Youth and Family Programs
Youth and Family Programs

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

Saturday Science Programs

Cost: $30 Members/$35 non-members

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.

View the full schedule of upcoming program topics below.

Saturday Science Sessions
Sign up For a Saturday Science Program
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
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: $15 members/$20 non-members. 9:30-11:30am

    • Bears – Nov. 13 or Nov. 14 – SOLD OUT
    • Who will guide my sleigh? – Dec. 5 – SOLD OUT
    • Dolphins – Jan. 30 or Jan. 31 – SOLD OUT
    • Colorful Animals – Feb. 14 – SOLD OUT
    • Animal Hide and Seek with colors – Feb. 21 – SOLD OUT
    • Animal Patterns (Spots & Stripes) – Feb. 28 – SOLD OUT
  • 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

    • The Mitten – Dec. 4 – SOLD OUT
    • 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 Jungle Juniors Program
Dolphin Trainer - for Adults Only

Nov. 10 (9am-4pm) – $360 members/$385 non-members

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. Participants must be at least 18 years old and at least 4 feet 6 inches tall.

Register for Dolphin Trainer - for Adults Only

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.