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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.

During our summer months, we welcome our Toddler and PreK Zoo Troopers on Saturdays. Kindergartn-8th grade will return in September

We are experiencing some issues with tickets. Sale date has been moved from 5/4 to 5/6, Our apologies for any inconvenience. Register Today


MORE DETAILS


kids tortoiseFor Toddlers (18-36 months old)

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

IMPORTANT: Please plan for one adult to stay with your child during these classes. Classes are limited to one adult per child. Masks are required for all adults for our animal encounters involving mammals. Masks are optional during all other portions of the program. Your instructor will communicate when it is necessary to wear masks.


Bookworms

Can you crawl like a Very Hungry Caterpillar? Do you want to join in on a Barnyard Dance? Have you ever asked, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” This series will explore nature and movement through the eyes of authors such as Eric Carle and Sandra Boynton. Through hands-on activities and animal encounters, our Zoo Troopers move and explore our world like the animals in our featured books.

Dates
Come every Saturday for 4 weeks.

  • Saturdays, June 4, 11, 18, and 25: 9:30-10:15am or 11:00-11:45am
Senses in Nature

Do you smell the flowers? Can you feel the moss on the tree? Our world is full of sights, sounds, smells, and textures. We will explore our senses in nature, encouraging free play and fun, while creating nature art projects! Each week we will discover animals through live animal encounters, Zoo hikes, and dramatic play.

Dates
Come every Saturday for 4 weeks.

  • Saturdays, July 9, 16, 23, and 30: 9:30-10:15am or 11:00-11:45am

americorp with snakeFor Pre-Kindergarteners (ages 3-4 years old)

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

IMPORTANT: Please plan for one adult to stay with your child during these classes. Classes are limited to one adult per child. Masks are required for all participants and adults for our animal encounters involving mammals. Masks are optional during all other portions of the program. Your instructor will communicate when it is necessary to wear masks.


Stories in Motion

Have you heard that Giraffes Can’t Dance? Could YOU have a tea party while a Bear Snores On? How many aniamls do you think can fit in The Mitten lost by a little boy? Dramatic play, meeting animals in the classroom, and an exploratory hike through the Zoo will help bring these and other books to life and encourage observation, imagination, and exploration in nature.

Dates
Come every  Saturday for 4 weeks.

  • Saturdays, June 4, 11, 18, and 25: 10:00-11:00am
Discovering Our Senses

Have you ever created a self-portrait using items from nature? We will be creating nature themed works of art and exploring the world around us through our senses. The smells of the elephant house, the whoops of the gibbons, the smooth scales of a snake – let’s look closely and explore! Each week we will meet animals face-to-face in the classroom and out in the Zoo as we learn how to sense the world around us.

Dates
Come every  Saturday for 4 weeks.

  • Saturdays, July 9, 16, 23, and 30: 10:00-11:00am

General FAQs

Can we bring a younger sibling to Toddler or PreK?

We cannot have additional siblings attend class without being registered. The exception is young children who are not yet mobile and will be in a carrier or be held for the class.

Will the class spend time indoors/outdoors?

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. 

What do you do for inclement weather?

Programs occur rain or shine. In case of extreme weather, the Cincinnati Zoo will contact all participants via email by 8:00am the day of the program. If a program is cancelled due to extreme weather the Zoo will do it best to create a make-up class or will refund for cancelled days.

When do you have Zoo Troop series throughout the year? When do they go on sale?

Toddler and PreK

  • We have 7 series of Toddler and PreK throughout the year: January, February, April, June, July, September and October.

Kindergarten-8th Grade

  • We have 5 series of Kindergarten-8th Grade throughout the year: January, February, April, September and October.
  • In June and July, have your Zoo Trooper join us for summer camp.

Sale Dates

  • All Zoo Troop classes go on sale about 6-8 weeks before the start class. January and February go on sale at the same time, June and July go on sale at the same time, and September and October go on sale at the same time.

How can I find out when programs go on sale?

Join our quarterly Program Announcement Email to get updates on program details and when they go on sale. We love to keep you up-to-date about what’s happening in Education for the whole family!

Note, this is not the same Z-mail newsletter that comes out biweekly.

