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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.

February Register TodayApril Registration Open Feb 5 8amSummer Toddler/PreK Zoo Troop Information coming in May

MORE DETAILS


kids tortoiseFor Toddlers (18-36 months old)

Programs to foster your child’s natural sense of wonder about animals with a focus on encouraging empathy. For our Toddler-Kindergarten Zoo Troop we: build confidence, develop curiosity, promote sense of belonging, increase comfort in unfamiliar surroundings, and instill respect for wildlife, themselves, and others.

Note: Plan for one adult to stay with your child during these classes. Masks may be required for adults for some animal encounters. The instructor will communicate when it is necessary to wear masks. Masks will be provided if necessary.


What Shape is Your Home?

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

Does a robin’s nest look like a circle? Does a tree trunk look like a rectangle? What better way to learn how we can discover shapes than by learning with animals? Bring your toddler to this four-week series to learn how we can discover shapes while we learn about animals! Join us to learn about animal homes while we move around the Zoo, meet animals in the classroom and act like an animal with our friends.

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

  • Tuesdays, February 14, 21, 28, and March 7: 9:30-10:15am or 11:00-11:45am
  • Wednesdays, February 15, 22, March 1, and 8: 9:30-10:15am or 11:00-11:45am
  • Fridays, February 17, 24, March 3, and 10: 9:30-10:15am or 11:00-11:45am
  • Saturdays, February 18, 25, March 4, and 11: 9:30-10:15am or 11:00-11:45am
Oh Baby!

Cost: Members: $85 / Non-Members: $100

Do you look like your mommy and daddy? Animal babies look like their mommy and daddy too! Join us for a 4-week adventure where we will match up mom and baby, using our voices and bodies to act like animals in the classroom and around the Zoo. Grownups will learn with us, as we watch animals in action, and learn about baby animals with our friends.

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

  • Tues, April 11, 18, 25, and May 2: 9:30-10:15am or 11:00-11:45am
  • Wed, April 12, 19, 26, and May 3: 9:30-10:15am or 11:00-11:45am
  • Fri, April 14, 21, 28, and May 5: 9:30-10:15am or 11:00-11:45am
  • Sat, April 15, 22, 29, and May 6: 9:30-10:15am or 11:00-11:45am

americorp with snakeFor Pre-Kindergarteners (ages 3-4 years old, and 5 years not in Kindergarten)

Programs to foster your child’s natural sense of wonder about animals with a focus on encouraging empathy. For our Toddler-Kindergarten Zoo Troop we: build confidence, develop curiosity, promote sense of belonging, increase comfort in unfamiliar surroundings, and instill respect for wildlife, themselves, and others.

Note: Plan for one adult to stay with your child during these classes. Masks may be required for adults for some animal encounters. The instructor will communicate when it is necessary to wear masks. Masks will be provided if necessary.


Feelin’ Hot, Hot, Hot

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

Scorching sun, dry heat, no shade – wait, what?! People might run in the opposite way, but some animals can take the heat! Join us in this four-week series as we discover how some animals can survive the hottest temperatures on the planet!

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

  • Tuesdays, February 14, 21, 28, and March 7: 10:00-11:00am
  • Wednesdays, February 15, 22, March 1, and 8: 10:00-11:00am
  • Fridays, February 17, 24, March 3, and 10: 10:00-11:00am
  • Saturdays, February 18, 25, March 4, and 11: 10:00-11:00am
Born Wild

Cost: Members: $85 / Non-Members: $100

What is it like to be an animal baby? Some need more tender love and care than others, but they all need food, water and protection to survive! Join us as we learn about the most precious time of an animal’s life, where a baby will learn the most essential lessons from mom and dad! We will meet some beautiful babies face to face, out in the Zoo, and in the classroom.

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

  • Tues, April 11, 18, 25, and May 2: 10:00-11:00am
  • Wed, April 12, 19, 26, and May 3: 10:00-11:00am
  • Fri, April 14, 21, 28, and May 5: 10:00-11:00am
  • Sat, April 15, 22, 29, and May 6: 10:00-11:00am

For Kindergartners

Programs to foster your child’s natural sense of wonder about animals with a focus on encouraging empathy. For our Toddler-Kindergarten Zoo Troop we: build confidence, develop curiosity, promote sense of belonging, increase comfort in unfamiliar surroundings, and instill respect for wildlife, themselves, and others.

