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Nature Cubs in A Box: Once Upon a Zoo

Bornean orangutan Redd at the Smithsonian's National Zoo

Bring the hands-on fun of Nature Cubs right into your home for four weeks with all the activity plans and supplies you need to dive right in for screen-free fun with the animals of the Smithsonian's National Zoo! The "Once Upon a Zoo" series introduces you to the real animals you know from your favorite storybooks, featuring orangutans, red river hogs and even the Zoo's very own dragon.

Nature Cubs in a Box is proudly presented by Chase!

Once Upon a Zoo Includes:

  • Weekly, 35-minute livestream classes where Zoo educators engage your child with science activities, songs, stories and animal artifacts;
  • Four weeks of exciting, hands-on activities and all the supplies you'll need to do them;
  • Copies of several of the "books of the week" for you and your child to keep and enjoy;
  • A plush animal for your child to bring to class each week;
  • Access to exclusive videos on the animals/topics we are learning about;
  • A family newsletter with exclusive Nature Cubs content, activity suggestions, Zoo news and more.

Livestream classes meet on Mondays, Wednesdays or Saturdays. Participants may register to attend one day of the week only.

Monday and Wednesday classes stream at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Participants may attend either the morning or afternoon session, as best fits their schedules.

Saturday classes meet at 10 a.m. only.


Each supply box contains enough supplies for up to two children to complete all included activities for the entire four-class series!

Education staff will arrange contactless pickup of the supply boxes at the Zoo on Sunday, Nov. 22, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you prefer your box be shipped to your home, a flat $25 shipping fee will be charged to your account.

Member cost: 

Non-member cost: 

Class Type: 

Age range: 3 - 5

Class Sessions

Date(s): Monday, November 30 to Monday, December 21 (class meets on Mondays)
Session is currently sold out.
Date(s): Wednesday, December 2 to Wednesday, December 23 (class meets on Wednesdays)
Session is currently sold out.
Date(s): Saturday, December 5 to Saturday, December 26 (class meets on Saturdays)
Time: 10:00 am to 10:35 am
Session is currently sold out.