Safety During COVID-19

Safety During COVID-19 & Mask Policy (*updated 3/9/22)

We are committed to continuing to inspire our guests every day!

Class Capacity

  • Toddler: Classes limited to 10 children and 1 adult per child. One adult is required to attend with each child.
  • PreK: Classes limited to 10 children and 1 adult per child. One adult is required to attend with each child.
  • Kindergarten-8th Grade: Classes limited to 12 children. No adults attend these programs.

It is not currently a guideline for children to maintain 6’ distance within their group for an entire program. Toddler and PreK classes will use larger classroom spaces for children and adults to spread.

Masks

  • *Masks are required for all participants 3years and older and accompanying adults for our animal encounters involving mammals. Masks are optional during all other portions of the program. The instructor will communicate when it is necessary to wear masks.
  • We cannot confirm before class when mammals will be used, so please be prepared and bring a mask. Disposable masks will be available in the lobby.

Please note that mask policies may change at any time and may vary by program/location and general admission.

Are there any exceptions to adults wearing masks?

Any adults accompanying their child in the Toddler or PreK class must wear a mask during animal encounters involving mammals. 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 for an animal encounter (approximately 15 minutes), 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.

Waitlist/Cancellation/Credits FAQs

What is the waitlist? Can I waitlist for every session? How likely is it to come off the waitlist?

  • What is the waitlist? How does it work?
    • When a program sells out, the waitlist automatically turns on. When space becomes available for a session, we will call/email the first person on the waitlist for that session. If they want it, they get it; if they don’t, or do not respond, we move to the next person on the waitlist.
  • Is there a charge for waitlist?
    • There is no charge to be placed on the waitlist.
  • Will you contact me if I don’t get into Zoo Troop?
    • You will only be contacted if a space becomes available for your Zoo Trooper.
  • How close to start date do you contact people?
    • We will contact waitlisted Zoo Trooper up to 2-3 days before the start of the series..
  • I got a call/email that my Zoo Trooper is off the waitlist. How do I confirm their spot and make payment?
    • To make a payment for a program, please call us at 513-559-7730. Our system does not allow us to charge cards that have been used for other orders (or even the same order), so we must get your payment information.
  • I got a call/email that my Zoo Trooper is off the waitlist, but I have another child that is still on the waitlist. What should I do?
    • We recommend taking the spot that is offered, and keeping your other Zoo Trooper waitlisted. If you do not take the spot, it will be offered to the next on the waitlist, and another spot may not become available later.
    • You can receive a full refund if you cancel your program at least two weeks in advance.

Can I change dates/topics/age groups?

You may make changes to the program at any time before the start of the program, as long as there is room in the date/time you are looking to change to. Please call us at 513-559-7730 or email us at [email protected].

Can I cancel a registration? (*updated 12/1/21)

The Cincinnati Zoo’s Education Department has updated its cancellation and refund policy, effective for all programs starting January 3, 2022. Programs cancelled by the registrant at least two weeks in advance of the program date may now receive a refund. Refunds or credits are no longer available for programs cancelled by the registrant within two weeks of the program date.

To cancel or reschedule a program, please call us at 513-559-7730 or email us at [email protected]. We can make a refund directly back to the payment type used. For credit cards, refunds will go back directly to the original credit card as long as the purchase was not more than 120 days from the refund date. For cancellations made over 120 days from the purchase date, we will need to mail a check. Checks can take 2-3 weeks to process (though usually less).

I have a gift certificate/class credit. How do I use it?

Gift certificates are great because they can be used for any of our education programs. To use your certificate, you will need the order number and certificate number. Go through your registration as normal. When you get to the final payment screen, just above where you enter your credit card information, check the box that asks if you’d like to use a gift certificate. Check the box, and enter your certificate/credit information.

Up to 6 certificates can be used per order. If your credit is for less than the total balance, you will then enter your credit card information. If your credit has a remaining balance, that balance will remain on that same certificate/credit and can be used at any time- remember, they never expire!

Received a credit, but can’t find your email? Contact us at [email protected].

CALL OR EMAIL: 513-559-7730 OR [email protected]

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