Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Andean bear cub
Join Fonz!

Preschool Classes

Preschool classes invite adults and young children (ages 2-3) to discover the National Zoo together. 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.

Classes use crafts, science activities, music, and the Zoo's animal collection to help your child learn about environmental conservation and life science while building important developmental and social skills. 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. All children must be at least 2 years old by the date of the first class session to attend.

Preschool Morning Series

Shapes with Apes...and Other Animal Friends

Join us on a shape safari at the National Zoo! Each week a different shape will guide our explorations of a Zoo animal and the adaptations that help it survive. Children will make an animal shape book to take home at the end of the series.

  • Ages: 2-3
  • Time: 10:00-11:30 a.m. (Friday afternoons: 3:00-4:30 p.m.)
  • Member Fee: $150 / Non Member Fee: $187.50

Classes meet as Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday morning sessions. A special Friday afternoon session is open to 3 year olds only. There will be no classes during the week of Thanksgiving.

  • Monday Sessions: November 3, 10, 17, December 1, 8
  • Tuesday Sessions: November 4, 11, 18, December 2, 9
  • Wednesday Sessions: November 5, 12, 19, December 3, 10
  • Thursday Sessions: November 6, 13, 20, December 4, 11
  • Friday Sessions (morning): November 7, 14, 20, December 5, 12
  • Friday Sessions (afternoon; 3-year olds only): November 7, 14, 20, December 5, 12

Register now!

Weekend Family Programs


Lions, tigers, leopards, and cheetahs all have different patterns and personalities. Meet the Zoo's cool cats and learn more about them through hands-on activities and crafts.

  • Ages: 2-3
  • Time: 10:00-11:30 a.m.
  • Date: Saturday, Nov. 8 or Sunday, Nov. 9
  • Member Fee: $28 / Non-Member Fee: $35

Register now!


You and 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: 2-3
  • Time: 10:00-11:30 a.m.
  • Dates: Saturday, Dec. 6; Sunday, Dec. 7; Monday, Dec. 15; Tuesday, Dec. 16
  • 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.