donate

membership

 

Field Trips and Programs

We offer two options for bringing your group to the Zoo and one option that brings the Zoo to you! We strongly encourage you to book your program as far in advance as possible. Please note May and June are by far our busiest months. We kindly ask that you book your program at least two weeks in advance. Once your request is submitted you will hear back from us within 10 business days.

New Bedford schools can book any of the programs below at no cost. If you are a Title 1  school or would like to request funding to cover the cost of a program, you will have the opportunity to do that through the booking links below.

Having trouble deciding which program is right for you? Check out our DECISION TREE. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Education Department at Education@bpzoo.org or (508)991-4556 x117.

Self Guided Field Trip to the Zoo

We offer scheduled zookeeper chats for your group to engage with throughout the day.

Self-Guided field trip to the Zoo

Explore the Buttonwood Park Zoo at your own pace without structured programming. Offered daily, year-round, during regular Zoo hours.

Are you a New Bedford School? You can enjoy a self-guided visit for free!

Non-New Bedford based Groups:New Bedford based Groups:
Children under 3 years old: FREE
Children 3 – 11 years old: $5
Students 12 – 18 years old: $7
Adults: $9
Children under 3 years old: FREE
Children 3 – 12 years old: $3.50
Students 12 – 18 years old: $5
Adults: $6.50

CHAPERONE POLICY – 1 free adult for every 5 children of any age.

* Group rates apply to parties of 10 or more.
* Admission must be made in single payment.
* Please register two weeks prior to your planned visit.
* Your registration is not complete until you receive a confirmation from the Zoo.

Instructor Led Education Program at the Zoo

The Buttonwood Park Zoo brings learning to life by bringing students into our living classroom. These instructor-led, hands-on programs take place in one of our education classrooms. The cost of these programs includes general admission to the Zoo.

More information about Education programs offered at the Zoo

Many of our programs are specifically themed and tailored to suit specific age groups and state standards. View descriptions of our program offerings below.

45 Minute Option

Programs are booked in sessions; each session includes admission for a maximum of 30 students and an unlimited number of adult chaperones.

Cost: $200 per program session (New Bedford Schools are free)

 

20 Minute Option

Programs are booked in sessions; each session includes admission for minimum of 10 participants and a maximum of 30 participants.

Cost: $125 per program session (New Bedford Schools are free)

Zoo 2 You

Our Zoo2You program is designed to bring the magic of the zoo right to your group or event. Whether you’re a school, community group, library, or corporate event, you can find a 45-minute program that suits your audience’s age and interests. Our dedicated educators are ready to take you on a wild journey filled with fascinating facts, close encounters, and unforgettable memories.

Please note this program cannot be provided at a private residence.

More Information about the Zoo 2 You Program

Interactive Learning: Get ready for an engaging and interactive experience where participants have the chance to learn about the science topic of your choosing with the help of one of our Buttonwood Park Zoo Animal Ambassadors!

Close Encounters: Experience the thrill of seeing a live animal up close! Our programs often include opportunities for participants to interact with and ask questions about the fascinating creature or creatures that we bring.

 

Notes on programming:

  • Max of 30 individuals per program
  • The Zoo2You program cannot go to private homes
  • For the health and safety of our Animal Ambassadors, the total duration of a Zoo2You experience (including transportation to and from your organization) cannot exceed 5 hours. If you require more programs than can fit in that timeframe, please contact us about booking multiple dates or find a date that can accommodate multiple Zoo Educators teaching programs concurrently.
  • We cannot promise specific animals will be available; while we make every effort to honor preferences, animal welfare is of the utmost importance to us. There are a number of factors that may impact availability including season, time and distance away from the Zoo, and routine training and veterinary needs.

45 Minute and Zoo2You Program Offerings

PRE-K & KINDERGARTEN

Animal Senses (45, Onsite Only): This station-based program uses the group’s very own chaperones to facilitate a rotation of exploration during which students will use their different senses to complete challenges, then figure out which animals might be the super stars of each sense! This program includes an Animal Ambassador encounter.

Habitats (45, Onsite or Zoo2You): This program involves a hands-on matching game to discover which components of a habitat are living versus non-living, a call and response exploration of the 10 major types of habitats, a story book about what a successful habitat includes, and an Animal Ambassador encounter to apply our new knowledge!

Life Cycles (45, Onsite or Zoo2You): This program begins with a story that explores the different types of animal life cycles, continues with a hands-on matching game to discover how animals change from baby to adult followed by an opportunity to get silly as we act those life cycles out, and ends with an Animal Ambassador encounter.

1st & 2nd GRADE

Adaptations (45, Onsite or Zoo2You): This inquiry-based program about how animals solve problems begins with a creative exploration of human tools that mirror different wild adaptions, then gives students an opportunity to learn about one of our different Animal Ambassadors by challenging them to use their own observations to draw scientifically-valid conclusions.

Animal Senses (45, Onsite Only): This station-based program uses the group’s very own chaperones to facilitate a rotation of exploration during which students will use their different senses to complete challenges, then figure out which animals might be the super stars of each sense! This program includes an Animal Ambassador encounter.

Habitats (45, Onsite or Zoo2You): This program begins with an interactive lesson on what a successful habitat includes, continues with a hands-on matching game to discover which animals thrive in each major habitat and why, then ends with an encounter that challenges students to observe our Animal Ambassador’s adaptations in order to deduce which habitat it calls home.

