Education FAQs

Education Frequently Asked Questions

Inquiring minds learn better.

Expand any section below for their FAQs.

 

 

 

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Birthday Parties

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What can I expect with each animal-themed birthday party?

The theme animal you choose will be the animal that you and your party guests will visit during your party! During the visit you can expect to learn more about the animal from an experienced zoo staff member. We also plan for the birthday child to have a special interaction or experience with the animal. Each of these will include a defining moment certificate as well as opportunities for photos.While our zoo keepers strive to set our animals up for success so that you and your guests have the best experience possible, we cannot guarantee any specific experiences. Possible experiences may include: Feeding or providing enrichment.

Please keep in mind that special experience opportunities can differ from party to party and from animal to animal.

Depending on the age of the birthday child, an adult will join for the animal experience. We strive for the following to happen with each animal theme.

View Birthday Party animal theme choices here.

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Can I bring my own cake and/or snacks to a Animal Themed Party?

To make it easier for you we would love to provide a cake and ice cream for your celebration. You are welcome to bring your own cake, but we do not allow any other outside food or beverage to be brought for the parties.If you choose to bring your own cake you are responsible for carrying those items yourself to and from the party room without Zoo assistance.

If you would like to provide your party guests with pizza we have wonderful chefs at the Grizzly Grill that will make pizza for your party. Gluten free pizza available upon request. Call 719-424-7827 for more details.

 

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If I have friends who are members, do I still need to pay for them to come to the party?

Yes. Because our Animal Themed Party package includes extras for even zoo members, each party guest will need a ticket specifically for the party.
In addition – the membership discount is based only on the member status of the person who booked the party with us. Membership status of other guests at the party does not apply.

 

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What decorations will the Zoo provide?

In an effort to be environmentally friendly the zoo provides animal-themed colored tablecloths. We provide tables for eating as well as a cake and present table.

 

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Can I bring my own decorations?

Yes! Our education staff will meet you and your party guests at the front gate 10-minutes before the start time of your party. We are not able to accommodate an earlier arrival to set up decorations.

For safety of the animals we cannot allow balloons or confetti.

 

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Can I have guests pay for themselves on the day of the party?

We do accept cash, check, or credit cards on the day of the party.

 

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Where will my party room be located?

We have three options for the inside portion of your birthday party experience:

  • Safari Lodge – across from the lion exhibit near Elson’s Place
  • Safari Cabin – log cabin classroom near Sky Ride
  • Lodge at Moose Lake – event rental space near Grizzly Grill Cafe

These party rooms are also rented for other programs at the Zoo. The spaces accommodate different numbers of party guests as well.

 

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Is there a cancellation policy for bad weather?

If the Zoo is open to the public, then all scheduled programs at the Zoo will run as planned. If the Zoo decides to close due to bad weather, our first priority will be to reschedule your program for another date.

 

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Can I rent a wagon or wheel chair at the Zoo for my party?

This equipment rental is separate from our Zoo birthday package. These rentals are charged separately through our contracted concessions provider. They cannot be reserved ahead of time so we suggest arriving early the day of the party to make these arrangements.

 

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Can my guests come before the party to enjoy the Zoo?

YES! The cost of the birthday party includes Zoo admission for the day. We encourage guests to come in before or after the party to experience the entire Zoo. Our Zoo staff will greet you at the front gate 10-minutes before your scheduled start time. We do not have a place to hold gifts, cake etc.… before or after the party.

 

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What if it rains/snows during my program?

Please dress for the weather. If participants are prepared for bad weather, they will have more fun! Rain and cold weather do not keep us from our planned Zoo activities.

 

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How early should I arrive before the pre-scheduled program?

Education staff will meet you at the front gate 10-minutes before the start time of your pre-scheduled program.

We also recommend that you check our Zoo Calendar to see if there are any events going on the day of your party. If so, we recommend coming even earlier, allowing ample time to park.
Some historically busy dates/events:

  • Run to the Shrine
  • Military Appreciation Week
  • Mother’s Day Weekend
  • Father’s Day Weekend
  • 4th of July Weekend
  • Memorial Day Weekend
  • Labor Day Weekend

*On extremely busy days, guests may need to park off zoo grounds and be shuttled over to the zoo.

**This list does not include every busy day and event, so it is important to check our calendar. You can also call our Administrative Assistant to inquire if an event will be taking place on your party day at (719) 424-7827

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Early Childhood Classes

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The class is tomorrow. Can I sign up my child for this class?

We require registrations to occur 48 hours before the scheduled class to allow for appropriate planning and materials.

 

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My child has a sibling. Can I bring them to class too?

Any infant (0-12 months) can join for free accompanied by a paid adult. A sibling older than 12 months need to be paid for and included in the pre-registration process.

 

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What if it rains/snows during my program?

