bibi kiss print behind the scenes
kathy meeting kangaroo behind the scenes

Behind the Scenes

Admission Included

Elephant Bath

mai thai asian elephantElephant Bath

During this private experience, groups will enter our historic elephant house to participate in the largest bath of their life! Learn all about how we care for elephants, while by working side-by-side with care staff to bathe the largest land mammal on earth!

Purchase Tickets

Days/Times Available: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays & Sundays at 1:00pm
Age Restrictions: Ages 5+ only (Ages 15+ to experience without an adult)
Cost: $250 per experience and $125 per additional guest.
Capacity: up to 5 guests

  • Please arrive at the experience 10 minutes before the encounter time.
  • This experience is non-refundable and tickets will be forfeited if your party is not present at the start time.
  • Only ticket holders will be permitted to attend this experience. This includes children in arms or strollers.
  • All participants will be required to wear a mask for this experience.
  • We cannot accommodate strollers or wheelchairs on this experience.
  • All participants will be required to wear a mask for this experience. At this time we cannot accommodate any exemptions.

Gentle Giants

giraffe eating branchGentle Giants

In accordance to our safety procedures, guests must wear masks during behind-the-scenes experiences. At this time we cannot accommodate any exemptions.

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! Portions of this tour are ADA Accessible

Purchase Tickets

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.

Group Size: Gentle Giants is a semi-private tour reserved for 1-6 guests.

Availability: Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Cost: $140 per person

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.

VIPenguin

VIPenguin Experience

Available April – October

In accordance to our safety procedures, guests must wear masks during behind-the-scenes experiences. At this time we cannot accommodate any exemptions.

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 with a meet and greet, featuring a Magellanic, Rock Hopper, or King penguin. After the meet and greet, your group will marvel as a talented penguin artist creates a one-of-a-kind canvas art piece for you to take home and enjoy.

Purchase Tickets

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.

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

Available: Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday

Cost:

  • 2 guests: $280
  • 3 Guests: $420
  • 4 guests: $560
  • 5 guests: $700

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.

A proposal option is available to add-on this experience. For more information on this option please call 513-487-3359.

Elephant Extravaganza

Elephant Extravaganza09 A Elephant 0113

In accordance to our safety procedures, guests must wear masks during behind-the-scenes experiences. At this time we cannot accommodate any exemptions.

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.

Purchase Tickets

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).

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

Available: Monday, Wednesday, Saturday

Cost:

  • 2 guests: $650
  • 3 guests: $975
  • 4 guests: $1300
  • 5 guests: $1625

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.

A proposal option is available to add-on this experience. For more information on this option please call 513-487-3359.

Hangin’ with the Hippos- SOLD OUT

Hangin’ with Hippos – SOLD OUT

In accordance to our safety procedures, guests must wear masks during behind-the-scenes experiences. At this time we cannot accommodate any exemptions.

animal

During this experience, groups will be led around Hippo Cove to get a closer look at what it takes to care for our hippos. Groups will have the opportunity to see Fiona, Fritz, Bibi & Tucker’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 all four 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.

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

Available: Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday

Length of Tour: Approximately 30 minutes

Cost:

  • 2 guests: $650
  • 3 guests: $975
  • 4 guests: $1300
  • 5 guests: $1625

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.

Roam'n with Red Pandas

Roam’n with Red Pandas

Returning Fall 2023-2024

Long pants and masks are required during this experience. We cannot accommodate any exceptions. (This experience is not ADA accessible, and requires guests to stand during the entire encounter)

Spend time hanging out with these awesome arboreal animals on our Red Panda Encounter. During this experience, guests will meet with the Red Panda’s care team and learn all about our scarlet friends. Guests will also have the chance to view a Red Panda feeding during this encounter. What’s their favorite food? How much do they sleep? Is it true that they’re the only true panda? Find out all of this and more on our Red Panda encounter.

Price– $300 for 2 people, $400 for 3 people (Because of space, 3 is the largest group we can accommodate) Parking and admission is included for all tour guests attending this experience.

Tour Length– 30 minutes

Tour Time– 1:30pm – 2:00pm

Tour Days– Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday

Age Limit– 10 years

Kickin’ it with the Kangaroos

Kickin’ it with the Kangaroos

Returning Fall 2023-2024

Please contact [email protected] to be added to the notification list.

In accordance to our safety procedures, guests must wear masks during behind-the-scenes experiences. At this time we cannot accommodate any exemptions.

Put on your best jumpsuit and hop on down to Roo Valley to meet your favorite mob of marsupials. You will get an up close experience and get to know our wonderful Kangaroos. During this experience, our keepers will take groups into the Kangaroo Barn located in Roo Valley for a private interaction with our Kangaroos. 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 kangaroos in their natural environment. This tour supports Wombat Protection Society WPSA.

Price: $250 for 2, $375 for 3

Age Limit: Ages 10+ only (Must be at least 15 years of age to attend experience alone). All must have signed liability waiver.

  • Please arrive at the experience 10 minutes before the encounter time.
  • For this experience, please plan to meet the attendant in Welcome Center.
  • This experience is non-refundable and tickets will be forfeited if your party is not present at the start time.
  • Only ticket holders will be permitted to attend this experience.
  • All participants will be required to wear a mask for this experience.
  • Attendees without tickets will not be admitted or be able to watch this experience. This includes children in arms or strollers.
  • This program may involve the use of nuts

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

Admission Not Included

Hippo Barn Tours

Hippo Barn Tours

The barn tour is a 25 minute indoor tour of our world class hippo building. It does not include the private feeding or painting included in our Hangin’ with the Hippo experience.

