OPEN 9:30 A.M. TO 4:00 P.M. DAILY Support Your Zoo | About Us | Contact |


Woodland Park Zoo's Education Department is currently developing a new strategy for engaging schools in learning at the zoo (click here for more information).  There is limited availability for School-to-Zoo and ZEST programs through the end of April 2016.  To provide input on the new zoo experiences, please visit the survey.


Zoo Experiences for Students and Teachers (ZEST)


School-to-Zoo Funding

Offered to King County Schools (Grades K-12)
Available September through April 2016

Thanks to the passage of the King County Parks Levy in 2013, free admission and subsidized bus transportation are available to all King County (including Seattle School District) schools with a minimum of 30% of their students receiving free or reduced-rate lunches or a comparable level of scholarship. School-to-Zoo participants can register for a School-to-Zoo program, a Zoo Experiences for Students and Teachers (ZEST) program or can visit the zoo on their own as a self-guided group.


School-to-Zoo Programs

(includes Forest Explorers program)

Offered to All King County schools (Grades K-5)
Available at late September through April 2016, Tuesday through Friday

All school programs meet in the South Plaza between the South Gate and the Education Center. Please arrive at least 5 minutes before your program and look for your instructor. Instructors will have signs with program names on them.

These staff-guided programs are free of charge (with zoo admission) to King County schools. School-to-Zoo programs are aligned with the NSRC/STC science kits and other science curriculum adopted by Seattle Schools and are designed to enhance your science lessons.  See School-to-Zoo Funding above to see if you qualify for free admission and bus reimbursement.

School-to-Zoo programs directly complement the NSRC/STC science kits taught in grade K-5 classrooms. These tour-based programs are available at 10:15 and 11:30, Tuesday through Friday. They are designed to complement your science lessons as you begin the curriculum, or provide a new way to conclude your lessons.  


Farm and Fabric/Family Farm

(K-1st grades; 1 hour)

Students will use the observation skills focused on in the Animals 2 by 2 curriculum as they explore the differences and similarities in cows, chickens and goats. Students also have the opportunity to touch a farm animal and make their own fabric from sheep fleece.

Download the Farm and Fabric Pre-visit sheet


Weather and Organisms/African Savanna

(K-2nd grades; 1 hour)
Focusing on the influences of weather on a variety of organisms, this program explores the African Savanna, during which students learn about plant and animal adaptations to hot dry seasons. 

Download the Weather and Organisms Pre-visit sheet


Forest Explorers/Temperate Forest and Tropical Rain Forest

(1st-3rd grades; 1-1/2hrs)
Forest Explorers introduces students to the important components of Costa Rica's tropical rain forests and Washington state's temperate forests. The program consists of an interactive auditorium program, in which students are transformed into different parts of both forests, and a tour of the zoo's Temperate and Tropical Rain Forest bioclimatic zones. They also discover the importance of soil in forest ecosystems.

Download the Forest Explorers/Temperate Forest and Tropical Rain Forest Pre-visit sheet


Plant Growth and Development/Tropical Asia

(2nd-4th grades; 1 hour)
Exploring the Trails of Vines, which features ecosystems of tropical Asia, students will discover how plants rely on animals, and how animals rely on seeds, seedlings, mature plants and even dead plants.

Download the Plant Growth and Development/Tropical Asia Pre-visit sheet


Ecosystems/Northern Trail

3rd-5th grades; 1 hour)
The essential elements of an ecosystem - animals, plants, soil and water - gain new meaning for students as they investigate the zoo's Northern Trail. 

Download the Ecosystems/Northern Trail Pre-visit sheet



Zoo Experiences for Students and Teachers (ZEST)

Offered to all schools (Grades K-12)
Available October through April 2016, Tuesday through Thursday

ZEST docent-guided programs are free of charge (with zoo admission) to all schools. These programs involve students in explorations of different areas of the zoo and conservation issues through on-grounds zoo explorations and, in some cases, a classroom component. These interactive experiences are closely tied with Washington’s Science Standards. See School-to-Zoo Funding above to see if you qualify for free admission and bus reimbursement.

Homeschool groups are welcome to participate in ZEST programs. We request a minimum of ten students spanning no more than three grade levels for homeschool participation in these programs.

Your ZEST docent will meet you under the large tree in front of the Education Center in the South Entry Plaza and will be holding a sign with your program name.

The following interactive programs are available free of charge (with zoo admission) to all schools. Facilitated by zoo docents, these programs involve students in exploration of different areas of the zoo and conservation issues through on-grounds experiences and, in some cases, a classroom component. These programs are closely tied with Washington's Science EALRs. Programs are limited in size and last one hour.


Survival in the North

(Grades 1-12)
What are the secrets of animal survival in the extreme seasons of the Arctic? Join us for this interactive program that explores the physical and behavioral adaptations of wolves, bears, otters and other Alaskan animals in the zoo's Northern Trail. 

 Download a Survival in the North Pre-visit Packet

Interconnections: People, Plants and Animals

(Grades 1-12)
While exploring the Asian Tropical Forest exhibit, students will discover ways people, plants and animals depend on each other. Investigating how living things meet their basic needs reveals important interconnections within ecosystems. 

 Download an Interconnections Pre-visit Packet

Soaked or Parched? Adaptations in the African Savanna

(Grades 1-12)
While visiting African animals including hippos, lions and patas monkeys, students will explore the role of water as a vital resource. Students will investigate how the cycles of wet and dry seasons influence the lives of people, plants and animals on the African savanna. 

Download a Soaked or Parched Pre-visit Packet 

Tropical Rain Forest

 (Grades K-12)
Tropical rain forests are ecosystems of amazing biological diversity. An interactive classroom presentation engages students in becoming different layers of the forest and the fascinating animals that inhabit them. Then students embark on a docent-guided tropical rain forest trek to discover its wildlife. 

Download a Tropical Rain Forest Pre-visit Packet

Endangered Species

(Grades 5-12)
Using inquiry-based learning, students will examine how wildlife is impacted by changes in their environment and interaction with humans. Following the classroom program, students will tour the zoo to learn in-depth about some of the zoo's endangered animals and how they can make a difference.

Download an Endangered Species Pre-visit Packet


Ready to register for your trip to the zoo? 

Simply click here to open the registration form.  Fill out the form then mail it, fax it or deliver it to the Education Center at Woodland Park Zoo. 

Make sure to get your application in early!  A minimum of three weeks advance notice is required for booking your zoo visit. 

Your principal must sign your application form, it cannot be accepted without that signature!


If you cannot find the answers to your questions or need additional help please contact the School Registrar at 206.548.2424 x2 or send an email.