Please dress for the weather. If participants are prepared for bad weather, they will have more fun! Rain and cold weather do not keep us from our planned Zoo activities.

 

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How early should I arrive before the pre-scheduled program?

Education staff will meet you at the front gate 10-minutes before the start time of your pre-scheduled program.

We also recommend that you check our Zoo Calendar to see if there are any events going on the day of your party. If so, we recommend coming even earlier, allowing ample time to park.
Some historically busy dates/events:

  • Run to the Shrine
  • Military Appreciation Week
  • Mother’s Day Weekend
  • Father’s Day Weekend
  • 4th of July Weekend
  • Memorial Day Weekend
  • Labor Day Weekend

*On extremely busy days, guests may need to park off zoo grounds and be shuttled over to the zoo.

**This list does not include every busy day and event, so it is important to check our calendar. You can also call our Administrative Assistant to inquire if an event will be taking place on your party day at (719) 424-7827

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General

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What if it rains/snows during my program?

Please dress for the weather. If participants are prepared for bad weather, they will have more fun! Rain and cold weather do not keep us from our planned Zoo activities.

 

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How early should I arrive before the pre-scheduled program?

Education staff will meet you at the front gate 10-minutes before the start time of your pre-scheduled program.

We also recommend that you check our Zoo Calendar to see if there are any events going on the day of your party. If so, we recommend coming even earlier, allowing ample time to park.
Some historically busy dates/events:

  • Run to the Shrine
  • Military Appreciation Week
  • Mother’s Day Weekend
  • Father’s Day Weekend
  • 4th of July Weekend
  • Memorial Day Weekend
  • Labor Day Weekend

*On extremely busy days, guests may need to park off zoo grounds and be shuttled over to the zoo.

**This list does not include every busy day and event, so it is important to check our calendar. You can also call our Administrative Assistant to inquire if an event will be taking place on your party day at (719) 424-7827

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What are your adult to child ratios?

We want your children to be safe and have an amazing time. We follow the following ratios for adults:children.

  • 4 – 6 years old = 1:10
  • 1st-2nd Grade = 1:12
  • 3rd-4th Grade = 1:15
  • 5th-6th Grade = 1:15
  • 7th-12th Grade = 1:15

 

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WildNights

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Where will our group sleep?

We have a few options where you could sleep during an overnight depending on your group size and space availability. All the options are indoor buildings, with heat, electricity, and bathrooms. Please keep in mind that all facilities contain hard floors so be sure to either bring a sleeping pad, or you can pre-rent cots during your registration process.Tip- Yoga mats make a great cushion for sleeping! 

  • The Loft
  • Safari Lodge – across from the lion exhibit
  • Safari Cabin – log cabin style classroom near Sky Ride
  • Lodge at Moose Lake – event space near Grizzly Grill Cafe

 

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Are there gluten free options for dinner and breakfast?

We order pizza through Dominos and they currently do not offer a gluten free pizza. We do however offer gluten free cereal for breakfast as well as fresh fruit and juices. For details about bringing your own food for guests who have special dietary needs please contact 719-424-7827 two weeks before your event.

 

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Will there be other groups at the Zoo with us?

Groups are typically not combined with other groups for the evening portion of the program. We do have nights when multiple groups are on grounds for individual WildNights that can potentially run into one another. Another group may join your group for meals and/or announcements. The Zoo does reserve the right to combine groups.

 

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Do WildNights allow scouts to earn patches/loops?

The WildNight program does cover some information required for certain patches, but the Zoo does not have a Scout curriculum. If we know ahead of time about what patches the Scouts are working towards we can provide a WildNight that covers certain topics if it is within our scope. We are not affiliated with the BSA or Girl Scouts and cannot sign off on the patch requirements. Scout leaders attending the program can choose which patch requirements may have been met during the program. We do sell WildNight patches that can be pre-ordered at the time of registration. We do not sell Scout belt loops.

 

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Can we customize the theme of our WildNight tour?

Absolutely! We have standard topics and themes that have remained popular but we are happy to take your suggestions to see how we could customize it for your group. Areas of the Zoo that are open to explore during this program include:

  • The Loft
  • Scutes Family Gallery
  • Elephants
  • Giraffes
  • Primate World
  • Aquatics

 

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What if it rains/snows during my program?

Please dress for the weather. We do not cancel WildNights unless the Zoo itself closes or if the weather is deemed unsafe for participants and staff. If participants are prepared for bad weather, they will have more fun! Rain and cold weather do not keep us from our planned Zoo activities, we enjoy the night through rain, sleet and snow!

 

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How early should I arrive before the pre-scheduled program?

Education staff will meet you at the front gate 10-minutes before the start time of your pre-scheduled program.

