Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in Florida.jpg
370 Zoo Road, Jacksonville, FL, United States

Escape to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens for the only walking safari in Northeast Florida. Discover the earth’s wildlife through interactive and educational experiences. A true family adventure, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is growing and changing daily and is dedicated to consistently improving.  Beginning in 2004 with Range of the Jaguar and continuing with Giraffe Overlook and Savanna Blooms garden, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is quickly becoming a world-class establishment. The Zoo has something for everyone with more than 2,000 rare and exotic animals and 1,000 varieties of plants. Whether you are a visitor to Florida’s First Coast or a lifetime resident, we invite you to experience the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens through interactions with people, wildlife and the environment.

THINGS TO SEE AND DO!

BEHIND THE SCENE TOURS

CAROUSEL

EXHIBITS

GARDEN TOURS

KEEPER TALKS

JAZOO’S KIDZONE

TRAIN RIDES

BIRD WATCHING AT THE ZOO

ZOO KEEPER FOR THE DAY!

4-D Ride

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Summer Camp & Scout Field Trips at the Jacksonville Zoo and Garden

The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is home to over 1,400 species of animals and 2,000 species of plants from around the world.  It is also the field trip destination for nearly 100,000 school students, teachers and chaperones every year from as far away as Columbia, SC & Savannah, GA, Orlando & Tallahassee, FL.  Whether you are studying Life Cycles and Adaptations or Animal Behavior or Ecosystems, there is plenty to see and do while visiting the Zoo.  Field trips are self-guided, but we encourage you to download scavenger hunts, attend keeper talks and schedule an education program to maximize the resources available to you and your students while you are here.

Education Rates

Public and private school groups of 15 or more receive a deeply discounted Education Rate when they visit the Zoo between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday – Friday during regular school days and make a reservation at least two weeks in advance.  For more information or to request a field trip via e-mail, please send requests to the Education Department or call (904) 757-4463, ext. 122.

Scavenger Hunts

The Education Department has prepared a variety of scavenger hunts to help you maximize the educational resources at the Zoo.  All of the answers may be found in animal graphics and identification panels at the exhibits.

Basic Scavenger Hunt & Answer Sheet

Freshwater Food Web Activity in Play Park

Play Park Scavenger Hunt

Upper Elementary Culture Scavenger Hunt & Answer Sheet

Upper Elementary Animal Population Dynamics Scavenger Hunt & Answer Sheet

Upper Elementary Habitats & Geography Scavenger Hunt & Answer Sheet

Secondary Scavenger Hunt for Range of the Jaguar

Are you using The Great Water Odyssey™ curricula from the St. Johns River Water Management District for 3rd, 4th & 5th Grades?

The Great Water Odyssey™ Scavenger Hunt in Play Park & Answer Sheet .pdf

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Zoo to You Outreach

Let us bring the Zoo to YOU!

Our Outreach Program transforms your classroom lesson or special event into a not-to-be-missed occasion!  Every program includes a variety of animals and artifacts that provide for hands-on learning.  We Bring Life to Learning!

Classroom Program (Up to 30 attendees)
An intimate, hands-on, 45 minute experience with our animal ambassadors.

Auditorium Program (Up to 150 attendees)
A 45 minute stage show featuring our animal ambassadors.

*Participants may be invited to get up close and personal with one of the stars after the performance, depending on animal health, your group size, and overall behavior.*

Events/Festivals
Looking to add a little excitement? Our animal ambassadors can liven up any function!  Simply provide us a space at your event and we will bring the Zoo to YOU!


Keep an eye out for new pricing changes coming soon! For current cost information, reservations or for more information, email education@jacksonvillezoo.org or call 904-757-4463 x122.

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Additional Information

After Dark Adventures

There are TWO Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens – one you see by day, and the other you EXPERIENCE BY NIGHT! The Education Department’s After Dark Adventures are unique events that take you behind the scenes to meet the exotic animal collection up-close. Whether you want to spend the night or enjoy a twilight stroll, we have a variety of programs for nearly all ages.

