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

Available weekly, every Thursday and Sunday. Pre-registration required.

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)

Each tour has a maximum capacity of 9 people.

Dates & Times:

These 90-minute tours occur twice a day, 7 days a week until October 13. Starting October 14, tours will be available on Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30am.

Reserve your spot!

 

Docent-led Walking Tours

Available weekly, every Thursday and Sunday. Pre-registration required. 

Enjoy a personalized visit to the Zoo on a guided walking tour. Our docents (trained volunteer educators) will greet you and your party at Entry Village for a 45 minute guided tour through the Zoo.

Tours are free with Zoo admission or membership and require a minimum of one week notice. Tours can accommodate up to 40 guests per group. Register your group by contacting Chris Radek, the Zoo's Interpretation Manager, at cradek@nashvillezoo.org or 615-833-1534 x146.

Tour Themes

Nashville Zoo Around the World: Learn more about Nashville Zoo’s conservation efforts, both locally and globally, and how you can help!

We Are Family!: Many animals at Nashville Zoo live in family groups just like us. Why? Learn more about these animals that live in groups and how it helps them survive.

 

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 - March 17: closed
  • March 18 - 26: open daily
  • March 29 - May 21: open Wednesday through Sunday
  • May 24 - July 31: open daily
  • August 2 - October 12: open Wednesday through Sunday plus Senior Day
  • October 13 - November: closed, except for November 11-12
  • December - closed, except for Christmas tours
 

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.