Looking for fun and interactive programs that encourage family learning and foster early environmental awareness? The Virginia Zoo Early Childhood Programs offer several programs for pre-school age children and their care-givers or guardians. Come discover the natural world through play, stories, art and more. We currently offer both structured and unstructured early childhood programming throughout the year through story times and scheduled classes.

  • zoo employee telling a story to children

    Story Times

    Zoo Tales

    Join the Education Department for a storybook adventure. The program features animal stories, educational activities and maybe even an animal visitor!
    These programs are included with Zoo admission.

  • Running Wild

    With the goal of exploring the outdoors and getting a little dirty, play in natural spaces has been shown to improve physical health, support mental and emotional wellbeing, and promote life-long conservation values. Each month features a new theme and different activities.

    This program is recommended for children aged PreK through 2nd grade and their favorite adult. Participants may come and go as they please throughout the program. Guided activities will run from 9:30 to 10 am and free exploration will take place from 10 to 10:30 am.

    Fall Date Now Available, included with admission and no registration is required!

    Want to learn a little more about the plants and animals around the Virginia Zoo? Download the app “Seek by iNaturalist” to identify different species in a snap!