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Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo

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Preschool Classes: Tadpoles

Tadpole classes at the National Zoo are perfect for 2 and 3 year olds preparing for preschool. Engage your child's sense of wonder about wildlife and the natural world with interactive learning stations, hands-on activities and crafts, music, movement, and exciting walks through the Zoo to visit our animals! There is no direct animal contact during classes.

Tadpole preschool classes invite adults and young children (ages 2-3) to discover the National Zoo together. Weekday class series meet once a week for five (or six) weeks. Your child will have the same teacher and classmates for the each series and learn about a new animal each week.

All children must be accompanied by an adult who is prepared to take part in the activities. For everyone's safety and enjoyment, unregistered children (including siblings) may not attend, with the exception of infants who are not yet crawling. All children must be at least 2 years old by the date of the first class session to attend.

Preschool Morning Series

Colorful Creatures

From Golden Lion Tamarins to color-changing chameleons, the National Zoo is home to some colorful characters! A different animal each week will help us explore all the colors of the rainbow and understand how animals use these colors to survive.

  • Ages: 2-3
  • Time: 10:00-11:30 a.m.
  • Member Fee: $150 / Non Member Fee: $187.50

Classes meet as Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday morning sessions.

  • Mondays: Feb. 15, 22, 29, Mar. 7, 14
  • Tuesdays: Feb. 16, 23, Mar. 1, 8, 15
  • Wednesdays: Feb. 17, 24, Mar. 2, 9, 16
  • Thursdays: Feb. 18, 25, Mar. 3, 10, 17
  • Fridays: Feb. 19, 26, Mar. 4, 11, 18
  • Saturdays: Feb. 20, 27, Mar. 5, 12, 19

Register now!

Animal Alphabet (6-Week Series)

Z is for Zoo! Each week, a different Zoo animal will introduce us to a new letter and the adaptations that help the animal survive. Children will make an animal alphabet book to take home at the end of the series.

  • Ages: 2-3
  • Time: 10:00-11:30 a.m.
  • Member Fee: $180 / Non Member Fee: $225

Classes meet as Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday morning sessions.

  • Mondays: Apr. 18, 25, May 2, 9, 16, 23
  • Tuesdays: Apr. 19, 26, May 3, 10, 17, 24
  • Wednesdays: Apr. 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18, 25
  • Thursdays: Apr. 21, 28, May 5, 12, 26, June 2 (No class May 19)
  • Fridays: Apr. 22, 29, May 6, 13, 20, 27
  • Saturdays: Apr. 23, 30, May 7, 14, 21, June 4 (No class May 28; Saturday classes will meet from 9-10:30 a.m.)

Register now!

Weekend Preschool Programs

Panda-monium!

Pandas may look black and white, but they are pretty colorful characters. Explore the world of the Zoo's most famous family!

  • Ages: 2-3
  • Time: 10:00-11:30 a.m. or 1:00-2:30 p.m.
  • Dates: February 13 or 14
  • Member Fee: $28 / Non-Member Fee: $35

Register now!

Happy Leap-Frog Year!

Jump into the Leap year with your froggy friends! The Zoo's hoppiest critters are ready to show you why the amphibian life is twice as nice!

  • Ages: 2-3
  • Time: 10:00-11:30 a.m.
  • Dates: February 28
  • Member Fee: $28 / Non-Member Fee: $35

Register now!

Just Like Me: Super Senses

Just like you, animals use their senses to explore the world. Look, listen, smell, and touch as we learn about some super-sensory species!

  • Ages: 2-3
  • Time: 10:00-11:30 a.m. or 1:00-2:30 p.m.
  • Date: Sunday, March 13
  • Member Fee: $28 / Non-Member Fee: $35

Register now!

Curious George Goes To The Small Mammal House

Curious George loves to explore, just like the monkeys at the Zoo. We'll learn about the special features that help them make mischief, then put on our yellow hats and pay a visit to our favorite pint-sized primates!

(Note: this class was also offered in November 2015.)

  • Ages: 2-3
  • Time: 10:00-11:30 a.m.
  • Dates: April 3, 16, and 17
  • Member Fee: $28 / Non-Member Fee: $35

Register now!

Moo at the Zoo

Are you ready to discover what makes our cows at the Kid's Farm, sponsored by State Farm®, so mooo-velous? Hoof it down to the Farm with us for an udder-ly awesome class!

  • Ages: 2-3
  • Time: 9:00-10:30 a.m.
  • Dates: April 24
  • Member Fee: $28 / Non-Member Fee: $35

Register now!

Preschool Class Policies

Cancellation 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. No refunds or changes will be made with less than two-weeks notice.

Transfer Policy: All transfer requests received at least two weeks prior to the start of the program will be charged a 10% administrative fee.

Age Policy: All children must meet the minimum age for the class by the date of the first class session in order to participate. Registered children who do not meet the age requirements for the class may be asked to leave and no refund will be provided.

Minimum Class Size: 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.