Schools and Teachers

FUN AND INFORMATIONAL SCHOOL EXPERIENCES

Our on-site programs incorporate hands-on, inquiry-based learning opportunities which inspire investigation and stimulate minds. Students will meet some of our animals and may have activities and lessons.

Programs can be adapted to a range of ages and meet different standards, such as LS4.B, LS4.C, and LS4.D.

If you would like more information on the standards applicable to your program or would like to book a custom program

Email education@brandywinezoo.org
Subject: “Custom Zoo School Program”
School Programs

Programs

All programs are 30 minutes long with maximum of 35 people per program.

STORYBOOK PROGRAMS

We’ll read a story and discuss relevant themes paired with some animal friends and touchable artifacts from the story. Choose from the following books: Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing by Judi Barrett, Armadilly Chili by Helen Ketteman, Hank’s Big Day by Evan Kuhlman, and Little Skink’s Tail by Janet Halfman. Choose your book preferences when registering. If you would like a different book, email us at education@brandywinezoo.org with the subject line “Custom Storybook Program.”


Standard Programs

ANIMAL ADAPTATIONS
LS4.C, LS4.D (Aligns with Structures of Life Unit)

Explore how animals are adapted to live in their environments and discover the importance of biodiversity and why the conservation of each organism matters. This program is tailored to your students age group.

 FIVE SENSES
(Aligns with Senses Unit)

Discover how humans and animals use their senses of smell, taste, touch, sight, and hearing to learn about their surrounding and interact with their world. This program is tailored to your students age group.

HABITATS AND ECOSYSTEMS
LS2.C , LS4.B  (Aligns with Ecosystems Unit)

Animals live in their habitat homes, and each habitat contains an ecosystem of interacting plants and animals that rely on each other for survival. Learn about what makes up ecosystems and habitats and what animals need to survive. This program is tailored to your students age group.


Zoo Tours

Maximum of 20 total people. Walk the zoo with an educator for a personal tour filled with fun wildlife facts and stories about our animals. Tours can be customized to your group’s ages and interests.

Program Fees
PROGRAM APRIL-NOV DEC-MARCH
Storybook Program (35 people max) $9/person $8/person
Standard Program (35 people max) $9/person $8/person
Zoo Tour (20 people max) $9/person $8/person
Standard Program + Tour (20 people max) $11/person $10/person
OTHER FEE INFORMATION Rates include zoo admission. All participants, including chaperones, must pay registration fees. Additionally, groups must have a minimum of 15 paid participants.

VIRTUAL RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS

SCAVENGER HUNTS, WORD SEARCHES, & MORE

DIGITAL ZOO KIDS

ZooKids will explore types of eaters (herbivores, carnivores and omnivores) and types of animals (mammals, amphibians, invertebrates and reptiles).

  • Herbivores: Explore what a herbivore is in this fun program.
  • Carnivores: Carnivores come in all shapes and sizes! Explore the interesting ways they find food.
  • Omnivores: YOU are an omnivore! Discover animals that are omnivores through this activity sheet.
  • Mammals: Explore what it means to be a mammal through crafts and games in this activity sheet.
  • Amphibians: Discover why amphibians are so cool in this online activity sheet!
  • Invertebrates: What do crabs, bugs and snails all have in common? They don’t have a backbone! Learn more through fun activities and crafts.
  • Reptiles: There are many different reptiles so we have put together lots of crafts and games to help you explore their similarities and differences.

FAQs

What time of year can I book a program?

Programs are available year-round and take place between 10am-4pm.

How much time should I allot for a zoo program and visit?

Programs are 30 minutes long.  When booking multiple programs, please factor in 5-10 minutes of transition time.  You should typically plan for at least 2-3 hours for your entire visit.

We recommend giving students an hour to explore the zoo with their chaperones. Check out our daily schedule and upcoming events here for other offerings that may be happening during your visit, including Keeper Talks, Creature Features, or other special events or programming.

Extend your visit by:

  • Having lunch in the beautiful Brandywine Park, just below the zoo, where there are plenty of picnic tables.
  • Planning time to explore the Josephine Gardens, which are adjacent to the zoo.
  • Walk along the Brandywine River to the Northern Delaware Greenway Trail, or complete a circuit around the river by crossing bridges and backtracking along the opposite bank.
  • Visit the 18th Street Playground, across the street from Warner Elementary.
  • Visit the Sugar Bowl, constructed in 1895 and recently restored. The Sugar Bowl is an observatory that sits on a cliff-face above the Zoo and offers  pict

How much do school or group programs cost?

Programs start at $8-9/person. This fee includes zoo admission.

How do I book a program? How is payment handled?

  • Step 1: Complete Group Visit Registration Form
  • Step 2: Someone from the Education Department will check program availability and get back to you within two weeks of your registration. If you do not hear back, please email us at education@brandywinezoo.org
  • Step 3: You will receive a tentative invoice with your program date (based on availability).
  • Step 4: Submit your payment for your visit by credit card or check following the instructions on your invoice. Reservations are not considered complete until we receive your payment. Payment is required no later than two weeks before your program date.

