Youth and Family Programs
Youth and Family Programs

From preschool to adults, the Zoo has something for everyone!

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: $15 members/$20 non-members. 9:30-11:30am

    Fall and Winter sessions go on sale for members at 9am on July 16. Non-member registration opens 9am July 23. 

    • Animal Stripes – Sept. 26
    • Creepy Crawlies – Oct. 2 or Oct. 3
    • Bears – Nov. 13 or Nov. 14
    • Who will guide my sleigh? – Dec. 5
    • Dolphins – Jan. 30 or Jan. 31
    • Colorful Animals – Feb. 14
    • Animal Hide and Seek with colors – Feb. 21
    • Animal Patterns (Spots & Stripes) – Feb. 28
  • 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: $20 members/$25 non-members. 9:30-11:30am

    Fall and Winter sessions go on sale for members at 9am on July 16. Non-member registration opens 9am July 23. 

    • All the Spooky Things – Oct. 10 or Oct. 11
    • The Mitten – Dec. 4
    • Meerkat and Friends – Jan. 23 or Jan. 24

    4-5 Preschool Series

    Cost: $50 members and $65 non-members. 9:30-11:30am

    These preschool series include three consecutive weekly classes to delve a little deeper into one subject.

    • Animal Senses – Aug. 14, 21 & 28
    • Animal Tales – Nov. 1, 8 and 15
    • Opposites – Feb. 13, 20 and 27
Sign up For a Preschool Program
Learn about tigers from a world-renown expert!
​Coffee and Conservation: Amur Tigers with Dr. Linda Kerley

Come for an evening of conversation with Dr. Linda Kerley and learn about her work to save the endangered Amur Tigers in the Lazovsky Reserve of Far East Russia. Join us on July 19 from 6:30-7:30pm at the Zoo. $5 for Zoo Members and $10 for non-members. Sign up Today!

Family Overnight Adventures

Fall Family Overnight – Oct. 26

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.

Cost: $40 per person for members, $50 for non-members.

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.
Sign Up now
September 30 - 2-4pm - $30 members/$35 non-members
Indianapolis Prize Girls In Science with Patricia Wright, Sylvia Earle and P Dee Boersma - Sponsored By Raytheon

An opportunity to meet some amazing women working to save wildlife. This unique program is targeted for girls ages 10-14 years and will include a chance to speak with the conservationists, participate in a short program on selected animals and experience a behind the scenes tour. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and spaces are limited. This program will include admission for the participant and one adult to attend a special viewing of Mission Blue at the IMAX Theater at State Museum (doors open at 5pm). Girls in science is sponsored by Raytheon. Special thanks to The Heritage Group for supporting Indianapolis Prize outreach events.

Saturday Science Programs

Learning more about the natural world around us is all about science! With the Zoo’s Saturday Science program, kids will be able to 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.

Cost: $30 Members/$35 non-members.

Saturday Science Sessions
  • Saturday Science 6-8 year olds

    Not So Scary Animals (6-8 year olds) – Oct. 13

    Polar Animals (6-8 year olds) – Dec. 1

    Who Lives in Your Backyard? (6-8 year olds) – Feb. 2

  • Saturday Science 9-12 year olds

    Primates (9-12 year olds) – Sept. 15

    Animal Enrichment (9-12 year olds) – Nov. 17

    Desert Keeper (9-12 year olds) – Jan. 19

Sign up For a Saturday Science Program

Generation Conservation

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, Indiana Wildlife Federation and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful. 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!

The application deadline for the 2018 season has passed. Please check back in November for 2019 applications.