Youth Programs

With programs for every age, your child (and your family!) can grow with the Zoo.

Zoo Tots

(ages 18 mos to 5 yrs)

Zoo Tots is a six-week series designed for you to have fun and learn alongside your child. Each week has a different topic and new ways to enjoy the Zoo!

Jr. Zookeeper

(ages 10 to 14)

Does your child want to be a zookeeper when he grows up? Our Jr. Zookeeper program gives kids the opportunity to work in various animal departments at the Zoo.

Is your child interested in more than attending a program?

We have volunteer opportunities specifically for teens ages 13-17, including the incredible ZooTeens and Counselors-in-Training programs. You can read about those here.

Zoo Tots (ages 18 months - 5 years)

Join us for a six-week series where children learn through play with their favorite play partner: you! Each week you will make friends with nature through play experiences, art, songs, special animal friends and take a zoo hike to an animal exhibit.

The ZooTots series is offered two times a year, in Spring (April to mid-May) and Fall (mid-August to September). Zoo Tots programs are divided into three age groups: 18 months to 23 months, 2 to 3 years, and 4 to 5 years.

Please note: Due to space limitations, only one adult may attend with each registered child. Only those registered for the class may attend. No additional children (including infants) and/or adults may attend with you and your child.

Program Dates & Times:

August 26 - October 3, 2015
*You will attend class the same day and time each week of the series based on the schedule below.

Fall Topics:

  • Week 1 - Picky Eaters
  • Week 2 - Animal Tracks
  • Week 3 - Fur, Scales and Skin
  • Week 4 - Birds of a Feather
  • Week 5 - All About Insects
  • Week 6 - Fall Animal Friends

Ages 18 - 23 mos.

Wednesday: 9 - 10 am

Age 2-3 yrs

Wednesday: 10:15 - 11:15 am
Thursday: 9 - 10 am
Thursday: 10:15 - 11:15 am
Saturday: 9 - 10 am

Ages 4 - 5 yrs

Wednesday: 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Saturday: 10:15 - 11:15 am

Cost of Program:

Members $90 for entire series
Non-Members $115 for entire series

Register for Fall ZooTots

Jr. Zookeeper (ages 10-14)

Become a Jr. Zookeeper for a day and learn the important roles that zookeepers play at Nashville Zoo. Geared towards children ages 10 – 14, our Jr. Zookeeper program gives kids the opportunity to work in various animal departments.

Each month has its own theme – due to popularity, enrollment is limited to 3 classes per Jr. Zookeeper. If registering for multiple classes, your Jr. Zookeeper must choose dates with different topics. Thank you for your cooperation. Each class within the same month is identical, please only register for one class in the same month.

Cost of Program:

Members $50 per class
Non-Members $75 per class

Program Dates & Themes:

Veterinary Care
June 13 or 28 | 9:30am - 2:15pm

Learn about the medical aspect of maintaining the health and well being of the animal collection at the zoo.

July 18 or 26 | 9:30am - 2:15pm

This class focuses on the basic needs of the animals within the zoo's collection, and explains the similarities and differences between species.

Exhibit design & Conservation
Aug. 15 or 30 | 9:30am - 2:15pm

This class focuses on all aspects of designing an exhibit for an animal in a zoo while considering the basic needs of the animal, and designing in a way that facilitates the education of guests.

Enrichment & Training
Sept. 12 or 27 | 9:30am - 2:15pm

Discover how keepers improve the quality of life for the Zoo's animals through building a relationship between man and animal, training, and providing stimulation through enrichment.

Register for Jr. Zookeeper

Zoo Careers (ages 13-18)

Do you want to work at Zoo? The daily care of animals is more than just cleaning and feeding. Learn about the responsibilities and educational requirements of some zoo careers and meet employees that train and care for our animals. Through discussion and activities, you will find out what their jobs are really like!

Cost of Program: 

Members $35 per class
Non-members $60 per class

Registration for every class in the series is not required. Classes are limited to 6 participants.

Program Dates and Topics:

  • October 11 - Animal Nutritionist: Animal Nutritionists are diet experts for zoo animals. During a visit to the Commissary you will find out about food preparation, storage and dietary needs for a diverse species. After meeting with a staff member nutritionist, you will make a diet and feed to one the animals at the Zoo.

All classes take place from 9 am to 11 am. Check back for 2015 dates.

Register for Zoo Careers