“Get Closer” than ever before! 

This unique experience offers an up-close-and-personal interactive opportunity and a chance to talk one on one with a zookeeper. Choose between meeting our lions, Galapagos tortoises, goats, animal ambassadors, grizzly bears or red panda, plus enjoy admission to the zoo following your experience.


Step into the world of our majestic Pride of lions through an unforgettable experience: feeding one of these magnificent creatures their favorite treats! The Lion Get Closer allows guests to view our state of the art lion facility, from their various bedrooms to our kitchen prep area and even a special behind-the-scenes night yard tour. Witness their awe-inspiring power firsthand while gaining insight into the incredible bonds our keepers have forged with them. Prepare to be captivated by memorable stories of our lions that will stay with you long after your visit.

  • $150 per person

Offered Fridays at 1:30 p.m.
up to 2 guests – ages 5+ (May - October)

Available May - October*

Purchase Lion Get Closer

Grizzly Bears

Meet Cheyenne and Jackson, our grizzly bears, and enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience of feeding them some of their favorite treats! During this Get Closer, guests will have the opportunity tour Cheyenne and Jackson’s Grizzly Ridge home, which includes our grizzly bear bedrooms, our deluxe keeper kitchen and a special behind the scenes night yard. Guests will also enjoy a training session and hear some amazing memorable stories about our bear siblings!

  • $150 per person

Offered Saturday or Monday at 1:30 p.m.
2 to 6 guests – ages 5+ (January - November)

Available January - November*

Purchase Grizzly Bear Get Closer

Galapagos Tortoise

During this experience, you’ll have special access to our Galapagos tortoise habitat, learning about our gentle giants Pagos and Boxie. This unique experience includes the opportunity to interact with them by giving them a nice tortoise rub down and feeding them their favorite foods.

  • $75 per person

Offered Friday, Saturday or Sunday at 3:15
2 to 4 guests – ages 5+
Available January - November*

Purchase Galapagos tortoise Get Closer

Animal Ambassadors

Interact and have fun with 3 of our education animal ambassadors, like Dasy the armadillo, Forest the porcupine, Chloe the kinkajou and many more animals!

  • $55 per person

Offered Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday at 10:30 a.m. (Offered Saturday & Sunday ONLY in August)
2 to 6 guests – ages 5+
Available year-round

Purchase Animal Ambassador Get Closer


Learn from our keepers as you interact with the goats, discover what they like to eat and do and get to know them personally. Don’t miss the chance to pose for a photo with your favorite goat!

  • $55 per person

Offered Wednesday at 10 a.m.
2 to 6 guests – ages 5+
Available January - November*


Red Panda

Meet our red panda, Lulu, and enjoy a private training session where you will be able to tong-feed our red panda some of their favorite snacks! During this amazing experience, guests will learn why red pandas are endangered, tour our indoor red panda habitat and  hear some fun stories about our panda’s playful personality! 

  • $150 per person

Offered Thursday or Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
2 guests – ages 5+
Available October - May

Purchase Red Panda Get Closer


*Get Closer experiences are not available from Thanksgiving - New Year's Day.

For questions about Get Closer Experiences, please contact programs@akronzoo.org or call 330-375-2550 ext. 8973.  All Unique Experiences must be scheduled two weeks or more in advance.