Child meeting box turtle

EDUCATION

Exceptional Nature Space

Brevard Zoo's Mission

"Wildlife Conservation Through Education and Participation"



Welcome to our Exceptional Nature Space!

In May 2017, we opened a new kind of natural play area designed to meet the unique needs of children with varying exceptionalities and their families.  The Exceptional Nature Space is a modified natural habitat that is both safe and stimulating. It is designed to be flexible so that it can be easily reset and reprogrammed to best serve children with different challenges. Within this carefully defined space, kids will be free to explore an authentic Florida habitat, engage in open-ended nature play, experiment, socialize with other children and learn by doing. Because this is one of the first settings of its kind, we consider it a living laboratory where we can also learn how to best serve this audience through on-going observations and feedback from the parents and the children themselves. Contact our coordinator Lindsay Mathisen at lmathisen@brevardzoo.org for more information about program offerings for individuals, groups or school groups.

 

  • Girl playing in Exceptional Nature Space

    Exceptional Nature Space

    Play time in our space!

  • Boy looking through telescope.

    Exceptional Nature Space

    Open Free Play

    Kid playing with telescope in Exceptional Nature Space

  • Friends playing in Exceptional Nature Space

    Exceptional Nature Space

    Exploring with friends!

    Friends playing in Exceptional Nature Space

  • Educator introducing children to a turtle

    Exceptional Nature Space

    Education Program and Animal Experience!

    Children meeting an animal in Exceptional Nature Space

  • Walkway into Exceptional Nature Space

    Exceptiontal Nature Space

    Welcome to our Exceptional Nature Space!

    Walkway into Exceptional Nature Space

  • Sensory board play area

    Exceptional Nature Space

    Sensory board play area

  • Child meeting box turtle

    Exceptional Nature Program

    Child meeting box turtle in Exceptional Nature Space

  • Gate outside of Exceptional Nature Space

    Exceptiontal Nature Space

    Welcome to our Exceptional Nature Space! Come grow with us!

    Gate outside of Exceptional Nature Space

  • Bamboo wind chime play area

    Exceptional Nature Space

    Bamboo wind chime play area

  • Wooded play area

    Exceptinal Nature Space

    Play time in our space!

  • Young girl petting a reptile

    Exceptinal Nature Program

    Who will we meet today?

    Girl meeting animal in Exceptional Nature Space

  • Young boy making silly faces in play area

    Exceptional Nature Space

    Young boy sticks his tongue out from behind bamboo in play area

  • Boy playing in sand

    Boy Playing

    Young boy smiles while playing in a sandbox


UPCOMING PROGRAMS & EVENTS

SENSORY NIGHT AT BREVARD ZOO 
October 5 | 5 to 7 PM

Cost:
Members: Free admission for 2 named adults living in the same household plus their children. Membership card must be present with ticket at gate for entry.
Non-Members: $4 per person, ages 3 and up

Our fall sensory night is an evening filled with fun for children with sensory processing needs and their families. Families may choose to dress in their Halloween costumes and participate in candy and prize stations throughout the Paws On section of the zoo. The Zoo’s Exceptional Nature Space and Wildlife Detective Training Academy will be open for play. All other zoo areas will be closed. Last entry: 6:15 PM.

All individuals must register online prior to the event. Please email edprograms@brevardzoo.org for wait list.

Online registration opens noon Friday, September 14. Tickets are limited to minimize event crowds.

register-now


PLAY TIME

Come discover, build and play in our nature space! Play Time is a designated time where children and their families can explore Exceptional Nature Space during an open play session or a themed session.  Stay for a short visit or for the entire time!

10 AM to 12 PM & 1 to 3 PM

October 14 | Open Play
October 27 | Fairy Tails

November 4 | Open Play
November 17 | Tree-mendous!

December | 8 Open Play
December | 22 Winter Wonderland

All Play Time program participants must preregister by emailing lmathisen@brevardzoo.org.  Quiet entrance will be available on the hour upon request.  Zoo Admission not included and not needed if just attending the program. There is no charge for Play Time. Dates subject to change.

Do you belong to a play group or organization and are looking for a great play space for your next outing? Fall dates are booking fast! Contact Lindsay at lmathisen@brevardzoo.org to schedule your next play time in our Exceptional Nature Space!


SOCIAL STORY

The following social story is designed for guests with Autism Spectrum Disorders to enhance their Zoo experience, but may be used by anyone. Please note that some exhibits may be loud on days that are crowded. A list of helpful hints at the end of the story can help caregivers better prepare for a Zoo visit. If you have any questions about your visit on a particular day, feel free to contact lmathisen@brevardzoo.org. Click HERE for the Zoo social story.

We reserve the right to combine or cancel education programs due
to certain circumstances. If this occurs participants will be notified.


REFUND POLICY

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CONTACT BREVARD ZOO

8225 North Wickham Road
Melbourne, FL 32940

phone: 321.254.9453

fax: 321.259.5966

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