Preschool Safaris

Register Your little Zoo enthusiasts are sure to love these fun-filled programs designed for families with children ages 3 - 5. Explore different areas of the Zoo with one of our Safari Leaders and be prepared to get up close and personal with a few of our smaller Zoo residents.


Programs are 90 minutes long and take place on Zoo grounds, so bring your strollers if necessary and dress for the weather.

Note: To aid in the classroom atmosphere of learning and inquiry, there must be at least three little explorers registered for a class to run.  Should there be less children signed up at the end of the registration window, you will be contacted to discuss alternate classes that are available.


Time:  10:00am – 11:30am
Location:  Meet in the Reinberger Education Building to left of main zoo entrance, unless otherwise noted.

Registration closes one week prior to event date

2017 Dates:

April 20 - Colors of The Zoo (New for 2017)
Now you see me, now you don't!  Have you ever noticed all of the colors around The Zoo?  Do those colors help animals at all?  Play hide-and-seek with some of your favorite zoo animals and learn about ways their colors and patterns help to camouflage can keep them safe in their environment.
Focus: Camouflage benefits and how, colors of backgrounds and habitats

January 11, December 6 - Who's Been Here? (New for 2017)
You don't need to see an animal to know it's been there.  Discover the clues that animals leave behind for us to find.  Put on your best tracking shoes and let's explore the animals of Wilderness Trek.
Focus: Footprints leave tracks, can tell you animal has been there, what kind, how many

January 19, March 7 - Just the Right Size (New for 2017)
Did you know Zoo animals come in all shapes and sizes?  They can be tall or small, heavy or light.  Get ready to go on a hunt around the Zoo to find where different animals fit in.  Learn how some of the animals' claim to fame help them survive in the wild.
Focus: Animal adaptations, superlative language (-est words, fastest, smallest, etc.)

January 24, May 11, October 17 - Animal Care
Do you know a little zoo enthusiast that loves to take care of animals?  Come learn what it takes to care for zoo animals at the Sarah Allison Steffee Center for Zoological Medicine.  Here, our budding veterinarians can learn about animal care through hands-on activities and tools-of-the-trade while having some fun caring for their favorite animal.  Visitors might even get to sneak a peek at a treatment procedure in progress.
Focus: Zookeepers and vet staff jobs and responsibilities 

February 1, September 14 - Shelter (New for 2017)
What can help keep animals safe from the weather and predators you ask?  Why shelter of course!  Our animals are great at finding and creating their shelters.  Let's go on an adventure and discover the different kinds of places animals call home around The Zoo.
Focus: Cave/den, lodge, nest

February 7, December 14  – Cold Weather Animals   
Brrr! How do you stay warm in the winter? Animals have many things to keep them warm outside in the cold and snow. Some animals, including reindeer, grizzly bears and wolves, endure the most extreme winter weather. Explore Wilderness Trek and discover the special things that make these animals perfect for living in cold climates.
Focus: Fur, blubber, shelter, connections to how we stay warm

February 15, March 9 - Ready for Reptiles
What's so special about those reptiles?  Come learn all about the different types of reptiles and what makes them each unique as you get to meet a few up close and personal.
Focus: Types, characteristics (cold blooded, scales, etc.)

February 21 - Meet Me Under the Sea (New for 2017)
Ever wonder about the animals that live in water?  There is a whole world ready to explore right below the surface.  Come explore some of the animals that live in the mysterious aquatic areas of the world.
Focus: Fish, turtles, coral (dark surroundings = dark fish, colorful surroundings = colorful fish)

March 1, October 26 - Rise and Shine (New for 2017)
Did you know some animals stay awake while we are sleeping at night?  Ever wonder why some animals run around early in the day, but then sleep the rest of the time?  Learn about some animals that are early risers, night owls, or are somewhere in between.
Focus: Nocturnal-night awake, diurnal (humans)-day awake, crepuscular-active dawn and dusk

