Youth and Family Programs
From preschool to adults, we have something for everyone!

Youth and Family Programs

Generation Conservation

Cost: $150

Generation Conservation is a select team of teenagers who are interested in conserving wild things and wild places. Once a month from February through September, Generation Conservation works collaboratively with several of the Zoo’s conservation partners, such as Butler University’s Center for Urban Ecology, Purdue University, and the Nature Conservancy. Each experience is unique and provides hands-on opportunities of learning. Together we can learn, grow and work hard to help keep our planet healthy!

Want to become a part of the team? Teens 16-18 years old are eligible to apply to join Generation Conservation. Applications for the 2020 season will be accepted until Dec. 31. Please contact for more information.

Apply now!
Saturday Science Programs

Cost: $30 Members/$35 nonmembers

Learning more about the natural world around us is all about science! With the Zoo’s Saturday Science program, kids can investigate zoological situations by utilizing the scientific method. During this program participants will observe, question and explore areas of the Zoo … and have fun while they’re at it!

These programs are for children only and are drop-off programs.

6-8 year olds:

Polar Animals – Dec. 14 – 9-11:30am
Dolphins & Whales – Feb. 8 – 9-11:30am

9-12 year olds:

Predator\Prey – Nov. 16 – 9-11:30am
Snakes & Reptiles – Jan. 11 – 9-11:30am
Marine Mammals – Feb. 22 – 9-11:30am

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Jungle Juniors Preschool Program

Start your child on a lifelong path of discovery beginning with our Jungle Juniors Preschool Programs! During these engaging sessions, youngsters ages 3-5 will start learning about the wild world around them. Each program includes hands-on activities, animal artifacts, a Zoo walk, and a story or craft.

  • Ages 3 and 4

    These programs are designed for children to work one-on-one together with a parent or caregiver. With every paid child, one adult is admitted free and is required to stay for the program. To ensure that each preschooler has the best experience possible, parents must make alternate childcare arrangements for any siblings who are not signed up for the class.

    3-4 Single Sessions

    Cost: $20 members/$25 nonmembers.

    Turtles & Tortoises –  Nov. 6 9:30-11am
    Who will guide my sleigh? – Dec. 3 12:30-2pm
    Sharks –  Jan. 15 or Jan. 16 12:30-2pm
    Colorful Animals – Feb. 5 9:30-11am or 12:30-2pm
    Animal Hide and Seek with colors – Feb. 12 9:30-11am
    Animal Patterns (Spots & Stripes) – Feb. 19 12:30-2pm
    Penguins – Feb. 26 12:30-2pm

  • Ages 4 and 5

    This is designed as a drop-off program to allow preschoolers an opportunity to practice independence in preparation for school.

    4-5 Single Sessions

    Cost: $25 members/$30 nonmembers. 9:30-11:30am

    The Mitten – Dec. 4
    Sea Lions – Jan. 22 or Jan. 23
    Crazy Fish – Feb. 27

     3-Week series

    Cost: $55 members/$70 non-members. 9:30-11:30am

    Opposites – Feb. 6, 13 and 20

Sign Up for Jungle Juniors Preschool Programs

Spaces are limited, so register now for this popular program!

Special experiences for ages 18 and up
Adult Programs

Dolphin Trainer 

Nov. 9 9am-4pm – $360 members/$385 nonmembers

Experience what it takes to be a dolphin trainer and get to know the members of our dolphin pod. Over the course of the day, participants will learn how we train and care for our dolphins through special behind the scenes experiences in the St. Vincent​ Dolphin Pavilion including attending the dolphin presentation, and meeting the trainers, dolphins and other marine mammals. Participants will learn how to individually identify our dolphins and how scientists study dolphins in the wild. All of this leads up to the ultimate experience, venturing into the water to meet our wonderful dolphins up close and personal.

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Indianapolis Zoo Terrarium Garden Class

Nov. 19 5-6pm –  $60 members/$70 nonmembers (includes all materials and plants)

Join the Indianapolis Zoo’s Curator of Horticulture, Scott Sullivan, to create and take home a beautiful garden terrarium. Scott specializes in unique and trendsetting designs. His work has been showcased in Better Homes & Gardens, Chicagoland Gardening and on HGTV’s House Hunters. In this class, participants will learn the fundamentals of planting and caring for their terrarium garden. All supplies will be provided. The Indianapolis Zoo is accredited as a botanical garden and we invite participants to explore the White River Gardens after the program.

Sign Up!

Special experiences for  ages 18 and up
Family Overnight Adventures

Fall Family Overnight – Oct. 25 – SOLD OUT

Cost: $40 per person for members, $50 for nonmembers.

Looking for something new to do with the family? Come and experience an overnight at the Zoo! With our Family Overnight program, you will get to spend the night at the Zoo and participate in a variety of different activities specifically designed for families, including a craft, games, animal stories, a special after-hours Zoo tour and catered breakfast.

Requirements for Participation

Multiple families may sign up for an Indianapolis Zoo Family Overnight. We require a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 45 total participants. If fewer than 20 register, we may have to to cancel the overnight. We will notify families at least 30 days prior to the evening if we have to cancel.

Participants must be at least 6 years old to participate in any Indianapolis Zoo overnight program.

Additional Overnight Information and FAQs

  • Your program fees include Zoo and White River Gardens admission, parking fees, all activities, spending the night at the Zoo and a catered breakfast buffet.
  • Your family will be joined by others. The maximum number of participants for a Family Overnight is 45.
  • Overnight guests sleep on the floor in one of our indoor event spaces. Air mattresses are welcome. Bathroom facilities are available but no showers.
  • Please note that the Zoo reserves the right to change any programming as necessary, including anything listed above.
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