Animal Sponsorship Program

You can be involved in the efforts to save precious wildlife by sponsoring an animal at the Zoo.  Our Animal Sponsorship Program gives you an opportunity to share in meeting our animals' special needs, which takes hard work, dedication, and finances.  As a sponsor for one year, your tax-deductible contribution will help ensure a brighter future for these animals, the Zoo, and all wildlife. 

You may sponsor any animal on the list at any level.  For your generosity, you'll receive our "Thank You" in the form of the following...

Friend  $35

  • Personalized sponsorship certificate, fact sheet with color photo, and a Children's Zoo patch.

Keeper  $100

  • Friend benefits PLUS 5 one-time use visitor passes to the Zoo and a meeting with your sponsored animal's keeper.

Protector  $250

  • Friend benefits PLUS 10 visitor passes and a meeting with the animal's keeper.

Champion  $500+

  • Friend benefits PLUS 15 visitor passes, a meeting with the Zoo Director, and a 4x9 engraved brick.

It's Easy to Sponsor an Animal:  Simply look over our list of animals below, select the species you'd like to sponsor, and then fill out our sponsorship application.  Some animals are used for education and may not be on exhibit.  All of the animals remain at the zoo in the care of trained professionals, but can only be visited if on exhibit.

MAMMAL:  Alpaca, Alpine Goat, Black-tailed Prairie Dog, Bobcat, Clydesdale Horse, Cotton-top Tamarin, Standard Donkey, Eastern Gray Kangaroo, Flemish Giant Rabbit, Grey Wolf, Holstein Cattle, Jersey Cattle, Lionhead Rabbit, Llama, Miniature Donkey, Miniature Horse, Miniature Zebu, North American River Otter, Pot-bellied Pig, Rex/Lop Rabbit, Scottish Highland Cattle, Serval, Sugar Glider, White-throated Capuchin

BIRD:  American Crow, Bald Eagle, Bantam Chicken, Barred Owl, Black-footed Penguin, Blue and Gold Macaw, Campbell Duck, Cockatiel, Swedish Duck, Dominique Chicken, Eclectus Parrot, Emu, Military Macaw, Moluccan Cockatoo, Orpington Chicken, Patagonian Conure, Peafowl, Red-tail Hawk, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Umbrella Cockatoo

REPTILE:  American Alligator, Bearded Dragon, Blanding's Turtle, Blue Spiny Lizard, Blue-tongued Skink, Boa Constrictor, Central American Wood Turtle, Green Anole, Hinge-back Tortoise, Leopard Gecko, Leopard Tortoise, Marble Gecko, Red-eared Slider Turtle, Royal Python, White-throated Mud Turtle

INVERTEBRATE:  Chilean Rose Tarantula, Hermit Crab, Honey Bee, Oklahoma Brown Tarantula, Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

To become an Animal Sponsor, please call (989) 759-1408.  We accept Visa or MasterCard.  Or download the Animal Sponsorship Application and mail to:

Children's Zoo at Celebration Square
1730 S. Washington Ave.
Saginaw, MI 48601




Did you know it costs:

capuchin $760 to feed ALL the animals for just 1 day?

penguin  $500 to have enough fish to feed the Penguins for just 2 months?

wolf  $100 to feeds the Carnivores meat for just 1 week?

boy $50 to cover the cost of Zoo Admission for 7 underprivaleged children?

Click Here to Donate Now

Here are the many ways you can support the Zoo:

General Donations

General donation: your donation will be directed toward day-to-day operating expenses at the Zoo, including animal feeding and care.

Memorial donation: make a donation in memory of a loved one.

Honorary donation: donate in honor of someone special.

Endowment fund donation: your donation will be held in a permanent fund to help ensure the future of the Zoo. The interest generated from that fund will be annually distributed to the Zoo and applied toward our greatest needs. 

Train maintenance fund: help keep the cherished train chugging around the track every day.

Celebration Square Carousel fund: your donation will help maintain the beautiful, hand-carved Celebration Square Carousel.