We also recommend that you check our Zoo Calendar to see if there are any events going on the day of your party. If so, we recommend coming even earlier, allowing ample time to park.
Some historically busy dates/events:

  • Run to the Shrine
  • Military Appreciation Week
  • Mother’s Day Weekend
  • Father’s Day Weekend
  • 4th of July Weekend
  • Memorial Day Weekend
  • Labor Day Weekend

*On extremely busy days, guests may need to park off zoo grounds and be shuttled over to the zoo.

**This list does not include every busy day and event, so it is important to check our calendar. You can also call our Administrative Assistant to inquire if an event will be taking place on your party day at (719) 424-7827

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Zoo Camps

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Do I have to wear the camp t-shirt?

All campers are required to wear their camp t-shirts every day during camp programs. This allows us to recognize campers easily when we are out on grounds with the throngs of summer visitors. Each child receives one camp t-shirt with each weeks’ registration. If you are registered for more than one week your child will receive a t-shirt for the Monday of each week registered.

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Will lunch be provided during camp?

All camps include snacks and drinks throughout the day, but we ask that you send a lunch with your child. We do not allow children to purchase lunches on-site unless stated specifically in the parent letter for 7-12th grade camps.

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Is Zoo admission included for the remainder of the day?

The child signed up for camp receives admission for the entire day, if any other family members or friends would like to enjoy the Zoo after camp, they will have to pay admission/check membership at the front gate.

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What if it rains/snows during my program?

Please dress for the weather. If participants are prepared for bad weather, they will have more fun! Rain and cold weather do not keep us from our planned Zoo activities.

 

expand

How early should I arrive before the pre-scheduled program?

Education staff will meet you at the front gate 10-minutes before the start time of your pre-scheduled program.

We also recommend that you check our Zoo Calendar to see if there are any events going on the day of your party. If so, we recommend coming even earlier, allowing ample time to park.
Some historically busy dates/events:

  • Run to the Shrine
  • Military Appreciation Week
  • Mother’s Day Weekend
  • Father’s Day Weekend
  • 4th of July Weekend
  • Memorial Day Weekend
  • Labor Day Weekend

*On extremely busy days, guests may need to park off zoo grounds and be shuttled over to the zoo.

**This list does not include every busy day and event, so it is important to check our calendar. You can also call our Administrative Assistant to inquire if an event will be taking place on your party day at (719) 424-7827

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What are your adult to child ratios?

We want your children to be safe and have an amazing time. We follow the following ratios for adults:children.

  • 4 – 6 years old = 1:10
  • 1st-2nd Grade = 1:12
  • 3rd-4th Grade = 1:15
  • 5th-6th Grade = 1:15
  • 7th-12th Grade = 1:15

 

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Zoo Exploration Tours

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What exactly is included in the tour?

An Education staff member will greet you at the front gate for your tour. As your guide they will walk to certain areas that highlight the tour topic you have chosen. The will share unique stories and tidbits about our animals that only a Zoo staff member will know. During your tour you will get the opportunity to meet an animal up-close and with hands-on experiences possible in most cases. This is your chance to spend quality time with a Zoo staff member to answer all your Zoo questions.

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What are some examples of tour topics people use?

We can customize your tour to whatever topic you would like, but common tour topics include:

  • Animal adaptations
  • Animal behavior
  • Endangered species
  • Habitats
  • Zoo careers

 

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Can the students eat in the zoo after the tour? Where?

After the tour you are free to enjoy the rest of the Zoo. We have many eating areas around the Zoo. For a picnic lunch you can eat near the carousel or Monkey Pavilion. Grizzly Grill, The outlook Cafe, or Elson’s Place are our restaurants where you can purchase a meal.

 

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Can parent’s pay for themselves at the gate, then join the tour?

The information shared on the tour has value and therefore each person on the tour needs to be accounted for in the price of the tour. Parents who pay for themselves at the front gate are free to enjoy the Zoo and meet-up with their group once the tour is complete.

 

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When do you need a final count of people coming on the tour?

We ask that you provide us with a final headcount 7 days prior to your visit date.

 

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What if it rains/snows during my program?

Please dress for the weather. If participants are prepared for bad weather, they will have more fun! Rain and cold weather do not keep us from our planned Zoo activities.

 

expand

How early should I arrive before the pre-scheduled program?

Education staff will meet you at the front gate 10-minutes before the start time of your pre-scheduled program.

We also recommend that you check our Zoo Calendar to see if there are any events going on the day of your party. If so, we recommend coming even earlier, allowing ample time to park.
Some historically busy dates/events:

  • Run to the Shrine
  • Military Appreciation Week
  • Mother’s Day Weekend
  • Father’s Day Weekend
  • 4th of July Weekend
  • Memorial Day Weekend
  • Labor Day Weekend

*On extremely busy days, guests may need to park off zoo grounds and be shuttled over to the zoo.

**This list does not include every busy day and event, so it is important to check our calendar. You can also call our Administrative Assistant to inquire if an event will be taking place on your party day at (719) 424-7827