Location Pictures
Destination Hours and Admission

Group Rates

Group rates are available for parties of 15 or more paid guests. Reservations and prepayment are required and must be made a minimum of two weeks prior to your visit.  This rate is not available at the gate.

Please note: If you are calling to schedule a school group, please contact our Education Department at (904) 757-4463, ext. 122

Adult (13-64 years) – $12.95

Children (3-12 years) – $9.25

Senior (65 years and up) – $11.95

(In order to receive the Senior rate the entire group must be Seniors)

Group Rates are not available for the Train, Stingray Bay or Wildlife Carousel. Regular rates will apply.

Scheduling and Payment 

Reservations are taken by the Corporate Events Coordinator. To make a reservation please call (904) 757-4463, ext. 120 with your confirmed guests count.  A date will be scheduled at that time to pick up your tickets. We are not able to accommodate walk-in customers requesting Group Rate tickets. Payment can be made with credit cards, company checks or cashiers checks. Personal checks are not accepted.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ciae7bZdazY?list=PL193F8571C7CE4FF6&w=640&h=360%5D

Social Media

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Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in Florida.jpg 3 years ago
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Ritz Theater and Museum.jpg
829 North Davis Street, Jacksonville, FL, United States 4.86 mi

Building on the community’s proud heritage, the Ritz is truly a Special Place, where history’s missing chapters are being restored, where talent is nurtured and creativity is celebrated.  It is a community gathering place where ideas are exchanged, information is disseminated and a roadmap for the future is developed.

Whether visiting the museum, attending a concert, viewing a film or listening to a lecture, the Ritz has a special energy that leaves you with a special feeling. There is always an exhibition, music, dance or the dramatic arts inside the Ritz that will enthrall, educate and entertain.

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YOU’RE INVITED TO VISIT THE RITZ THEATRE & MUSEUM!

Our permanent museum collection presents the history of Northeast Florida’s African American community, featuring a walk through old LaVilla and a dynamic multi-media display highlighting brothers James Weldon Johnson and John Rosamond Johnson, Jacksonville native sons and composers of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.”

The Museum Gallery showcases a variety of changing art exhibits throughout the year.

DOCENT GUIDED TOUR GROUPS

Guided tours are led by trained docents who will provide information about the exhibits featured in the museum.

STUDENT GROUPS

We require one chaperone for every ten students; chaperones admitted free.

SELF-GUIDED TOURS

Individuals and small groups can visit the museum without a guide at the discretion of museum staff.

SCHEDULING A GUIDED TOUR

To schedule a guided tour, please call (904) 632-5555 ext. 228 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. weekdays. The following information is needed: school or group name, address and telephone number; contact person’s name; preferred tour date and time; grade level and number of students and chaperones.  The museum can accommodate 50 guests at one time.  This number includes chaperones accompanying student groups.  YOU MUST RECEIVE A WRITTEN CONFIRMATION OF YOUR DATE BEFORE YOU ARRIVE.  Please notify the Ritz Theatre & Museum of any cancellations at least 48 hours (2 days) prior to the tour date.  Tours may be rescheduled if space is available.  PLEASE BE PUNCTUAL AS THE MUSEUM TOUR SCHEDULE IS VERY BUSY.  LATE ARRIVAL MAY RESULT IN CANCELLATION.  THE MUSEUM CANNOT ACCOMMODATE GROUPS OF UNSCHEDULED VISITORS.

ENTRANCE FEES:

(EXCEPT FOR SPECIAL ENGAGEMENTS)

Adults (18-64) $8.00; Children (4-17) $5.00; Senior Citizens (65 and older) $5.00; Children (3 and under free)

GROUP RATES:

– Groups of 25 or more

Adults (18-64) – $7.00, Children (4-17) – $3.00, Seniors (65+) – $3.00

Payments can be made in advance or at the time of your tour.  Cash, cashier’s check or money orders payable to the Ritz Theatre & Museum -COJ.  Credit/debit card payment accepted.  Identification must match the name on the card.   Personal checks accepted with government issued identification.

