Walk-through Aviary 

The walk-through aviary is adjoined to the kangaroo exhibit in the Australian Outback.  The aviary exhibits over 20 Cockatiels, which are native to Australia, in a free-flighted environment.  Guests are invited in and have the option to feed the birds a millet stick.  Millet is a favorite snack item of these small birds, and the birds may even land on the feeders' hand!  Included in the aviary are 2 completely enclosed exhibits for Poppy, the zoo's Umbrella Cockatoo, and Wedgie, the Moluccan Cockatoo.  The Aviary will be open to the public seasonally, as temperatures are appropriate for the cockatiel flock.

Moluccan CockatooCockatielsGrey CockatielUmbrella Cockatoo

Fossil Find Dinosaur Head

Fossil Find

Fossil Find is a place where children can channel their inner paleontologist and dig for dinosaur bones and learn about the discovery of prehistoric animals, while adults are able to take a seat and rest and relax.


Wetland Experience

The Wetland Experience, opened in spring of 2006, is a natural wetland ecosystem with plants and fish native to Michigan wetlands. With an underwater viewing area, a crawl-through "beaver dam", and a beautiful waterfall, this is truly an up-close and personal wetland experience. 

Campbell DuckSwedish DuckScuba diver cleaning glass in underwater viewing areaWetland Experience

Living, Learning Lab

The Living, Learning Lab offers interactive, hands-on learning experiences that are curriculum centered. A new spin on formal education, classes come to the zoo to participate in a variety of themed activities focused on Michigan GLCES, Common Core Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards including math, science, and language arts. The program runs 1 to 5 days and is taught in our classroom by the education staff at the Children’s Zoo. The classroom features state of the art technology including an interactive white board, microscopes, and Quizdom testing system. The Living, Learning Lab runs November through March, with select dates still available.

Living Learning Lab  Living Learning Lab

Currently, the only cost for the program is busing to and from the zoo! 


Please check back around late August or early September for a registration form for the 2017-2018 school year.


If you are a teacher or parent who is interested in finding out more about this program or how your student(s) can be a part of it, please contact Carolyn at carolyn@saginawzoo.com  or call (989) 759-1408.

Current programs:

Scavenger Hunt & Animal Journaling:  

Students complete a scavenger hunt and tour around the zoo. Later, they participate in scientific observations and create a journal about their observations and inferences. 

Parasites, Pathogens and Pills:

Students get a behind the scenes look into what keeps our animals happy and healthy! They have the opportunity to “step into the boots of a zookeeper” and complete daily keeper tasks. 

Metrics on the Menu:

Focusing primarily on what the animals at the zoo eat, students are able to tour the commissary and participate in animal diet preparation. 

Animal Adaptations:

Analyze and identify adaptations that animals have which help them to survive. Students will observe live animals and animal biofacts in their investigation. 

Enrichment Engineers:

Learn about habitat and exhibits while helping the Zoo Keepers solve poblems by putting your engineering skills to work.  Problem solving and critical thinking skills are the focus of this hands-on module.

National and State Standards by Program


Experiences at the Zoo

Aviary FeedingThere are many opportunities for exploration at the Children’s Zoo! Enjoy the discovery of hidden dinosaur bones in the Fossil Find or explore an underwater viewing cave.  Tour the zoo with a ride on the miniature train, which offers a different view of many of the animals. Take a moment to admire the beautiful gardens or the waterfall in the wetlands.


Make your time at the Children’s Zoo much more than a visit, make it an experience.


Did you ever wonder who cares for all the gardens and landscaped areas in the zoo?

Volunteers do!

Currently, the Zoo has over 80 Adopt-a-Gardens and approximately 12 landscaped areas of the zoo, all maintained by dedicated volunteers. These volunteers spend hundreds of hours planting, weeding and maintaining zoo grounds. This makes the zoo a great place not only for the animals but a beautiful place for all zoo visitors, young or young at heart.


In 1998, the Adopt-a-Garden program was started under the sponsorship of the Saginaw Valley Zoological Society with eleven gardens as a way to beautify the zoo grounds. Each year the gardens continue to grow in number and beauty. The Horticulture Committee is responsible for making sure that all garden areas are maintained and assist with future landscaping developments at the zoo.

If you are interested in becoming one of the many volunteers who help maintain the zoo grounds, here is some information that may be helpful.

Garden VolunteersAdopt A Garden Volunteer

Garden volunteers assist with general garden area maintenance. Approximately 12 areas have been identified as needing monthly care. This may include weeding general garden beds and pruning back shrubs.

Garden volunteer work days are scheduled throughout the season. If a volunteer has been oriented by a member of the Horticulture Committee to the gardens, they may come anytime the zoo is open to assist with routine garden maintenance care.

Flower SilhouetteAdopt-A-Garden

Adopt-A-Gardens are assigned each year when space permits, with returning gardeners given first preference of any new available bed. Gardeners are responsible for providing their own plant material and are expected to maintain the garden for entire zoo season.

An Adopt-A-Garden requires a weekly commitment to weed, water, fertilize and trim plants to keep the garden looking presentable at all times. Neglected sites give guests at the zoo the impression that the rest of the zoo is not well maintained. The zoo has advised the Horticulture Committee that gardens that appear untended be re-assigned.

Gardeners are responsible for assisting with the fall clean-up of the gardens at the end of the season.

Flower SilhouetteAdditional Information

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the zoo at (989) 759-1408 or email info@saginawzoo.com. Thank you for considering volunteering at the Children’s Zoo. We look forward to working with you!

Adopt A Garden