Programs & Field Trips

The Junior Museum & Zoo is currently closed to the public due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  We will reopen in Spring 2021 in our beautiful new facility in Rinconada Park.

The JMZ offers unique science experiences for children ages 3-11. Find out more about these programs below.

Please keep in mind that prices are subject to change.

Birthday Parties

Celebrate your birthday at the Junior Museum & Zoo.  We provide fun science activities and a private room for your party. You supply the cake.

We have party options for children ages 3 and up. We also have special options for larger groups and older children. Please call the Museum front desk for information about special options.

To learn more or make a date request, please follow the links below. You may also call to find out about availability.

Party Coordinator: Ines Thiessen
Phone: 650-329-2111
Fax: 650-473-1965
ines.thiessen@cityofpaloalto.org

School Programs

The Junior Museum & Zoo is currently closed for field trips and visits due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  We are currently offering virtual & open space programs only. To schedule, please contact the Education Director.  We will re-open for visits Spring 2021 in our brand new facility in Rinconada Park.

Our trained Museum educators offer a wide range of science programs to local schools. We provide hands-on, interactive programming to children from preschool through elementary school. Our programs align to current science standards.

The JMZ offers programming in your classrooms, at our museum, and in open space preserves.


Classroom Lessons

Classroom lessons last about 50 minutes. Each of our lessons involve hands-on, interactive science. These include live animals, natural artifacts, and science tools and materials. We can bring our lessons to your school classrooms or you can have our lesson at our museum as part of a field trip.

You can find prices for our lessons in our program menu. We may apply an extra transportation fee for some locations.


Open Space Field Trip

Some programs take place in local Palo Alto preserves. Open space programs can last from 1-3 hours. See our program menu for fees and descriptions of our open space programs.


Program Menu & Fees

See the documents below for a listing of our in-class and open space programs, including fees. Our elementary school programs align with the Next Generation Science Standards. We have a different list of offerings for our preschool programs, also shown below.


Registration

To book a classroom lesson, please fill out the JMZ program registration form below. For any other questions, contact bill.gutoff@cityofpaloalto.org.

To book an open space field trip, please contact naturalist@cityofpaloalto.org or call 650-329-2506.

Preschool & Afterschool Classes

The Junior Museum & Zoo offers a full range of science experiences for children ages 3-11. These include “parent and me" preschool classes and elementary afterschool programs.


Fall Programming (2020)

Our fall programming is available for children 1st through 5th grades. These programs are completely outdoors, after school, in our beautiful open spaces! 

Program sites include Arastradero Preserve, Foothills Park and the Baylands Preserve. Your child will learn about the unique plants, animals and ecology of each place. Join us for the beauty and adventure these amazing wild spaces have to offer!

We will maintain social distancing, masks, and other health and safety protocols.

Preschool Classes - Not offered at this time due to the pandemic.

Give your young scientist an amazing experience of exploration and discovery! We design our hands-on classes especially for inquisitive preschoolers, 3-5 years old. In our preschool classes, a parent or caregiver must attend with the child. Sorry, but unregistered siblings are not allowed in class.


Afterschool Programs at your School

We currently offer our Science with a Twist afterschool program at Duveneck and Nixon elementary schools.

Summer Camps (2020)

The Junior Museum & Zoo is offering three in-person camps, and one virtual camp for summer 2020.

Because of restrictions due to COVID-19, we are offering our in-person camps as two, and three week sessions options. Zoo camp will not be offered in-person in 2020, but we do have a virtual Zoo Camp option (see below for details). 

Down by the Bay! Camp

Baylands Nature Center - 2775 Embarcadero Way

9:00am - 2:30pm
The Junior Museum and Zoo presents: Down by the Bay, where the pickleweed grows … Have you ever seen a stilt wading through the silt?  Have you ever seen a skimmer searching for her dinner?  Have you ever seen the dodder orange by the water?  Down By The Bay!  Our local Baylands Park and Nature Center becomes your personal research station.  Be prepared to be out in the sun and get a bit muddy and wet while we learn about the fascinating animals and plants in the world around us.  With nature as our inspiration, we’ll also explore creative expression through art and poetry.  Each week will include hiking, nature observing, games, music, arts, and crafts.  This camp combines the best of Bay Camp and Natural Wonders.  Use the grade your child JUST COMPLETED in the spring as his/her grade for camp registration.

Invention Convention

Lucie Stern Community Room - 1305 Middlefield Road

9:00am - 2:30pm
Calling young inventors, engineers and scientists!  Join the Junior Museum and Zoo and get your hands busy building and experimenting as we learn about electricity, machines, kinetic and potential energy, and more.  Physics, chemistry and invention through ages combine in this mind-stretching, contraption-building, and concoction-mixing camp.  We’ll study technologies of the past and learn how they apply to modern life, from ancient hieroglyphics to code-breaking.   Imaginative games, stories, arts and crafts will supplement the science activities and add to the fun.  This camp combines the best of Camp Kinetic and Camp Chronos. Use the grade your child JUST COMPLETED in the spring as his/her grade for camp registration.

Planet Earth, Planet Ocean

Cubberley Community Center Pavilion - 4000 Middlefield Rd.
 9:00am - 2:30pm

Join the Junior Museum and Zoo, and learn about our dynamic planet, from the tops of exploding volcanoes to the crushing depths of undersea canyons.  Investigate geology, paleontology, oceanography and more through genuine fossils and mineral specimens and scientific models of earthquakes and ocean currents.  Dive deep into your imagination when you build your own tiny submarine!  What creatures might you encounter in the vast watery depths?  Bring your curiosity and questions about the earthen and oceanic regions of our planet, and have a ball discovering the answers!  Imaginative games, stories, art, and crafts will supplement the science activities and add to the fun.  This camp combines the best of Jurassic Camp and Camp Oceana.  Sorry, no pre- or post-camp available for this camp. Use the grade your child JUST COMPLETED in the spring as his/her grade for camp registration.

Zoo Camp: Virtual

Online Camp
10:00am - 3:00pm (with a 1-hour break from 12:00-1:00)

This 4-hour a day, week-long camp experience will provide kids with daily virtual visitations with the animals of the Junior Museum and Zoo, and exclusive behind-the-scenes looks at how we care for them.  Each day, campers will meet from 10 a.m. - noon, break for lunch for an hour, and then reassemble from 1 - 3 p.m. Students will learn about the physiology and lifestyles of our zoo animals, and get to see activities like medical care, diet preparation, feedings, and enrichment.  They’ll gain a better understanding of what makes animals thrive--both those living with humans and those living in the wild.  The camp week will include an at-home project using easily accessible materials.  Use the grade your child JUST COMPLETED in the spring as his/her grade for camp registration.  Campers will participate through Zoom Webinar and the meeting link will be emailed to participants at least one week prior to the start of camp.

Open Space Field Trips

Open Space Field Trip

Some programs take place in local Palo Alto preserves. Open space programs can last from 1-3 hours. See the our program menu for fees and descriptions of our open space programs.

To book an open space field trip, please contact naturalist@cityofpaloalto.org or call 650-329-2506

Self-Guided Field Trips

See our Visit page for reserving self-guided field trips to the JMZ.

See our School Programs section for booking a science program during your visit.