Nature's Neighborhoods: Children's Zoo
Prepare to be immersed in a world of nature, adventure and imaginative play in the all new Nature’s Neighborhoods—the new George Robert White Fund Children’s Zoo!
Above: Construction is well underway, and "neighborhoods" are beginning to take shape!
“It’s important not to lose the connection to nature and our critical role in ensuring the planet remains a healthy, thriving place for generations to come. Nature’s Neighborhoods will play a key role in introducing children to relatable ecological concepts in a fun and meaningful way.”
John Linehan, President and CEO, Zoo New England
Nature’s Neighborhoods, the new George Robert White Fund Children's Zoo, immerses children and families in a world of nature, adventure and imaginative play. Organized into biome-based live animal exhibit and experience zones—The Woodlands, Wetlands, Grasslands, and Thicket—Nature’s Neighborhoods forges powerful connections between the human and animal experience.
As our technology-focused society spends less time outdoors, Nature’s Neighborhoods reminds us of the beauty in all things wild, inviting visitors to rediscover their inherent connection to the natural world.
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Explore the new Children’s Zoo
With seamlessly incorporated play structures, animal exhibits, and hands-on programming, these state-of-the-art exhibits will provide a foundation for science education, exploratory learning and connections to the natural world. This multi-sensory approach leads visitors through diverse ecosystem “neighborhoods” replicating different bio-geographical regions. By incorporating universal design concepts, spaces will be accessible and inclusive for children and families of all abilities.
Meet the neighbors
By comparing ecosystems to neighborhoods, visitors can explore various habitats and discover roles that living creatures—including themselves—play in healthy, thriving environments. Live animal exhibits will include red pandas, muntjac, prairie dogs, and more.
Rather than following a traditional path from exhibit to exhibit, Nature’s Neighborhoods encourages self-directed “adventure play” as a core educational goal. Here, children create their own experiences, exploring, discovering and challenging themselves in a safe environment. Learn more about a few of our adventure play experiences, including the Bamboo Climber, Eagle's Aerie and Tallgrass Maze - Here's a sampling of some of what we have in store for wildlife adventurers!
Bamboo Climber: Explore just like our red pandas through this all-new Bamboo Climber Play Experience! Live bamboo plantings and an array of vertical, tilted, crossed and intersecting “bamboo” poles add an exciting edge of authenticity to this adventure.
Eagle’s Nest (pictured here): Climb up a rope mesh “tunnel” into a giant eagle’s nest! From atop this tree house lookout, built around an actual oak tree, children can use a sighting tube or spotting scope for an "eagle's-eye" view of the Zoo. Soar through a spiral slide to come back down from the eagle’s aerie.
Grass Maze: perennial grasses make for a perfect maze in which children explore looking for sculpted elements representing animals that live in the grasslands.
Prairie Dog Pop Up: The new prairie dog town provides a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with these adorable little critters
Data supporting the value of nature-based activities for kids is overwhelming. From improving math, science- and language-learning, behavior, and self-control, to promoting independence and problem-solving, natural classroom opportunities are increasingly popular.