will not be allowed to come in contact with any Zoo Troopers. A safe distance will be maintained between groups and others. The Zoo currently limits the number of guests allowed entry to limit crowd size.

Zoo Troopers will be using private restrooms not accessible to the general public.

Will my child be around members of the public?

The Zoo will be open to the public during Zoo Troop. Currently, the Zoo is carefully managing the number of guests allowed in the park to keep crowd size small. As part of Zoo Troop we will be leaving our private classrooms and taking hikes around the Zoo to visit animal habitats. During these hikes, there will be members of the public also visiting these same indoor and outdoor spaces. Zoo educators will do their best to maintain a safe distance between children and the visiting public. Children will be using private restrooms not accessible to the general public. When children are in their classrooms visiting with animals, playing games, etc. they will be in their own space away from the general public.

Will the class spend time indoors?

All classes will have dedicated classroom space for drop-of/pick-up, animal encounters, and occasional project/craft work.
As before, Zoo Troop spends the majority of the program outdoors for activities, hikes, and games.

Zoo Troop Drop-Off and Pick-Up Changes

  • All participants will park in the Education parking lot and be temperature checked using a touchless thermometer upon arrival.
  • Toddler and Pre-K Zoo Troopers and their adult will head into their classroom.
  • Children who attend class independently will now be escorted by their adult to their classroom.
  • Adults dropping off will not be able to remain in the Education building. They may leave Zoo grounds, wait in the lot, or make an online reservation and visit the Zoo. See more information about visiting the Zoo below.

Can I visit the Zoo while my child is at Zoo Troop? Can we visit the Zoo after our class?

Adults and families of Zoo Troopers may visit the Zoo while their child is in class, or after their class. To visit the Zoo, you must make an online reservation. Members will receive free admission. Online reservations should be booked early as capacity is limited and your preferred time slot is not guaranteed. Without a reservation, you cannot visit the Zoo.

Guests visiting the Zoo will need to move their car from the Education parking lot and may park in the Vine Street parking lot and enter through Vine Street Village or the Erkenbrecher Entrance.

CALL OR EMAIL: 513-559-7767 OR [email protected]

css.php