Wildlife Education Series

Wildlife Education Series

Wildlife Education Series

Join us on Zoom for an enlightening discussion about beluga whale research and exciting advances in animal science!

Thursday, June 2, 2022 at 6:00pm – Learning from Whale Snot!

Learning from Whale Snot!

In this virtual talk, Dr. Justin Richard, Assistant Professor at University of Rhode Island, will talk about beluga whale research! Specifically, Dr. Richard will share the critical research that occurs at aquariums to develop minimally-invasive tools to study beluga whales, and how we can explore beluga whale biology in new ways by combining behavioral research with physiological research. Learn how exhaled breath samples can be used to study beluga whale genetic relationships, maturity status, and even help detect pregnancy!

Dr. Richard’s interest in marine mammals developed at Mystic Aquarium, where he was a beluga whale trainer for nearly 10 years before entering a PhD program in Integrative and Evolutionary Biology at URI.  Now a member of the faculty in the department of Animal and Veterinary Science, he teaches courses relating to animal behavior, marine mammals, and zoo and aquarium animal care and management.  His research takes an integrative approach to studying behavior in zoos and aquariums to fill knowledge gaps about animals and behaviors that are logistically difficult to study in the wild to advance conservation efforts.  His research program emphasizes undergraduate participation, providing opportunities for interested students to engage in authentic learning experiences in animal science.

This programming is FREE. When registering, please consider making a donation to ensure we can stay connected.

Party for the Planet

Party for the Planet

Let’s Do Our Part

Party for the Planet is the largest combined Earth Day celebration in North America! More than 100 AZA accredited zoos and aquariums across the country celebrate with activities, giveaways, and special events.

Join us at the Buttonwood Park Zoo on Saturday, April 23rd from 11 am to 2 pm when we will offer our visitors the opportunity to explore, learn, and play as 20+ local organizations and businesses come together to celebrate green, sustainable living and and teach us how to make choices that will ensure the health of our planet for generations to come. Don’t forget to bring in any unwanted electronics (see details below).

To add to the fun, the Zoo will have live music, a raffle, fun games, face painting, an ambulance onsite, Earth Day-inspired enrichment demonstrations with our animals, and so much more! It’s a party for the planet, come celebrate with us!

Connect with Nature

Connecting with nature is healthy for us mentally and physically.

Spring into Action by tracking the monarch butterfly migration north from their overwintering grounds in Mexico to coastal California through the United States and Canada. To capture how monarchs recolonize the breeding areas, report first sightings of adults, the first emergence of milkweeds, and first eggs and larvae to Journey North. Already seen your “first” spring observations? No problem! Please report all observations after these “firsts” to Journey North
as well. Tag AZA during registration by adding AZA Party for the Planet in the comment section of your report!

Create Pollinator Spaces in your backyard! AZA is partnering with The National Wildlife Federation to expand native habitats across AZA-accredited facilities and their members. NWF’s Certified Wildlife Habitat® program helps to create and restore habitat and wildlife populations. Turning your yard, balcony container garden, work landscape, or roadside greenspace into a Certified Wildlife Habitat® is fun, easy, and can make a lasting difference for wildlife. Spring into Action with AZA and NWF in creating native habitats near you!

Electronic Waste Drop-off

Members of the community can bring in any unwanted electronic item during Party for the Planet and we will see to it that it is properly recycled by an electronic recycling firm; one free child admission per party/family into Party for the Planet with E-Waste drop-off! 

All electronic items can be taken at no charge, with the exception of tube TVs. Those require a $10 disposal fee. Other items collected at no charge are cell phones, stereo equipment, desktop or laptop computers, printers, scanners, tablets, household appliances (toasters, blenders, etc), as well as microwaves and other consumer electronics.

Join a Clean-up!

Here are some local clean-up meetups in collaboration with Be the Solution to Pollution:

🌎 April 3rd from 9-12 at Fairhaven Bike Path (meeting behind the community center)
🌎 April 9th at 10 am at West Beach, New Bedford (in association with Nativity Prep)
🌎 April 25th at 9 am at Fort Phoenix, Fairhaven

Easter EGG-stravaganza

Easter EGG-stravaganza

Hop on over to BPZOO!

April 9 (sold out), April 10 (sold out), April 16 (sold out), 2022

Hop on over to BPZOO and join in the fun at our Easter EGG-stravaganza April 9th, 10th & 16th!

This family friendly, outdoor, walk through event will include an Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt, Easter candy stations, our Spring Forward Obstacle Course, and The Bunny Hop Trail. With endless photo opportunities, unlimited carousel rides, up-close meet and greets with our own Animal Ambassadors plus a visit from the Easter Bunny, you’re sure to have an EGG-cellent time!

Please be aware that the train will not be running during the Easter event. 

Make sure you remember to bring those Easter baskets to carry all your Easter treats!

Advanced purchasing of tickets is advised. Event will be held outdoors, rain or shine. Tickets are non-refundable.

BPZOO Membership has its perks! Members receive discounted tickets. Please log in to receive your discount and to purchase tickets.

Member prices: Adults $11
Children: $7

Non-Member prices: Adults $16
Children: $12

Children under 2 are free





Noon Year’s Eve

Noon Year’s Eve

Ring in the New Year With Us!


