SCHOOL PROGRAMS

About our Programs

Our school and group programs are great for any group – not just schools! Scouts, homeschool groups, libraries, senior centers and more can all enjoy these exciting offerings. These programs give participants a memorable, fun and highly educational way to learn about animals and conservation.

Choose from a variety of topics that will keep your group engaged as they learn more about the natural world around them. For school groups, each program includes science lessons aligned to Virginia’s Standards of Learning and also fit curriculum requirements in North Carolina and for private schools. We offer two great options – virtual or in-person! Off-site programs are unavailable at this time, check back for updates.

Now Booking!

The Virginia Zoo’s Education Department is currently booking school and group programs through August 2021. Program offerings and prices for the 2021-2022 school year are under review and subject to change. Program bookings for the 2021-2022 school year are anticipated to open in July 2021.

Financial Aid

Title 1 schools in Virginia and North Carolina, as well as all Norfolk Public Schools, are eligible for a free Career Chat + Q&A session. Free chats are limited and scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact the Virginia Zoo for more information.

Contact Us

To book a program or find answers to your questions, fill out the inquiry form at the bottom of this page, call 757-441-2374 ext. 232 or email vazoo.education@norfolk.gov.

Woman reads a book to a group of children
  • Bearded dragon in front of computer screen

    Career Chat + Q&A Session

    Virtual Program

    Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work at a zoo? Discover what it takes to care for the furry, feathery, and scaly friends that call the Virginia Zoo home. Each virtual program lasts for 30 minutes, includes a short presentation, and a Q&A session with one of our Zoo Educators. This program does not include a live animal encounter.

    Pricing: $30 per program

    Program Length: 30 minutes

    Financial Aid: Title 1 and Norfolk Public Schools are eligible for a free “Career Chat + Q&A Session”. Please contact the Virginia Zoo for more information at vazoo.education@norfolk.gov.

  • Classroom Program

    Virtual Program

    This program will bring learning to life, as your group meets 2 different animal ambassadors and sees various bio-facts related to the program theme. Each program lasts for 30 minutes and is aligned to Virginia’s Standards of Learning. These programs can be scheduled for any grade (or age) level and can be adjusted to fit your group’s needs.

    Pricing: $60 per program; Additional animal ambassadors can be added to your program, for an additional $15 per animal

    Program Length: 30 minutes

    Program Themes:

    • Habitats From the rainforests of Africa to the deserts in Australia, explore the different habitats that animals call home.
    • Adaptations What is camouflage? Why do some animals sleep during the day? This program reveals the physical and behavioral adaptations animals use to survive.
    • Life Cycles  Investigate how animals are born, grow up and care for their young.
    • Food Chains  + Food Webs  Compare predator vs prey and connect the links within the food chain.
    • Animal Groups  Is it a mammal, reptile, bird or amphibian? During this program, students explore how scientists classify animals into different groups.
    • Animal Behavior  Animal behavior plays a very important role in how we care for animals, both at the Zoo and around the world. Participants will learn about animal behavior and conduct an ethogram observation for one of the Zoo’s animal ambassadors.
    • Senses  Discover how living things, including humans, sense the world around them.
    • Community (Citizen) Science  Did you know you can help scientists learn more about the wildlife and habitats in your area? Join us as we introduce you to the world of community science!

    Can’t find what you’re looking for? Let us know! We may be able to cover a topic that isn’t listed above.

  • Zoo Veterinarian looks at turtle

    Animal Wellness Campus Tour + Q&A

    Virtual Program

    Have you ever wondered what goes on behind-the-scenes at the Virginia Zoo’s veterinary hospital, known as the Animal Wellness Campus? Do you want to know what it takes to care for more than 700 animals daily? While we can’t physically take you inside the building right now due to health and safety regulations related to COVID-19, we can do the next best thing – a video tour!

    Pricing: $50

    Program Length: Receive access to a 30-minute behind-the-scenes video tour of the Animal Wellness Campus through an online portal for 30 days plus a 45-minute question and answer session with one of the Zoo’s educators. We recommend you watch the video prior to your Q&A session and send the Education Department questions ahead of time so that we can ensure the best experience possible.

    Audience: There is no overtly graphic content in the video but it does show surgical procedures on animals. Due to this, we recommend this video tour for middle school groups and up. This tour is especially interesting for any group particularly interested in veterinary medicine.

  • Group of young children in masks walk in the Zoo

    Zoo Field Trips

    In-person option

    Pricing: $150 per tour (General admission for the day is included in the cost of guided tours)

    Group Size: Maximum of 15 students and 2 adults (or 17 total people)

    Timing: Guided tours are offered Tuesday-Thursday mornings at 9:30 am. Up to 3 guided tours (accommodating 45 students and 6 adults or 51 total people) can be booked simultaneously. Tours last 1 hour.

    Program Themes: Adaptations, Animal Groups, Habitats, Zoo Careers

    Audience: Groups of all ages and types (school, scout, homeschool, senior center, etc).

  • A group of people look into reptile exhibits

    Self-Guided Field Trips

    In-person option

    The Virginia Zoo is not currently offering group rates for self-guided tours. You are welcome to bring your group to the Zoo. All tickets must be reserved online ahead of time for a specific timed entry. Tickets can be purchased up to 2 weeks in advance by clicking here.

Complete this form and we will contact you to schedule your program. Please note that your date has not been confirmed until you receive a confirmation letter from our staff.
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