Field Trips

Field Trips

Nothing inspires like a zoo field trip! Ignite curiosity as you explore geography, science, language, and culture.

zoo_field_trips_are_an_adventure_in_learning

Try a Mini-Class!

Mini-classes are 20-minute programs held during your zoo field trip. Classes are led by trained volunteers. Programs are offered every half hour beginning at 9:30 AM on weekdays. Advanced registration required at least two weeks in advance. No additional charge beyond zoo admission. Topics include:

Down on the Farm (PreK)
Bringing Up Baby (Grade K)
Fur, Feathers, and Scales (Grade 1)
Related to Reptiles (Grade 2)
Going, Going, Gone (Grade 3)
The Web of Life (Grade 4)
Zoo Careers (Grades 5–8)

To schedule your Mini-Class, contact the zoo Education Department at education@kidszoo.org or 260-427-6808.

Field Trip Planner

  • Safety – Stay safe by remaining on designated zoo pathways at all times. Nametags or matching t-shirts help us reunite students who become separated from their group.
  • Admission – Please have your payment and head count ready when you arrive. Discounted rates are available for school groups with 15 or more children; you must enter as a group and pay in a single transaction by school check, personal check, cash, purchase order, claim form, or credit card. Paid professional school staff are admitted free with school ID when accompanying paying students. Click here for current admission prices. Prices are updated in November, so double check before you collect student payment. Outdated prices will not be honored. Download our Field Trip Planner Worksheet to help you calculate zoo admission prices for your group as well as requirements for obtaining the school group discount.
  • Lunches – Order box lunches at least one week in advance of your field trip and enjoy them in our new Parkview Physicians Group Pavilions in the African Journey. Paid professional school staff receive a free box lunch with school ID when accompanying paying students. No outside food is allowed in the Parkview Physicians Group Pavilions. Click here for boxed lunch menu. To order, call (260) 427-5229.
  • Chaperones – Plan to bring one chaperone for every five to eight students. Chaperones should know your educational goals, guide behavior, and remain with students at all times.
  • Parking – After unloading students, please park buses at the Foellinger Theater. Allow at least three hours for your zoo visit.
  • Special Needs Students – The zoo wishes to meet the needs of all visitors. The entire zoo is accessible. Assisted Listening Devices and large print transcripts are available for education programs with advance notice. Call 260-427-6808 or e-mail education@kidszoo.org.
  • Feeding Animals – Feeding zoo animals is not permitted, except for the giraffes and goats, using only food purchased at the zoo.
  • Rides- Plan to ride the Sky Safari, Endangered Species Carousel, River Ride, Train Ride, or Pony Trail. Tickets may be purchased at the zoo entrance on arrival. Height or age restrictions may apply. Click here for prices and details
  • Gift Shop – Order Treasure Bags filled with students’ favorite souvenirs from the Wild Things Gift Shop, and we’ll have them waiting for you when you visit. Call 260-427-6810 at least two weeks before your field trip.

Birthday Parties

Birthday Parties

Does your child want to party with the animals?

We bring zoo animals to your home for the wildest birthday party in town!

We’ll come to you with an exciting animal program to celebrate your child’s special day. Our professional zoo staff member will bring four friendly zoo animals to your home for a 60-minute birthday experience.  Here’s what’s included:

“Amazing Animals” program with four friendly zoo animals

“I Partied with the Animals” t-shirt for the birthday child

A special gift for the birthday child

Zoo coupon for each child attending the birthday party

Suitable for birthday guests ages 2-10

 We require that your pets be kept in a separate room while our animals are visiting your home.

Price: $150; mileage fees apply for parties outside Allen County.

To schedule your birthday party, contact us at 260-427-6808 or education@kidszoo.org. Parties must be scheduled at least 3 weeks in advance.

Refund Policy: Refunds (minus 10% processing fee) are available if you cancel at least 3 weeks in advance.  No refund if you cancel less than 3 weeks in advance.


