Free Family Experiences

Brandywine Zoo programs change frequently to include new and exciting ZOOventures around every corner. The following are free programs with your paid admission.

Keeper Talks

Join our keepers for daily talks about the animals in the Zoo. Topics and animals change daily, so there’s always something new to learn about our wild friends! 

WHEN:  11:30am & 1:30pm;  Weekends in May & September, Daily June–August

 


Story Time

Due to COVID-19, we are not currently holding this event.

Enjoy fun animal stories read by our own zoo story-telling team! Story time may include a craft, activity, or live animal presentation. Story time may be cancelled due to inclement weather. Stories change weekly.

WHEN: 10:30am; Thursdays, May–September
WHERE: Nature Playground


Zoo Kids

Due to Covid-19, we are currently not holding this event. Please visit our Zoo to You Resource Center for online activities.

Learn through age-appropriate games, crafts, stories, activities, and live animal presentations. Toddlers, preschoolers, and their grown up can learn and play together! New themes each week.

AGES: 18 months – 6 years
WHEN: 10:30 – 11:15am, Sundays May-September
WHERE: Nature Play, inside the Zoo

Creature Features

Stop by our Creature Features for a close encounter with one of our zoo education animals. Meet a scaled, furry, or prickly friend, ask questions and learn more about these animal ambassadors who live at the zoo. Featured animals change daily.

WHEN: Weekends in May @ 2pm; Daily late June-August, Monday-Thursday @ 12pm & 2pm and Friday @ 2pm; Weekends in October @ 12pm


Wildlife Shows

Get up close and personal with some of our amazing Ambassador Animals here at the Brandywine Zoo!

WHEN: 12pm, Weekends in May & September; 12pm, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays June–August
WHERE: Wildlife Amphitheater


Zoo Sensory Hour

Due to COVID-19, we are not currently holding this event.

The Brandywine Zoo is offering a new series of Sensory Friendly Hours for children and guests with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and sensory processing differences. The Zoo will open one hour early on the first Sunday of each month for Sensory Hour and staff will modify routines and sounds to give guests a more accessible experience during their time at the Zoo. Crowds during Sensory Hour will be smaller than a typical, busy weekend day.

WHEN: 9-10am, First Sunday of the month, May-August,

Workshops

Join us for one of our fun, upcoming family-friendly workshops! All programs are held in the Education Building, across the street from the main entrance of the zoo, unless otherwise noted.

Animal Careers Virtual Lecture Series

Whether you’re in school, looking for a career, or just plain curious, join the Brandywine Zoo and a number of fascinating professionals for a mini-lecture series focusing on careers working with animals.  Speakers will discuss their career paths, what they do for their jobs, and hold a Q & A session after each presentation.

Each session featured three speakers.  Recordings of each session are available for purchase.

Fee: $8, $20 for 3 sessions (either for live participation or to view a recording of the lecture later)

For more information, call (302) 571-7850 Ext. 209 or email education@brandywinezoo.org

2021 Lecture Series

View our speakers from past lectures below.

Speakers from February 7, 2021

  • Dr. Sara Kingsbury: Dr. Kingsbury is a mixed animal veterinarian in York, PA. While the majority of her days are spent with dog and cat companion animals, she has also done significant work with horses, sheep, goats, and other farm animals. Everyday is different in this field, and you never know what type of surprise surgery or medicine case awaits you!
  • Aliana Raulerson: Aliana is an Animal Interpreter at the Memphis Zoo. Her job involves caring for a wide variety of ambassador animals, designing entertaining and educational programs for zoo guests, and doing special projects like appearing in videos for PBS! A former Brandywine Zoo apprentice, she has interned/worked at three different AZA-accredited zoos and has a background in Marine Biology and Animal Behavior.
  • Elizabeth Ostrowski: Coming from a background in Ecology and Natural Resources with a certificate in Environmental Geomatics, Elizabeth is the GIS and Data Specialist for the Delaware Center for Horticulture. Her projects have taken her around the world working with all sorts of different critters, from bats to lizards to bobcats and more. While her professional life tends to focus on the mapping side of conservation, Elizabeth has a passion for wildlife and prioritizes centering GIS to broaden the understanding of population ecology and species behavior spatially.

