Zoo Boise Logo
HOURS: Open 10am - 5pm
PHONE: (208) 608-7760

Children, Families, & Adults

ABOUT ZOO BOISE EDUCATION PROGRAMS

Zoo Boise’s mission is to connect our visitors with animals to inspire and involve our community in the conservation of wildlife worldwide.  Our programs strive to fulfill the zoo’s mission by providing unique, fun and engaging nature-focused experiences that foster appreciation for animals and their environments as well as raise awareness of conservation issues and possible solutions.

Zoo program activities include up-close animal encounters, zoo tours, nature walks, ecology games and simulations, science-based investigations & explorations, zookeeper presentations and some interesting Zoo Boise history.

Click Here to Register for Zoo Boise Education Programs

To register in person visit the Fort Boise Community Center (700 Robbins Road) or call (208) 608-7680.

Education programs generously sponsored by:
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Have a question for Zoo Boise’s education staff? We’d love to hear from you! Please send us an EMAIL.

Youth Programs

School Break Day-Camps

Zoo Boise youth camps include:

  • Zoo guided tours
  • Classroom lessons, demonstrations, and experiments
  • Exploration of animal biofacts
  • Daily animal encounter or enrichment
  • Arts & crafts projects
  • Educational videos
  • Zookeeper talks
  • Ecology-focused games

Feeding a Zoo (grades 2 – 6)

Get a behind the scenes look at the zoo kitchen which services the more than 200 animals that call Zoo Boise home! Try your hand at matching and making the food for some of our picky and particular residents. Games, experiments and careful animal examination will guide you through the challenge of feeding a zoo! Cost is $45 per person for Zoo Boise members/City of Boise residents and $50 for non-residents. November 19, 9:00am – 4:00pm

Jr. Veterinarian (grades 2 – 6)

Have you ever considered what it would take to be a Zoo Veterinarian? This camp will explore the basics of knowledge, skill, and fortitude required for one of the most demanding jobs through games, crafts, and hands-on experiments. Cost is $45 per person for Zoo Boise members/City of Boise residents and $50 for non-residents. November 20, 9:00am – 4:00pm

Homeschool Zoo

The Homeschool Zoo program series provides a unique learning experience for students schooled at home. The course consists of classroom discussion, laboratory activities, animal encounters and specialized zoo tours. Classes will align with Idaho State Science Standards and focus on topics and principles based on grade level. Themes will emphasize looking at animal groups and taxonomy, adaptations, habitats, and ecology. Each individual household must register their child for the class. Kids only! Please bring a small snack for a 15 minute break during class. Cost is $15 per person. All classes are from 9:00am – 12:00pm.

K – 1st Grade

September 5 – All About Africa
October 3 – Fuzzy Families
November 7 – Animal Senses

2nd – 3rd Grade

September 12 – Amazing Adaptations
October 10 – Tropics to Tundra
November 14 – Gifts for the Animals

4th – 5th Grade

September 19 – Decoding Behaviors
October 17 – Super Swimmers
November 28 – Zoo Sciences

6th – 8th Grade

October 24 – Zoo-ology

Kids with Adults Programs

PreSchool Zoo

Adult + child (ages 3-5) Both must register individually.

Get to know some of our Zoo Boise animals better in this series of programs designed for adults & preschoolers.  Each week features a different animal. Activities are designed to be multi-sensory and may include mini zoo tours, movement activities, listening to stories, crafts, touching artifacts, and meeting live animals.  Join us for this informal introduction to the wonderful world of animals! All children must be accompanied by an enrolled, paying adult and who is ready to take part in the activities!  Maximum of 2 children per enrolled adult.  For everyone’s safety and enjoyment, unregistered children (including siblings) may not attend.  All children must be at least 3 years old by the date of the first class to attend. Cost is $15 per person for Zoo Boise members/City of Boise residents and $18 for non-residents.

