Hamill Family Play Zoo
just might be the most fun place you ever visit!
Designed for children from infants to age 10---and designed partially by children---the Play Zoo is nothing like any place you’ve been to before. It is decorated with kids’ masterpieces---everything from animal drawings to soda-bottle lanterns to a huge Earth Day cake made of recycled materials.
The idea behind the two-acre Play Zoo is that children need to touch, explore, build, and do. Touching live animals, planting a garden, examining animal X-rays, fingerpainting with mud, searching for bugs, exploring a stream, and building animal homes are all in a day’s play. The goal is to foster in kids a connection with nature as they have fun.
Play Partners, our own special brand of educators, help kids and grown-ups get into the fun in the Play Zoo’s three areas: Zoo Within a Zoo; Zoo at Home; and the Play Gardens. Play Partners include naturalists, musicians, actors, gardeners, and others who have a strong understanding of children’s learning styles and development.
Outdoors, the fun goes on year round. Fort building, stream wading, searching for animal tracks, and even sitting in a patch of sunny grass are all great things to do.
Bring your favorite kid and your imagination---Hamill Family Play Zoo is waiting for you!
For ideas about creating nature play experiences at home with your child, visit
Explore! A Child’s Nature
Dig into the Details of Hamill Family Play Zoo
Explore! A Child's Nature
Play Zoo A-Peels to Zoo’s Animals
Find out what happens to the bananas grown in the
Learn about no lemurs:
Ring-tailed lemur Field Guide
Mongoose lemur Field Guide
Want to help out?
The zoo is looking for volunteers to help out with the activities and events in Hamill Family Play Zoo.
Find out how you can join in the fun.
Try This at Home!
is the online compliment to this exhibit with suggestions on great Play Zoo-style activities you can do at home!