What animals will we meet during the program?

Animals will vary and may change depending on the program theme, weather, and availability. We have education Ambassador Animals including mammals, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates, with most programs receiving a visit from 2-3 animals.

Is there a maximum to the number of participants attending?

  • Storybook and Standard Programs: maximum of 35 people (includes students, teachers, chaperones, etc).
  • Zoo Tours: maximum of 20 people ( includes students, teachers, chaperones, etc).

What are your policies for Cancellation, Payment and Late arrivals?

Cancellation Policy

The primary contact person will notify the Brandywine Zoo in writing at least 48 hours in advance in the event that a program must be cancelled. We will work with you to reschedule your program to another date as much as possible. Multiple reschedulings may be subject to an administrative fee.

  • Cancellations received more than 2 weeks before selected program date will be given a refund and are subject to a $25 administrative fee.
  • A 50% refund can be returned if notice of cancellation is given between 2 weeks and 48 hours of the program. No refunds are given for cancellations within 48 hours of the program
  • Programs rescheduled less than two weeks from the program date are subject to a $25 administrative fee.

Program Confirmation and Payment Policy

  • All programs require full payment 2 weeks prior to your program date.
  • Payment can be made using the credit card link or by submitting a check following the instructions on your invoice.

Due to a very full programming schedule, programs will not be extended for late-arriving field trip groups beyond the scheduled end time. Groups arriving later than 15 minutes after original scheduled start time are subject to program cancellation with no refunds.

Late Policy

Please plan on arriving at least 15 minutes prior to the start of your program to allow time for parking, disembarking from the bus, and check-in, and walking to your final destination for your program.

  • Staff will make every attempt to cover as much material as possible in the time available.
  • Please obtain information on how to locate the Zoo and the specific meeting location for your group prior to your visit. Refer to the zoo map or find directions to the zoo on our website.

How many chaperones do I need?

We recommend that groups have at least one adult for every 5 students PreK-Grade 2, and at least one adult for every 10 students grades 3-12.

Guidelines for Chaperones

  • Chaperones must be 21 or older
  • Chaperones must pay the program fee and cannot use their Zoo membership for free admission to school and group programs.
  • Middle and High School students must be attended by chaperones. Unattended students will be escorted to the main gate to wait for their teacher.
  • Teachers should set clear expectations about personal conduct for both students and chaperones and then model this conduct throughout the trip.
  • During formal presentations, chaperones should remain as attentive, quiet and engaged as the students. Teacher should provide expectations in writing to chaperones and reinforce them throughout the field experience.
  • Chaperones must stay with their students during the entire zoo visit and monitor the group’s conduct at all times.

What time should we arrive? Where do we go once we arrive?

You should plan to arrive 15-20 minutes before your program time to allow for bus unloading time.

Once you arrive, please report to the zoo’s main entrance unless otherwise directed. See the map of the zoo for locations of education building, admissions gate and school bus parking and drop-off areas.

Where should buses park?

School buses should park in the lot along the Brandywine River. Please refer drivers to the map of the zoo when giving them directions. Parking is free in Brandywine Park.

Do bus drivers have to pay to enter the zoo?

Yes. Either their ticket must be purchased prior to entrance with the rest of the group or at the ticket window upon arrival.

What if parents are driving separately and meeting us at the zoo?

All chaperones/parents should be included in your total person count and must be paid for in advance of your program. Please encourage parents to arrive in advance of the bus rather than at the same time. Parents can park in the lot along the Brandywine River, which is where the school buses will be parking. By arriving early, they will have the opportunity to park and identify the school bus with their student. We additionally suggest that you share cell phone numbers, or if that is not possible, arrange a second meeting site and time if you happen to miss each other upon arrival.

Can we eat lunch at the zoo?

You may bring your own lunch or snacks , however, there is very limited seating for groups inside the zoo. Seating cannot be reserved for any group, and unfortunately we do not have any indoor space to accommodate groups for lunch. We do not have any lockers or lunch storage space available, so you may want to make arrangements to leave lunches on your school bus.

  • Brandywine Park is available outside the main zoo gate; it offers several public picnic tables for your group to eat lunch. Brandywine Park is a carry in/carry-out park; you will need to provide your own trash bags. Please suggest to the students that they pack lunches in reusable containers to minimize waste.
  • Our concession stand offers small snack options such as chips, popcorn, hot dogs, and ice cream.

What should I do if a child gets separated from our group?

Proceed immediately to the Admissions Gate or Administrative Office (next to concessions), where Brandywine Zoo staff will assist you in reuniting your group. For younger children, attaching school name and contact information to a shirt or nametag can be helpful.

Is there a gift shop?

Our gift shop, Zootique, is located at the front gate. If you would like to schedule a trip to the gift shop we ask that you plan that for after your program and regulate your students entering to 10 at a time.

Traveling Zoo visits schools, libraries, day care centers, and other institutions with programs that educate and entertain.