Youth and Family Programs
Youth and Family Programs

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

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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.

    • Butterflies – June 16 • 9:30-11:30am
    • Monkeys – July 14 • 9:30-11:30am
    • Flamingo – Aug. 15 • 9:30-11:30am
    • Penguins – Aug. 22 • 9:30-11:30am
    • Parrots – Aug. 29 • 9:30-11:30am
  • 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.

    • Animal Babies – Sept. 27 • 9:30-11:30am


    4-5 Preschool Series

    Cost: $50 members and $65 non-members.

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

    • Animal Senses – Aug. 14, 21 & 28 • 9:30-11:30am
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

Summer Family Overnight – July 27

Come join us for a Zoo “Safari Camping” experience this summer.  During our Summer Family Overnight program, you will get participate in a variety of different activities – a safari walk to see some African animals, experience our version of “star watching” and even have a s’more snack.  Then you’ll spend the night camping in the Dolphin Pavilion and wake to a catered breakfast.

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 will be forced 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.
  • Groups sleep on the floor in the St. Vincent Dolphin Gallery. The Gallery is the large room that leads into the dolphin dome, but no one is allowed to sleep in the dome. There are bathroom facilities inside the building, but there are no showers available. The Zoo reserves the right to change your sleeping area as necessary.
  • Please note that the Zoo reserves the right to change any programming as necessary, including anything listed above.
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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 3-hour 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.

Check back in July for information on our Saturday Science programs for fall 2018.

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

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.