Series 1 – September
Topic: Kinkajou, Lion, and Sarus Crane
Tuesdays – September 11 – 25 – 9:30am – 10:30am
Tuesdays – September 11 – 25 – 11:00am – 12:00pm
Saturdays – September 15 – 29 – 10:00am – 11:00am

Series 2 – October
Topic: Giraffe, Hyena, and Spider
Tuesdays – October 2 – 16 – 9:30am – 10:30am
Tuesdays – October 2 – 16 – 11:00am – 12:00pm
Saturdays – October 6 – 20 – 10:00am – 11:00am

Series 3 – November
Topic: Tamarin, Penguin, and Toad
Tuesdays – November 6 – 27* – 9:30am – 10:30am
Tuesdays – November 6 – 27* – 11:00am – 12:00pm
Saturdays – November 3 – 17 – 10:00am – 11:00am
*No program on November 20 due to Thanksgiving break.

Family & Friends Exclusive Experience

Gifts for the Animals Enrichment Building

During this time of giving thanks come spend extra time appreciating our animals here at Zoo Boise by creating special enrichments. Learn all about how enrichments are used to provide the very best animal care to our animals and watch them interact with your creations right before your eyes! Program is designed for children ages 6-10 with their favorite adult – although all ages 6 and older are welcome. Cost is per person and includes admission to the zoo. Children under 18 must be accompanied adult; accompanying adult must register and pay program fee. Cost is $12 per person for Zoo Boise members/City of Boise residents and $16 for non-residents.

November 21, 10:00am – 12:00pm

Winter & Spring Programs (Registration Opens Soon!)

Registration opens on December 17 for City of Boise residents and December 19 for non-residents.

School Break & Spring Break Camps

Zoo Boise youth camps include:

  • Zoo guided tours
  • Classroom lessons, demonstrations, and experiments
  • Exploration of animal biofacts
  • Daily animal encounter or enrichment
  • Arts & crafts projects
  • Educational videos
  • Zookeeper talks
  • Ecology-focused games

Master Tracker (grades 2 – 6)

When scientists study animals in the wild, finding the animal can be the most challenging part of the job! Discover the different techniques used for tracking animals including identifying animal foot imprints, scat and other markings as well as using wildlife cameras and telemetry. Cost is $45 per person for Zoo Boise members and $50 for non-members. January 21, 9:00am – 4:00pm

Tropical Rainforests (grades 2 – 6)

Journey into the heart of the jungle to discover breathtaking biodiversity all around! This class will learn skills used by scientists to uncover the connections found everywhere in nature, and how humans can find inspiration and value deep in the rainforest.  Cost is $45 per person for Zoo Boise members and $50 for non-members. February 18, 9:00am – 4:00pm

Animals in Action (grades 2 – 6)

You can help to keep Zoo Boise animals in tip-top shape! Investigate how and why animals act the way they do then learn how zookeepers use enrichment to keep our animals thinking and moving. Create and design enrichment items for the animals and then observe how animals use their minds and bodies when they receive their special treats. Cost is $190 per person for Zoo Boise members and $215 for non-members. March 18-22, 9:00am – 4:00pm

Zoo Careers (grades 7 – 10)

Interested in working at a zoo or another career with animal wildlife? Depending on the career, you may need skills that include fundraising, art or graphic design, marketing & communications, architecture and construction, animal collection management, education, and wildlife conservation as well as animal care.  Join us to explore the many careers available at zoos and other animal-focused organizations.  Meet the people responsible for running the zoo, including members of the animal care team, and perform some of their daily responsibilities and chores.  We will meet the veterinarian staff & zookeepers, clean an exhibit, create animal diets, conduct DNA extraction, learn how genetics plays a role captive breeding, and explore wildlife conservation projects funded by the Zoo Boise community. Cost is $190 per person for Zoo Boise members and $215 for non-members. March 18-22, 9:00am – 4:00pm

Homeschool Zoo

The Homeschool Zoo program series provides a unique learning experience for students schooled at home. The course consists of classroom discussion, laboratory activities, animal encounters and specialized zoo tours. Classes will align with Idaho State Science Standards and focus on topics and principles based on grade level. Themes will emphasize looking at animal groups and taxonomy, adaptations, habitats, and ecology. Each individual household must register their child for the class. Kids only! Please bring a small snack for a 15 minute break during class. Cost is $15 per person. All classes are from 9:00am – 12:00pm.

