Everyone loves to visit the Toledo Zoo & Aquarium to see their favorite Zoo animals, but the experience can be even more wonderful with our Behind-the-Scenes Tours!  Zoo staff will guide you through keeper areas where you can learn even more fascinating details about your favorite animals, including

Please note:  Due to the large volume of requests and daily animal schedules, we cannot accommodate special tour requests (animal and/or date) at this time.  Thank you for understanding.

2015 Tours

Aquarium Behind-the-Scenes Tours

Aquarium Tour

2015 marks the reopening of the Zoo’s historic aquarium. Beat the crowd by entering the aquarium before the Zoo is even open. Learn about the history and renovation of this incredible building as an education interpreter guides you through the public viewing space of the building for your own private tour! This opportunity will allow you to interact with some of the marine invertebrates in the brand new ocean lab. You even get to go behind the scenes and view some of the aquariums largest tanks from a vantage point few have ever witnessed.

Get even more out of your aquarium tour with a special add-on! Your group can view our 90,000 gallon coral reef tank from the behind-the-scenes dive platform. This is the largest tank that has ever been featured in the Toledo Zoo’s aquarium and the view is absolutely spectacular.  This viewing lasts approximately 10 minutes. 

*Zoo admission fees are not included in tour ticket prices; admission tickets must be purchased online to accompany your tour entrance.

Duration: This walking tour lasts approximately 45 minutes. (55 minutes with Reef Tank add-on)

Price: Members $30.00 per person; Non-members $35.00 per person

Price with Reef Tank add-on: Members $50.00 per person; Non-members $55.00 per person

Ages: All ages

Currently offered Sunday through Friday at 9:30 a.m. through Sept. 7, 2015.
Click here to check availability and place a reservation

Octopus Encounter with Aquarium Tour

Our premium viewing experience of the newly renovated Toledo Zoo Aquarium. You’ll get to view all of the aquariums new exhibits and go behind the scenes before the Zoo even opens. Just like with the behind-the-scenes tour you’ll have access to special viewing of some of the aquariums largest tanks and get to meet the unique creatures featured in the ocean lab. For this premium tour we even open up the shark and ray touch tank just for your group. Most incredible of all you’ll meet the octopus who resides at the zoo, as he comes right out of his tank and greets you in the behind the scenes keeper area.

*Zoo admission fees are not included in tour ticket prices; admission tickets must be purchased online to accompany your tour entrance.

Duration: This walking tour lasts approximately 45 minutes.

Price: Members $50.00 per person; Non-members $55.00 per person

Ages: 5 years and older

Currently offered Saturday at 9:30 a.m. through Sept. 7, 2015.
Click here to check availability and place a reservation

Africa Tour with Giraffe Feed

What’s a better way to enjoy your day at the Toledo Zoo than having a close encounter with a giraffe?  Your guided tour starts with a little journey on our Safari Railway, where you’ll get dropped off at the back of the Africa! exhibit.  You’ll walk through the train barn, hay/feed storage building, and then peek into an animal stall in our hoofstock barn.  To wrap up our adventure, you’ll meet up with a giraffe keeper, who will show off our great holding areas and give insight into the hard work that goes into taking care of these tall creatures.  Then you’ll walk outside for the grand finale:  a giraffe eating right out of your hand! 

Duration: This walking tour lasts approximately 45 minutes.

Price: Members $15.00 per person; Non-members $20.00 per person

Ages: 5 years and older

Currently offered Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. through Sept. 7, 2015.
Click here to check availability and place a reservation

Nature’s Neighborhood Goat Play Date and Animal Encounter

Up close interactions with animals are a fun and invaluable experience for any child. Up close encounters with animals can help shape the way they think about our natural world.  This unique opportunity let’s your family go behind the scenes and see where many of the Zoo’s education animals live.  Get a personalized meet and greet with some of the animal residents of Nature’s Neighborhood. Finally, have the time of your life feeding a goat.

Please note, children under 5 are not permitted to touch any reptiles due to animal handling protocols.

Duration: This walking tour lasts approximately 45 minutes.

