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 for more information about program offerings for individuals, groups or school groups.


  • Exceptional Nature Space

  • Exceptional Nature Space

    Open Free Play

  • Exceptional Nature Space

    Exploring with friends!

  • Exceptional Nature Space

    Education Program and Animal Experience!

  • Exceptiontal Nature Space

    Welcome to our Exceptional Nature Space!

  • Exceptional Nature Space

    Sensory Board

  • Exceptional Nature Program

    Visiting with some education animals at Brevard Zoo.

  • Exceptiontal Nature Space

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

  • Exceptional Nature Space

    bamboo wind chime

  • Exceptinal Nature Space

  • Exceptinal Nature Program

    Who will we meet today?

  • Exceptional Nature Space

  • Sensory Night

    Dino-mite Sensory Night

    March 23

    Registration Required. Space is limited!



JUNE 15 
Families | 5 to 7 PM 

Join us for a sensory friendly evening open to families with an individual who experiences sensory processing needs. During this free event families will be able to experience select areas of the Zoo, participate in sensory friendly activities and the Zoo’s Exceptional Nature Space will be open for play.  Event ends at 7 PM with last entry at 6:15 PM. Pre-registration required. Click here for event flyer!



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

10 AM to 12 PM & 1 to 3 PM
May 20 & 28

12 to 2 PM
June 11

All Open Free Play Program Participants must preregister by emailing  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 open free play. Dates subject t to change.

Brevard Zoo strives to meet the needs of all children.  We are excited to announce exclusive sensory summer camp opportunities for campers with varying exceptionalities and their families. Registration opens March 15, 2018. Space is limited. Summer scholarship are available on a limited basis. Click here to learn more about our Special Needs Camps and flyer.




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 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.




8225 North Wickham Road
Melbourne, FL 32940

phone: 321.254.9453

fax: 321.259.5966