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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

Fairy "Tails"

Jump into the pages of your favorite “tails.” Huff and puff with the big bad wolf, race the tortoise, pay a visit to our three panda bears, and more! Join us as we learn about the real animals behind the critter characters.

  • Ages: 4-6 (with adult)
  • Time: Tues 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 or Friday sessions.

  • Tuesday sessions: January 13, 20, 27, February 3, 10
  • Friday sessions: January 16, 23, 30, February 6, 13

Register now!

HOME EDUCATION PROGRAM: Rainforest Wonders

Bring your passport! We're travelling around the world to uncover the secrets of one of the world's most fascinating biomes and the animals that call it home. A new question each week helps us explore why rainforests are such perfect centers for biodiversity. Join us for an educational expedition you’ll never forget!

  • Ages: 6-12
  • Time: Thursdays: 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Dates: Jan. 15, 22, 29, Feb. 5, 12
  • Member Fee: $150 / Non-Member Fee: $187.50

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.

Winter Tweets

Hot chocolate may be your favorite winter treat, but your backyard wildlife friends have different treats in mind. Winter can be difficult for backyard critters, because food and water can be scarce. Make winter "tweets" to hang in your backyard for your furry and feathered friends.

  • Ages: 4-7
  • Time: 10:00-noon
  • Date: Saturday, Jan 24 or Sunday Jan 25
  • Member Fee: $28 / Non-Member Fee: $35

Register now!

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, No Swiping!
That crafty fox has been swiping the forests that many animals call home! We'll learn about Swiper's "fox"-y relatives, then discover what we can do to beat deforestation and help animals around the world!

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!


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.