Behind-the-Scenes Tours

Animal Encounters

Get up close and personal with the zoo’s residents! Animal experiences at a number of price levels are available.

The Family Farm Experience

Bring your whole family down to the Barn, where you can pet, feed and take photos with the zoo’s goats and ducks. Learn more about these incredible animals from the keepers who look after them. 

Groups of six can reserve 20 minutes with these friendly farm animals. All ages are welcome.

Available every day at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. 

Cost

Zoo members: $10 per person
Nonmembers: $10 per person  

Check availability and book your experience today.


Encounter Bugs

Experience life inside the Insect Zoo, where visitors can touch and take photos of leaf insects, tarantulas, cockroaches and beetles. Find out all about how to gently handle these interesting insects from the keepers who care for them.

Book your encounter now for a group of four to spend 30 minutes with these cool bugs. All ages are welcome.

Available every day at 10 a.m. 

Cost

Zoo members: $25 per person
Nonmembers: $25 per person

Check availability and book your experience today.  


Tortoise Time

Slow down and chill with African spurred tortoises Shelly and Dozer. Guests will be able to photograph and feed these two large tortoises.

Groups of four may reserve quality time with these majestic tortoises for 30 minutes. All ages are welcome. 

Available on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at noon.

Cost

Zoo members: $45 per person
Nonmembers: $50 per person 

Check availability and book your experience today!


Porcupine Encounter

Everyone who meets prehensile-tailed porcupine Bebeto falls in love. You don’t know what you’re missing in your life until you get to meet, feed, touch and take photos with your new favorite animal. Learn more about Bebeto and discover the best way to interact with this spiky creature from the folks who look after him.

Groups of 10 can reserve a spot.

Available on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays at 10 a.m.

Cost

Zoo members: $45 per person
Nonmembers: $50 per person     

Check availability and book your experience today!


Slow Down with a Sloth

Meet Josie, Linne’s two-toed sloth, and her caretakers.

Guests will be able to feed Josie and take photos with her, though in this case there wont be any hugging or touching. 

This experience is open to parties of ten and people of all ages. 

Available Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 10:30 a.m.

Cost

Zoo members: $69.95 per person 
Nonmembers: $74.95 per person     

Check availability and book your experience today!


Penguin Meet and Greet

Learn all about Humboldt penguins while enjoying a special 30-minute visit with Mochica, Huancaina or Panquehue.

You’ll will get to touch and take photos with one of these penguin ambassadors.

Reserve a spot now for groups of six (ages 5 and up).

Penguins will be back in May!

Cost

Zoo members: $70 per person
Nonmembers: $75 per person   

Check availability and book your experience today!


Painting with Macaws

It just so happens that the zoo’s blue-and-gold macaw Pele and the green-winged macaw Makani are underappreciated artists.

Watch one of the macaws creating a masterpiece, then take the painting home with you. 

The zoo is offering 30-minute experiences for groups of six. All ages are welcome.

Available on Sundays through Fridays at 1:30 p.m.

Cost

Zoo members: $70 per person
Nonmembers: $75 per person   

Check availability and book your experience today!


Sea Otter Encounter

Few zoo residents have made a bigger splash than the Southern sea otters Eddie, Juno and Lincoln. Now is your chance to get close to and take photos with one of these beloved social media stars!

Groups of six will spend 30 minutes with the otters, while learning about them from their caretakers. 
Available on Wednesdays through Sundays at 2 p.m.

Cost

Zoo members: $95 per person
Nonmembers: $100 per person 

Check availability and book your experience today!


Discovery Tours

Looking for a deeper dive into the workings of the zoo? Follow a veteran keeper through the staff-only doors to see what it takes to run a zoo—from providing an enriching environment to re-creating an ocean—on our behind-the-scenes discovery tours. 

NEW! Discover Care and Conservation!

Available Thursdays through Sundays from 10-11:30 a.m. and Wednesdays through Sundays from 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m.

Learn more about the zoo’s commitment to conservation with a guided walk at condors and elephants. Go behind the scenes in the zoo’s Veterinary Medical Center and Forest Hall to discover how the zoo cares for animals of all sizes.

Zoo members: $35 per person
Nonmembers: $45 per person
Ages 10 and up. Fee includes zoo admission.

Check availability or book online now.


Discover Northwest!

Available Thursdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. from April through October

The Oregon Zoo has recreated the entire Pacific Northwest – from mountains to coast - in the space of ten acres. Go behind the scenes of the black bear, sea otter and seal exhibits to discover the many moving parts of this complex operation and learn about how keepers care for these native Northwest animals.

Zoo members: $35 per person
Nonmembers: $45 per person
Ages 10 and up. Fee includes zoo admission.

Check availability or book online now.


Discover Africa!

Available Wednesdays through Sundays from 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m. from April through October

Learn about the vital role that training plays in animal welfare. Go behind the scenes at giraffes, cheetahs and lions to discover the importance of exhibit design in both the public and back of house areas.

Zoo members: $35 per person
Nonmembers: $45 per person
Ages 10 and up. Fee includes zoo admission.

Check availability or book online now.



Discovery Tour Registration Information

  • Children ages 10 and up are welcome. Kids under 13 must be accompanied by a paying adult.
  • Space is limited and advance registration is required. Find available dates or make a reservation online or by contacting the Education Office.
  • Programs involving zoo animals are subject to change or cancellation based on animal needs. However, every effort will be made to offer alternate areas or reschedule tours. Please note that Discovery tours do not include animal contact. In addition, because these tours take place during zoo hours, animals will generally be on exhibit and not in the behind the scenes areas.
  • All discovery tours require walking in working areas that include stairs and not wheelchair-accessible.