Speakers from March 7, 2021

  • Nicole D’Avignon: Nicole is the Co-Director of BeWild, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit reptile rescue and educational organization in North Carolina. BeWild has taken in more than 175 animals since its inception and works to find caring, experienced homes for the rescued animals. The rescue works closely with specialized exotics veterinarians, as many of the animals must be treated for severe medical issues.
  • Katie Fowler: Katie is a PhD student studying how human-lion conflict affects the stress and reproduction of lions in Tanzania. She spent 10 years working in several zoos in various roles, such as intern, volunteer, keeper, and endocrinology lab manager. Katie’s research is now focused on management of threatened species in the wild.
  • Daisy Fiore: Daisy is the Assistant Curator of Education at the Brandywine Zoo. She has worked in animal care or zoo education for the last 9 years as a volunteer, nutrition assistant, researcher, keeper, and educator. She is also a PhD student studying how diseases passed from wildlife to cattle affect Maasai livelihoods in Kenya.

Speakers from April 11. 2021

  • Ruth Desiderio: Ruth is the Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator for the Penn Vet Working Dog Center, where, at any given time 25-30 dogs are on site pursuing careers in search and rescue, law enforcement, and medical and environmental research. Ruth recruits and manages the many volunteers and interns who support the training of these amazing dogs, who will graduate and go on to save lives
  • Quinn Whitesall: Quinn is the Habitat Restoration Coordinator for the American Littoral Society. She works hard to protect and rebuild beaches in the Delaware Bay for horseshoe crabs and migratory shorebirds, builds and conducts biological sampling of intertidal oyster reefs, and connects volunteers to the wonders of the Bayshore. When not out in the field, Quinn supports her team by managing data, compiling reports, and permitting future projects.
  • Connor Muse, DVM: Dr. Muse received an undergraduate degree from Towson University and earned a DVM degree from Michigan State University. His special interests include neurology, shelter medicine, and wildlife medicine (birds of prey.)

2020 Lecture Series

View our speakers from past lectures below.

Speakers from November 1, 2020

  • Meghan Hoopes: Meghan is Brandywine Zoo’s Education Programs Coordinator. She runs the Zoo’s camps, scout programs, and more, making connections between kids and the amazing animals around them to inspire future environmental stewards and conservationists!
  • Lynn Klein: Lynn works as the General Curator for the Brandywine Zoo. Animal care, staff supervision and maintaining the grounds are just a few of the things on her daily “to do’ list. Life at the zoo is never dull but often surprising, even after 34 years of zoo work.
  • Lindsay Waugh: Lindsay has been in the zoo keeping field since 2013, her first job out of college was at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore’s commissary, where she gained a love for diet preparation and animal nutrition. She continues that passion here at the Brandywine Zoo by being our commissary coordinator.

Speakers from December 6, 2020

  • Dr. Mason Fidino: Dr. Fidino is one part ecologist, one part statistician, and one part computer programmer. In his role as a quantitative ecologist at the Lincoln Park Zoo he develops new statistical techniques to better understand where species live and why.
  • Austin Green: Austin is a Ph.D candidate from the University of Utah. He studies how human influence affects mammal distribution and behavior and runs Wasatch Wildlife Watch, a community science project that leverages the power of the Salt Lake Community and remote sensing camera traps. Austin is passionate about teaching and interacting with people, and he firmly believes that the best way to protect the wild lands we all love is to approach it with the entire local community’s backing.
  • Samantha King, DVM: Dr. King is a mobile zoo/exotic animal veterinarian taking care of a variety of species at over 10 different facilities, including here at the Brandywine Zoo. She provides routine wellness care/preventative medicine protocols as well as sick/emergency care services. She has a special interest in zoo animal immobilization and continually strives to create safer anesthetic combinations for the species under her care.

Speakers from January 3, 2021

  • Seth Magle: Seth is the Director of the Urban Wildlife Institute at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, and the Executive Director of the Urban Wildlife Information Network.  Seth first became interested in conservation and ecology as a college student while observing black-tailed prairie dogs living in sidewalk median strips; these days Seth’s interests go far beyond prairie dogs to encompass all wildlife species impacted by urbanization and human development to help create a world in which urban ecosystems represent an important component of the worldwide conservation of biodiversity.
  • Ted Stankowich, Ph.D: Dr. Stankowich is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Mammal Lab at California State University Long Beach where studies the evolution of antipredator defenses, sexual weapons (e.g., tusks, horns, and antlers), and warning coloration in mammals. He also conducts field work on the behavior of mammals in urban environments, focusing on predator-prey interactions between skunks and coyotes.
  • Ashley Gramza: Ashley is a Conservation Social Scientist for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission who studies how people think and feel about wildlife and how humans and wildlife interact.