K – 1st Grade

January 9 – Fly, Jump, & Run
February 6 – Celebrate Spring
Mach 6 – Experiment Experts
April 3 – Animal Opposites

2nd – 3rd Grade

January 16 – Pass the Energy
February 13 – Animal Explorer
March 13 – Earth Heroes
April 10 – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

4th – 5th Grade

January 23 – Zoo Genetics
February 20 – Beginner Biologist
March 27* – Conservation Club
April 17 – Taxonomic Trek
*No program on Wednesday March 20th due to School Spring Break.

6th – 8th Grade

January 30 – Animals & Technology

Zoo Boise Kid Night (Ages 7 - 12)

Boise Spring nights just can’t be beat… unless you add in exclusive access to Zoo Boise at night! See the zoo in a whole new light. Learn how Zoo Boise cares for nocturnal animals, try your hand at night time survival skills games, and enjoy a snack out under the stars while observing the animals at Zoo Boise! Space is limited to 26 so register soon. Cost is $20 per person for Zoo Boise members and $25 for non-members.

April 20, 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Stroller Safari (Adult + Child)

Adult + child (ages 2 and under) Preregistration required

Bring your walking shoes and camera on this exclusive guided experience through Zoo Boise. Bond with your little one as you both learn about the wonders of wildlife through up close animal encounters, zoo insider lead tours, and activities that build skills in both parents and kids that can be used for a lifetime. Each week will uncover new wonders and provide great tips for nature exploration! Maximum of 2 children per enrolled adult.  For everyone’s safety and enjoyment, unregistered children (including siblings) may not attend.  Minimum participants 10, maximum 20. Price includes Zoo Boise admission for the day. Cost is $5 per person for Zoo Boise members and $6 for non-members. All programs are from 10:00am – 10:30am.

February 7 – Bugs
February 14 – Goose
February 21 – Boa
February 28 – Tortoise
March 7 – Porcupine

PreSchool Zoo

Adult + child (ages 3-5) Both must register individually.

Get to know some of our Zoo Boise animals better in this series of programs designed for adults & preschoolers.  Each week features a different animal. Activities are designed to be multi-sensory and may include mini zoo tours, movement activities, listening to stories, crafts, touching artifacts, and meeting live animals.  Join us for this informal introduction to the wonderful world of animals! All children must be accompanied by an enrolled, paying adult and who is ready to take part in the activities!  Maximum of 2 children per enrolled adult.  For everyone’s safety and enjoyment, unregistered children (including siblings) may not attend.  All children must be at least 3 years old by the date of the first class to attend. Cost is $20 per person for Zoo Boise members and $24 for non-members.

Series 1 – January (4 weeks)
Topic: Aldabra Tortoise, Red Panda, Cichlid Fish, & Capybara
Tuesdays – January 8 – 29 – 9:30am – 10:30am
Tuesdays – January 8 – 29 – 11:00am – 12:00pm
Saturdays – January 5 – 26 – 10:00am – 11:00am

Series 2 – February (3 weeks)
Topic: Legless Lizard, Rhea, & Fox
Tuesdays – February 5 – 19 – 9:30am – 10:30am
Tuesdays – February 5 – 19 – 11:00am – 12:00pm
Saturdays – February 9 – 23 – 10:00am – 11:00am

Series 3 – March (3 weeks)
Topic: Sloth Bear, Snake, & Skunk
Tuesdays – March 5 – 26* – 9:30am – 10:30am
Tuesdays – March 5 – 26* – 11:00am – 12:00pm
Saturdays – March 2 – 16 – 10:00am – 11:00am
*No program on Tuesday March 19th due to School Spring Break.

Series 4 – April (3 weeks)
Topic: Walking Stick, Prairie Dog, & Anteater
Tuesdays – April 2 – 16 – 9:30am – 10:30am
Tuesdays – April 2 – 16 – 11:00am – 12:00pm
Saturdays – April 6 – 27* – 10:00am – 11:00am
*No program on Saturday April 13th due to Easter Eggstravaganza.

Family & Friends Exclusive Experience

Animal Whisperers:  Animal Training at the Zoo

Animal training is an important part of managing animals at the zoo.  Learn the basics of animal training, watch zookeepers train animals, and participate in the “train the trainer” game!  Program is designed for children ages 6-10 with their favorite adult – although all ages 6 and older are welcome. Minimum participants 10, maximum 25. Cost is per person and includes admission to the zoo. Children under 18 must be accompanied adult; accompanying adult must register and pay program fee. Cost is $14 per person for Zoo Boise members and $16 for non-members.