Click Here to schedule a guided tour

PARKING:

After unloading visitors at the main entrance, buses should proceed to the church parking lot on Davis Street across the street from the theatre.  VISITORS MUST BE DROPPED OFF IN THE PARKING LOT AT THE MAIN ENTRANCE TO ENSURE GUEST SAFETY.

MUSEUM MANNERS

The Ritz Theatre & Museum is a repository of many rare and priceless collections.  Objects from our collections and from other museums are on display in the gallery and the permanent exhibit of our museum.  The following rules are for the safety and security of these objects and our visitors:

  •  NO STILL OR MOVING PICTURES ARE TO BE TAKEN IN THE MUSEUM.
  •  NO CELL PHONE, PICTURE CELL PHONE OR iPOD USAGE ALLOWED.
  •  NO FOOD, DRINKS OR CHEWING GUM.
  •  NO RUNNING, LOUD TALKING OR RECKLESS BEHAVIOR.
  •  NO HANDLING OF OBJECTS.
  •  NO BACKPACKS

Arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled tour to allow time for unloading and restroom break.

Do not bring more than the scheduled number of visitors.

Bring a minimum of one chaperone per 10 children.

Provide a name tag for each student.

Chaperones should:

 Supervise their groups and maintain order.  Chaperones are responsible for the good behavior and discipline of students.  Uncontrollable students will be asked to leave the museum.

 Stay with their students at all times including restroom visits and help students move quietly through the museum

 Assist in providing a positive learning experience.

During the museum visit, docents will guide students through specific standards based activities.

Following the museum visit, teachers may coordinate optional post-museum activities through the downtown Jacksonville Public Library.

Each museum field trip is approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Maximum group size is 60 students.

The Museum fee is $3.00 per student. Transportation is the responsibility of the teacher.

Contact Adonnica Toler, museum assistant, to schedule a field trip, 904-632-5555 or atoler@coj.net.

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Florida Museum of Natural History Logo.jpg
3215 Hull Road, Gainesville, FL, United States 68.47 mi

Enjoy hundreds of exotic butterflies in a rain forest setting, witness a South Florida Calusa Indian welcoming ceremony, experience a life-size limestone cave and see a mammoth and mastodon from the last ice age.

Located on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville and open year round, the Florida Museum is one of the nation’s top five museums with more than 34 million specimens, including one of the world’s largest collections of butterflies and moths.

Visitors are greeted by a 14-foot-tall, 16,000-year-old Columbian Mammoth discovered in the Aucilla River in northwest Florida. Ninety percent of the bones are fossil material, making it one of the most complete ever found.

Visitors in front of mammoth

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Guided Tour Options

Join a knowledgeable Museum docent or staff member for an in-depth tour and lecture of the Museum exhibits and related areas. Available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. These tours are currently geared for an adult audience.

Butterfly Rainforest Exhibit Guided Tour

$11.50/person, 25 people max.

This tour is led by a Butterfly Rainforest staff member and lasts approximately 30 to 45 minutes. Information provided covers butterfly identification, the life cycle, nectar plants and other food sources in the landscaping, and Rearing Laboratory operations.

Butterfly Rainforest Exhibit VIP Tour

$20/person, 12-15 people max.

The VIP tour is led by the Butterfly Rainforest Exhibit Manager and lasts approximately one hour. The tour begins with the “Wall of Wings” display and information about the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity collections, and continues through the Butterfly Rainforest with information on butterfly identification and lifecycle, and nectar plants and other food sources in the landscaping. The VIP tour ends with a behind-the-scenes look in the Rearing Lab and information about its operations.

Florida Fossils Exhibit Guided Tour

$3/person, 40 people max.

Drawing upon the Florida Museum’s internationally acclaimed fossil collections, the award-winning Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life & Land exhibit describes the last 65 million years of Florida’s history. Walk through time beginning with the Eocene, when Florida was underwater, to the Pleistocene when the first humans arrived. Piece together a mystery skeleton to learn how paleontologists use fossils to understand periods of geologic time. This tour lasts approximately 60-90 minutes.

