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Zoo Troop

These four-week series encourage the development of important skills and values, while discovering our amazing wildlife and wild places. Zoo Troopers will enjoy wonder-building hands-on activities, close encounters with animals, Zoo hikes, and child-led projects. New skills and experiences are learned in each series on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, or Saturdays.

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kids tortoiseFor Toddlers (18-36 months old)

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

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 while indoors.


Count with Me!

Join us in this four-week series as we learn to count. Practice counting animals, better yet toes, tails, and legs! We will meet animals face to face in the classroom, as well as in the Zoo when we go on our hike! Watch your child grow as they count with their classmates, all while sharing and working together.

Dates
Choose to come every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday for 4 weeks.

  • Tuesdays, September 14, 22, 28, and October 5:  9:30-10:15am or 11:00-11:45am
  • Wednesdays, September 15, 23,  29, and October 6:  9:30-10:15am or 11:00-11:45am
  • Fridays, September 17, 24, October 1, and 8:  9:30-10:15am or 11:00-11:45am
  • Saturdays, September 18, 25, October 2, and 9:  9:30-10:15am or 11:00-11:45am
1,2,3, Dance with Me!

Jump like a lemur, swing like an elephant’s trunk, and groove to the beat with some neat counting tunes! Join us in this four-week series as we mimic animal music and movement, while finding our voices and working on our counting skills! We will meet some wild dancing

Dates
Choose to come every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday for 4 weeks.

  • Tuesdays, October 19, 26, November 2, and 9: 9:30-10:15am or 11:00-11:45am
  • Wednesdays, October 20, 27, November 3, and 10: 9:30-10:15am or 11:00-11:45am
  • Fridays, October 22, 29, November 5, and 12: 9:30-10:15am or 11:00-11:45am
  • Saturdays, October 23, 30, November 6, and 13: 9:30-10:15am or 11:00-11:45am

americorp with snakeFor 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 while indoors.


Critter Coverings

Join us for this four-week series as we identify and discover animal coverings! We will touch fur, feathers, and scales, and explore with sight and sound. We will meet animals face to face in the classroom and out in the Zoo.

Dates
Choose to come every Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday for every week for 4 weeks.

  • Tuesdays, September 14, 22, 28, and October 5:  10:00-11:00am
  • Wednesdays, September 15, 23,  29, and October 6: 10:00-11:00am
  • Fridays, September 17, 24, October 1, and 8: 10:00-11:00am
  • Saturdays, September 18, 25, October 2, and 9: 10:00-11:00am
Critter Classification

What makes a mammal a mammal, or a bird a bird? Join us for this four-week series as we investigate and classify animals based on similarities! We will meet animals face to face in the classroom and out in the Zoo. With the same instructor and group each week we will communicate and  share with our classmates, working together to classify our Zoo animals!

Dates
Choose to come every Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday for every week for 4 weeks.

  • Tuesdays, October 19, 26, November 2, and 9: 10:00-11:00am
  • Wednesdays, October 20, 27, November 3, and 10: 10:00-11:00am
  • Fridays, October 22, 29, November 5, and 12: 10:00-11:00am
  • Saturdays, October 23, 30, November 6, and 13: 10:00-11:00am

For Kindergartners

Cost: Members: $75 / Non-Members: $90

IMPORTANT: Parents are encouraged to allow their children to experience these classes independently. We require children attending class to wear masks while indoors.


Animal Investigators

Are you ready to become an animal investigator? Great! In this series, we will learn to identify the various body parts that animals have and check out all of the similarities and differences we can find. From claws to toes to a short or long nose, we’ll next explore how these body parts help each animal to survive.

Dates
Choose to come every Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday for every week for 4 weeks.

  • Tuesdays, September 14, 22, 28, and October 5: 10:00-11:30am
  • Wednesdays, September 15, 23,  29, and October 6: 10:00-11:30am
  • Saturdays, September 18, 25, October 2, and 9: 10:00-11:30am
The Inside Scoop

We know that animals can look very different on the outside, but what about the inside? In this class, we will learn about bones, teeth, and  digestive habits! Sometimes gross but always great, these things all help an animal to survive and can help investigators, like us, tell how animals that are similar can be grouped together.

Dates
Choose to come every Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday for every week for 4 weeks.

  • Tuesdays, October 19, 26, November 2, and 9: 10:00-11:30am
  • Wednesdays, October 20, 27, November 3, and 10: 10:00-11:30am
  • Saturdays, October 23, 30, November 6, and 13: 10:00-11:30am

For 1st-2nd Graders

Cost: Members: $75 / Non-Members: $90

IMPORTANT: Parents are encouraged to allow their children to experience these classes independently. We require children attending class to wear masks while indoors.


We’ve Got You Covered

What is one of the easiest ways to distinguish one class of animals from another? Its physical coverings! Become a mini scientist as we develop our observation and data collection skills to take a closer look at plants, skin, scales, and fur!

Dates
Choose to come every Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday for every week for 4 weeks.

  • Tuesdays, September 14, 22, 28, and October 5: 10:00-11:30am
  • Wednesdays, September 15, 23,  29, and October 6: 10:00-11:30am
  • Saturdays, September 18, 25, October 2, and 9: 2:00-3:30pm
My Wild Family Tree

Domestic vs. Wild—what is the difference?! Join us as we investigate our own domestic and wild Zoo residents to figure out how these two are truly wild ancestors! From your companion cat to the African cheetah, or the dog at your house to the African painted dog, these family members definitely have their similarities and differences. We will meet animals up close and out on our Zoo hike, practicing our observation and inquiry skills!

Dates
Choose to come every Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday for every week for 4 weeks.

