Guided Tours

Guided Tours - At a Glance

Explore your options in detail further down this page.

Backstage Pass

Travel "backstage" at the Zoo to learn about animal care, behavior and conservation!

Pre-registration is required.

Docent-led Walking Tours

Each Thursday and Sunday at 10am docents lead guests on a tour of the Zoo.

Available weekly from May 29 to October 9.

Historic Home Tours

The frequency of home tours varies by season. The full schedule is listed below.

Private garden tours are available by request only. Otherwise, guests are welcome to walk through our gardens on their own during their visit.


Backstage Pass

Travel "backstage" at the Zoo to learn about animal care, behavior and conservation! Backstage Pass gives you behind-the-scenes access to the anteater barn, giraffe barn and commissary. You'll even share treats with a giraffe or anteater! This special tour is filled with experiences and information you cannot get anywhere else.

These 90-minute tours occur twice daily at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 per person. Each tour has a maximum capacity of 9 people.

Purchase your ticket in advance through our website or at the Zoo's ticket booth (subject to availability; ticket sales end one hour prior to the tour). All children must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. Don't wait until you're at the gate, plan your tour in advance by purchasing online!

Cost of Program:

$30 per person (plus Zoo admission)

Dates & Times:

These 90-minute tours occur twice a day, 7 days a week.

Reserve your spot!

Docent-led Walking Tours

Available weekly, every Thursday and Sunday at 10am, from May 29 to October 9.

Each Thursday and Sunday at 10am docents lead guests on a tour of the Zoo. There is a limit of 25 people per tour (pre-registration is not required). Tours will meet near Entry Village.

“Nashville Zoo around the World” Tour
Thursday at 10am

Did you know Nashville Zoo is involved in conservation projects all around the world? On this tour you will learn more about how the Zoo helps clouded leopards in Thailand, crested toads in Puerto Rico, rhinoceros hornbills in Indonesia, and more.

“We Are Family” Tour
Sunday at 10am

Many animals live in families or social groups just like we do. Animal families can be made up of just one or two parents, or even a large herd! This tour will teach you about the different strategies animals use when raising a family and the benefits animals get from living with their parents and adults.

Historic Home and Garden Tours

Have you ever visited the Zoo and wondered what "Grassmere" means or who the Croft's were? Why are those names important to the history of Nashville Zoo? The answers to these questions can be found during a tour of the Grassmere Historic Home, located at the Historic Farm area of the Zoo.

Availability of Grassmere Historic Home tours varies by season.

  • January through March 18 - closed
  • March 19-27 - open daily
  • April 2 through May 22 - open weekends only
  • May 28 through September 30 - open daily
  • October - open weekends only, plus Senior Day
  • November - closed, except for Military Appreciation Day (Nov. 13)
  • December - closed, except for Christmas tours
Check daily calendar for today's tour times

Tour Topics:

Open House

Spend as much or as little time as you want.

Do you want to visit the Grassmere Historic Home but do not have time to take a tour? Come to an open house and roam through the house on your own. Staff will be on-hand to answer questions.

Historic Home Tour

30 minute tour

Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

Kid-Friendly Tour

20 minute tour

While kids are invited to join any guided tour, these kid-friendly tours are shorter and focus on topics this age group may find interesting.

These tours will give children a glimpse into the house's history and importance, and explain how the Grassmere property became the Nashville Zoo. Tours will include peeks into the Historic Home and artifact encounters.

Farm Outbuilding Tour

Tour length varies

The Grassmere Historic Farm is much more than just the Historic Home. Learn more about how five generations lived and worked on the property.

The outbuildings on the Historic Farm each have their own story and unique purpose. Visitors are invited to visit the carriage barn, gardens, kitchen, smokehouse, slave cabin, and cemetery. Tour starts at the kitchen building.

Artifact Encounters

Encounters occur once a day

Did you ever want to reach out and touch one of the artifacts inside the house? Artifact Encounters will offer visitors a chance to get up close and personal with actual artifacts and replicas from the Grassmere Historic Farm collection.