Price: Members $15.00 per person; Non-members $20.00 per person

Ages: All ages

Currently offered daily at 10:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. through Sept. 7, 2015.
Click here to check availability and place a reservation

Penguin Encounter and Cassowary Feed

Meet two of the planet’s most unique birds, our African penguins and the cassowary. The Toledo Zoo’s bird keepers are responsible for caring for some of the most incredible birds on the planet, and you’ll meet two of the most unusual species they care for. Go behind the scenes at Penguin beach and get an up close look at the bird’s medical facilities and nesting areas. Then you’ll head over to the aviary where you will have an up close look at the two cassowaries who have grown up at the Toledo Zoo. You even get the amazing opportunity to feed these huge birds.

Duration: This walking tour lasts approximately 45 minutes. 

Prices: Members $50.00 per person; Non-members $55.00 per person

Ages: 5 years and older

Currently offered Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Saturday at 2 p.m. through Sept. 7, 2015
Click here to check availability and place a reservation

Elephant Excellence Tour

Ever wonder what it takes to care for the largest land mammal on Earth?  Between our state-of-the art elephant facility and excellent keeper care practices, our Toledo Zoo elephants enjoy a healthy and active life.  Walk through the bull barn built in 2011, see just what an “ERD” is, learn what and how much elephants eat (hint – it is A LOT), how we train them, what enrichment looks like for these creatures, and other exciting elephant factoids. 
Please note – there will be no elephants in the building during the tour, and the tour is subject to cancellation based on the animals’ needs if necessary.

Duration: This walking tour lasts approximately 45 minutes.

Price: Members $15.00 per person; Non-members $20.00 per person

Ages: 5 years and older

Currently offered Tuesdays and Sundays at 1:15 p.m. through Sept. 7, 2015.
Click here to check availability and place a reservation

Cheetah Enrichment and White Lion Facility Tour

Your very own guided tour of some of the Zoo’s most popular animals, our big cats! Meet with the staff who cares for our two cheetah brothers and watch an enrichment feeding of the world’s fastest land animals. Meet with a big cat keeper and go behind the scenes to check out the space where our two majestic white lion brothers sleep at night.  Learn about the hard work and great animal care that go into keeping these cats happy and healthy.  You’ll also get a guided walking tour around the Zoo to learn more about our other cat species, like endangered snow leopards and Amur tigers.

Duration: This walking tour lasts approximately 45 minutes. 

Prices: Members $30.00 per person; Non-members $35.00 per person

Ages: 5 years and older

Currently offered Fridays and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Sept. 7, 2015
Click here to check availability and place a reservation

Galapagos Tortoise Encounter with Reptile House Tour

At over 400 pounds and 100 years of age Emerson, our Galapagos tortoise, is one of the Zoo’s most astonishing residents. You’ll have the opportunity to get up close and touch one of the planets longest living animals. Next, we’ll travel to our historic Reptile House to meet some more of our giant reptile. You’ll see some of the planets longest snakes at our anaconda and boa exhibit as well as visit North Americas largest crocodile, Baru. Of course, your tour wouldn’t be complete without getting a behind the scenes look at our 81 year old reptile house. 

Duration: This walking tour lasts approximately 45 minutes. 

Prices: Members $30.00 per person; Non-members $35.00 per person

Ages: 5 years and older

Currently offered Wednesdays at 11:00 a.m. and Thursdays at 2:00 p.m. through Sept. 7, 2015
Click here to check availability and place a reservation

Rhino Encounter Behind-the-Scenes Tour

Join this rare opportunity to get up close and personal with our white rhinos, Sam and Lulu.  You’ll have the chance to stand next to the largest species of rhino in the world, as well as touch and feed them while learning about our remarkable duo.  You will also tour the rhino holding facility and learn how we care for these giants, keeping them occupied and content.  You’ll also hear how rhinos all over the world are faring in their native habitats. 

Duration: This walking tour lasts approximately 40 minutes.

Prices: Members $50.00 per person; Non-members $55.00 per person

Ages: 5 years and older

*Zoo admission fees are not included in tour ticket prices; admission tickets must be purchased online to accompany your tour entrance.