Note: Children to attend these series independently. Masks may be required for some animal encounters. The instructor will communicate when it is necessary to wear masks. Masks will be provided if necessary.


I Sleep in A…

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

Do you sleep in a nest like a cockatoo or do you burrow down in the dirt like an armadillo to stay safe and warm? Many animals sleep in unique places! During this four- week series, we’ll play games, hike through the Zoo, and meet some new animal friends as we discover where different animals like to sleep and what sorts of material they use for shelter.

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

  • Tuesdays, February 14, 21, 28, and March 7: 10:00-11:30am
  • Wednesdays, February 15, 22, March 1, and 8: 10:00-11:30am
  • Saturdays, February 18, 25, March 4, and 11: 10:00-11:30am
Ready, Set, Play!

Cost: Members: $90 / Non-Members: $105

What is your favorite game to play on the playground? Have you ever played hide-and-seek or hopscotch? You may be surprised to discover that some animals are born knowing what to do while others play games in order to learn important lessons for survival! During this four-week series, we’ll take a closer look at the role of play in how baby animals learn the skills they need to survive as adults.

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

  • Tues, April 11, 18, 25, and May 2: 10:00-11:30am
  • Wed, April 12, 19, 26, and May 3: 10:00-11:30am
  • Sat, April 15, 22, 29, and May 6: 10:00-11:30am

For 1st-2nd Graders

Programs to build and refine skills, feed natural curiosity, and build knowledge. For our 1st-4th grade Zoo Troop we: foster emotional connections with wildlife, encourage creative thoughts, learn to ask questions and seek answers, develop personal identity and connectedness to outside world, refine communication skills, develop meaningful relationships with peers and “animal allies”, and gain an understanding of how our actions affect others.

Note: Masks may be required for some animal encounters. The instructor will communicate when it is necessary to wear masks. Masks will be provided if necessary.


Who Lives in the Water?

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

Who has flippers, fins, tails, or webbed feet? All of these body parts seem perfect for moving through water! Join us as we investigate how some animals live the aquatic life! In each class, we will explore aquatic animals around the Zoo, challenge ourselves with classroom activities and experience up close animal encounters.

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

  • Tuesdays, February 14, 21, 28, and March 7: 10:00-11:30am
  • Wednesdays, February 15, 22, March 1, and 8: 10:00-11:30am
  • Saturdays, February 18, 25, March 4, and 11: 2:00-3:30pm
Are You My Mother?

Cost: Members: $90 / Non-Members: $105

How are the lives of baby reptiles, mammals, birds and insects different? When you’re an animal baby, everything from what you eat to where you live all depends on who raises you! This spring is a great time to check out the diversity of the Zoo’s growing family. Join us as we meet animal friends, hike around the zoo, and play games to see who raises our favorite animal babies.

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

  • Tues, April 11, 18, 25, and May 2: 10:00-11:30am
  • Wed, April 12, 19, 26, and May 3: 10:00-11:30am
  • Sat, April 15, 22, 29, and May 6: 2:00-3:30pm

For 3rd-4th Graders

Programs to build and refine skills, feed natural curiosity, and build knowledge. For our 1st-4th grade Zoo Troop we: foster emotional connections with wildlife, encourage creative thoughts, learn to ask questions and seek answers, develop personal identity and connectedness to outside world, refine communication skills, develop meaningful relationships with peers and “animal allies”, and gain an understanding of how our actions affect others.

Note: Masks may be required for some animal encounters. The instructor will communicate when it is necessary to wear masks. Masks will be provided if necessary.


Island Inhabitants

Cost: Members: $85 / Non-Members: $100

Islands are very special places. Split from the mainland by water, over time, they become home to some unique animals and habitats. Come island-hop with us through this four-week series as we travel from the Galapagos to Madagascar to Sumatra (to name a few) to learn about the animals that are found only in these special ecosystems and the ways scientists are working to protect these amazing places.