WHOOOO says you have to wait until midnight to ring in the new year?  Grab your party hats and dancing shoes and head to the Zoo for a Noon Year’s Eve celebration! This unique, family-friendly celebration includes a dance party with DJ Danny Levin, fun with Mr. Bubble Man, exciting encounters with the Zoo’s animal ambassadors and a festive craft activity! Train and carousel rides, weather permitting, are also included.Ring in the New Year at NOON time by toasting with a slice of toast and sparkling apple juice!

Friday, December 31
10:30am – 12:30pm

This event will be held OUTDOORS in our Buttonwood Farm/Nature Play area – please dress accordingly!

Pre-registration if required
*This event will be held rain or shine* 


Adult Non- Members: $12
Child Non- Members: $10
(includes zoo admission)

Additional Information:

Masks are required indoors for all guests over the age of 5, regardless of vaccination status. Strongly recommended for children ages 2 -5.

Masks are required upon entry into the Zoo, to use the restrooms and cafe, and to enter the Rainforest building.



Questions? Please contact Katie Sherman, Event Manager, at 508-991-4556 ext. 120 or ksherman@bpzoo.org

Cookies, Paws and Santa Claus

Cookies, Paws and Santa Claus

Enjoy Holiday Magic at Cookies, Paws and Santa Claus!


Jingle all the way over to the Buttonwood Park Zoo for some holiday fun at Cookies, Paws & Santa Claus! Let your creativity run wild as you decorate your own sweet treat and create some holiday magic at festive craft stations. With animal encounters, unlimited rides, delicious hot cocoa, and lots of memories to be made, you certainly won’t want to miss out on this family fun event! Don’t forget to bring your letter to Santa with your holiday wishes as he will be flying in for a visit to see his favorite friends!

Saturday and Sunday
December 11, 12, 18, 19
10:00am – 11:30am and 12:30pm to 2:00pm

Pre-registration is required and tickets are limited for each session.

Member prices: Adults $12
Children: $10

Non-Member prices: Adults $15
Children: $13

Children under 3 are free

Thank you to the following for donating cookies and services:
Culinary Department at Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical Highschool
Flour Girls Baking Company
Mad Good Cookies

Additional Information:

The Wildlife Education Center will be open exclusively for event guests. The activities and animal encounters will take place inside the building where masks are required for all guests over the age of 5, regardless of vaccination status. Strongly recommended for children ages 2 -5.

Photos with Santa will take place outside (masks not required).

Train and carousel rides are included – weather dependent.


Questions? Please contact Katie Sherman, Event Manager, at 508-991-4556 ext. 120 or ksherman@bpzoo.org

Boo at the Zoo is Back!

Boo at the Zoo is Back!


Boo at the Zoo is CANCELED on Saturday (10/30) due to the predicted weather. Everyone who has tickets for Saturday will automatically get moved to Sunday (10/31) for the same time slot. There is no need for new tickets. Those with Saturday tickets from 3:00pm to 4:30pm, will need to email info@bpzoo.org to reschedule tickets. The Sunday event will run from 10:00am to 4:00pm. We ask for your patience – we are doing our very best to get the Zoo set back up for these events as well as be in correspondence with our ticket holders.

Now in its 20th year – Boo at the Zoo will satisfy all your fall, Halloween and cool weather cravings.  With campus wide daytime trick-or-treating, there are seven chances to enjoy Boo at the Zoo this year. Want to show off your little ghosts and goblins?  Baby Boo is for you!  Baby Boo is geared towards children 5 and under, but any age is welcome!

Boo at the Zoo

Saturdays & Sundays
October 16, 17, 23, 24, and 30
10:00am – 6:00pm

October 31
10:00am – 4:00pm

Baby Boo

Friday, October 29
9:00am – 2:00pm

Dress the kids in their favorite costume and come explore all that BPZOO has to offer! We’ll provide families with a socially-distanced walk through experience with some twists and turns along the way. Our slightly spooky theme will include mazes, plenty of trick-or-treat stations, free carousel rides, endless photo opportunities including a photo costume contest, Halloween themed animal enrichment, and up-close meet and greets with the Zoo’s Animal Ambassadors. Don’t forget to stop into the Cafe to enjoy festive, fall favorites – who can resist kettle corn and apple cider!

Families are encouraged to bring their own “trick or treat” bags.  All proceeds from Boo at the Zoo support the Zoo’s education and family programs. 

Did you take a photo in front of the Costume Contest backdrop!? Submit your photo by 8:00pm on the day you attended to be entered to win prizes!

We are excited to bring Boo at the Zoo back for the 2021 season! In order to do so, we have implemented measures to encourage social distancing among guests and staff and to protect our animals. By purchasing your event ticket, you agree to:

  • Abide by social distancing rules and do your best to give space between families
  • Wear a face mask whenever indoors – this means masks are required upon entry into the Zoo, to use the restrooms, indoor cafe and the Rainforest building
Are you or your family looking for a unique way to give back to the community?
Boo at the Zoo at Buttonwood Park Zoo is a fun way to volunteer while helping to create slightly spooky memories for thousands of families.
Boo at the Zoo Prices
BPZOO Member: $12 Adult, $8 Child
Non-member: $17 Adult, $13 Child
Under 2 is free
We strongly encourage purchasing your tickets online in advance. Entry is limited each hour and we cannot guarantee that tickets will be available at the door.

Thank you to our Sensationally Spooky Sponsor:

Thank you to our Frightfully Fantastic Sponsor:

Thank you to our Trick or Treat Sponsors:

care free

We can’t wait to see everybody this year at Boo!