Life Cycles (45, Onsite or Zoo2You): This program begins with a story that explores the different types of animal life cycles, continues with a hands-on matching game to discover how animals change from baby to adult followed by an opportunity to get silly as we act those life cycles out, and ends with an Animal Ambassador encounter.

Sun & Moon (45, Onsite Only): This program includes a movement activity alongside a Science on a Sphere demonstration exploring how the Sun and Moon impact life here on Earth, including what makes a day, a year, and a season.

Water (45, Onsite Only): This program includes an activity highlighting the importance of water as a resource and a Science on a Sphere demonstration exploring where water is on Earth, how it moves around, and why it is so important to life on our planet.

3rd - 5th GRADE

Adaptations (45, Onsite or Zoo2You): This inquiry-based program about how animals solve problems begins with a creative exploration of human tools that mirror different wild adaptions, then gives students an opportunity to learn about one of our different Animal Ambassadors by challenging them to use their own observations to draw scientifically-valid conclusions.

Energy & Living Things (45, Onsite or Zoo2You): This activity-based program explores the different ways that scientists sort and classify the many organisms in the world, where their energy comes from, and how that energy flows between them. This program includes an Animal Ambassador encounter.

Sun & Moon (45, Onsite Only): This program includes a movement activity alongside a Science on a Sphere demonstration exploring how the Sun and Moon impact life here on Earth, including what makes a day, a year, and a season.

Water (45, Onsite Only): This program includes an activity highlighting the importance of water as a resource and a Science on a Sphere demonstration exploring where water is on Earth, how it moves around, and why it is so important to life on our planet.

6th - 8th GRADE

Adaptations (45, Onsite or Zoo2You): This inquiry-based program about how animals solve problems begins with a creative exploration of human tools that mirror different wild adaptions, then gives students an opportunity to learn about one of our different Animal Ambassadors by challenging them to use their own observations to draw scientifically-valid conclusions.

Bones Tell the Tale (45, Onsite or Zoo2You): This activity-based program gives students an opportunity to think critically about the evolution of animal species by comparing and contrasting different skulls, then to use their observations skills to draw scientifically-valid conclusions about one of our Animal Ambassadors.

Climate Change & Conservation (45, Onsite Only): This Science on a Sphere program explores the available evidence of climate change, discusses its causes and effects, and challenges students to think critically about the future of Earth’s climate and how we can take action.

Our Solar System (45, Onsite Only): This Science on a Sphere program explores our Solar System by viewing the surfaces of each planet and thinking critically about how and why they have key similarities and differences, particularly focusing on the aspects of Earth that are unique and vital to life.

Zoos & Why They Matter (45, Onsite Only): This experience-based program discusses the history of zoos, challenges students to think critically about why different animals are kept in captivity, and concludes with an Animal Ambassador encounter.

9th - 12th GRADE

Adaptations (45, Onsite or Zoo2You): This inquiry-based program about how animals solve problems begins with a creative exploration of human tools that mirror different wild adaptions, then gives students an opportunity to learn about one of our different Animal Ambassadors by challenging them to use their own observations to draw scientifically-valid conclusions.

Bones Tell the Tale (45, Onsite or Zoo2You): This activity-based program gives students an opportunity to think critically about the evolution of animal species by comparing and contrasting different skulls, then to use their observations skills to draw scientifically-valid conclusions about one of our Animal Ambassadors.

Climate Change & Conservation (45, Onsite Only): This Science on a Sphere program explores the available evidence of climate change, discusses its causes and effects, and challenges students to think critically about the future of Earth’s climate and how we can take action.

Zoos & Why They Matter (45, Onsite Only): This experience-based program discusses the history of zoos, challenges students to think critically about why different animals are kept in captivity, and concludes with an Animal Ambassador encounter.

20 Minute Program Offerings

These programs can be adapted to any age group. They exclusively occur onsite.

Our Solar System

This 20 minute program utilizes our Science on a Sphere technology to explore our Solar System by viewing the surfaces of each planet and thinking critically about how and why they have key similarities and differences, particularly focusing on the aspects of Earth that are unique and vital to life.

Plate Tectonics

This 20 minute program utilizes our Science on a Sphere technology to dive into the mechanisms behind plate tectonics and explores available evidence for how this phenomenon serves as a driving force behind evolution.

Sun and Moon

This 20 minute program utilizes our Science on a Sphere technology to explore how the Sun and Moon impact life here on Earth, including what makes a day, a year, and a season.

Water

This 20 minute program utilizes our Science on a Sphere technology to explore where water is on Earth, how it moves around, and why it is so important to life on our planet.

Weather and Climate

This 20 minute program utilizes our Science on a Sphere technology to explore the different types of weather events and climate patterns on Earth, their causes and effects, and how they impact animals and their habitats.

Animal Ambassador Encounter

This 20 minute programs is an up close and personal encounter with one of our Ambassador Animals and focuses on the animal’s natural history and conservation action. Please be aware that specific Ambassadors can be requested in order of preference, but no specific animal can be guaranteed. Please mention any phobias or allergies that should be considered by our staff in preparation for your group.

A Gift That Lasts All Year! 

BPZOO Memberships make a perfect gift for the animal lover in your life.