Florida’s Indian Peoples Exhibit Guided Tour

$3/person, 40 people max.

Archaeological evidence suggests people arrived in Florida about 12,000 years ago. Since then, Florida has been home to many groups of Indians including the powerful, extinct Calusa and the Seminoles and Miccosukee of today. How do we know about these people and their environment? Try your hand at rope making and examine artifacts while searching for answers to this question in three exhibits: South Florida People & Environments, Northwest Florida: Waterways & Wildlife and Dugout Canoes: Paddling through the America. This tour lasts approximately 60-90 minutes.

Highlights Guided Tour

$3/person, 40 people max.

Want to see it all? This special tour highlights selected sections of the Florida Museum’s world-renowned permanent exhibitions including Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life & LandSouth Florida People & Environment and Northwest Florida: Waterways & Wildlife. This tour lasts approximately 60 minutes.

Self-Guided Group Rates

Suitable for groups that prefer independent exploration of the Museum. Community Group rates available Monday through Friday for groups of 10 or more.

Free admission* to all exhibits except the Butterfly Rainforest and Surfing Florida/Surf Science. Children under three (3) admitted free.

Exhibit Dates Adult Child (3-17)
Butterfly Rainforest Year Round $7.50 $5.50
Surfing Florida/Surf Science 8/31/2013 — 1/20/2014 $3.50 $3
Best Value! Dates Adult Child (3-17)
Surfing Florida/Surf Science
& Butterfly Rainforest
8/31/2013 — 1/20/2014 $10.50 $8

Donations are accepted; suggested amounts are $6 for adults and $4 for children. Admission donations help support the Museum’s exhibitions and education programs.

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Scout Explorations

Let the Museum be a part of your scouting experience! Sign up your Boy or Girl Scout group for a weekend program to earn part or all of the requirements for many different badges, journeys, belt loops and pins.

Boy Scouts (Coming Soon!)

Cub Scouts: Wildlife Conservation (belt loop and pin), Collecting (belt loop and info for pin)

Boy Scouts: Collecting, Indian Lore, Insect Study, Archaeology, Basketry, Bird Study

Girl Scouts

Brownies trying digging activity

Brownies:

Journeys: WOW, Brownie Quest, A World of Girls

Skill Building Badges: Bugs, Home Scientist, Senses, Inventor

Juniors:

Journeys: Get Moving!, Agent of Change, aMUSE

Skill Building Badges: Flowers, Detective, Animal Habitats

Registration Information

Available times: Saturday 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 2-4 p.m.; Sunday 2-4 p.m.

Each program requires a minimum of 10 scouts with a maximum of 20. The Museum requires a 10 to 1 ratio of scouts per chaperone for all programs.

A deposit of $50 is required to reserve your troop’s spot.  Fees for all participants must be paid in one payment on the day of or before the program. The cost is $15 per scout and chaperones are free*.

Refunds will be made for cancellations received 5 business days before the scheduled program, minus a $20 administrative fee. Refunds will not be made for weather-related cancellations.

* There is an additional fee for programs that utilize the Butterfly Rainforest.

Please contact Amanda Harvey with your questions or to register at aerickson@flmnh.ufl.edu or 352-273-2062.

Make sure to check the Calendar of Events for all of our scout-friendly events where you can use the experience to work towards your belt loops, pins and badges!

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Outreach Programs at Florida Museum of Natural History (All Grades)

Bring the Museum to your classroom!

The Florida Museum of Natural History currently offers five Inquiry Box outreach programs for use in the classroom. A free 45-minute educational program using artifacts and natural history objects is delivered by museum staff or volunteers to enhance science and social studies lessons or Museum field trips.

Download Inquiry Boxes Flier

Inquiry Boxes may be kept in your classroom for two (2) weeks at a cost of $25/box, allowing students to further examine the hands-on items and other materials included in the box. Teachers will be responsible for returning the Inquiry Boxes to the Museum.