Care-a-van resized for wordpress

Care-a-van

Care-a-van resized for wordpress

Care-A-Van

Zoo volunteers bring friendly animals to area hospitals and care facilities in this free community program.

For information, contact the Education Department at 260-427-6808 or e-mail education@kidszoo.org.

family at zoo

Family Wild Nights

Family Wild Nights

Experience the Zoo after dark at this popular sleepover program!

family at zoo


Family Wild Nights

Find out what happens at the zoo when the lights go out! You’ll enjoy educational activities, food, lots of fun! Programs begin at 6 PM and end at 9 AM the next day. The fee for a Wild Night is $35/child and $23/adult and includes pizza dinner, snack, continental breakfast, and guided educational activities led by Zoo Education Staff. Adults must accompany children.

2019 Sessions:

Sleep with the Sharks Family Night: Your under-the-sea adventure will study all things under the ocean! You and your family will sleep in the aquarium gallery. (Ages 5 & up with adult.)

May 10 (Mother’s Day Weekend), July 27,  September 13, and October 4.

Sleep Under the Stars Family Night: Pitch your own tent and learn about nocturnal critters while your family camps out at the zoo! (Ages 5 & up with adult.)
June 15 (Father’s Day Weekend), July 13, and August 30.

Sponsored by:

Fun with the Fishes Preschool Family Night: Parents and preschoolers are invited to have their own fun-filled night in the aquarium gallery! (Ages 3-5 with adult.)
June 7 and August 24.



To Register For Wild Nights

All programs require advance registration and openings are limited, so register early to avoid disappointment! You will receive confirmation of your registration.



Wild Nights Cancellation and Refund Policies

Children must meet age requirements on the first day of all programs (no exceptions).

Programs are held rain or shine.

Refunds (minus 10% processing fee) are available if you cancel at least 2 weeks in advance.

No refund if you cancel less than 2 weeks in advance.

The zoo reserves the right to cancel camps with insufficient registration. In the event of such a cancellation, all of your fees will be refunded.

Penguin VIP Experience

Wild Encounters

Get closer than ever to your favorite animals with a once-in-a-lifetime experience!




Note:  If you register from a desktop computer, we recommend using Chrome as your internet browser. Internet Explorer users have reported difficulties.



Penguin Wild Encounter

Find yourself among the flock as you step onto the penguins’ beach.  You’ll meet our penguins in this up close encounter and help keepers deliver their fishy lunch while they will share how they care for and train these amazing birds and how we are working to protect and conserve this endangered species.

Ages 8 & up- Maximum group size 2 people. Children under age 13 must be accompanied by a paying adult.



DaysFridays-Sundays
during the zoo season
Time2:00-2:30 PM
Cost$89 per person
AgesAges 8 & up
Max. group size 2 people


Giraffe Wild Encounter

Your adventure takes you behind the scenes** in our state of the art giraffe barn.  You will help keepers create special feeders for the Zoo’s tallest residents, while keepers share how they train and care for our tower.  You’ll find out just how tall giraffe are when you stand toe to toe with these gentle giants as they munch tasty snacks from your hand.

Ages 5 & up – Maximum group size 6 people.  Children under age 13 must be accompanied by a paying adult.

**cameras, video equipment or cell phones are not permitted in the giraffe barn.  There will be a locker provided for you to lock your possessions.



DaysFridays-Mondays
during the zoo season
Time1:00 – 1:30  PM
Cost$79 per person
AgesAges 5 & up
Max. group size 6 people


 Stingray Wild Encounter

This unique encounter will give you access to exclusive behind the scenes stingray feeding area.  You will meet one of our aquarist and learn about how we care for our stingrays, while you participate in a stingray feeding session.

Ages 6 & up – Maximum group size 4 people.  Children under age 13 must be accompanied by a paying adult.



