Self Guided Programs

Self-guided visits are a great option for groups seeking an alternative to facilitated educational programs at the Zoo.

We are pleased to offer a discount off regular Zoo admission and the following tools to help you make the most out of your Zoo visit. Please review our self-guided Zoo visit rates and policies below then complete and submit our booking form at least five days in advance of your planned visit.

Rates

Discounted admission rates for self-guided visits for school and registered daycare groups are as follows:

Infant (under 3) FREE
Child (3-12) $8.50 + GST
Youth (13-17) $8.50 + GST
Chaperone (1:10 Ratio) FREE
Additional Chaperones $12.50 + GST

Book your self-guided Zoo visit

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Self Guided Polar Bear Program

Canada is home to approximately 16,000 of the estimated 20,000–25,000 polar bears in the world. That is more than 2/3 of the global population! Take your students on a self-guided tour of our award-winning Journey to Churchill exhibit and learn all about these amazing animals.

Before Your Visit

The following exercises will spark curiosity, discussion, and questions to help build anticipation for a more rewarding visit to the Zoo for teachers and students.

Journey to Churchill

The award-winning Journey to Churchill exhibit is home to polar bears, muskoxen, Arctic fox, and other northern species.  It is an educational classroom like no other, inviting exploration, challenging thinking and promoting personal action.

Before you visit the Zoo, we encourage you to download and review the PowerPoint presentation below so you know what to expect before your arrive. This presentation is designed to be shared with students.

Polar Bear Program - All About Journey to Churchill (PPT)

Polar Bears

Polar Bears are amazing animals. They are powerful predators who have adapted to thrive in the harsh Arctic landscape. They are at home on land, in the water, and on the sea ice, which they rely on to survive.

Before you visit the Zoo, we encourage you to download and review the PowerPoint presentation below and spend some time with your students learning about polar bears. 

Polar Bear Program - All About Polar Bears (PPT)

During Your Visit

Program Guide

The Program Guide is designed to help you make the most of your self-guided visit to the Zoo. It includes information about the Journey to Churchill exhibit and identifies locations where you and your students can stop, look, listen and learn all about polar bears.

We encourage you to divide your students into groups accompanied by a designated chaperone. Provide each chaperone with a copy of this guide, ideally in advance of your visit. If that's not possible, take some time on the bus or at the Zoo entrance to quickly review the guide and your priorities for your visit.

Self-Guided Polar Bear Program Guide (PDF)

Ethogram Activity Worksheet

Ethology is the study of animal behaviour. Scientists use ethograms to help with this research. We have designed our own ethogram chart to help your students be polar bear researchers. To participate in this activity as part of your-self guided visit, you will need to bring the following supplies:

  • Ethogram activity worksheet - one copy per student or per group, depending on age of students
  • Pencils
  • Stop watch or timer - most cell phones have one
  • Clipboard or something sturdy and flat to write on

Instructions for how to use the chart are provided in the Program Guide. While this activity is most suitable for students in Grades 3 to 5, it can be adapted for younger students. Encourage them to use their senses to observe and report on what the polar bears are doing and leave the charting up to your helpful chaperones.

Self-Guided Polar Bear Program - Ethogram Activity Worksheet (PDF)

After Your Visit

We hope you enjoyed visiting the Zoo and learning all about polar bears in Journey to Churchill!

We hope you continue your study of polar bears in the classroom after your visit and may have more questions about polar bears in the wild and at our Zoo.

Submit a Question

 

Self Guided Endangered Species Scavenger Hunt Program

Did you know that Assiniboine Park Zoo is involved in important conservation and research projects? This scavenger hunt will have students finding and learning about endangered species throughout the Zoo, as you guide them on their adventure of discovery and their quest for solutions.

Before Your Visit

The following exercises will spark curiosity, discussion, and questions to help build anticipation for a more rewarding visit to the Zoo for teachers and students.

Assiniboine Park Zoo is home to over 180 species. It is a place where students can share the wonders of nature in a way inspires them to conserve it for the future. As we learn more about species at risk and the things that threaten them, we become better at being able to protect them from becoming endangered or extinct.

Before visiting the Zoo, we encourage you to download and review the PowerPoint presentation below so you know what to expect before your arrival. This presentation is designed to be used by the teacher or shared with students.

Learn about Endangered Species (PPT)

The Role of Zoos

Zoos have undergone dramatic changes over the years. Their objectives, as well as the way animals are kept in captivity, have changed greatly. Nearly all animals are threatened, to some degree, as the human population continues to grow. Zoos are now seen as safe places where species can be conserved and maintained. Zoos are in a unique position to teach a diverse audience about wildlife and the dangers facing animals in their natural habitats, and to inspire visitors to get involved with conservation, education and research.