Zoom Beastly Guests

Bring a zoo animal to your Zoom (Skype, WebEx, or other platform) session anytime! Just send us the invite, and we’ll be there with the animals! We can join your work meetings, family phone calls, or your own virtual private party! Or we can provide a virtual place to meet for your special experience via WebEx. We recommend these programs be limited in their size (around 25 guest screens) so that everyone can participate!

Fee: 20 minutes with your favorite animal(s) at the Zoo is only $50


Earth Month Sustainability Series

Designed specifically for middle school and high school students grades 6-12

Join the Brandywine Zoo for our first ever Earth Month Sustainability Series! This series highlights different environmental problems threatening our planet and each 4-6 minute episode features a different Brandywine Zoo animal! Episodes air on social media every Monday and Friday in April for FREE! Teachers are encouraged to purchase the research activities to accompany the series. These activities challenge students to think critically about environmental problems and how to improve sustainable development. Classes who purchase the research activities are also invited to participate in the Brandywine Zoo Sustainability Challenge! Each participating class will design their own sustainability plan for the Brandywine Zoo and submit it to the Brandywine Zoo. The classroom with the best plan will win a FREE virtual animal encounter (a $100 value)!

Fee: Episodes air for FREE on the Brandywine Zoo Facebook page, research activities and opportunity to participate in the Sustainability Challenge may be purchased for just $10!

Episode 1: Sustainability at the Zoo – Friday, April 2 at 9am

Episode 2: Invasive Species – Monday, April 5 at 9am

Episode 3: Habitat Destruction – Friday, April 9 at 9am

Episode 4: Waste Reduction – Monday, April 12 at 9am

Episode 5: Degradation of the Oceans – Friday, April 16 at 9am

Episode 6: Sustainable Food Systems –  Monday, April 19 at 9am

Episode 7: Human-Wildlife Conflict – Friday, April 23 at 9am

Episode 8: Loss of Biodiversity – Monday, April 26 at 9am

Episode 9: Climate Change – Friday April 30 at 9am


Earth Day Virtual Field Trip

Thursday, April 22, 11am
Recommended for grades 3-12

Join the animals of the Brandywine Zoo as we celebrate Earth Day! Our celebration will take us all around the world as our animals teach us about their native countries and ecosystems and help us celebrate the diversity of animals and nature all around the globe!

Fee: $5 per household, $15 per classroom (with classroom registration you  also receive themed worksheets for your students!)


Cinco De Rhino Virtual Field Trip

Wednesday, May 5, 11am
Recommended for grades K-6

Happy Cinco de Rhino! Join us as we celebrate the five species of rhinos! We’ll meet some animal friends at the Brandywine Zoo who have similar adaptations as rhinos as we learn about what makes rhinos unique! Don’t miss this celebration of all things rhino!

Fee: $5 per household, $15 per classroom (with classroom registration you also receive themed worksheets for your students!)

Questions? Please email Education@Brandywinezoo.org.


Endangered Species Day Virtual Field Trip

Friday, May 21, 11am
Recommended for grades K-6

What does it mean to be endangered? In this 30 minute live virtual program the animal ambassadors of the Brandywine Zoo will teach us about what’s threatening animals and their habitats around the world, and how we can help!

Fee: $5 per household, $15 per classroom (with classroom registration you also receive themed worksheets for your students!)

Questions? Please email Education@Brandywinezoo.org.

Story Time

Due to COVID-19, we are not currently holding Storytime.

Enjoy fun animal stories read by our own zoo story-telling team! Story Time takes place in the Nature Playground area, inside the zoo, and may include a craft, activity, or live animal presentation. May be cancelled due to weather.

FEE: Free with paid admission to the zoo.

Story Time Group Visits

Day Cares, Schools, Camps, or similar groups
Want to bring a group to Story Time? Groups of more than 5 children must register for their own private Story Time program. Availability: on site, at the zoo on Thursdays at 11:15 am only.

FEE: $8 per child (Adults pay regular admission)

Members Only Programs

Who can participate: Current members of the Delaware Zoological Society. Guest passes may not be used for Member’s Only programs.


Member Morning Tours

Two Sundays a month beginning April 11 at 10am

Join us for a member morning tour. Walk the zoo with an educator for a personal tour filled with fun wildlife facts and stories about our animals. Members should meet at the Front Gate to check in. Pre-registration required. Space is limited to 7 people. Check back for specific dates.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

Due to COVID-19, we are currently not holding any indoor events.

Hot breakfasts of pancakes, sausage, eggs, and assorted pastries are generously supplied by Janssens Market. Breakfasts are also made possible with the support of Shoprite.