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 toddler to pre-school age children and their caregivers or guardians. All of these programs are free with admission. Come discover the natural world through play, stories, songs, and more!

Woman reads a book to a group of children
Woman on stage speaking to families with young children


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.

  • September 9, 2021: 10 am and 11 am
  • September 30, 2021: 10 am and 11 am


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.

September: Bugs Learn about the hardest workers in the animal kingdom as we explore the new pollinator garden for bees, butterflies, and other bugs! We’ll learn how many legs different bugs have, what their colors mean, and more. 
September 12 & 22

October: Habitats! The Virginia Zoo is home to many animals from around the world, but also provides great habitats for our native animals! We’ll learn what all animals need to survive and see who calls the zoo home. 
October 10 & 13

November: Let’s Move! Animals can leap, run, and fly- and so can you! (Well, maybe not fly.) Let’s move like the animals while also measuring and counting. 
November 14 & 17

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.

Meet inside the Zoo, just past the Ticket Booth.

These programs are included with Zoo admission and program registration isn’t 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!