Programs at the Zoo

Programs at the Zoo

Join us in our 40-acre living classroom! From programs that meet Next Generation Science Standards to tips for bringing inquiry learning concepts into your classroom, we carefully design our programs and resources to support you in your teaching efforts, while getting your students engaged and excited about learning.

The Zoo offers a wide variety of formal programs, from September through June, tailored to preschool children through high school students. These standards-based programs are a great complement to your field trip, and offer valuable experiential learning opportunities.


Programs: What to Know
Early Childhood Programs

Our youngest students will have opportunities to observe, ask questions, and make connections to their own experiences while building empathy for animals and the natural world.

  • Wild Tales (18 - 36 months)
    • This 20 minute program features an animal encounter, story and play centers specifically designed for toddlers.
  • Project Cover-Up (Preschool &Pre-Kindergarten)
    • Fur? Feathers? Scales? Which animals wear what? Students will compare the coverings of different types of animals and learn how they help them survive.
  • Up All Night (Preschool &Pre-Kindergarten)
    • Just as we go to sleep at night, a whole new world of animals is waking up! Students will explore how these animals use their senses to help them survive at night.
  • Getting Around (Preschool & Pre-Kindergarten)
    • Some animals swim, some fly, some run. Students will learn how different animals ”do the locomotion”.
  • What’s for Lunch? (Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten)
    • Plants? Bugs? All animals need food in order to live and grow, but who eats what? Students will explore the different ways animals get there energy and sort animals based on what they eat.
  • Homes around the World (Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten)
    • You can find animals everywhere from steamy jungles to bone dry deserts. Students will sort animals into their habitats by looking at the special characteristics they have to survive.
Elementary Programs

Elementary students will be encouraged to observe and make inferences as they figure out how the function of structural and behavioral adaptations help animals survive and meet their needs.

  • Creatures of the Night (Grade 1 & 4)
    • Just as we go to sleep at night, a whole new world of animals is waking up! Students will explore the special adaptations nocturnal animals have for surviving at night.
  • Wild Adaptations (Grades 1 - 4)
    • From the freezing tundra to arid deserts, animals have managed to make their homes everywhere. Students will explore the structural and behavioral adaptations that help animals survive.
  • Insects (Grades 1 & 3)
    • What makes an insect an insect? First grade students will explore the special characteristics that make an insect an insect and third grade students will explore the unique life cycles of insects.
  • Rainforest Adaptations (Grades 1 - 4)
    • Students will explore the four layers of the rainforest and the structural adaptations that help animals survive in each.
  • V is for Vertebrate (Grades 1 & 4)
    • What makes a mammal a mammal and a bird a bird? Students will learn how scientists classify animals based on their structural and behavioral adaptations.
    Middle and High School Programs

    Our oldest students will be encouraged to observe and make inferences as they dive deeper into understanding ecosystem dynamics, interdependant relationships, and the role of humans.

    • Web of Life (Grade 5 and Middle School)
      • A healthy ecosystem is one in which multiple species of different types are each able to meet their needs in a relatively stable web of life. Students will examine how organisms in a local ecosystem are interrelated.
    • Rainforest Web of Life (Grade 5 and Middle School)
      • A healthy ecosystem is one in which multiple species of different types are each able to meet their needs in a relatively stable web of life. Students will examine how organisms in a tropical rainforest ecosystem are interrelated.
    • Oh Give me a Biome (Middle School)
      • Students will use NASA data maps to identify biomes around the world and will look at how animals are adapted to live in each.
    • Symbiotic Symphony (Middle School)
      • Animals depend on each other for survival. Whether these relationships are mutually beneficial or not, these dependencies are an important part of an ecosystem.
    • Winning by a Neck (Middle School)
      • Why do giraffes have such long necks? Many theories exist, but they all refer back to “natural selection.  Students will examine how certain valuable characteristics are passed down through generations to help a species survive.
    • Species Survival Plan (High School)
      • Zoos play an important role in the survival of species and are often referred to as “modern day arks”. This program will walk students through the process of pairing animals for breeding to preserve genetic diversity as part of a comprehensive species survival plan.
    • *NEW* Climate Change 101 (Middle and High School)
      • This 4-hour workshop will cover heat trapping gases, carbon cycle, lines of evidence, impacts on ecosystems and animals, and solutions. 
      • *Please contact, Andrea Stein at, for pricing details.
    All Ages Programs
    • Not So Still, Still Life (Kindergarten - High School) 
      • Animals have been inspiring artists for centuries from the present times to Indonesian cave paintings of babirusa some 39,000 years ago. During this Zoomobile visit, students will have the opportunitiy to have live animal ambassadors as living models to serve as inspiration for an art project. 
      • Please note that the teacher is responsible for instruction and materials for the project.
    • Custom Programs
      • Don't see what you are looking for? We can work with you to tailor a program that meets the needs of you and your students.

    Questions?  Contact Andrea Stein, Manager of School Programs, at or call (401) 785-3510 ext. 359.

    Next Generation Science Standards/FOSS Courses

    All education program suggested grade levels are based on the NGSS Disciplinary Core ideas. Click HERE to download PDF

    At the Zoo Program Pricing

    All At the Zoo Program prices include admission to the Zoo and the program. *Minimum cost of $225.00 if you have less than 15 students.

    • Toddler - 1st Grade - $15/student; 1 free chaperone for every 5 students
    • 2nd Grade - High School - $15/student; 1 free chaperone for every 10 students
    • Chaperones -  $18/additional chaperone
      • Groups can bring an unlimited amount of additional chaperones at a rate of $18 each. However, we ask that only the free chaperones attend the program to maximize space for program participants.  For the health and safety of the animals, we must limit class size to 26 participants per program.

    For questions or to book a Zoo program for your group contact Andrea Stein, Manager of School Programs, at or call (401) 785-3510 ext. 359.

    Field Trip Only (visit the Zoo without a formal program)

    Let our 40 acres of exhibits and animals be your living classroom! Must have at least 10 or more paying guests attending during general daytime zoo admission hours.

    Your group can visit during our normal hours of operation (Closed on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, Labor Day - March).  Once inside, you can freely explore the exhibits at your leisure.   


    • Adults:  $17.95
    • Children (ages 2 - 12):  $11.95
    • Seniors (ages 62+):  $14.95
    • Toddlers (age 1 and under):  Free
    • Chaperone policy?  Click here.
    • Are you a Providence school?  Click here for discount information. 
    • Visiting with a Special Needs Group?  Click here.

    PAYMENT: All groups should plan to pay in full at time of visit with cash, check or credit card.  Purchase orders are not accepted.

    Book Your Group Rervation Today >

    For full information, please read Groups Policies & Procedures prior to booking your trip or check out the Zoo's general FAQs

    Meal Deals are also available and give your group both flexibility and access to a delicious meal. Choose the plan that works best for you.

    Enhance the experience by using a field trip resource guide: Grade 1 guide, Grade 2 guide, Grade 3 guide. To request additional resources, please contact Andrea Stein, manager of school programs, at For questions on booking, please contact the Group Sale Department at (401) 467-0150.

    Zoo Overnight Progams

    Our Zoo Overnights offer a unique way to experience the Zoo – after dark!  Your group of 25 or more can choose from a variety of themed programs that include fun activities, face-to-face interaction with education animals, two guided tours of the Zoo and more!

    More information and pricing on Zoo Overnight Programs