Plan Your Visit

Hours & Admission

  • 10AM - 5PM, Friday - Sunday (Closed 1:00-1:30PM for sanitizing)
  • $10 per adult or children, ages 12 months and above.
  • School Field Trips: $5 per student and adult chaperone (email funscience@cityofpaloalto.org to book).

Tickets go on sale October 16, 2021Before you can purchase Tickets and Memberships, you must first create an Enjoy Online account.

Accessible and Discounted Admission

As a member of the Museums for All program, low-income families or families with members who have disabilities may qualify for a $3 per person ticket by providing one of the following documents per family on their first visit. 

  • EBT, WIC, BIC, Medicaid, Medical, or CA Healthy Families membership card
  • Enrollment confirmation paperwork from Kaiser MFA, Kaiser Community Health Care, or the Free and Reduced-Price Lunch Program.
  • It is not necessary to provide proof of disability.

Thereafter, families will be able to purchase a discounted ticket through Enjoy online.

Accessibility

Welcome! The Junior Museum & Zoo is committed to being engaging and fun for people of all ages and abilities. We understand that it is not someone’s disability that limits them, but inaccessible spaces and societal attitudes. We have built the JMZ to be inclusive for everyone.

If you or a member of your family has a disability, here’s lots of information to help you prepare for your visit.

Our staff is trained to assist visitors with various disabilities. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to make your visit more comfortable and fun!

If you have any questions or need special assistance please email us at funscience@cityofpaloalto.org or call (650) 329-2111.

Getting to the Junior Museum & Zoo

There is taxi and ride service drop off area in front of the entrance.

We are located directly in front of the VTA #35 bus stop at Montrose Road.

Caltrain stops at the San Antonio station. The museum is a 20 minute walk.

Free parking is available in the lot between Hopkins Street and Middlefield Road. Near the front entrance there are 3 accessible parking spaces and 1 accessible EV charging only space. There are also 2 accessible parking spaces and 2 accessible EV charging only spaces in the lot. On-street parking is available on Middlefield Road.

Bike racks are available.

Admission

Regular museum admission is $10 per person (adults and children 12 months and older).

We understand that expenses relating to a child’s disability can often leave families with little disposable income for museum visits. The Junior Museum offers an admission price of $3 for a child with a disability and their immediate family members or care provider. Documentation of a disability is not required.  Discounted admission information is provided toward the top of the Plan Your Visit page under the heading, Accessible and Discounted Admission.

On site accessibility

All exhibits are designed according to the Smithsonian Guidelines for Accessible Exhibitions. Exhibits and experiences are multisensory and hands-on to engage different abilities depending on a child’s strengths.

A large print and tactile 3D map is located at the entrance to the museum and the zoo.

Service animals are allowed if they meet ADA’s definition as “a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.” Pets, emotional support animals, comfort or companion animals, and therapy dogs are not service animals under the ADA and are not admitted.

Coming January 2022 - Labels throughout the museum and zoo include QR codes with audio recordings in both English and Spanish.

Visitors who have limited mobility

The JMZ is wheelchair accessible. Many exhibits have multiple access points for visitors using wheelchairs. Our tree house has a wheelchair accessible elevator and pathways to climbing areas. There are wheelchair transfer stations at the climbing nets in the tree house, the underwater tunnel in the zoo, and at the gravel dig in the outdoor dawn redwood garden.

All restrooms are accessible. Adult-sized and infant changing tables are available in both the women’s and men’s restrooms. A family restroom is available for visitors with disabilities.

Wheelchairs and wheelchair tables are available to borrow during your visit.

Seating is located throughout the museum and zoo. If you need a portable stool, please ask a staff member.

Visitors who are blind or have low vision

A large print and tactile 3D map is located at the entrance to the museum and one at the zoo.  The zoo contains many life-like, touchable bronze animal sculptures.  Animal Tactile Touch Kits with braille labels are available to borrow.

Coming January 2022 - Labels throughout the museum and zoo include braille and QR codes with audio recordings in both English and Spanish.

Coming January 2022 A braille and large print guide is available to borrow during your visit. The multi-page guide includes text from exhibit and zoo animal labels, a tactile map, and images of zoo animals, and QR codes to connect you with audio recordings of our labels.

Visitors who are Deaf or have hearing loss

Assisted listening devices are available for classrooms, Wildlife Circle presentations and other events. Please let our staff know if you need assistance.

A portable hearing loop is located at the front desk to assist visitors who have hearing aids with T-coils. Headphones are also available for the hearing loop.

American Sign Language Interpretation is available free of charge for visits to the Museum & Zoo. Please contact us at funscience@cityofpaloalto.org or (650) 329-2111 at least two weeks before your visit so we can arrange for an interpreter.

Visitors with autism and sensory sensitivities

Calming Nooks in the museum and the zoo provide a quiet place for families to take a break. While all are welcome, the Calming Nook areas are designed for children with sensory sensitivities and nursing mothers.

Sensory Backpacks are available to borrow at the front desk at no cost. Backpacks include items to help children who may need additional support to enjoy the museum and zoo.

  • The Dynamic Dinosaur Backpack is for sensory seekers and includes a variety of fidgets and other exploratory toys.
  • The Calming Critters Backpack has sensory soothing items like noise canceling headphones and quiet toys.
  • A Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) Backpack is also available to borrow.

Other access resources for visitors with sensory sensitivities, including a weighted blanket and noise canceling headphones, are also available to borrow.

Coming January 2022 - "My Trip to the Junior Museum and Zoo" storybook is available to help you and your child prepare for a visit and learn what you will see and experience at the JMZ.

Super Family Sundays

A free event when the JMZ is open exclusively to families with children who have disabilities. Children with all disabilities are welcome, as well as parents, siblings and grandparents.  Come and meet zoo animals up-close and enjoy a hands-on science activity.  Upcoming events are scheduled as follows:

  • November 21, 2021 – 8:30 to 10 am
  • December 12, 2021 – 8:30 to 10 am
  • January 9, 2022 – 8:30 to 10 am
  • February 13, 2022 – 8:30 to 10 am
  • March 13, 2022 – 5:30 to 7:00 pm

In order to maintain a non-crowded environment, spots are limited and reservations are required.  To make a reservation, please visit Eventbrite. For questions or to request special accommodations, please call (650) 329-2111.

Super Family Sunday Flier(PDF, 451KB)

Field trips for children with disabilities

If you would like to schedule a field trip for your group, please call (650) 329-2111 or email funscience@cityofpaloalto.org to make a reservation.  Fee: $5 per student, teachers and adult chaperones. We will do our best to tailor an experience to accommodate your group.

Ages

The Museum & Zoo serves children, ages birth to nine, and their adult caregivers.

Parking, Biking, and Public Transportation

  • Onsite parking is free.
  • Bike racks are available.
  • Caltrain stops at the San Antonio station. The museum is a 20 minute walk.
  • The Museum is located directly in front of the VTA #35 bus stop at Montrose Road.
  • The Palo Alto Free Shuttle runs Monday through Friday. The Crosstown Shuttle stops at Middlefield & Charleston, and the museum is a four minute walk.

Directions

  • The Museum & Zoo is located at 1451 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, CA 94301. It is located near Embarcadero Road and Rinconada Park.
  • HIGHWAY 101: Take the Embarcadero Road West exit. Continue down Embarcadero Road and turn right on Middlefield Road. The Museum & Zoo will be located on your tight.
  • FROM DOWNTOWN PALO ALTO: Head south on Middlefield Road. The Museum & Zoo will be located on your left just after Melville Ave.