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.
Due to COVID-19, we are not currently holding these events.
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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 firstname.lastname@example.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
Every Tuesday at 10:30am and Saturday at 1:30pm, June 1-September 4
Ages 18 months through 7 years
The Brandywine Zoo is thrilled to present our brand new Diversity Storytime series offered free all summer long! Join us Tuesdays at 10:30 am or Saturdays at 1:30 pm on YouTube or Facebook Live as we read stories about diverse kids, cultures, and animals. Kids will love our fun stories presented by zoo educators and our adorable co-hosts, Machu and Picchu the guinea pigs!
Tuesday, June 8 & Saturday, June 12 @ 1:30pm: Julian is a Mermaid
Young Julian is riding the subway home with his abuela when he spots some fantastic ladies, they look just like mermaids! Julian decides to become a mermaid himself and dreams of swimming with the ocean creatures. His grandmother takes him to a festival where everyone is dressed just as wonderfully! Written by Jessica Love. This book features LGBTQA+ and minority characters.
Tuesday, June 15 & Saturday, June 19 @ 1:30pm: The Girl Who Thought in Pictures
The story of a young girl named Temple Grandin whose unique way of thinking about the world allowed her to connect to animals and change the way the world sees them! Written by Julia Finley Mosca. Featuring neurodiverse characters.
Tuesday, June 22 & Saturday, June 26 @ 1:30pm: Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas
It’s Chinese New Year and young Goldy Luck’s errand to deliver turnip cakes to her neighbors turns disastrous! This Chinese retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears includes elements of Chinese culture. Written by Natasha Yim. Featuring Chinese voices and characters.
Tuesday, June 29 @ 10:30am & Saturday, July 3 @ 1:30pm: Harriet Gets Carried Away
Young Harriet loves costumes! She wears them everywhere! But when she wears her penguin costume to run errands with her dads, a flock of real penguins carries her away! Can she make it home? Written by Jessie Sima. Featuring LGBTQA+ and minority characters.
Tuesday, July 6 @ 10:30am & Saturday, July 10 @ 1:30pm: My Ocean is Blue
Join a young girl as she enjoys a day at the beach and describes the beach ecosystem in vivid detail! Her physical disability does not hold her back as she enjoys all that life has to offer. Written by Darren Lebeuf. Featuring differently abled characters.
Tuesday, July 13 @ 10:30am & Saturday, July 17 @ 1:30pm: Thanks to the Animals
Young Zoo Sap gets lost during the migration of the Passamaquoddy people to their winter home. He is scared, but all the animals of the forest care for him until his father arrives to rescue him. Written by Allen Sockabasin, a Passamaquoddy write. Featuring First Nations voices and characters.
Tuesday, July 20 @ 10:30am & Saturday, July 24 @ 1:30pm: Tully and Me
Join two turtles who live near a pond for their daily adventures! Tully the turtle is a little bit different, he likes to count things and doesn’t like noises. But his friends don’t mind that he’s different and learn how to make Tully feel comfortable. Written by Keeley A Shaw. Featuring neurodiverse characters.
Tuesday, July 27 @ 10:30am & Saturday, July 31 @ 1:30pm: Hank’s Big Day
Hank is a pill bug with a very busy life! He likes to play with his best friend Amelia, a human girl who wants to be a pilot! Written by Evan Kuhlman. Featuring minority characters.
Tuesday, August 3 @ 10:30am & Saturday, August 7 @ 1:30pm: Peanut Goes for the Gold
Peanut the guinea pig does everything their own way! And now Peanut is determined to become a gymnast! Written by Jonathan Van Ness. Featuring LGBTQA+ voices and characters.
Tuesday, August 10 @ 10:30am & Saturday, August 14 @ 1:30pm: Raven and the Loon
In a time before animals were what we now recognize, ravens and loons were both white. That is, until the bored raven hatched a plan to give his feathers some much needed color! Written by Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley. Featuring Inuit voices and folklore.
Tuesday, August 17 @ 10:30am & Saturday, August 21 @ 1:30pm: The Tale of Rabbit and Coyote
How does poor Coyote keep getting into embarrassing situations? Because of Rabbit of course! Written by Tony Johnston. Featuring Mexican characters and folktales.
Tuesday, August 24 @ 10:30am & Saturday, August 28 @ 1:30pm: Miss Molly Learns Responsibility
Molly is out at the park when she discovers a stray kitten! She wants to keep it, but first her moms have to teach her about being a responsible pet owner! Written by Kathleen S. Pero. Featuring LGBTQA+ characters.
Tuesday, August 31 @ 10:30am & Saturday, September 4 @ 1:30pm: The Girl Who Loved Horses
In this Navajo story a young girl understands horses in a special way, and eventually finds her way to running free among them. Retold and illustrated by Paul Goble. Featuring First Nations stories and characters.
Virtual Science Cubs
Thursdays at 9:30am or Sundays at 10:30am, July 15 – August 14
Calling all 3 to 5 year old animal lovers – our animals are all mixed up! Join us for the wildest Pre-K series in town. In this 5 week session, kids will help us sort and group some of our animal friends by their fur, feathers, scales, and more! Each week consists of a virtual class and materials for two children to complete with three self-guided activities. You can have your box shipped to you or you can pick up the box at the zoo.
Register by July 7, 2021. If you register after July 7, we can’t guarantee your box will arrive in time for the first class (but zoo pickup will be available).
Members: $70 | Non-members: $85
Cancellation policy: If a registrant cancels before July 8, they will receive a full refund minus a $35 processing fee. If they cancel after July 8, they will not get a refund.
Be a Zoo Explorer
EXPLORE THE ZOO WITH YOUR VERY OWN REFILLABLE BRANDYWINE ZOO EXPLORERS BACKPACK, COMPLETE WITH ALL YOU NEED FOR YOUR EXPEDITION AT THE ZOO.
Geared to elementary school age children, the backpack comes with a themed workbook and fun activities that can be done while at the zoo and when you get home. The signature zoo backpack also contains a snack and a drink. The zoo offers two new activity themes per month, so you can refill in future zoo visits and explore new animals and in each visit to the Brandywine Zoo. Wear your Brandywine Zoo Explorer backpack every time you visit the zoo and be recognized as a true Zoo Explorer!
Backpacks are available for sale onsite at Zootique Gift Shop.
|May||World Migratory Bird Day||Endangered Species Day|
|June||Pollinator Week||Bald Eagles|
|July||World Porcupine Day||World Snake Day|
|August||Owl Awareness Day||Honeybee Day|
|September||Vulture Awareness Day||International Red Panda Day|
|December||International Cheetah Day||Monkey Day|
Members: $18 | Non-members: $20
Members: $8 | Non-members: $10
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.
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)
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.