Up-Close Animal Encounters

Backstage Experience

This adventure is for guests 5 years of age and older.

Are you looking for a more exclusive and in-depth look at Denver Zoo? If so, Backstage Experience is for you!

Your personal tour guide will escort you on a private visit of our Animal Ambassador areas – home to over 90 individual animals – where you might touch a turtle, spend time with snakes or be tickled by a tamandua’s tongue! This exclusive tour includes a variety of up-close encounters, followed by an animal feeding or training demonstration. Then, it’s off to meet the stars of the Wildlife Show, where you’ll go behind the scenes to see how we care for these charismatic animals. Prepare to be dazzled by the talents of exotic parrots, majestic birds of prey, and mammals both prickly and cuddly. When the entertainment wraps up there, you are free to enjoy the zoo at your leisure.

Backstage Experience Junior

This adventure is for guests of all ages.

Meet members of our charismatic Animal Ambassadors during this bite-sized Up-Close Animal Encounter   perfect for our youngest guests! You'll get face-to-face with some of our animal ambassadors, like an anteater or a tortoise, during this private tour. There are over 90 animals for the zookeepers to choose from, so you never know who you're going to meet! Spend time with our animal care staff as they show you what it takes to care for some of the animals that call Denver Zoo home. Backstage Experience Junior is an interactive and hands-on tour that s great for all-ages!

Flamingo Encounter

This adventure is for guests 7 years of age and older.

Meet our resident rock stars, the flamingo flock. Slip on your VIP pass and our host will guide you to the flamingo quarters. You¬l get a chance to mingle backstage with a big name flamingo like Slash, Hendrix, Cash, or Lita. Learn more from animal care experts about what it takes to care for these unique birds and you¬l get a photo snapped with the pink, feathered star. But please no autographs. It³ hard to hold a pen with that beak!

Giraffe Feeding

This adventure is for guests guests of all ages.

*PLEASE NOTE - Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a paid participant that is 16 years of age or older

Our new Giraffe Feeding will give you a chance to hand feed one of our resident giraffes. In addition to the feeding, you will have exclusive access to giraffe experts that will help you get to know each member of the herd. You will be in awe of their long necks, rough tongues and adorable ossicones. Just watch out for the drool!

Up Close Look: Lemurs

This adventure is for guests guests of all ages.

Join us for a chance to get an in-depth look at one of the most popular animals at the zoo, lemurs! Begin by watching our resident ring-tailed and red-ruffed lemurs leap and jump in their habitat, while learning from your host about the way that Denver Zoo cares these playful primates. Then, meet up with some of the animal care staff that work with lemurs every day. During this time, you'll get the exclusive opportunity to watch one of our resident aye-aye receive a special treat. Please note that because of safety regulations, guests will not receive direct contact or behind-the-scenes access to the animals, but rather will get the opportunity to learn more about lemurs from exclusive interactions with zoo experts.

Penguin Encounter

This adventure is for guests 8 years of age and older.

Explore Denver Zoo like never before! The Penguin Encounter is a 60 minute guided tour providing guests with an intimate look at how Denver Zoo cares for these charismatic creatures and how to protect them in the wild. The encounter includes a guided tour through Denver Zoo's Bird World exhibit, behind the scenes access and an up-close encounter with one of the zoo's African Penguins.

Rhino Encounter

This adventure is for guests 12 years of age and older.

Ever wondered what it feels like to touch two tons worth of muscle? Experience this and more as you get nose to horn with our greater one horned rhinos Tensing and Bandhu. In this adventure, your host will guide you to our newest exhibit, Toyota Elephant Passage, to meet with a keeper and learn what it takes to care for these two-ton creatures. You'll also have a chance to touch and scratch this gentle giant while he enjoys his mid-morning snack. They might look tough as a tank, however their calm and sweet nature will win you over.

Sea Lion Encounter

This adventure is for guests 8 years of age and older.

Things are about to get fishy! Have an up-close encounter with Denver Zoo s fun flippered friends, the sea lions. During up-close encounters with sea lions and intimate conversations with animal care staff, watch as their personalities overshadow their fishy breath and find a way in to your heart. 

Tiger Encounter

This adventure is for guests 12 years of age or older.

Experience The Edge Through the Eyes of a Tiger! This tour will take you behind the scenes at The Edge, Denver Zoo's Amur tiger exhibit. Participants will get an up close view of a training session with one of The Edge's resident tigers and learn from animal care experts about what they do every day to ensure that these cats receive the best care.  You ll be in awe of the amazing relationship animal care staff have with these 400 pound furry felines!

Tropical Discovery Encounter

This adventure is for guests 5 years of age or older.

For lovers of reptiles, frogs and fish! Take a one of a kind look into Tropical Discovery, home to all things slithery, slimy, and scaly. You'll be transported into an exotic rainforest habitat that is home to over 300 species and visit two different behind the scenes areas; a face to face visit with the Komodo dragons, and a second area that is the keepers choice! It may be a bird's eye look into our 16,000 gal. Pacific Reef habitat or meeting a frog thought to be extinct in the wild, just to name a few. Each experience is different, so an adventurous attitude is recommended!

VIP Adventure Package

This adventure is for guests 5 years of age or older.

Explore Denver Zoo like never before! The VIP Adventure Package is a perfect gift with a private Zoo experience hosted by an expert guide designed to get animal lovers up-close and behind the scenes with many of our most popular animals. From feeding giraffes to getting to know our llamas, lorikeets, okapis, and our charismatic resident otter family, this is a memory-making experience unlike any other. VIP Adventure guests learn firsthand how we care for our residents, meet members of our animal care team and see the Zoo from a very unique and exciting perspective.

  • This is a full day experience, from 9:45 AM - 2:15 PM and includes snacks and a private, catered lunch.
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