To reserve an Inquiry Box and presentation, please email carlislej@flmnh.ufl.edu or call 352-273-2026.

Outreach programs Available

Florida’s Butterflies & Moths

Suitable for: All ages but geared to K-4th grade

Participants will:

  • Learn about the life cycle of butterflies and moths.
  • Learn how butterflies and moths are similar and different.
  • Examine actual moths and butterflies found in Florida and discuss sizes, colors, and body parts.
  • Gain a better understanding of how important camouflage and adaptation methods are for survival.
  • Understand that Lepidoptera have scales covering their wings.
  • Experience how Lepidoptera see with their compound eyes.

The Florida’s Butterflies and Moths Inquiry Box (a large plum duffle bag) contains books (both fiction and nonfiction), a video, word cards, laminated teaching aids and a teacher’s guide (including a suggested approach sheet). This Inquiry Box features 14 shared boxes, each designed to be explored by 1-3 students.

Inquiry Box contents - Butterflies and Moths

Each shared box contains:

  • One clear plastic box containing 1 of 4 Florida butterflies
  • One box containing 1 of 3 Florida moths
  • Packet of cards for identifying the above (Within the 14 boxes, there are 7 different Florida moths and butterflies.)
  • 2 magnifying glasses
  • 2 eyepiece teleidoscopes
  • Packet of plastic life cycle parts
  • Butterfly finger puppet
  • This Inquiry Box was designed using the Sunshine State Standards and is intended to enhance FCAT preparation.

Educators’ Guide & Recommended Reading

 

Florida’s Reptiles & Amphibians

Suitable for: All ages but geared to K-3rd grade

Participants will:

  • Discover the great variety of reptiles and amphibians that make their home in Florida: crocodilians, snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs and salamanders.
  • Learn how reptiles and amphibians are the same and how they are different.
  • Hold a snake shed and learn why and how snakes shed their skin.
  • Learn what a tadpole is and how it is part of the transformation from egg to frog through the process called metamorphosis.
  • Discover the difference between warm blooded and cold blooded animals by using a simple thermometer.

The Florida’s Reptiles and Amphibian Inquiry Box (2 green suitcases) contains books (both fiction and nonfiction), a video, 6 replicas, word cards, laminated teaching aids and a teacher’s guide (including a suggested approach sheet). This Inquiry Box features 14 shared boxes, each designed to be explored by 1-3 students.

Inquiry Box contents - Reptiles & Amphibians

Each box contains:

  • Envelope A contains a real snake shed
  • Envelope B has a hands on camouflage activity
  • Envelope C contains a flat thermometer
  • Envelope D contains 6 frog metamorphosis cards
  • 2 sock puppets
  • Replica of a snapping turtle

This Inquiry Box was designed using the Sunshine State Standards and is intended to enhance FCAT preparation.

Florida’s Seminole People

Suitable for: All ages but geared to K-5th grade

Participants will:

  • Learn about the way of life of the Seminole people of Florida, both today and when the word Seminole first came into use.
  • Explore customs, clothing, food sources, housing, economics and government as a way to learn about these early Floridians.
  • Find out how adaptability and resourcefulness have led to the survival of the Seminole culture, after only a few Seminole escaped attempts at deportation.
  • Try on a Seminole vest or skirt and learn how the sewing machine changed the traditional clothing.

Inquiry Box contents - Florida's Seminole People

The Florida’s Seminole Peoples Inquiry Box (a black suitcase) contains books, (both fiction and nonfiction), a video, word cards, laminated pictures and teaching aids, replicas, sweetgrass basket, Seminole doll, patchwork samples, a vest and/or skirt, and more. There is a teacher’s guide which includes a suggested approach sheet. There are many hands-on articles along with a bingo-type game.

This Inquiry Box was designed using the Sunshine State Standards and is intended to enhance FCAT preparation.