DaysSaturdays-Mondays
during the zoo season
Time1:00 – 1:30 PM
Cost$39 per person
AgesAges 6 & up
Max. group size 4 people




To Register for your Wild Encounter

Preregistration is required at least four days in advance of your Wild Encounter and openings are limited, so register early! You will receive confirmation of your registration. Full payment is required at the time of registration.

Questions?  Contact us at 260-427-6800 or by e-mail.

Important Information for your Wild Encounter: Encounters are available only when the zoo is open for the season. Wild Encounter prices do not include zoo admission. You are free to explore the zoo on your own during normal operating hours before or after your Wild Encounter. No exceptions for stated maximum group size or age limits. Children age 13 and under must be accompanied by an adult who has also purchased a Wild Encounter ticket. Participants agree to abide by zoo protocols when visiting behind the scenes as instructed by zoo staff, including the use of protective masks, hand washing or other procedures. Closed-toed shoes are required for your safety—no sandals. Photographs taken behind the scenes at the zoo may not be published or shared on social media per the zoo’s Photo and Video Policy.

Cancellation and Refund Policies:  Wild Encounters are held rain or shine. Refunds (minus 10% processing fee) are available if you cancel at least 2 weeks in advance. No refund if you cancel less than 2 weeks in advance, but the zoo will make every effort to reschedule your Encounter. The zoo reserves the right to cancel any Wild Encounter or offer an equivalent substitute at any time due to animal health or safety issues. In the event of a zoo cancellation, a full refund will be offered.

classroom zoomobile program

Zoomobile

Zoomobile

Take a walk on the WILD side and invite the zoo to your classroom!

Friendly animals combine with expert presenters to make your program fun and educational. Discounts are available for consecutive programs. Additional fees such as mileage may apply. To schedule a program or ask questions, contact the Zoo Education Department at 260-427-6808 or email us at education@kidszoo.org.

Classroom Programs

Bring your science lessons to life with a visit from the Zoomobile. Embark on a learning

adventure right in your classroom. Our dynamic presentations will engage students and

encourage “I Wonder Why” questioning, while supporting your classroom learning objectives.

See our new Classroom Programs

ZSI:  Zoo Scientific Inquiry

In our intensive 9-week program, students build terrariums, care for live animals, and learn to gather and interpret data using the scientific method.
Program length: One hour per week for 9 weeks
Grade Level:  Grade 4
FREE programs available to qualified schools.

Animal Appearance

Our friendly zoo animals are always a hit during this casual “meet and greet.”

Program length: 60 minutes
Price: $50 per animal, up to 3 animals FREE programs available to qualified schools.


Just Zoo It Mini-Grant Applications

The 2018 mini-grant program is sponsored by Touchstone Energy Cooperatives- Your local REMC’s. This opportunity is available for 1st or 2nd grade classrooms in the following counties/school districts: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Stueben, Wabash, Wells, and Whitely.

The deadline to apply is January 31, 2018. To access the application, click here. Applications can be sent by email to education@kidszoo.org, by fax to 260-427-6820, or mailed to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, Attn: Just Zoo It, 3411 Sherman Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN 46808. (Mailed applications must be postmarked no later than Jan. 31)

If you have any questions, please call Susie Bailey at 260-427-6808, or email education@kidszoo.org.

Award Information:  All award information will be sent via email by March 31, 2018.

Teen Volunteers

Teen Volunteers

Check back in January for the 2019 program application!

What is the Teens for Nature Program?

Teens for Nature is a leadership program and an exciting way for students to develop leadership and teamwork skills while exploring the zoo. Teens will learn, grow, make new friends, and have fun!

Who can apply?