Are you Fiona’s biggest fan? Have you ever wanted to know what it takes to be a full-time hippo keeper? Well, now you’re in luck! On the Hippo Barn Tour your group will get a semi-private tour of a world class hippo barn. Chat with a hippo expert as you learn all about, diets, enrichment, and Fiona’s incredible story. Grab some photos with Fiona’s baby bottle and early childhood toys. This tour promises to teach you something new about the world’s most famous hippo.

Purchase Tickets

Days/Times Available: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday
Age Restrictions: Ages 7+ only
Cost: Tickets are $40. Tickets are per person
Capacity: up to 5 guests

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. This tour does not include the painting or private feeding included in our Hangin’ with the Hippos package.

Sloth Feeding

sloth climbing upside downSloth Feeding Experience

Slow down and enjoy a personal 20-minute encounter with ‘Moe’, one of our zoo’s two-toed sloths. You’ll learn all about his natural history while you offer Moe some tasty treats.

Get added to the notification list for the Sloth Feeding Experience

Purchase Tickets

Days/Times Available: Tours are offered on a month-to-month basis.
Age Restrictions: Ages 5+ only (Must be at least 15 years of age to attend experience alone).
Cost: Tickets are $50. Tickets are per person.
Capacity: up to 6 guests

African Penguin Feeding

Penguin Point Feeding Experience

Put your fish-tossing abilities to the test as you help feed breakfast to the birds at penguin point. African Penguins and Cormorants will dive in to see what you’ve brought to the daily menu.

Purchase Tickets

Experience offered daily. Tickets are $15. Tickets are per person. Ages 5+ only (Must be at least 10 years of age to attend experience alone).

Days/Times Available: Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday @ 10:30am
Age Restrictions: 5 & up (Must be at least 10 years of age to attend experience alone)
Cost: $15
Capacity: up to 10 guests

• This ticket is only good for this program, and a separate admission ticket is required to enter the zoo. Attendees without tickets will not be admitted or be able to watch this experience. This includes children in arms or strollers.
• We cannot accommodate strollers or wheelchairs on this experience.
• This experience is non-refundable, and tickets will be forfeited if your party is not present at the start time.

Little Blue Penguin Experience

Little Blue Penguin Experience

Waddle on over to meet the world’s smallest penguin! Standing about a foot tall, our Little Blue Penguins are ready to make a big splash with this encounter.

Purchase Tickets

Tickets are $50. Tickets are per person. Ages 10+ only (Must be at least 15 years of age to attend experience alone).

During this semi-private experience, groups will go behind-the-scenes to meet a Little Blue Penguin from our colony. A member from their care team will help guide this experience as you learn all about these pint-sized penguins

(All participants will be required to wear a mask for this experience. At this time we cannot accommodate any exemptions or face shields.)

Days/Times Available: Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 2:20pm
Age Restrictions: 10 & up (Must be at least 15 years of age to attend experience alone)
Cost: $50
Capacity: up to 6 guests

  • This ticket is only good for this program, and a separate admission ticket is required to enter the zoo.
  • Please arrive at the experience 10 minutes before the encounter time.
  • For this experience, please plan to meet attendant in the Welcome Center located just inside the main entrance.
  • This experience is non-refundable and tickets will be forfeited if your party is not present at the start time.
  • Only ticket holders will be permitted to attend this experience.
  • All participants will be required to wear a mask for this experience. At this time we cannot accommodate any exemptions or face shields
  • Attendees without tickets will not be admitted or be able to watch this experience. This includes children in arms or strollers.
  • We cannot accommodate strollers or wheelchairs on this experience.

Tremendous Tour-toise

Galapagos tortoiseThe Tremendous Tour-toise

During this experience, one of our animal care staff members will introduce you to our resident Galapagos tortoises, and fill you in on everything that goes into taking care of the largest species of tortoise in the world! Guests will get a hands-on experience while they learn all about the history of these amazing animals, as well as the conservation efforts that the Zoo supports to help preserve their precious native islands.

Purchase Tickets

Days/Times Available: Everyday 1:00pm
Age Restrictions: Ages 8+ only (Must be at least 15 years of age to attend experience alone).
Cost: $50 per person
Capacity: Up to 5 guests for each program; slots will be filled by units of 1.

Please note:

  • This ticket is only good for this program, and a separate admission ticket is required to enter the zoo.
  • Please arrive at the experience 10 minutes before the encounter time.
  • For this experience, please plan to meet attendant in the Welcome Center located just inside the main entrance.
  • This experience is non- refundable, and tickets will be forfeited if your party is not present at the start time.
  • Only ticket holders will be permitted to attend this experience.
  • All participants will be required to wear a mask for this experience
  • Attendees without tickets will not be admitted or be able to watch this experience. This includes children in arms or strollers.
  • We cannot accommodate strollers or wheelchairs on this experience.
  • Tortoise FAQ
  • Tortoise Waiver

Virtual Options

Squawk and Talk

$250

Goat-2-Meeting

Front view of a goat

$100

Speed Dial

$500

Llama on the Line

$150

Mystery Animal Tour

$150

Ring in the Reds

red panda eat bamboo

$500

Wallaby Calling You Later?

wallaby

$250

To book a virtual experience, please contact [email protected]

Missed out on a Behind-the-Scenes experience?

To be added to a notification list for the next season, please fill out our form.

Notification List Form
Know Before You Go!

Curious about where to meet? Can I take photos? Check out our FAQ form below!

FAQ’s

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