March 14, April 25, September 20 - Sounds of the Savanna (New for 2017)
Does a giraffe make a sound?  What about a meerkat?  Walking around the savanna you may be surprised by the noises you hear, but what do those noises mean?  Open your ears to the sounds of our African animals and explore a melodic journey through the savanna.
Focus:  Animal noises, reasons for sounds (provide information, what does happy sound like, what does a warning sound like), explore pitch and dynamics

March 21 - Eggs Everywhere
Can you name some animals that lay eggs?  There are more than you think!  Join us at The Zoo to learn all about different kinds of animals that lay eggs.  Tis the season for spring hatchlings!
Focus: Birds, reptiles, what is special about eggs

March 30 - Birds of a Feather (New for 2017)
Curious what makes some birds good fliers while others are great runners or swimmers, or why some birds' beaks are long while others are small?  Flock to this Preschool Safari and learn some of the basics of being a bird.  Big or small, we have them all.
Focus:  Features (beak, feet, wings, feathers), diet, birds of prey, normal vs. migratory

April 13, November 1 - Animal Senses
Are animal senses the same as ours?  Can you point out which part of the body helps our Zoo residents see, taste, touch, smell, and hear?  Find out which sense is the best for some of your favorite animals and explore how animals use all of their senses.
Focus: Overview on five senses, animal senses that match ours, body parts

May 3, September 27 - Australian Adventure
G'day mates!  Bring your young jackaroos and jillaroos to The Zoo to discover what it's like to be a kid in Australia while exploring the Australian Adventure exhibit
Focus: Similarities and differences, culture

May 16 - Nature Explorers
Come out and play!  Bring your little explorer to come experience the joys of connecting to nature at The Zoo's Nature Discovery Ridge exhibit.  Children are invited to climb, splash, imagine, and best of all have fun, while we discover some of the amazing things nature has to offer.
Focus: Nature play

September 6 - Mammals and Me
What do you have in common with a bear, camel, and a wolf?  Come learn what makes an animal a mammal and meet some of the zoo’s smaller mammals.

October 5, November 16 - Primate Play
Peak into the world of primates.  How can you tell the difference between a monkey and an ape?  What makes these animals so special?  What is a prosimian and does it swing around too?  Your favorite little explorer will love learning about our closest cousins in the animal world.
Focus: Differences between monkey and ape, prosimian characteristics

October 11 - Bears, Bears, Bears
Grab your favorite stuffed bear and bring it along to see some real bears in action!  We will learn all about the different kids of bears you will meet here at The Zoo.
Focus: Types, behavior, food

November 8, November 28  – What’s for Dinner?  
Chomp!  Crunch!  Slurp!  Animals eat all kinds of different foods.  Do you like to eat any of the same things?  Discover your dietary similarities (and differences) on this epicurean adventure! 
Focus: What kinds of food, how to eat (sticky tongue, etc.)


Cost: $15 per person (Zoo members $10 per person). 

Program fee includes admission to the Zoo and The RainForest. 

We are unable to accommodate walk-ups for these programs. Please register in advance.


Can my child attend without a chaperone?
We require that each family registered has at least one adult present during the program. So don't forget to add this person when registering.  Minors must be accompanied by an adult.

Can I bring my younger child to the program as well?
Program admission must be purchased for children ages 2+ to attend. Siblings younger than 2 years of age are welcome to attend the program for free WITH paid registration of a parent AND older sibling as long as the child is not disruptive to the program being taught.

What if I have questions about the program topics listed?
The targeted age for the program is 3-5 years old. If you are bringing family members with ages outside of this targeted range, feel free to call the Registration Office at 216-635-3391 with any questions you have about curriculum and we will ask the presenter.

What if there is low enrollment for the date I registered?
We require a minimum of three little explorers to run a program. Should there be less children signed up at the end of the registration window, registered parties will be contacted to discuss alternate classes that are available.