March 9, 1:00pm – 3:00pm

New! Meet the Zoo Boise Staff

Must-See Panel Discussion and Interview

Have you ever wondered who is in charge of veterinary care, diet design, animal husbandry, and exhibit design at Zoo Boise? Come find out and meet our top notch panel of professional zoo staff who can answer all of your questions and lead discussion that will provide insight to the more than 200 animals that live here. Program is designed for all ages 10 and older. Minimum participants 10, maximum 40. Cost is per person and includes admission to the zoo. Cost is $5 per person for Zoo Boise members and $6 for non-members.

April 6, 11:30am – 12:30pm

Adult Programs

Woo at the Zoo – A Wild Valentine’s Celebration for Adults (ages 18+)

Birds do it.  Bees do it.  Snow leopards do it.  Find out how animals at Zoo Boise woo each other and Woo at the Zoo.  Open to both singles and sweethearts 18 and older, this memorable Valentine’s Day event will reveal the intimate secrets of exotic animal mating and dating – from the humorous and tawdry to passionate and subtle.  Enjoy a guided stroll through the zoo, presentations by zookeepers regarding animal breeding in zoos, up-close animal encounters and other animal-amore-related activities.  A pasta dinner, dessert, drinks, photos with your sweetheart and take-home chocolate are included.  Space is limited to 30 people so register soon! Cost is $45 per person for Zoo Boise members and $50 for non-members.

February 16, 4:00pm – 7:00pm

Snooze at the Zoo Overnights

Snooze at the Zoo (ages 7 and up + Adult)

Join us for an overnight adventure at Zoo Boise! Zoo Boise offers a variety of Snooze at the Zoo overnight programs for your Family, Scout Troop, or School Group.

Families will experience a camp out unlike any other. Sleep under the stars right in the middle of the city! Enjoy programs led by education department staff or explore the zoo on your own after regular zoo hours.

FAMILY SNOOZE AT THE ZOO OVERNIGHT (Adult + child ages 7+)

A memorable experience is sure to be had by those who experience Snooze at the Zoo!  Zoo guides will provide your family with evening and early morning treks through the zoo to investigate animals as well as their habitats, behavior, and care.  Activities, games, art projects, and up-close animal encounters are also part of the Snooze at the Zoo adventure.  Evening snack, continental breakfast, and indoor/outdoor sleeping area provided.  Children’s parent(s) must be present throughout the entire program. One adult per five children.  Details regarding items to bring for the overnight will be sent to campers one week prior to the program. Cost is $45 per person for Zoo Boise members and $50 for non-members. May 17 – 18, 6:30pm – 9:00am

Registration opens on December 17 for City of Boise residents and December 19 for non-residents.

Scouts

Scout Program at the Zoo

Zoo Boise scout programs are a chance to explore interests and learn new skills. Arrive ready to passionately discuss, participate in games, meet our animals, and make a difference! Bring a camera and your questions, and leave with memories and inspiration.

Cost is $5 per scout and $2.50 for adult chaperone. Rates only apply to scout groups that preschedule their group using the form below. Scout programs are offered Tuesday through Saturday schedule permitting. To schedule your troop visit HERE.

Friends of Zoo Boise Annual Pass Holders receive discounts on some classes.  If you are a Friends of Zoo Boise pass holder, please be sure to enroll in the activity number listed under the Friends of Zoo Boise Rate to receive the discount. A current pass is required and must be available for proof upon registration and at program check-in.

Want to learn more about Zoo Boise Annual Passes? Click here.

When you register for a class or program with the Zoo Boise/City of Boise, this Personal Release Statement is implied: I understand that the registered activities and services may have an element of hazard or inherent danger and I take full responsibility for my actions and physical condition. I agree to indemnify and hold harmless the City of Boise and its employees from any liability loss, cost or expense (including attorney’s fees, medical and ambulance costs) that I may incur while participating in the Recreation activities. I give my consent to use any photographs or videotape taken of me in future promotional or marketing materials.