To apply for Teens for Nature, you must:

Be 13 to 17 years old by June 1, 2019

Have the desire and ability to work with people of all ages

Have an interest in animals and the environment

Be courteous and helpful to zoo guests

Be able to understand and follow instructions

Commit to being in attendance on the days you are assigned, completing training sessions, and following the program’s code of conduct

Download and read theTeens for Nature Volunteer Position Description to learn the full details of the functions performed, education and experience criteria and the knowledge, skills and abilities required to become a Teens for Nature Volunteer.  The cost of this program is $59. Thank you for your interest in becoming a part of the Teens for Nature Program!


What will we do?

Teens for Nature members make a commitment to work Monday through Friday for two consecutive weeks during the summer. You can mark your position preference on your application.

Teens help in four main areas:


Teen Counselor

Explore the whole zoo as you assist at our popular Kids for Nature Summer Camp. Hours are Monday-Friday 8 AM – 4 PM for two consecutive weeks.

Teen Zookeeper

Assist keepers with daily tasks like cleaning public areas and animal holding areas. Hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM for two consecutive weeks.
Note: You must be returning for your 3rd, 4th, or 5th year to be a Teen Zookeeper.

Zoo Crew

Make connections with zoo guests of all ages by sharing fun activities and biofacts. Hours are Monday-Friday 9 AM – 4 PM for two consecutive weeks.

Conservation Crew

Participate in a project that promotes conservation awareness! Past projects have included constructing bat houses, building a butterfly garden, monitoring stream water quality, and producing a special event. Hours are Monday-Friday 9 AM- 4 PM for two consecutive weeks.



Thank you to our Teens for Nature 2018 sponsors:

Want more information?

Contact the Volunteer Office at 260-427-6828 or volunteer@kidszoo.org

Current Teens for Nature Volunteers: Click here to log in to our online scheduling system



Adult Volunteers

Adult Volunteers

Volunteers make a difference at the
Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo!

Our energetic and dedicated Adult Volunteers contribute their time and talent to assist zoo guests and provide operational support.

Volunteer Levels

The zoo’s Adult Volunteer Program includes three tiers: Basic, Ambassador, and Docent. All new applicants begin at the Basic level. You can then choose to take more training and add a wider range of duties to your volunteer activities.

Please take a moment to read the position descriptions for each level of the Adult Volunteer Program:


Basic Level Volunteer

Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo Volunteer Position Description
POSITION TITLE: Zoo Basic Volunteer
SUPERVISOR’S TITLE: Volunteer Superintendent

POSITION PURPOSE:
Zoo Basic volunteers enthusiastically provide great service to zoo guests of all ages. Zoo Basic volunteers also assist area keepers in staffing necessary positions during peak operational times. Volunteers are not paid for their services.

POSITION ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

  • Monitor guest interactions with animals in the goat yard
  • Sell animal food to zoo guests in the goat yard and giraffe platform areas
  • Assist with zoo special events
  • Represent the zoo in a positive manner by maintaining a positive attitude and delivering exceptional guest service
  • Actively contribute to positive guest experiences
  • Serve as a team player at the zoo by supporting the zoo’s mission

EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE:
To perform this job successfully, an individual must have the following education and/or experience:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older and be a high school graduate or have equivalent certification
  • Must pass a criminal background check
  • Must agree to comply with the zoo’s appearance guidelines of no visible tattoos or piercings (except ears) and simple uniform requirements
  • Must have a valid driver’s license or access to reliable transportation

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
The requirements listed below are required to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Must be reliable and punctual
  • Must be capable of working alone with minimal supervision
  • Friendly, outgoing personality to interact with guests of all ages
  • Ability to verbally communicate clearly and effectively with a variety of audience ages
  • Ability to handle monetary transactions
  • Must attend and complete all pertinent orientation/training sessions and testing requirements
  • Must be committed to providing excellent guest service and be able to do so in a fast paced environment
  • Minimum of 1 year commitment is required, with at least 30 hours of basic volunteer shift service

