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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

Zoo Tunes

Pop goes the Zoo class! No need to look all around the mulberry bush for monkeys and weasels, they're right here at the Zoo! Learn about animals from some of your favorite songs, then make a musical instrument each week as we rock around the Zoo!

  • Ages: 4-6 (with adult)
  • Time: Tues or Weds 1:00-2:30 p.m. or Fri 3:00-4:30 p.m.
  • Member Fee: $150 / Non-Member Fee: $187.50

Classes meet as Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday sessions.

  • Tuesday sessions: February 24, March 3, 10, 17, 24
  • Wednesday sessions: February 25, March 4, 11, 18, 25
  • Friday sessions: February 27, March 6, 13, 20, 27

Register now!

Magic Zoo Bus

Where will the bus take you? All around the Zoo! Hop onboard for this wild ride as we learn about some of the Zoo's newest arrivals and what Zoo scientists are doing to help save these species. Honk if you love animals!

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

Classes meet as Tuesday or Wednesday sessions.

  • Tuesday sessions: April 28, May 5, 12, 19, 26
  • Wednesday sessions: April 29, May 6, 13, 20, 27

Register now!

HOME EDUCATION PROGRAM: Ocean Explorers

Surf's up! From shallow coastal waters to deep marine trenches, the world's oceans are home to an extremely diverse group of animals. We'll explore the amazing adaptations that these species have evolved to survive and discover how our local watersheds feed this unique ecosystem.

  • Ages: 6-12
  • Time: Thursdays: 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Dates: Feb. 26, March 5, 12, 19, 27
  • Member Fee: $150 / Non-Member Fee: $187.50

Register now!

HOME EDUCATION PROGRAM: Folk-Tails

Fact or fiction? Fables and folktales from around the world provide clever explanations for some amazing animal adaptations. We'll travel across the globe and through the years to explore these stories, then learn how we can help the animals they feature have a happily ever after.

  • Ages: 6-12
  • Time: Thursdays: 10:00 a.m.-noon
  • Dates: April 30, May 7, 14, 28, June 4 (No class May 21)
  • 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.

Dora and Diego Go to the Zoo

Hola amigos! We're going exploring with Dora, Diego, and their animal friends! You can lead the way on a series of adventures around the Zoo!

  • Ages: 4-7
  • Time: 10:00-noon
  • Member Fee: $28 each class / Non-Member Fee: $35 each class

February 7 or 8: Boots the... Ape?!?
You many know that Boots loves helping Dora solve problems, but did you know that orangutans and gorillas are also great problem solvers? Boots introduces us to some of the biggest members of his family: the Great Apes!

February 14 or 15: Swiper the Fox!
Swiper may like to steal from Dora, but the only thing the Zoo's new fennec fox will steal is your heart! Learn all about the crafty adaptations she uses to survive in her desert home and how you can stop Swiper from swiping animal habitats!

Register now!

In Like a Lion

Roar into spring with the pride of the National Zoo: our lion pride! These feisty felines are ready to show you why they really are the tops... top predators, that is! Pounce on this class today.

  • Ages: 4-7
  • Time: 10:00-noon
  • Date: Saturday, March 7 or Sunday March 8
  • Member Fee: $28 / Non-Member Fee: $35

Register now!

Wild Kratts

Grab your Creature Power Suit and join us at HQ, we're going on a real zoo-venture with the Tortuga crew! A special mission will help us learn about some of the animals at the Zoo with real Creature Power Technology. What if… you registered for this class today?

  • Ages: 4-6
  • Time: 10:00-noon
  • Date: Saturday, March 21 or Sunday March 22
  • Member Fee: $28 / Non-Member Fee: $35

Register now!

Special Event: Birdhouse Building!

The birds are back in town! Many birds are just finishing their great migration and flocking back to our area. Greet them with a nice new home that you built yourself! Bring a parent and your can-do attitude; we are building real birdhouses that will bring wildlife to your yard for years to come.

Note: This class will involve using tools like hammers and nails. Each child must be accompanied by an adult partner. There is no additional fee for the adult partner.

  • Ages: 5-10
  • Time: 10:00-noon
  • Date: Saturday, March 28
  • 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.