Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Education at the National Zoo

As the nation's zoo, we provide leadership in conservation science. We educate and inspire diverse communities so they become part of our commitment to celebrate, study, and protect animals and their habitats.

Classes and Camps

Leap into learning with FONZ's award-winning education department. Year-round programs are available for all age groups from tadpoles to full-grown frogs. more

School Programs

Enhance your school’s field trip to the National Zoo with a “Junior Zoologist” classroom session (in the National Zoo’s Visitor’s Center) or on a guided “World Safari” trek through the park. These engaging, inquiry-based, discussion-oriented lessons are designed to correspond to with Next Generation Science Standards and Virginia Standards of Learning. more

FONZ Birthday Parties

Have your child's birthday party at the National Zoo and support the Zoo's conservation and education efforts. Your child and your child's friends, equipped with safari hats and expert tour guides, will explore the Zoo for an unforgettable day. Birthday parties are two hours long and are for children ages four to eight. more

Snore & Roar Overnights

Imagine waking up to the roar of lions or the early morning call of gibbons. Come spend the night at the Zoo. It's the best way to see the Zoo's animals after hours and enjoy the park all to yourself. more

Conservation Campouts

There is a place where it's possible to hear the call of a native red fox on the chase and the scream of a brown kiwi stalking worm—a place where nature meets science. Take in the beauty of the Shenandoah Mountains while enjoying a rare glimpse of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s headquarters (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia, which is usually closed to the public. Enjoy a special a keeper-led tour, a campfire under the stars. Bunk in tents provided by FONZ, then rise for breakfast and a family-friendly activity. more

Undergraduate, Graduate, and Professional Opportunities and Training

Scientists, teachers, and college students can further their knowledge through basic and advanced training in a wide variety of conservation, wildlife, and environmental science topics through courses, workshops, internships, and fellowships. more

Volunteer Interpreters

Most areas are staffed with volunteer interpreters who can enhance your experience with artifacts, animal feedings, and special informal programs. Look for a red FONZ volunteer shirt and name tag. become a volunteer

Field Trip Resources

The Zoo offers many field trip resources for you and your students. You can download activity guides, explore programs that happen everyday at the Zoo, print a map, and more. more.

Online Resources for Educators and Students

Animal fact sheets, live web cams, links to other educations sites, photo galleries, articles from our magazine, and Conservation Central, an online habitat education program that helps kids learn about habitat conservation through curricula and activities. more

Classroom Resources

Bring science and conservation lessons into your classroom with games and interactive activities for students and outreach programs for Front Royal, Virginia area schools and communities. more

Family Guide: 'Zoo Crew Training Manual'

Join the Zoo Crew! This printable guide to the National Zoo contains fun activities for parents and kids to enjoy together. Made possible by a generous grant from the Smithsonian Women's Committee. Download the Family Guide (English) Download the Family Guide (Spanish)