Currently offered on the following Saturdays at 9:30 am through Sept. 7, 2015
Click here to check availability and place a reservation

Meet the Keeper: Polar Bear Behind-the-Scenes Tour

Meet the keepers who are responsible for the care of the Zoo’s three adult polar bears. This tour includes a walkthrough of the behind-the-scenes holding facility specially designed to hold these powerful animals. You’ll have the opportunity to talk to the bear’s keepers and find out what it takes to care for these incredible animals, the history of each of our three bears, and what challenges polar bears currently face in the wild. Finally, you’ll meet the bears themselves.  You’ll be as close as any guest has ever been as the trainers demonstrate the bears training behaviors. Few people will ever have the opportunity to be this close to these massive animals.

Duration: This walking tour lasts approximately 40 minutes.

Prices: Members $50.00 per person; Non-members $55.00 per person

Ages: 5 years and older

Currently offered Sundays at 11:00 a.m. through Sept. 7, 2015
Click here to check availability and place a reservation

Seals Feed and Behind-the-Scenes Tour

For this special treat, keepers take you right into the Arctic Encounter’s seal exhibit, where you’ll see a staff-led training demonstration.  You’ll join in by feeding the seals some fish, too!  Keepers talk about our seals at the Zoo, show you the indoor holding areas for these animals, and also introduce the issues seals face in the wild.  *If inclement weather, tour & training session occur within the indoor holding area. 

Duration: This walking tour lasts approximately 35 minutes

Prices: Members $50.00 per person; Non-members $55.00 per person

Ages: 5 years and older

Currently offered Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. through Sept. 7, 2015
Click here to check availability and place a reservation

Backstage Pass: Behind-the-Scenes of Soar and Explore Show

Become the star of the show! This experience gets you the best seat in the house for our amazing flight show. Not only will you get special reserved seating but your group will be our first choice for any volunteer involvement on stage. We guarantee that at least one member of your group will get to go on stage and interact with one of our show animals. When the show ends for everyone else, it’s still not done for you! Once the show concludes you’ll be invited to come on stage and meet the some of the stars of our show…..and their human trainers! 

Please note, children under 5 are not permitted to touch any reptiles due to animal handling protocols.

Duration: This tour will last approximately 45 minutes including the time of the show

Price: Members $15.00 per person; Non-members $20.00 per person

Ages: All ages

Currently offered daily at 1:15 p.m. through Sept. 7, 2015.
Click here to check availability and place a reservation

How to Reserve Your Behind-the-Scenes Tour:

•  Summer BTS Tours run from Memorial Day weekend (May 22) through Labor Day (September 7). 
•  Under each tour description, see the corresponding weblink that will help you check tour availability and allow you to book your tour online.  Payment will be due at the time of booking.
•  We do not take day-of registrations; you must pre-register.  You must book your tour online 24 hour in advanceof the tour start time.
•  Zoo admission is not included in tour price.  If you have an “early entrance” tour (i.e. entrance before 10 a.m.), you will be required to purchase Zoo tickets in advance online or show proof of a valid Toledo Zoo membership to accompany your tour.
•  Please bring your confirmation (email/printout) to your tour.
•  If you have questions, please call the Education Department at 419.385.5721 (8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday) or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Tour Guidelines and Limitations:

•  Tour experiences may vary based on animals’ behavior that day.
•  For the majority of tours, all participants must be 5 years old or older.
•  Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an individual in their party who is at least 16 years old.
•  When you are on a tour, please follow all staff directions and remain with the group for your personal safety, as well as the welfare of the animals.  Please do not touch and/or feed any of the animals you may see unless instructed by Zoo staff.
•  All tours are walking tours and you will be on your feet the entire time.
•  Wagons and strollers are permitted in public areas during tours, but you will be asked to park them during behind-the-scenes portions due to space.  Wheelchairs and scooters are accommodated, and we appreciate advance notification so we can be better prepared to meet your needs.
•  Tours are subject to cancellation based on animal needs if necessary.

Cancellations & Refund Policy:
Please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you need to cancel a pre-booked tour.
•  If a tour is cancelled 2 days or more before the tour is scheduled to run, you can receive 100% refund or it can be rescheduled.
•  If a tour is cancelled the day before a tour is booked, you receive 50% refund or it can be rescheduled.
•  If a tour is cancelled the day of a tour or is a “no show,” no refund will be issued.