Early Childhood Programs

Early Childhood Programs

education programs

TBZ’s Early Childhood programs encourage family learning and foster early environmental awareness. We invite young children to discover the natural world through gently structured play, art, stories, animal visits, and more. Early Childhood programming is offered monthly throughout the school year. Age restrictions apply; Pre-registration required.  Zoo admission is not included with registration.  For additional program information, please contact mhunt@parks.essexcountynj.org or at 973-731-5800 x103.

Turtle Back Hatchlings Program

Age group: 6 – 24 months old with a caregiver

Time: 10:00 – 11:00 AM

Where: The Education Center at Turtle Back Zoo

Description: Learn how to meet and greet some of our small, friendly animals up close in the classroom and learn how to touch animals gently. Your child will also enjoy sensory interactions with feathers, turtle shells, puppets, and more in a lightly structured program.  All children must be accompanied by an adult who is prepared to take part in the activities. For everyone’s safety and enjoyment, unregistered children (including siblings) may not attend.

SESSIONS: Each session features classes with a different theme, so you can attend one or all three!
CLASSES: Each class offered within the same session covers the same content.

Registration: $25 per child per class. Admittance of one caregiver ONLY included per ticket. Advanced registration and payment are required. No refunds for cancellations requested within one week of your registered session.

Program Dates:

Spring 2020 Dates, registration opens February 1:
Session 1:  Classes on Saturday, March 7; Sunday, March 8; or Monday, March 9
Session 2:  
Classes on Saturday, March 28; Sunday, March 29; or Monday, March 30
Session 3:  
Classes on Saturday, May 2; Sunday, May 3; or Monday, May 4

Register Here for Spring Sessions

 

Turtle Back Zoo Tots Program

Age group: 2 & 3 years old with a caregiver

Time: 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Where: The Education Center at Turtle Back Zoo

Description: This program is designed for toddlers and adults to discover the natural world together. We will use the alphabet to explore different animals in our zoo. Each day you will discover a different animal type such as mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects. Stories, projects, and special animal visitors in the classroom enhance your class experience.  All children must be accompanied by an adult who is willing to take part in the activities. For everyone’s safety and enjoyment, unregistered children (including siblings) may not attend; programs are moderately structured.

SESSIONS: Each session features classes with a different theme, so you can attend one or all three!
CLASSES: Each class offered within the same session covers the same content.

Registration: $25 per child per class. Admittance of one caregiver ONLY included per ticket. Advanced registration and payment are required. No refunds for cancellations requested within one week of your registered session.

Program Dates

Spring 2020 Dates, registration opens February 1:
Session 1:  Classes on Saturday, March 7; Sunday, March 8; or Monday, March 9
Session 2:  
Classes on Saturday, March 28; Sunday, March 29; or Monday, March 30
Session 3:  
Classes on Saturday, May 2; Sunday, May 3; or Monday, May 4

Register Here for Spring Sessions

 

Zoo Explorers Program

Age group: 4 & 5 year olds (without caregiver)

Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Where: The Education Center at Turtle Back Zoo

Description: Join us as we use movement, stories, games, and crafts for these interactive, science-based lessons to learn about the wonderful and fascinating world of animals.  Supervised outings to specific areas of the Zoo that support the lesson are included as weather permits. This is a drop off program.

SESSIONS: Each session features classes with a different theme, so you can attend one or all three!
CLASSES: Each class offered within the same session covers the same content.

Registration: $30 per child per class. Advanced registration and payment are required. No refunds for cancellations requested within one week of your registered session.

Program Dates:

Spring 2020 Dates, registration opens February 1:
Session 1:  
Classes on Saturday, March 14; Sunday, March 15; or Monday, March 16
Session 2:  
Classes on Saturday, April 18; Sunday, April 19; or Monday, April 20
Session 3:  
Classes on Saturday, May 9; Sunday, May 10; or Monday, May 11

Register Here for Spring Sessions

 

 

Have older children? Check out our Zoo Camps page

Turtle Back Zoo

The Essex County Turtle Back Zoo will re-open to the public on Thursday, June 18th with Timed Tickets Only. Learn more and Reserve