Train RideCelebration Square Carousel

Corporate Donation

Join our Business Partners in supporting the Children's Zoo.

$2,500 Platinum Member: receive 250 Zoo Passes, free admission for up to 1,000 employees and family members on a date of your choice, two days to promote your business or products at the Zoo, behind the scenes personal Zoo tour and name recognition on Zoo Donor Board and in Zoo News.

$1,000 Annual Member: receive 100 Zoo Passes, free admission for up to 400 employees and family members on a date of your choice, one day to promote your business or products at the Zoo and name recognition on Zoo Donor Board and in Zoo News.

$500 Season Member: receive 50 Zoo Passes and name recognition in Zoo News.

$250 Partner Member: receive 25 Zoo Passes and name recognition in Zoo News.


Event Sponsorship

Your Event Sponsorship will support the popular events the Zoo holds every year including Zoo Boo! These events are a great way to enjoy the Zoo, including train and carousel rides along with a special event at a tremendous savings.

Capuchin skeleton

$500 Event Level 1: includes eight tickets to sponsored event, recognition on Event Donor Board at event and name recognition in Zoo News.

$250 Event Level 2: includes four tickets to sponsored event, recognition on Event Donor Board at event and name recognition in Zoo News.

$100 Event Level 3: includes two tickets to sponsored event, recognition on Event Donor Board at event and name recognition in Zoo News.


Donate Now
Don't forget, we have a Wish List full of items our animals need!

daily programs zoo



Keeper Talks and Demonstrations

A Zookeeper's job consists of many things including walking an animal, cleaning hooves, animal training or even enrichment. Keeper talks and demonstrations allow visitors a look into different parts of a Zookeeper's job. Keepers will show visitors different things that they do during the day and answer questions about animals. 

Zookeeper target training a kangarooTarget training the alligator

Animal Feedings

Animal feedings offer visitors a chance to learn about an animals diet and see one of our Zoo animals enjoying a meal or snack. Zookeepers are present at all animal feedings to answer any questions. 

Penguin feeding

Check the Daily Event Board behind Admissions on your next visit to see times for daily programs!

Zoo Family Classes 

Bring your family and check out the Zoo in a whole new way. On select Saturdays this winter, the Zoo will hold Zoo Family Classes in our new Conservation Classroom. 


  • Price - $25 for two people, $10 for each additional person.
    • Woo at the Zoo - $50 per couple
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
    • (suggested ages are listed for each program)
  • Programs are 2 hours from 1 - 3 pm on Saturday.
    • Woo at the Zoo - 5 - 7:30 pm
  • Pre-Registration is required.
  • Payment is due at the time of registration.

Schedule for Winter 2009

  • November 14th – Enrichment Extravaganza
  • December 5th – What Goes Around Comes Around – History from the Carousel 
  • December 12th – Delicious Diets

Schedule for Winter 2010

  • January 23rd – Enrichment Extravaganza
  • February 13th – Woo at the Zoo – 5:30 - 7:30 pm
  • February 27th – What Goes Around Comes Around – History from the Carousel
  • March 13th – Delicious Diets 
  • March 27th – Enrichment Extravaganza 
  • April 10th – What Goes Around Comes Around – History from the Carousel


Enrichment Extravaganza (5 years and older)

What keeps the animals at the Zoo busy? Find out all about environmental enrichment in this exciting class. Learn about the types of enrichment and why it is so important to animals here at the Children’s Zoo. Then you will get to try your hand at making exciting enrichment for selected Zoo animals. To end the class, watch our animals tear apart and destroy all your hard work!  

What Goes Around Comes Around – History from the Carousel (8 years and older)

This informative, fun and history-filled class will present the history of Saginaw from a totally unique perspective – the Celebration Square Carousel at the Children’s Zoo! Using the actual paintings and carvings from our carousel, the history of Saginaw will unfold before your eyes in living color. These exquisite paintings and carvings will make old Saginaw come to life in ways no written history can match. You will spend some time in the Conservation Classroom learning about the historic events that inspired the drawings and carvings of the carousel. Then get a chance to see the carousel up close and really examine its beauty, and take a ride on all the history. There may even be a few friends to visit your class.  