Before you visit the Zoo, we encourage you to download and review the PowerPoint presentation below and spend some time with your students learning about the roles of a modern zoo, and what Assiniboine Park Zoo is doing to help endangered species. 

Learn about the Roles of Zoos (PPT)

During Your Visit

Scavenger Hunt

The Endangered Species Scavenger Hunt is designed to help you make the most of your self-guided visit to the Zoo. Read the Zoo signage to discover each animal’s global conservation status. If the animal is found in Canada, see if there are differences between the global, federal, and provincial statuses. Find as many animals as you can in the scavenger hunt worksheet.

We encourage you to divide your students into groups accompanied by a designated chaperone. Provide each chaperone with a copy of this scavenger hunt, ideally in advance of your visit. If that's not possible, take some time on the bus or at the Zoo entrance to quickly review the scavenger hunt and your priorities for your visit. Students can be responsible for collecting information about habitats and/or conservation status.

Endangered Species Scavenger Hunt

Social Media Campaign

Endangered species can include plants or animals that are likely to become extinct in the future. Sometimes, building awareness about the problem and potential solutions can have a major impact. Create an awareness campaign about endangered species by learning and sharing your knowledge. If you are allowed, take photos or selfies with some of these animals, and share them on social media with a post about why you care or how you can help these animals. Please include the hashtag #SavingSpecies.

After Your Visit

We hope you enjoyed visiting the Zoo and learning about endangered species! There are many ways your field trip can lead to other activities in the classroom.

  • While our scavenger hunt did not include all of the animals at our Zoo, we encourage you to graph the class’s results of our animal’s endangered statuses. It might give you an idea about the types of animals in our Zoo’s collection.
  • We hope you continue the study of endangered species in the classroom after your visit. While our scavenger hunt looked at statuses of some of our zoo animals, it would be important to research why certain species are threatened, and what actions can be taken to help the animals.
  • Reinforce what your students learned by having a class discussion about global threats to animals, causes, and local solutions that your students can initiate at home, school, or in the community.
  • Talking about love, rather than loss is important for conservation communication as it helps us build a connection. The best way to rekindle a lost love is not to talk about what went wrong, but to remember what we loved in the first place. Have the students share stories about themselves enjoying nature, maybe at a park or zoo, or while camping or traveling.

If you have any questions about endangered species at our Zoo, simply complete our online form.

Submit a question

 

Zoo Navigator

Navigators are experienced zoo volunteers trained to support and enhance our zoo visitor’s experience. The Zoo Navigator will meet your group upon arrival and help you plan the best route and schedule for your day. The Navigator will stay with your group for the first hour, orienting you to the zoo, including lunch locations and best times to visit certain exhibits. Along the way the navigators will share their passion for the zoo with your group.

If you are interested in having a complimentary Zoo Navigator for your visit to the zoo, please fill out this request form.

We will contact you via email to confirm if a Navigator is available. Navigators are assigned on a first come, first served basis.

 

Policies and Important Information

Policies & Payment

  • One adult chaperone is required for every 10 children/youth.
  • Ensure that all children/youth are supervised AT ALL TIMES for their own safety as well as the safety of the animals and other guests.
  • Admission fees will be based on a final head count at the Zoo entrance.
  • Groups must enter together at the main gate at 2595 Roblin Boulevard.
  • Group tickets are NON-REFUNDABLE. Please ensure you have a correct final headcount when paying.
  • Group discounts do not apply for Education & Programming or Special Events and cannot be used in combination with any other discounted admission (ie seasonal promotions).
  • Bus drivers receive free admission
  • Business cheques accepted for pre-booked groups ONLY. Personal cheques not accepted.

Please note: We will only accept business cheques for self-guided groups that book their Zoo visit in advance. Any self-guided groups that do not pre-book must pay by Visa, MasterCard, cash or debit card.

Good Behaviour Policy

  • Groups visiting the Zoo must respect and follow the Zoo rules.
  • Please be kind to the Park and Zoo. Do not litter. Use the available garbage and recycling cans.
  • Class and group behaviour is the responsibility of chaperones NOT Assiniboine Park Conservancy’s Program Instructors.
  • We reserve the right to ask a group that is disruptive, or presents a danger to themselves or others, to leave the Zoo without compensation.

Zoo Rules

Please leave the following items at home:

  • plastic straws
  • pets
  • flying discs
  • balls
  • skate boards
  • wheelie shoes
  • balloons

The maximum number of children/youth in our gift shops at one time is 10. They must be accompanied by at least one chaperone. NO BACKPACKS ALLOWED IN GIFT SHOPS.

Review a full list of Zoo rules.

Assiniboine Park
& Zoo Maps

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