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Kids and Families

Whether you are visiting the Zoo in person, joining a virtual program or looking for activities to do at home with your young animal lover, the Zoo has a variety of ways to support your child's learning and growth.

Join Us Live!

Featured Programs

Two children play in a water table

Little Critters Nature Play

Tu / We / Th / Sun; drop-in 9:30a.m. to 1:30p.m.

Little Critters is OPEN during Bird House construction.

Come play with us at the Zoo!

Little zoogoers and their families can drop-in to explore animals and nature through creative, free-choice activity stations, water play, and story times.

Cost: Free

Ages: Young children (ages 0-8) and caregivers (Caregivers/guardians must remain with children)

Location: On-site at the Zoo, in the Bird House classroom

Aquatic Animal Adventures

October 11, 2023 at 2 p.m. ET

Aquatic Animal Adventures is a virtual school program that explores aquatic habitats from ponds to the ocean and the animals along the Zoo's American Trail that call these habitats home.

Cost: Free

Grades: K-5

Access: ASL, captioning

Language: English, Spanish (simulcast)

Learn More Register

A horseshoe crab and mummichog fish in the Delaware Bay aviary.

What Makes a Habitat a Home?

November 15, 2023 at 2 p.m. ET

From deserts to rainforests, what makes a habitat a suitable animal home? What Makes a Habitat a Home explores habitats around the world and some of the animals that live in these habitats.

Cost: Free

Grades: K-5

Access: ASL, captioning

Language: English, Spanish (simulcast)

Learn More Register

Check the program calendar for a complete list of upcoming programs and events.

Virtual Programs

Tune in from near or far to learn about animals, conservation and careers along with our educators.
Zookeeper and Pinky muppet in front of elephants

Get a Head Start with the Smithsonian

These 30-minute programs use music, movement, and play to connect your child or preschool classroom to STEAM learning. Creative classroom activities support each program. Best for kids 5 and under.


An educator wearing a protective face covering talks to students via video on a phone and points out leaves and trees in the Amazonia exhibit

Conservation Classroom

These live, 45-minute programs include pre- and post-activities that connect students to animals, conservation, and careers. Best for K-5 students.


Visit the webinar archive to view recordings of past programs.


I Wonder... Video Series

I wonder... What adaptations do aquatic mammals have for life in the water? Do Zoo animals go to the vet? Bring your curiosity along on an adventure with Kaden, education specialist, as they wonder about animals all around the Zoo.

Career Connection Video Series

Meet staff with "unZOOsual" careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

Explore Beyond Your Door Video Series

Go on a nature walk with Kaden, education specialist and your guide to the outside! These 5-minute videos are for explorers of all ages but optimized for students in grades K-3. Create a journal and earn badges as you follow along!

Learn to Draw a Bird

In this activity, learn how to draw a migratory bird called the common yellowthroat. Follow along as we make observations and practice drawing. You will need something to draw with and on like a pencil and paper plus something to color with like crayons or markers.

Classroom Activities

Smithsonian Learning Lab Collections

Support deep, meaningful learning with an online universe of authentic resources — and tools for making them your own.

Learning Lab

A small hummingbird perched on a tree branch

Self-guided eLearning

Dive deeper into a topic with these self-guided learning collections:

Amphibians  Birds

Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji resting on branches of a tree he's climbed in the panda yard

Animal Cam Bingo

Check in with lions, elephants, giant pandas and naked mole-rats on the Zoo's live animal webcams. Downloadable bingo cards help kids learn about animal behavior and habitats.


child attending a camp performing a hands-on activity

Look, Talk, Play

Objects from across the Smithsonian provide a jumping-off point for learning through play.

Download and Print