Louisville Zoo Backstage Pass Experiences

Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Learn about the importance of the Zoo’s conservation work, how our dedicated keeper staff care for the Zoo’s animals and get VIP access to areas not available to the public.

Each Backstage Pass Experience is approximately 45 minutes and includes a guided cart tour with an experienced Zoo staff member, a visit to the Zoo’s Black-Footed Ferret Conservation Center, a behind-the-scenes visit to one of the Zoo’s animal areas, and an up-close experience with Zoo animals and their care team.

Current Experiences

Animal encounters included in Backstage Pass Experiences will change based on season and availability. Check back often to see if new encounters are available!

We will make every effort to make participation in Backstage Pass Experiences both accessible and inclusive to guests without endangering the welfare of our animals. Accessibility will vary based on individual circumstances. Please contact us (502) 238-5358 in advance of your experience if you or anyone in your party requires a special accommodation.”


Rhino Backstage Pass

Meet the Zoo’s resident rhinos; learn about their historical significance to the Zoo and discover what zoos are doing around the globe to help this critical species.

Mondays at 1:30 p.m.
April 24 – June 26, 2023
Available tickets: 5 per tour
$90 per person

Purchase now…

Penguin Backstage Pass

Waddle on over for an up-close encounter with one of the Zoo’s resident penguins and get a rare peek into how the Zoo’s team cares for the colony behind the scenes!

Tuesdays at 2:30 p.m.
April 25 – June 27, 2023
Available tickets: 5 per tour
$90 per person

Purchase now…

Seals & Sea Lions Backstage Pass

Make a splash with the Zoo’s seals and sea lions. Tour our award-winning Glacier Run exhibit; learn how keepers care for our pinnipeds; explore behind-the-scenes areas including indoor pools and prep kitchen; then top it off with an unforgettable front row seat for the seal and sea lion presentation.

Thursdays at 1:30 p.m.
April 27 – June 29, 2023
Available tickets: 5 per tour
$120 per person

Purchase now…

Backstage Pass Experience Rules

  • All activities are subject to animal participation.
  • We ask that guests are respectful of the animals at all times. Guests should not approach an animal unless they have been instructed to by Zoo staff.
  • Please refrain from making loud noises or sudden movements that may startle the animals as this may have a negative impact your experience. All guests are required to respect Zoo animal barriers at all times. Zoo animal barriers are for the safety of our animals and Zoo guests. Guests should not enter any areas unless their guide has instructed them to do so.
  • Once your experience has started, guests will be expected to remain with their guide. Guests may not leave the group for any reason. If a guest leaves the group during an experience, they may not be permitted to rejoin the tour.
  • All guests participating as a part of a Backstage Pass Experience must complete a Zoo behind-the-scenes waiver. An electronic waiver will be sent to you by your Zoo guide 7-10 days prior to your tour. Signed electronic waivers may be emailed to zooeducation@louisvilleky.gov prior to your visit, or you may bring them with you on the day of your experience. Children ages 6 – 18 must have a completed waiver signed by a consenting adult.
  • Guests that are not a part of the tour will not be permitted to participate in the experience or tag along with the group.
  • Please be respectful of other guests on your tour. We ask that you refrain from any behavior that may be a distraction or considered inappropriate. Cell phones should be placed on silent during the experience. Please refrain from taking phone calls during experiences.
  • Cameras are permitted but we ask you do not use flash photography.
  • Guests with children should be responsible for them at all times. Children may not run or play in behind-the-scenes areas.
  • Food and drinks are not permitted in behind-the-scenes areas.

Guests should be respectful of Zoo staff instructions at all times. Please note that the experience may be ended without refunds at any time if guests do not follow staff instructions.

Click here to view Backstage Pass Experience FAQ’s

Sloth Experience

Are you ready to meet a sloth?

Sloth experiences at the Louisville Zoo are your chance to get up close and personal with our Linnaeus’s Two-Toed sloth, Sunni in her habitat.

Sold Out through August 2023.
More info coming soon!