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:
The physical demands described must be met to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Ability to stand and sit for periods of time and to move intermittently throughout the day
  • Good speaking and listening skills
  • Strong sensory skills, such as good eyesight, good hearing and dexterity
  • Ability to perform focused work with close attention to detail
  • Ability to work both indoors and outdoors, with expo sure to extreme temperatures and inclement weather conditions; the environment may include wet, icy, hot or muddy conditions.
  • Ability to interact with others in a professional manner
  • Ability to lift and carry 40 pounds without assistance
  • This position may include exposure to hazardous materials, fumes/odors, dirt and dust

Ambassador Level Volunteer

Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo Volunteer Position Description
POSITION TITLE: Zoo Ambassador Volunteer
SUPERVISOR’S TITLE: Volunteer Superintendent

POSITION PURPOSE:
Zoo Ambassador Volunteers enthusiastically provide great service to zoo guests of all ages. Zoo Ambassador Volunteers also assist the zoo’s education department by skillfully delivering educational programs to audiences of all ages. Volunteers are not paid for their services.

POSITION ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

  • Share educational information with zoo guests through tours and informal presentations
  • Deliver fun-filled educational programs to audiences both at the zoo and off-site
  • Assist with zoo special events
  • Represent the zoo in a positive manner by maintaining a positive attitude and delivering exceptional guest service
  • Actively contribute to positive guest experiences
  • Serve as a team player at the zoo by supporting the zoo’s mission

EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE:
To perform this job successfully, an individual must have the following education and/or experience:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older and be a high school graduate or have equivalent certification
  • Must pass a criminal background check
  • Must agree to comply with the zoo’s appearance guidelines of no visible tattoos or piercings (except ears) and simple uniform requirements
  • Must have a valid driver’s license or access to reliable transportation
  • Must have fulfilled requirements of Basic Volunteer (30 hours of shift service)

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
The requirements listed below are required to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Must be reliable and punctual
  • Must be capable of working alone with minimal supervision
  • Friendly, outgoing personality to interact with guests of all ages
  • Ability to verbally communicate clearly and effectively with a variety of audience ages
  • Ability to handle monetary transactions
  • Excellent organizational, presen tation and motivational skills
  • Strong interest in zoo education with kno wledge of wildlife and natural history
  • Must attend and complete all pertinent orientation/training sessions and testing requirements
  • Must be committed to providing excellent guest service and be able to do so in a fast paced environment
  • Minimum of 1 year commitment is required, with at least 60 hours of Ambassador Volunteer shift service

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:
The physical demands described must be met to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Ability to stand and sit for periods of time and to move intermittently throughout the day
  • Good speaking and listening skills
  • Strong sensory skills, such as good eyesight, good hearing and dexterity
  • Ability to perform focused work with close attention to detail
  • Ability to work both indoors and outdoors, with expo sure to extreme temperatures and inclement weather conditions; the environment may include wet, icy, hot or muddy conditions.
  • Ability to interact with others in a professional manner
  • Ability to lift and carry 40 pounds without assistance
  • This position may include exposure to hazardous materials, fumes/odors, dirt and dust

Docent Level Volunteer

Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo Volunteer Position Description
POSITION TITLE: Zoo Docent Volunteer
SUPERVISOR’S TITLE: Volunteer Superintendent

POSITION PURPOSE:
Zoo Docent Volunteers enthusiastically provide great service to zoo guests of all ages. Zoo docent volunteers also assist the zoo’s education department by skillfully delivering educational programs to audiences of all ages. Volunteers are not paid for their services.

