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Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo

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Children's Classes

Children’s classes and family programs invite children (ages 4 and up) to discover the natural world through a variety of unique, interactive experiences. Classes use crafts, science activities, music, and the Zoo's animal collection to help your child master disciplinary core ideas in environmental conservation and life science while strengthening important academic, developmental, and social skills. (Please note: there is no direct animal contact during classes.)

Weekday class series meet once a week for 5 weeks. Weekend family programs are single class offerings. For everyone’s safety and enjoyment, unregistered children (including siblings) may not attend, with the exception of infants who are not yet crawling. All enrolled children must meet the minimum age requirement by the date of the first class session.

Weekday Class Series

SENSE-ATIONAL SPECIES

For many animals, senses of light, touch, taste, and smell differ from our own. Observe animals in action, conduct revealing scent and sound experiments, and create a take-home craft that will help you practice your sensory skills.

  • Ages: 4-6 (with adult)
  • Time: 1:00-2:30 p.m.
  • Member Fee: $150 / Non-Member Fee: $187.50

Classes meet as Tuesday or Wednesday sessions. There will be no classes during the week of Thanksgiving.

  • Tuesday sessions: November 4, 11, 18, December 2, 9
  • Wednesday sessions: November 5, 12, 19, December 3, 10

Register now!

HOME EDUCATION PROGRAM: HOME SWEET HABITAT

There really is no place like home… and autumn is a wild time in the deciduous forests that surround our region! Get ready to dig deep into our local ecosystem and its residents as we explore the biome in our backyard.

  • Ages: 6-12
  • Time: Thursdays: 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Dates: November 6, 13, 20, December 4, 11 (No class Thanksgiving week)
  • Member Fee: $150 / Non-Member Fee: $187.50

Register now!

Weekend Family Programs

For weekend family programs, we encourage the whole family to attend. For everyone’s safety and enjoyment, at least one parent must remain with the registered child/ren. All children must meet the minimum age requirement to attend, with the exception of infants who are not yet crawling.

MARVELOUS MIGRATIONS

Think migration is for the birds? Think again! Meet mammals, reptiles, and more who hit the road each year. Then, make a feeder to turn your backyard into a wildlife rest stop.

  • Ages: 4-7
  • Time: 10:00-Noon
  • Date: Saturday, Nov. 15 or Sunday, Nov. 16 (choose one)
  • Member Fee: $28 / Non-Member Fee: $35

Register now!

THANKSGIVING FEAST

It’s a real feast with the beasts here at the National Zoo! Learn about the wide variety of diets that our nutritionists must satisfy every day, and find out what might be on the animals’ Thanksgiving menu. Sink your teeth into this class today!

  • Ages: 4-7
  • Time: 10:00-Noon
  • Date: Saturday, Nov. 22 or Sunday, Nov. 23 (choose one)
  • Member Fee: $28 / Non-Member Fee: $35

Register now!

HOLIDAY ZOO CRAFTS

Your child will have zoo-dles of fun making original animal-themed crafts for the holidays. Make everything from wildlife ornaments to animal-print cards and your very own wrapping paper.

  • Ages: 4-7
  • Time: 10:00-11:30am
  • Date: Saturday, Dec. 13; Sunday, Dec, 14; Wednesday, Dec. 17; Thursday, Dec. 18
  • Member Fee: $28 / Non-Member Fee: $35

Register now!


Cancellation and Transfer Policy: All cancellation requests received by the FONZ Education office at least two weeks prior to the start of the program will receive a 75% refund. All transfer requests received at least two weeks prior to the start of the program will be charged a 10-percent administrative fee. No refunds or changes will be made with less than two-weeks notice.

FONZ reserves the right to cancel a program no less than two days before the class begins if registration is under five participants. In this event, you will be notified by phone or e-mail and offered credit for another program, a full refund, or the option to donate your program fee to FONZ.