Have you ever wanted an up-close and personal look at some of our education animals? Elmwood Park Zoo’s new animal experiences will give guests an opportunity for private encounters with animals from our ambassador collection!  Each encounter will include meeting at least one ambassador, lessons on the animal’s natural history, additional activities, and even a gift to take home.


Do you love owls? Enjoy an up-close interactive experience with a few owl ambassadors from our Education Department! During this experience, you will learn about cool owl adaptations and where to find one in their natural habitat. Take as many pictures as you want during this once in a lifetime opportunity!
This experience will last 45 to 60 minutes.

REPTILE Rendezvous

Are you one of those people that adore all things reptile? During this experience you will meet different reptiles from our ambassador collection. Love turtles? We can focus on them! Prefer snakes or lizards? No problem, you can meet them too! No matter which reptiles you love, you will get to learn about their different habitats and the conservation efforts that protect them. This experience will last 45 to 60 minutes.

Chinchilla Treatment

Ever heard of puppy treatment when you have a bad day and just want to cuddle a group of puppies? Try a Chinchilla Treatment and come have play time with our ambassador chinchillas from the Education Department! You will get to feed, play, and possibly even train the chinchillas that you might have seen us use during programs here at the zoo. This experience will last 30 to 45 minutes.


Has meeting a hedgehog been a big dream of yours? You will get to hang out with one of our ambassador hedgehogs during this experience and then even get to meet our porcupine! You will also get to play and train with them during this fun program and have your own chances for a photo op. This experience will last 45 to 60 minutes.

Remarkable Raptors

Come meet the different birds of prey that we care for in our Education Department and learn what it is like for the educators to train them! You will also learn all about the unique adaptations and habitats that each bird lives in around our very area. This experience will last 45 to 60 minutes.

Program Booking

Guests can book through the Education Department Manager and may email at education@elmwoodparkzoo.org . Programs will need to be schedule at least two weeks in advance. Please provide a list of three dates that you would prefer for the experience so the education department may choose the best day for your group!


Cost of experiences will vary and can be found above.  All experiences are limited to groups of 4 and we do not accommodate under the age of 3 years. Cost includes zoo admission so you may enjoy the zoo before or after your experience!

Payment is due in full 2 weeks before program.  We accept check and credit cards.


Cancellations must be emailed to education@elmwoodparkzoo.org . 48 hours in advance to program date.  We do not offer refunds, but will try to reschedule if necessary.


We cannot guarantee you will get to touch the animals or guarantee any specific activities due to the needs of our animals and the variability of their behavior. 

At this time, we ask for information ahead of time to accommodate service animals during Encounters as it may affect our animals’ behavior.  If you or a group member have a special need or mobility need, please inform us in advance during booking.