  • Tuesdays, October 19, 26, November 2, and 9: 10:00-11:30am
  • Wednesdays, October 20, 27, November 3, and 10: 10:00-11:30am
  • Saturdays, October 23, 30, November 6, and 13: 2:00-3:30pm

For 3rd-4th Graders

Cost: Members: $80 / Non-Members: $95

IMPORTANT: We require children attending class to wear masks while indoors.


Animal Oddballs

You probably know that wolves and foxes are related, and that cheetahs and lions share a branch of the family tree, but what about those animal oddballs out there? Who is a sloth’s closest relative? What about hippos and aye-ayes? Some animal relatives are easy to figure out, but others are a bit tricky. From classroom animal encounters to hikes and hands-on activities, this four-week series will help us look closer at the wild,  wonderful, and wacky creatures out there and trace their family trees to their, sometimes surprising, roots.

Dates
Choose to come every Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday for every week for 4 weeks.

  • Tuesdays, September 14, 22, 28, and October 5:  10:00am-12:00pm
  • Wednesdays, September 15, 23,  29, and October 6: 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Saturdays, September 18, 25, October 2, and 9: 1:30-3:30pm
Winged Wonders

Flight is a pretty amazing adaptation. Pair that with the fact that it appears in three independent animal classes, and you have one amazing example of convergent evolution. In this program, we will encounter animals in the classroom and on grounds that help us observe and explore the structures and behaviors that help animals fly, compare the ways that animals accomplish it, and use what we learn plus our own imaginations to create some new, flying species of our own.

Dates
Choose to come every Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday for every week for 4 weeks.

  • Tuesdays, October 19, 26, November 2, and 9: 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Wednesdays, October 20, 27, November 3, and 10: 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Saturdays, October 23, 30, November 6, and 13: 1:30-3:30pm

For 5th-6th Graders

Cost: Members: $80/ Non-Members: $95

IMPORTANT: We require children attending class to wear masks while indoors.


Spotlight on Birds

From the smallest hummingbird to the largest ostrich, there is a lot of diversity among birds. In this class, we will explore the traits that unite all  birds as well as those that divide them into subgroups. Through it all, hands-on exploration, inquiry, animal visitors and Zoo hikes will bring our investigations to life as this program session shines a spotlight on our feathered friends.

Dates
Choose to come every Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday for every week for 4 weeks.

  • Tuesdays, September 14, 22, 28, and October 5: 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Wednesdays, September 15, 23,  29, and October 6: 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Saturdays, September 18, 25, October 2, and 9:  1:30-3:30pm
Spotlight on Reptiles

What do an alligator, a rattlesnake, a Komodo dragon, and a tortoise have in common? They are all reptiles! There are so many different kinds of reptiles with so many different characteristics that it is hard to believe they are related! During this program session, we will learn to look closer at the traits of these scaly friends and notice some of their similarities and their differences as we learn how scientists classify (and argue about classifying) them. Hikes, animal encounters, and investigations will make this experience both educational and fun! SSSSSSee you there!

Dates
Choose to come every Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday for every week for 4 weeks.

  • Tuesdays, October 19, 26, November 2, and 9: 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Wednesdays, October 20, 27, November 3, and 10: 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Saturdays, October 23, 30, November 6, and 13: 1:30-3:30pm

For 7th-8th Graders

Cost: Members: $80 / Non-Members: $95

IMPORTANT: We require children attending class to wear masks while indoors.


Mammals In-Depth

Mammals are an amazing, diverse, and well adapted group of animals. Using scientific tools, observations at habitats and in the classroom, and getting hands-on with bio-facts such as skulls, we’ll investigate what makes an animal a mammal. Then, we will take a closer look at two different scientific orders of mammals, learning about what makes them so special and unique. This series will culminate in participants getting a chance to demonstrate what they have learned by sharing it with their families!

Dates
Choose to come every Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday for every week for 4 weeks.

  • Tuesdays, September 14, 22, 28, and October 5: 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Wednesdays, September 15, 23,  29, and October 6: 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Saturdays, September 18, 25, October 2, and 9:  1:30-3:30pm
Birds In-Depth

Which animal class includes members that can both fly in the air and underwater? Birds of course! From the biggest ostrich to the tiniest hummingbird, we will explore what it takes to be a member of Class Aves. We will use our skills as scientific investigators to observe, compare, and classify the members of this group of animals. Then, with hikes, skull examinations, and some classroom animals’ visits, we’ll take an in-depth look at three specific scientific orders of birds to understand what makes them so unique. Like the month before, this series will culminate in an opportunity for participants to show what they have learned by sharing it with their family!

Dates
Choose to come every Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday for every week for 4 weeks.

  • Tuesdays, October 19, 26, November 2, and 9: 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Wednesdays, October 20, 27, November 3, and 10: 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Saturdays, October 23, 30, November 6, and 13: 1:30-3:30pm

FAQs & Policies

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 children.
Children in PreK and above will be required to wear masks while indoors.
Adults attending with their Toddler/PreK child will be required to wear masks while indoors.
Adults  not attending a program will be required to wear masks while in the building.
Zoo employees are required to wear masks while indoors.

Are Zoo Troopers required to wear a mask?

Masks are required for Zoo Troopers 3 years and older and accompanying adults while indoors.

  • Adults  not attending a program will be required to wear masks while in the building.

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.

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

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.

Will Zoo Educators be wearing masks during class?

Zoo staff are required to wear a mask while indoors. 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) with approved COVID-19 cleaning supplies following CDC guidelines. Zoo Staff will offer hand sanitizer to Zoo Troopers throughout the program.

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.

Will my child be around members of the public?

The Zoo will be open to the public during Zoo Troop. 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. 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-off/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.

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.

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. Non-members will have to purchase entry to the Zoo. 

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

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