POSITION ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

  • Handle and introduce program participants to a variety of small animals
  • Deliver fun-filled educational programs to school groups, family groups and other audiences both at the zoo and off-site
  • Promote the zoo as a science resource to the education community
  • Assist with zoo special events
  • Represent the zoo in a positive manner by maintaining a positive attitude and delivering exceptional guest service
  • Actively contribute to positive guest experiences
  • Serve as a team player at the zoo by supporting the zoo’s mission

EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE:
To perform this job successfully, an individual must have the following education and/or experience:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older and be a high school graduate or have equivalent certification
  • Must pass a criminal background check
  • Must agree to comply with the zoo’s appearance guidelines of no visible tattoos or piercings (except ears) and simple uniform requirements
  • Must have a valid driver’s license or access to reliable transportation
  • Must have fulfilled requirements of Basic Volunteer (30 hours of shift service) and Ambassador Volunteer (60 hours of shift service)

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
The requirements listed below are required to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Ability to convey accurate scientific information in a meaningful way to children and adults
  • Ability to use a variety of interpretive techniques to convey information and transfer knowledge
  • Ability to think logically in order to troubleshoot, analyze situations, and make sound decisions
  • Ability to serve in every respect and at all times as a goodwill ambassador for the Fort Wayne Zoological Society and the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo in contacts with zoo guests and the general public
  • Strong interest in zoo education with knowledge of wildlife and natural history
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Ability to work a highly flexible schedule
  • Must be reliable and punctual
  • Must be capable of working alone with minimal supervision
  • Friendly, outgoing personality to interact with guests of all ages
  • Ability to verbally communicate clearly and effectively with a variety of audience ages
  • Ability to handle monetary transactions
  • Excellent organizational, presentation and motivational skills
  • Must attend and complete all pertinent orientation/training sessions and testing requirements
  • Must be committed to providing excellent guest service and be able to do so in a fast paced environment
  • Minimum of 1 year commitment is required, with at least 100 hours of Docent Volunteer shift service

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:
The physical demands described must be met to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Ability to stand and sit for periods of time and to move intermittently throughout the day
  • Good speaking and listening skills
  • Strong sensory skills, such as good eyesight, good hearing and dexterity
  • Ability to perform focused work with close attention to detail
  • Ability to work both indoors and outdoors, with exposure to extreme temperatures and inclement weather conditions; the environment may include wet, icy, hot or muddy conditions.
  • Ability to interact with others in a professional manner
  • Ability to lift and carry 40 pounds without assistance
  • Ability to handle and restrain a variety of small animals in a program setting
  • This position may include exposure to hazardous materials, fumes/odors, dirt and dust

All adult volunteers must be at least 18 years old and enjoy working with people, complete an application, obtain a letter of reference, and undergo a background check.

Apply to Volunteer

Ready to take the next step? Great! Apply to Volunteer in two easy steps:
1) Complete an application online

2) Download and print a Recommendation Form, fill it out and send it to us at:

Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
Attn: Volunteer Superintendent
3411 Sherman Blvd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46808

Or fax to the attention of the Volunteer Superintendent at (260) 427-6820

We’ll contact you to arrange an interview so we can get to know you better and place you in the next available training class.

Adult Basic Training

New volunteers must attend Basic Training 1 & 2. There is a $10.00 fee for materials, plus the cost of a uniform shirt. 

2018 Session 1
Basic Training 1:  
Tues, 4/10/18 – 6:00-8:30 PM
Basic Training 2: Thurs, 4/12/18 – 6:00-8:30 PM

2018 Session 2
Basic Training 1:  
Tues, 6/12/18 – 6:00-8:30 PM
Basic Training 2: Thurs, 6/14/18 – 6:00-8:30 PM

2018 Session 3
Basic Training 1:  
Tues, 8/14/18 – 6:00-8:30 PM
Basic Training 2: Thurs, 8/16/18 – 6:00-8:30 PM

Ambassador Level Training

You must fulfill the requirements of Basic Level Volunteer before taking this training class. All 3 Ambassador level classes must be completed. There is a $5.00 fee for materials.

Docent Level Training

You must fulfill the requirements of Ambassador Level Volunteer before taking this training class. All 4 Docent level classes must be completed. There is a $5.00 fee for materials.

Want more information?

Contact the Volunteer Office at 260-427-6828 or volunteer@kidszoo.org

Current Volunteers: Click here to log in to our online scheduling system