Behind-the-Scenes Experiences & Tours

Special private experiences are available to our guests who want to learn even more about our wonderful animals. Choose any of these add-on experiences and make your day truly unforgettable!

Many of these experiences require advance reservations (minimum of 7 days) and are based on availability. Please note: The fee for these special experiences is in addition to our zoo admission fees. Zoo members do not pay admission fees.


 

Enrichment Excitement!
$10/person

Wonder what types of “toys” a porcupine might enjoy? How about the lemurs? During this program you’ll get to help the zookeepers choose the daily “toys” for animals in the Primate/Nocturnal building. You will even get to help make a toy or two for the zoo’s animals, and then see their response to your choice. Put your thinking caps on and bring your ideas! Groups are limited to four people, ages 6 and up. Any participant ages 6-16 must have a paid adult with them.

NOTE: If you want, you may bring a special food or scent treat (e.g. dried fruit, catnip, perfume, jelly) to give to the animals. Items MUST be new/unopened.

Choose from:
Saturday or Sunday – 11:00 a.m.-12 noon or 2:00-3:00 p.m.

To schedule, please contact the primate keepers at 218-730-4500 ext. 212.

Primate/Nocturnal Animal Feeding
$25/person

Choose your favorite animal in the Primate or Nocturnal building for this behind-the-scenes experience! You will spend about 30 minutes learning about your chosen animal from its zookeeper, selecting an enrichment item for it, and watching it get fed. This tour is available most days, any time between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

To schedule, please contact the primate keepers at 218-730-4500 ext. 212.

Tiger or Lion Feeding
$25/person

Come behind-the-scenes with zookeepers to help feed the big cats! You will spend about 30 minutes learning more about the cats and feeding them diets you’ve helped prepare. Groups are limited to five people.

Choose from:
Pride of Lions or Amur Tiger
3:30 p.m. in winter or 4:30 p.m. in summer

To schedule, please contact Emily Perala, Lead Zookeeper, at 218-730-4500 ext. 102.

Primate Painting Tour
$25/person

Watch our cotton-top tamarins or callimico monkeys create a unique piece of iPad art, then take their masterpiece home with you! You will receive an 8″ x 10″ computer-generated painting in your choice of color and brushstroke, created by a monkey of your choice! This tour is available most days from 1:00-1:30 p.m.

To schedule, please contact the primate keepers at 218-730-4500 ext. 212.

Lion Painting Tour
$25/person

Experience a unique opportunity to participate in a lion painting tour! Choose from a variety of colors and take in the amazing sight of our African Lions painting a special canvas just for you. This tour includes a behind-the-scenes view of our lion holding area and a freshly painted piece of artwork for you to take home. Groups are limited to five people and occur at 3:30 p.m. in winter and 4:00 p.m. in summer. For their safety, babies and toddlers must be held during the tour.

To schedule, please contact Emily Perala, Lead Zookeeper, at 218-730-4500 ext. 102.

Behind-the-scenes Veterinary Tour
$25/Person

Interested in veterinary medicine or want to see where all the veterinary care for the animals happens? Join our veterinary staff for a special, in-depth tour of the zoo’s Willard Munger Animal Care Center, a facility normally closed to the public. Come explore the veterinary hospital including medical treatment room, operating room, laboratory, radiology room, and quarantine areas! Learn firsthand about all the medical care involved in keeping the animals healthy, view unique X-Ray films of exotic species, check out microscopic cells and organisms, and much more!

Tours run from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Mondays and Fridays; weekends available upon request.

To schedule, please contact Amy Gallagher, Certified Veterinary Technician, at 218-730-4500 ext. 101.

Family Animal Encounter 
$35 for a family/group of 2-9 people

Want to make your trip to the zoo something extra special for your loved ones? Small groups and families are invited to book a 30-minute private animal encounter—a close-up, hands-on experience with a few of our friendly program animals! Let us know which animals interest you most!

To schedule, please contact Jessamy Schwartz, Education Program Coordinator, at least 7 days in advance at 218-730-4500 ext. 205.

Carnivore Closing Tour
$50/person

Join our carnivore keepers behind-the-scenes and get up close with our lion pride and Amur tiger as they are given access to their holding areas. Learn about their stories and personalities from those who know them best. You’ll also visit the zoo’s Willard Munger Animal Care Center, a facility that is normally closed to the public, to see our animal hospital and commissary area, where the diets for our large carnivores are prepared. Tours run from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. in winter and 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. in summer and accommodate a maximum of five people. For their safety, babies and toddlers must be held during the tour.

To schedule, please contact Emily Perala, Lead Zookeeper, at 218-730-4500 ext. 102.

Primate Keeper Experience
$50/person

Wonder what it’s like to be a primate keeper? Want to learn more about the animals that call Lake Superior Zoo home? Here’s your chance! Participants will get a hands-on, behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to be a zookeeper in the Primate/Nocturnal building. This includes diet preparation, live animal observation, and providing enrichment for the collection. Groups are limited to four people, ages 12 and up. Any participant ages 12-16 must have a paid adult with them.

Choose from:
Winter: Saturday or Sunday – 9:30-11:30 a.m. or 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Summer: Saturday 9:30-11:30 a.m. or Sunday 2:30-4:30 p.m.

To schedule, please contact the primate keepers at 218-730-4500 ext. 212.