 Teacher’s Guide to Florida’s Native People

This teacher’s guide may be used for Inquiry Box presentations, Inquiry Box loans and museum visits. The guide contains information on Florida’s Indian people, information on associated subjects and related fields of study, vocabulary and suggested activities. All activities are designed to integrate social studies, language arts, math and science in a unified learning experience. Permission is granted to reproduce the information and activities for student and teacher use. All guides are in PDF format.

Northern Florida’s Early Native People

Suitable for: All ages but geared to 3rd-5th grade

Participants will:

  • Investigate the lives of Florida’s early native peoples from the hunting-and-gathering Paleoindians to the farming Apalachee and Timucuan peoples.
  • Learn about their culture, community, clothing, games, houses, tools, food and trade items.
  • Find out how life changed in Florida after the arrival of European explorers.
  • Hold and explore replicas and ancient artifacts.

The Florida’s Northern Early Native People Inquiry Box (2 large royal blue suitcases) contains books (both fiction and nonfiction), a video, word cards, laminated teaching aids and a teacher’s guide (including a suggested approach sheet). This Inquiry Box features 14 shared boxes, each designed to be explored by 1-3 students.

Inquiry Box contents - North Florida Early Native People

Each shared box contains:

  • Celt
  • Chunky stone
  • Owl totem replica
  • Food packet (corn kernel, pumpkin seeds, dried bean, jerky, seashell, sunflower seed, peach pit, fish bones, acorns, shark tooth, and peas)
  • Trade bag (bell, glass beads, jewelry, mica, potsherd, quartzite, seashells, shark tooth, and string)
  • 2 pieces of terra cotta clay
  • Packet with fibers for cord making

This Inquiry Box was designed using the Sunshine State Standards and is intended to enhance FCAT preparation.

Teacher’s Guide to Florida’s Native People

This teacher’s guide may be used for Inquiry Box presentations, Inquiry Box loans and museum visits. The guide contains information on Florida’s Indian people, information on associated subjects and related fields of study, vocabulary and suggested activities. All activities are designed to integrate social studies, language arts, math and science in a unified learning experience. Permission is granted to reproduce the information and activities for student and teacher use. All guides are in PDF format.

Southern Florida’s Early Native People

Suitable for: All ages but geared to 3rd-5th grade

Participants will:

  • Discover the people who inhabited South Florida, descendants of the Paleoindians and Archaic people who came to Florida thousands of years ago.
  • See replicas of early Indian crafts – a wooden Ivory Billed Woodpecker plaque, a mask, a hammer, a scoop and the feline statue.
  • Find out what middens (old trash heaps) tell us about diet, culture, and climate.
  • Learn how the early people made cord and rope.
  • Read a translation from Spanish records about the Calusa.
  • Handle ancient tool artifacts – points, knives, drills, and scrapers.

The Southern Florida Early Native People Inquiry Box (a large red suitcase and a small red duffle bag) contains books (both fiction and nonfiction), a video, word cards, laminated teaching aids, replicas, artifacts, a timeline, a game, a sorting tray and a teacher’s guide (including a suggested approach sheet). This Inquiry Box features 14 shared boxes, each designed to be explored by 1-3 students.

Inquiry Box contents - South Florida Early Native People

Each shared box contains:

  • Sealed packet of 1000+ year old midden
  • Packet fishing gear – hook, net, net gauge, and illustration
  • Packet containing artifacts of tools with identification cards
  • Packet of fiber from which to make cord
  • Replica of the famous feline

This Inquiry Box was designed using the Sunshine State Standards and is intended to enhance FCAT preparation.

Teacher’s Guide to Florida’s Native People

This teacher’s guide may be used for Inquiry Box presentations, Inquiry Box loans and museum visits. The guide contains information on Florida’s Indian people, information on associated subjects and related fields of study, vocabulary and suggested activities. All activities are designed to integrate social studies, language arts, math and science in a unified learning experience. Permission is granted to reproduce the information and activities for student and teacher use. All guides are in PDF format.

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