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

  • Tuesdays, February 14, 21, 28, and March 7: 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Wednesdays, February 15, 22, March 1, and 8: 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Saturdays, February 18, 25, March 4, and 11: 1:30-3:30pm
My Wild Family Tree

Cost: Members: $95 / Non-Members: $110

What do tigers and ocelots have in common? How about painted dogs and wolves? Their wild family trees of course! With hikes, games, and classroom animal visitors, this four-week series will help us explore the parenting and family lifestyles of these wild animals and see if they have more in common than shared ancestry.

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

  • Tues, April 11, 18, 25, and May 2: 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Wed, April 12, 19, 26, and May 3: 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Sat, April 15, 22, 29, and May 6: 1:30-3:30pm

For 5th-6th Graders

Programs to build knowledge and skills, while encouraging Zoo Trooper directed discoveries and promoting leadership that results in conservation action. For our 5th-8th grade Zoo Troop we: provide opportunities to practice reasoning, problem solving, and making predictions, promote collaborative decision making, gaining global perspectives and understanding, and becoming advocates for personal passions, and provide opportunities to engage communities with Zoo conservation initiatives.

Note: Masks may be required for some animal encounters. The instructor will communicate when it is necessary to wear masks. Masks will be provided if necessary.


Animal Architects

Cost: Members: $85/ Non-Members: $100

From tree-eating elephants to mound-building insects, animals change, mold, and shape their world with the homes they build and the food they eat. During this four-week series, we will learn about the original architects of this world and how the things they build or destroy help them survive and impact their habitat.

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

  • Tuesdays, February 14, 21, 28, and March 7: 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Wednesdays, February 15, 22, March 1, and 8: 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Saturdays, February 18, 25, March 4, and 11: 1:30-3:30pm
Raising Wild Ones

Cost: Members: $95/ Non-Members: $110

From baby parking to baby wearing, animals employ MANY different parenting styles. During this four-week series, participants will go on Zoo hikes, meet animals in the classroom, and engage in other fun activities that will help them explore the way that wild animal babies are raised and compare them to their own families.

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

  • Tues, April 11, 18, 25, and May 2: 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Wed, April 12, 19, 26, and May 3: 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Sat, April 15, 22, 29, and May 6: 1:30-3:30pm

For 7th-8th Graders

Programs to build knowledge and skills, while encouraging Zoo Trooper directed discoveries and promoting leadership that results in conservation action. For our 5th-8th grade Zoo Troop we: provide opportunities to practice reasoning, problem solving, and making predictions, promote collaborative decision making, gaining global perspectives and understanding, and becoming advocates for personal passions, and provide opportunities to engage communities with Zoo conservation initiatives.

Note: Masks may be required for some animal encounters. The instructor will communicate when it is necessary to wear masks. Masks will be provided if necessary.


Sharing Spaces and Common Places

Cost: Members: $85/ Non-Members: $100

Humans and animals share habitat in places as close as our backyard and as far away as the savannahs of Kenya. With such close proximity, conflict can arise, but so can coexistence. During this four-week series, we will explore the ways we have found a balance, and the wildlife and cultures that have benefited from these successes.

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

  • Tuesdays, February 14, 21, 28, and March 7: 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Wednesdays, February 15, 22, March 1, and 8: 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Saturdays, February 18, 25, March 4, and 11: 1:30-3:30pm
Growing Up Wild

Cost: Members: $95/ Non-Members: $110

Imagine going from newborn to adult in a year, a few months, or less than a month! Imagine being independent from birth or staying a baby until conditions are right to become an adult! Imagine having 200 brothers and sisters! In this 4-week series, we will learn all about the crazy variety that can be found among baby animals and why growing up in the animal kingdom is a wild and wonderful thing!

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

  • Tues, April 11, 18, 25, and May 2: 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Wed, April 12, 19, 26, and May 3: 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Sat, April 15, 22, 29, and May 6: 1:30-3:30pm

General FAQs

Can we bring a younger sibling to Toddler or PreK?

Young children who are not yet mobile and will be in a carrier or be held for the class may attend the Toddler or PreK programs with the adult and registered Zoo Trooper. For younger siblings that are mobile, we ask that they are either registered for the age appropriate class along with their own accompanying adult, they remain home, or another adult can take them into the Zoo during the class. We understand this may cause some inconvenience for families, but for the best class experience for you and your Zoo Trooper, we do ask for mobile younger siblings to not attend with their older sibling.

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.

Masks

  • Mask may be required for specific animal encounters. If needed, they will be provided.

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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