Interactive Animal Encounters and Animal Education for Kids

Create new memories during customizable animal encounters at Helen Woodward Animal Center! This animal education opportunity is a perfect activity for any animal lover and works well with playgroups, youth groups, 4H groups, home school groups and families. You will not only get hands-on animal interactions but will also gain a better understanding of our furred, feathered and scaled friends.

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Customize Your Encounter!

1. Select your level of adventure
2. Pick your quest for discovery
3. Choose your animals and activity

1. Level of Adventure (age ranges are guidelines)

Beginner Skilled
Toddlers and Preschoolers Kindergarten and beyond
60 minutes 90 minutes
$12.75 per child $15.75 per child
3 animals
1 activity
4 animals
1 activity

A minimum of 5-6 children is required to make a reservation, however you may bring less children on the day of the program. You will not be refunded the difference if less than 6 children attend. Adults are $5 each. 1 adult is required to attend.


For this program there is a group maximum of 20 people; if your group exceeds that, the additional guests cannot attend the program. Ask us about adjustments to this maximum at the time of booking and we may be able to accommodate depending on the day and time.

2. Quest for Discovery (lesson theme)

Lesson Themes Descriptions
Adaptations Learn about the unique ways animals overcome obstacles in their world such as searching for food, finding mates, staying safe from predators, and more!
Diets Learn about how an animal’s anatomy, habitat, and role in the the food web help determine what they eat.
Communication Learn about the many ways animals interact with one another or their environment through auditory, visual, and even tactile cues.
Habitats Learn about where animals live and how they are able to survive in some unusual places!
Compassion Learn about the reasons why animals deserve our respect and the ways we can create a more humane world.
Careers Learn about rewarding careers in which we can help animals and some “careers” animals have too!

3) Animal Encounters & Activities:

Type of Animal Animal Options
Large mammals Sheep
Miniature horse
Small mammals Guinea pig
Birds Chicken
Invertebrates Earthworm
Madagascar hissing cockroach
Reptiles & Amphibians Bearded dragon lizard
Blue tongue skink lizard
Leopard gecko lizard
Ball python snake
Rosy boa snake

* denotes animals that cannot be pet, other interactions may be possible depending on species. Animal education and interaction is dependent upon animal health and safety.  Must be at least 5-years-old to pet reptiles.

Type of Activity Description
Team Oriented Game Have fun putting your communication and coordination to the test with games that will be sure to encourage your group to work as a team!
Service Project for the Center From animal ambassadors to pets waiting to be adopted, many animals call Helen Woodward Animal Center home. Use your creativity to help enrich the lives of these animals and show you care!

NOTEIf you are interested in a combination of animals & activities other than the one listed for your level of adventure, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

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Your program fee helps support all of our adoptable animals, as well as the many human and animal services Helen Woodward Animal Center provides.

For more information:
Please contact us at education@animalcenter.org or 858-756-4117 ext. 318

Follow us online to get more humane education virtually including animal facts, cute animal photos and videos, and notifications about upcoming programs!

Due to Hurricane Hilary, all  departments will be closing at 3pm today.  Stay safe!