The Virginia Zoo offers a wide variety of exciting opportunities to enhance your visit. Check out schedules below for a chance to meet with a keeper or animal care staff, chat with an educator, or even encounter animal ambassadors up-close!

Click here to see our animals that are currently off exhibit.

DAILY SCHEDULE – SUMMER 2024

Please see daily activity descriptions below. All programs subject to cancelation due to animal needs or weather; please check daily signage in the Zoo Plaza for any changes to the schedule.

MONDAY

  • 11:00am – ZooLive! Animal Ambassador Stage show
  • 11:30am – Orangutan Keeper Chat
  • 1:00pm – Educator Chat (see location listed in Fountain Plaza)
  • 2:30pm – Emu Keeper Chat

TUESDAY

  • 9:30am – Little Buds at Snavely Statue (select dates; see calendar)
  • 11:30am – Otter/Gibbon Keeper Chat
  • 12:00pm – Plant Chat (see location listed in Fountain Plaza)
  • 1:00pm – Educator Chat (see location listed in Fountain Plaza)
  • 2:30pm – Lion Keeper Chat

WEDNESDAY

  • 10:00am – Wild Walk (free, pre-registration required. Meet in Fountain Plaza)
  • 11:30am – Cape Porcupine Keeper Chat
  • 1:00pm – Educator Chat (see location listed in Fountain Plaza)
  • 2:30pm – Aldabra Tortoise Keeper Chat

THURSDAY

  • 9:30am – Wild Tykes at Nature Play (select dates; see calendar)
  • 11:00am – Zoo Tales at the ZooLive! Stage
  • 11:30am – Rhino Keeper Chat
  • 1:00pm – Educator Chat (see location listed in Fountain Plaza)
  • 2:30pm – Cassowary Keeper Chat (through July 4). Rhino Hornbill Keeper Chat (beginning July 11)

FRIDAY

  • 10:00am – Animal Wellness Chat at the Animal Wellness Campus
  • 11:30am – Red River Hog Keeper Chat
  • 1:00pm – Educator Chat (see location listed in Fountain Plaza)
  • 2:30pm – ZooFarm Keeper Chat (at the Red Barn)

SATURDAY

  • 10:00am – Educator Chat (see location listed in Fountain Plaza)
  • 11:00am – Community Science Chat (see location listed in Fountain Plaza)
  • 11:30am – Siamese Crocodile Keeper Chat
  • 1:00pm – Educator Chat (see location listed in Fountain Plaza)
  • 2:30pm – Conservatory Keeper Chat (in the World of Reptiles)

SUNDAY

  • 10:00am – Educator Chat (see location listed in Fountain Plaza)
  • 11:00am – ZooLive! Animal Ambassador Stage show
  • 11:30am – ZooFarm Pigs Keeper Chat
  • 1:00pm – Educator Chat (see location listed in Fountain Plaza)
  • 2:30pm – Tapir Keeper Chat

OTHER PROGRAMS INCLUDED WITH ADMISSION

We offer a variety of other regularly scheduled programs for guests in addition to those listed above, including Zoo Tales, Wild Tykes, and Little Buds. Please refer to our Events Calendar more information about these programs and their upcoming dates!

On Wednesdays, free Wild Walk guided tours are available at 10am for registered participants. Get more information and sign up for these tours here.

In addition to regularly scheduled programs, a number of other opportunities to engage with Zoo staff and meet animal ambassadors up close may occur on a daily basis. Be on the lookout for signage in the Zoo Plaza and around the Zoo indicating Animal Pop-Up times and locations, Veterinary Procedures, and more!

KEEPER CHATS

Ever wanted to know an animal’s birthday? Or their favorite treat? Get insider information about the animals at our Zoo from their own keepers!

These informal chats with Keeper staff last up to a half-hour.

EDUCATOR CHATS

Learn from our Zoo Educators all about the wild places our species at the Zoo come from, amazing adaptations they have, unique animal relationships, and conservation actions you can take to protect our natural world!

Topics change daily, and specific locations are posted on signage at the front of the Zoo each day. These informal chats last up to a half-hour.

zoo educator wearing safari hat holds ball python while girl touches snake

ZOO LIVE! STAGE SHOWS

Come watch exciting presentations full of fun facts and animal ambassadors! Watch our animal handlers work with ambassador animals to demonstrate natural and enriching behaviors on stage to a seated audience, with a specific theme and takeaway conservation message for each show.

Animal handlers may be staff or Zoo volunteers and are extensively and ongoingly trained to follow protocols which comply with the requirements of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other professional and state standards.

PLANT CHATS

Learn from our Horticulture or Education staff all about the beautiful and bountiful gardens and plants at the Virginia Zoo! From flowers and fruits to bugs and browse, there’s lots to learn about our plants at the Zoo and beyond.

Tuesdays at 12pm.

Topics change weekly, and specific locations are posted on signage at the front of the Zoo each day. These informal chats last up to a half-hour.

DIET KITCHEN CHATS

Watch our Zoo chefs at work, whipping up delicious diets for our animals! Learn from keeper or education staff how we source and deliver quality nutrition throughout the Zoo.

These informal chats last up to a half-hour, and take place at the Diet Kitchen windows at the Animal Wellness Campus. Guests may get the opportunity to talk live to our Zoo chefs as they work!

BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOUR

Learn about animal care, behavior, and conservation on an up-close and personal behind-the-scenes tour! Be introduced to a Zoo Keeper who can share information about the animals they care for as only they know them! Meet our rhinos, stand tall with the giraffes, or meet an almost-century-old tortoise. See a tapir in close proximity, learn more about the bison or chill with a sloth! The Virginia Zoo offers you once-in-a-lifetime animal tours filled with memorable experiences and fascinating information. Each tour is certain to cross off that item on your bucket list, as it will offer you and your family or friends the breathtaking experience of seeing the world’s most dramatic wildlife.