Delicious Diets (8 years and older)

Ever wonder what the Zoo keepers feed all the animals at the Zoo? Find out how important nutrition is and be amazed by how much work goes into feeding the Zoo animals. Just like humans, keepers have to watch what the animals eat. Some time will be spent in the Conservation Classroom learning how important nutrition is, and how we develop the diets at the Zoo. Then get a tour of our Commissary where all the animal diets are made. You'lll get a peek into our freezers and you will be surprised at what you find: there is no ice cream here. You may even get an opportunity to feed one of our Zoo animals!

Woo at the Zoo (18 years and older) – 5:00 – 7:30 pm

Bring your sweetheart to the Zoo for a special Valentine’s Day class. Learn all about the art of attraction in the animal world. See how birds and other animals pick that special someone. Dinner of sandwiches and salad will be served at 5 p.m., with talk starting at 6 p.m. Fee for this class is $50 per couple. Call the Zoo for more details on this special class. 

children's zoo miniature train
The Iberschoff Special

In January, 1967, the Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square introduced a new attraction: a miniature train. This brand new train was purchased from the Allan Herschell Company and is model number S-24, also known as the "Iron Horse". The Iron Horse is a miniature train designed to carry a larger number of passengers per trip than prior park trains. Its cars have colorfully painted canopies to protect riders from the sun. Each car is 17 feet long and can carry up to 14 adults. The engine was designed to resemble vintage locomotives of the 1870s. The same type of train was shipped all over the world to locations in Toronto, Canada, San Paulo, Brazil, Tokyo, Japan, and Barcelona, Spain.

The Zoo would not have been able to make this purchase without funds from Dr. Carl H. Iberschoff, a Saginaw school teacher, who left the money to the city of Saginaw for improvement of parks and playgrounds. The train is affectionately called the Iberschoff Special, in memory of Dr. Iberschoff's generosity.

The Iberschoff Special is brightly painted in red and black and comes fully equipped with brass fittings, including a bell and a whistle to greet park animals and visitors.  The Train ride quickly became, and has remained, one of the most popular attractions at the Children's Zoo. The Iberschoff Special has run faithfully for over 40 years despite increasing challenges in its maintenance. 


Finally, the maintenance challenges caught up with the beloved train. As the Allen Herschell Company has discontinued the Iron Horse model only a few years after the Zoo purchased the train, replacement parts had become increasingly hard to find. This, combined with long-term wear and tear contributed to problems which required the Zoo to discontinue train rides in late summer of 2007 in the interest of visitor safety. A comprehensive inspection revealed that replacement of the entire train system was needed to ensure the safety and longevity of this cherished Zoo tradition.

The Train Replacement Project was developed to do just that. A major grant from the Harvey Randall Wickes Foundation helped the Zoo raise enough funds to begin accepting bids for the project. In the spring of 2008, Billy’s Contracting rebuilt the track bed and the Crafton Railroad Company, Inc., of Illinois, laid a new track spanning 1,745 feet.

Removing the train tresselRemoving the train tunnelNew Train Track

However, with the new track came the decision to remove the trestle, a favorite part of the train ride.  In the interest of visitor safety, the trestle area was replaced with a hill at about the same height of the previous trestle. Another effect of removing the track system, was the loss of the tunnel, which was situated on top of the old railroad ties. However, while the trestle is now a part of the past, visitors who missed the tunnel in 2008 will be happy to hear that a new tunnel was constructed. As before, the tunnel serves as overnight and winter storage for the train, but this time around, it has doors at either end to better protect the train from the aging effects of weather.  

Another phase of the Train Replacement Project was to replace the train, itself. However, as the current economic situation has diminsihed the level of funding opportunities available, this part of the plan is on hold. In the meantime, the good news is that Scientific Brake has discovered that they can perform a level of refurbishment on our existing train not previously thought possible. Therefore, the existing train will continue chugging around the track, but with less challenges to deal with to keep it going.