Home School - Blank Park Zoo

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Home School Safari Classes are drop off classes held on the 1st Friday of every month from October thru April from 1:30 to 3:45.   Classes are split into 3 age ranges; 5-6 year olds, 7-9 year olds, and 10-12 year olds.  Each class will have a different theme with fun activities, plenty of learning   opportunities, and a visit from some animal friends. 

Member Price: $12.80
Non-Member Price: $16

Sign up for one class or all the classes, registration will close the Monday before each class. Each child must be registered individually through the registration website.

Please choose class dates/times carefully.  There will be a $5 service fee for any requested class changes after your registration has been received.  No refunds will be honored.

Click here to register


September 5 – Important Pollinators— Beautiful butterflies, and buzzing bees.  Come find out why some of our most important pollinators are disappearing, why they play such an important role, and what we can do to help!

October 3 – Weird Animal Science— Did you know ducks have feathers that are waterproof? And salamanders can hear with no ears? Animals are capable of some fantastic feats!  Come learn about some weird but cool features that animals have to survive.

November 7 – Singing and Swinging— Let’s sing to the birds and swing with the monkeys!   Animals talk to each other in special ways even if we don’t always know what they are saying.  We will learn how animals talk to each other and how different animals move.

December 5  – Animals & Art— Animals are the inspiration for a lot of artists.  We will explore many different forms of art that can include animals and will be partnering with the Des Moines Art Center! 

January 9 – Hibernation Situation— Come learn about some animals that like to take a long slumber, how they prepare for it, and what happens to them while they hibernate. 

February 6 – Reptiles VS Amphibians — Reptiles and Amphibians are commonly mistaken for each other, but they have some very distinct characteristics that make them very different from one another.  Let us teach you all about those differences!

March 6 – Eyes in the Dark— The night is full of creatures, even if you don’t always see them. During this class we will learn all about the nocturnal animals that thrive at night. As an additional option, you can spend the night at the zoo! The 7-12 year olds can choose to stay the night after this class.  Price for this is $40 per non-member child and $32 per member child, and will include a snack, pizza dinner, and breakfast the next morning.  Fun nocturnal theme activities and games will be included.  Pick-up the next morning will be at 9:00AM.  A minimum of 8 children must sign up for the overnight to be held.

April 3 – Desert Dwellers— Let’s learn about the deserts all over the world, and the amazing creatures that call those deserts home.


Zookeeper for a Day is for children ages 12-17. The kids will be helping the zookeepers take care of their animals from 10-12pm. This will include diet          preparation, cleaning, enrichment, and other daily activities. Be prepared to get dirty! Most areas clean with hoses, so make sure your child is wearing appropriate shoes that they don’t mind getting wet (rain boots would be best).  This class accommodates 8 students only, so sign up early!

Member Price: $20
Non-Member Price: $25

This class is designed for children with a special interest in becoming a zoo keeper or working with animals in the future.  Please discuss this with your child and make sure it is something they are truly interested in.

Please choose class dates/times carefully.  There will be a $5 service fee for any requested class changes after your registration has been received.  No refunds will be honored.

Click here to Register


September 5 – Hoof Stock Mammals & Birds Part 1—Spend 45 minutes with the Hoof Stock Mammal Team that takes care of rhinos, giraffes, and camels, and 45 minutes with the Birds Team that takes care of approximately 600 birds and terrestrial reptiles. This team has so many animals that we will be splitting into 2 parts.

October 3 – Education Animals & Aquariums—Spend 45 minutes with the Education Team that takes care of about 40 species of animals ranging from a tarantula, to a macaw, and 45 minutes with the Aquatics Team that takes care of the fish and amphibians.

March 6 – Birds Part 2 & Small Mammals—Spend 45 minutes with the Bird Team for the second time and see the rest of the vast collection of birds and reptiles and 45 minutes with the Small Mammal Team that takes care of the mammals in Australia, like the Wallabies.

April 3 – Veterinary & Aquatic Mammals/Birds—Spend 45 minutes with the Veterinary Team and see what they do to help out the sick animals at the zoo, and 45 minutes with the Aquatics Team that takes care of the Sea Lion, Otters, and Penguins.


This is a parent led day with activities and encounters set up around the zoo that the  families can roam around and do at their own pace. 

Backyard Heroes

Join us for Earth Day at Blank Park Zoo and learn how even YOU can do little things to make the world a better place for the future!  It will be a fun filled day with lots of activities, crafts, games, and a meet and greet with a zookeeper!

Cost: Everyone is encouraged to pre-register due to limited space.  The fee includes all games, activities, encounters, and giveaways that may happen during the day.  Pre-registration prices are as follows:

Member prices 
$7 per adult
$5 per child 
Non-Member prices
$10 per adult
$7 per child 

Ages: This is a family friendly event, and all ages are encouraged to join us.  Kids 2 & under are free.

Time: The event is from 10-2 and the zoo stays open until 4pm.

Click Here to register


Please call Amy Wilson, Education Specialist, at 515-974-2558 for further details, questions, or to set up a class.


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