Animal Academy

Every year at Denver Zoo Animal Academy, we usher in the brightest and the boldest to complete our rigorous training program and become Denver Zoo animal experts!
animal academy logo


  • Available Thursday and Friday, October - mid-November.
  • Program start times are 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
  • Stay tuned for 2022 program availability!


$8 per Student


For scholarship support, submit an application. More information on Access to Awe Scholarships can be found here.

Program Information

1st, 2nd, 3rd grades

Teachers, during your next zoo visit, your students can become our newest class of recruits! Enroll your young scientists in this immersive experience where they will earn their “spots and stripes” by completing in-zoo challenges.

In Animal Academy programs, concepts such as adaptations, ecosystems and life cycles come alive as recruits utilize the Zoo’s animal ambassadors to investigate these science topics. Your scientists-in-training will receive a special mission and explore the Zoo alongside their Academy instructor, applying critical thinking and science skills while working toward their spots and stripes badge.

Three Animal Academy program options are available. Each class is 75 minutes and can accommodate a maximum of 35 students and a minimum of 15 students.

  • Animal Academy: Adaptations (1st-3rd grades)
  • Animal Academy: Ecosystems (2nd-3rd grades)
  • Animal Academy: Life Cycles (3rd grade)


Compliance with the chaperone policy is required to remain eligible for the discounted school group rates.

  • Every school group visiting Denver Zoo must have at least one adult per ten students, regardless of the students' ages. Schools who do not bring at least one adult per ten students will be charged the full price of admission.
  • Please be advised that there is a maximum ratio of one teacher/chaperone for every five students that may attend any scheduled programs.
  • Special needs providers are admitted free. Teachers and school staff are admitted at no charge. Other chaperones are charged at the discounted rate of $8.00 each.
  • We only accept ONE payment for the entire group.  Payment is requested at time of registration.  For payment alternatives, contact Denver Zoo at
  • All chaperones must enter the zoo at the same time as the group. Late arrivals will be required to pay the full price of admission or use their zoo memberships.

Additional Information

Reschedule and Cancellation Policy

Any education program(s) that need to be changed after being scheduled are subject to the following fees:

Reschedule Fee:

  • Less than 14 business days from your scheduled program date: $25.00 transfer fee AND 50% of total program cost.
  • More than 14 business days from your schedule program date: $25.00 transfer fee.

Cancellation Fee:

  • Less than 14 business days from your scheduled program date: 50% of total program cost.
  • More than 14 business days from your scheduled program date: No fee.

Please contact to cancel or reschedule a program at least two weeks prior to your scheduled visit. We cannot guarantee rescheduling will be possible.

* Please note: Access to Awe Scholarship Funds cannot be applied to cancellation fees or transfer fees.