“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood.” ~Rachel Carson
Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center (Phoenix)
The Wildlife Center’s educational program is a comprehensive and compelling educational experience geared towards students of the fourth grade and higher. The presentation focuses on Arizona’s wildlife and their habitats, and is designed to encourage the students to establish a personal commitment to conserving Arizona’s wildlife. In addition, the Wildlife Center at Adobe Mountain holds an annual Open House and other events where guests can see live native wildlife, participate in educational activities, and view demonstrations. Located at I-17 & Pinnacle Peak Rd., 623-582-9806.
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (Tucson)
A world-renowned zoo, natural history museum, and botanical garden all in one! Also features a faux limestone cave, an exceptional collection of regional minerals, fossils, and geology exhibits.
Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary (Prescott)
Formerly known as Heritage Park Zoo, this non-profit wildlife sanctuary is dedicated to the conservation and protection of native and exotic animals. At the sanctuary, the animals are respectfully displayed in natural habitats intended to educate the public on a variety of topics. Additional educational services are provided to Northern Arizona such as outreaches and guided tours of the facilities.
Navajo Nation Zoological and Botanical Park (Window Rock)
The Navajo Nation Zoo and Botanical Park is the sole tribally-owed zoo. Their mission is to provide a quality exhibition of native plant and animal species that will foster the understanding, appreciation, knowledge and respect of plants and animals that inhabit the Navajo Nation and the Southwest. Here animals reside in truly natural habitats surrounded by native vegetation and rock scenery in Window Rock, Arizona.
Out of Africa Wildlife Park (Sedona)
Out of Africa Wildlife Park is an opportunity to see animals from all over the world, especially Africa. Visitors enjoy an authentic replica of a real African Bush Safari. In addition to 40 big cats including lions, tigers and leopards, mountain lions, jaguar, you will see rhinoceros, bear, hyena, javelina, gemsbok, wolves, giraffe, wildebeest, sable, zebra, fallow deer, and more. Out of Africa strives to educate and entertain; to provide an exciting and engaging opportunity to love and respect creation and Creator.
The Phoenix Zoo (Phoenix)
The nation’s largest privately owned, nonprofit zoological park is home to more than 1,300 animals, including 200 endangered or threatened birds, mammals and reptiles from around the world.
Reid Park Zoo (Tucson)
Travel from South America to the Asian rainforest, and then to the African savannah in one day! Explore beautiful habitats housing hundreds of exotic animals from around the world. Reid Park Zoo is a hidden gem nestled in the center of Tucson. It’s the perfect place to enjoy time outside while discovering the wonders of wildlife.
Sonoran Sea Aquarium (Tucson)
The purpose of the Sonoran Sea Aquarium® is to build a world-class public aquarium promoting education, conservation and preservation of the Gulf of California and the Arizona rivers that flow into it. The Aquarium will be built in Tucson, Arizona. Meanwhile, the Sonoran Desert Waters Institute will offer exciting and interesting education, research and conservation programs delivered at your location.
Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center (Scottsdale)
A non-profit organization that specializes in rescuing and rehabilitating injured and orphaned wildlife native to Arizona, educating today’s youth on the importance of native wildlife and the environment, and encouraging educational career opportunities in environmental science. The all-volunteer organization offers several engaging “real-life” animal presentations that educate today’s youth on the importance of native wildlife and the environment. Field trips are limited to 30 people; presentation includes teacher resource packet; slide shows and custom presentations also available; donation fee used to help defray cost of animal care.
Spur Cross Stables (Cave Creek)
This ranch is located four miles north of the town of Cave Creek, on the edge of the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation area. They offer trusty horses, professional wranglers, scenic trails, and many types of horseback rides for all ages and abilities. While you’re there, be sure to say “Hi” to the miniature horses, then enjoy feeding a cracker or carrot to one of the other small animals including a mini Dexter cow, mini donkey, pygmy goat, and pot-bellied pigs.
Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium (Litchfield Park)
Located along the western edge of the Phoenix metropolitan area, the Wildlife World Zoo first opened its doors in 1984. Wildlife World Zoo has Arizona’s largest collection of exotic animals with over 4000 individual animals representing more than 600 exotic and endangered species. It’s one of only a few nationally accredited, privately owned zoos in the United States relying solely on gate attendance and retail sales with no public tax support, grants, or financial donations. After nearly 7 years of planning and construction, in late 2008 the Wildlife World Zoo opened the very first public aquarium located between Albuquerque and San Diego. A field trip to Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium will complement any biology curriculum at any grade level. Check out the educational activities on their website.
Do you know of another good field trip destination not listed here?