Families of Autistic Learners CONnecting Empathy, Responsibility and Stewardship 

Potter Park Zoo is pleased to announce a new program for autistic learners and their families. FALCONERS is designed to allow not just autistic learners, but their whole family to an enriching educational experience in a safe and welcoming environment. There will be one event per month throughout 2017.  

  • Inclusive for the entire family/support group!
  • Up close experiences with ambassador animals!
  • Each session includes hands-on stewardship activity
  • Safe, welcoming environment
  • This program will be shared with other institutions in the community! 


For the January, February, and March events, activity stations will be set-up in the Discovery Center and in exhibit buildings throughout the zoo, and of course all of the zoo's animal residents will be around to enjoy!  Activities will begin at 10:00 AM and continue until 1:00 PM, and families may engage in as many or as few as they wish, at their own pace!  While activities will be inside, please dress for the weather for travel between the buildings.  

On Saturday January 28, join us for "Around the World at Potter Park Zoo"! We'll be exploring the ways different cultures throughout the world honor animals through folktales, crafts and celebrations!  We'll be learning about Chinese New Year celebrations, Native American spirit animals, and African fables.

To register for the Saturday, January 28 event, please click here.

On Saturday February 25, we'll be exploring some of the amazing ways different animals adapt and survive in cold climates in the wild, and how the zoo takes care of our animals when the cold weather hits.

To register for the Saturday February 25 event*, please click here.

On Saturday March 25, our theme will be "Keeping Animals SAFE".  Participants will learn how animals are cared for here at the zoo and how animals are protected in the wild.  We will also learn about AZA SAFE:Saving Animals From Extinction, a global effort to save endangered species. 

To register for the Saturday March 25 event*, please click here.

*Beginning February 2017, there will be a $10 registration fee per family per event.  The fee will be refunded upon check-in on the day of the event.  Registration fees for those who do not attend will not be refunded and will be considered donations to the FALCONERS program.


FALCONERS is sponsored by a generous grant from the Capital Region Community Foundation

Potter Park Zoo's staff and public safety officers would like to thank the Autism Alliance of Michigan for the training they received to assist in preparing for working with autistic learners.