Educational Reptile Programs
Programs typically run for 45 minutes plus an additional 20-30 minutes afterwards for reptile interaction opportunities. Audience members can have a truly hands-on experience while holding the reptiles after just having learned about them! Shorter programs lengths are available if needed. *Note: To give reptiles a day to rest, I typically do not offer programs on Mondays.
Update June 2021: Because of the pandemic, we have decided to take 2021 to focus on building an educational reptile facility and zoo opening this summer in Maplewood, MN! We will be resuming private events in Fall of 2021 (exact date TBD based on our zoo’s opening), and public events in 2022. At our facility, families will be able to enjoy a self-guided educational experience through roughly 100 reptiles and amphibians, and guided tours will be offered in the future as well! Since we’re busy finishing the zoo, we’re unable to offer Zoom or other virtual programs at this time. We can’t wait to show you our reptiles at Snake Discovery: A Reptile Experience this summer!
What do I cover in my programs?
From diet, to defense mechanisms, and plenty of cool reptile facts, I cover many topics in my hands-on programs using an assortment of props and live animals!
I have three different reptile programs for you to choose from for your library, school, park, scout meeting, or other event!
1. Snake, Rattle, & Roll: This is my most popular program. It focuses on native reptiles with an emphasis on snakes. The audience will learn about salamanders (the one amphibian I bring), turtles, snakes, and meet several of the species that call Minnesota and Wisconsin home. Watch as your younger audience members transform into hognose snakes displaying their impressive defense mechanism: rolling onto their back to play dead! I bring a tiger salamander, 1-2 native turtles, 3-4 native snakes, and 2-4 exotic reptiles. Quantity of reptiles depends on length of program booked. A large boa constrictor named Doug (pictured below) makes an appearance at all full-length (45-minute) programs! This program is great for all ages, especially younger kiddos. It’s also the program I bring to birthday parties unless otherwise requested. Time is reserved after the presentation to touch and hold the reptiles for a truly hands-on experience!
2. Totally Turtles!: This program covers all of Minnesota and Wisconsin’s native turtles. Kids learn what makes turtles so unique when a volunteer gets to “transform” into one! Kids even have the opportunity to hand-feed a large tortoise, and learn about the differences between five native species that also make an appearance. This program is great for all ages, even adults and seniors! I bring 6 turtles and 1 tortoise to this program. Due to the turtles’ claws, handling the animals is not offered after this program. Instead, kids are given vegetables and fish to feed the turtles and tortoise!
3. Reptiles Around the World: This program covers reptiles both large and small, common and rare! We travel around the world to meet reptiles from every continent they’re found on. Audience members will learn what a Legless Lizard is, meet an endangered species of snake up close, touch a gecko, hold a large boa constrictor and albino python, watch a snake eat, and more! I bring 2 lizards, 1 salamander, and 5-6 snakes to this program. Time is reserved after the presentation to touch and hold the reptiles for a truly hands-on experience!
"What a great Reptile Party! I was so impressed with how engaged and intrigued all the kids (and me) were the entire time. I'm still sweating from the live [worm] feedings. The kids looooved it though and were at times, literally at the edge of their seats. What a great idea!"
As a certified Counselor for the Reptiles & Amphibians Study Merit Badge for the Boy Scouts of America, and I am excited to help scouts achieve this badge. Troops can book my program so that everyone can learn about reptiles while also getting off to a great start at earning the badge. Or just book a program to have a fun reptile-themed day for your troop!
Draw in visitors of all ages by booking a program at your library! I have a very flexible schedule, and am able to do programs at any time of day. You could even pair up my program with a reptile-themed storytime! The audience will have a memorable experience with live amphibians and reptiles, engaging activities and fun learning! Book recommendations are weaved into the program to encourage further reading and learning.
For public, private, and homeschools, I offer a fun and informative program with content tailored to your students. For Minnesota schools, classroom programs touch on most (if not all) of the Life Science benchmarks for your grade as described in the Minnesota Academic Standards in Science. For Wisconsin, my programs touch on Wisconsin’s Model Academic Standards for Science and Environmental Science, appropriate to each grade.
With it being your child’s big day, they get to be my “helper” throughout the program by feeding a few of the animals! Parties can be held outdoors during the warmer months, in your homes, or in a rented facility. Wherever you want the party, I can bring the reptiles! Doug the Boa Constrictor joins me in all full length (45-minute) programs, so be sure to grab a memorable group photo with all of your kid’s friends holding him together!
Daycare and Toddler Programs:
I’ve found that kids as young as 5 years old can handle my full length program with gusto. Younger than that, and I recommend either booking a 30-minute program for $130 (for kids 3-4 years old), or a 20-minute program for $110 (for toddlers). My 20-minute program doesn’t include any Reptile Handling Time afterwards as toddlers are a bit too young to hold reptiles yet. For these really young kiddos, I just focus on introducing them to reptiles in a positive way to start them out as animal-lovers. Daycare providers: Please ensure that all parents of the children in your care are aware of the event. I suggest giving parents a permission slip to sign stating that they’re comfortable with their kid(s) touching reptiles and amphibians. Children without a signed permission slip can still enjoy the program without touching the animals.
$150 for birthday parties, and $175 for larger events (which includes a 45-minute presentation followed by 20-30 minutes of “Reptile Handling Time”), plus a small mileage fee depending on where you are located. Discounts are available for multiple programs booked for the same day. Fees are negotiable depending on desired program length. Please contact me for details. I accept cash, checks, all major credit cards, Venmo, and Zelle.
I also offer great add-ons that go well with any program! These are available to all local programs.
Add-on #1: Real snakeskin shed necklaces! Pick your background color, pendant style (silver or bronze), and chain style (adjustable brown cord, ribbon, or ball-link chain) and I will custom make your very own snakeskin necklace for only $10. An example is above. Only snakeskin sheds are used to make these; no animals were harmed in the process.
Add-on #2: A framed snakeskin craft! One audience member (the birthday girl/boy, teacher, scout leader, or whoever you choose) gets to keep a real snakeskin shed preserved in a frame that everyone can sign for just $20! An example is above.
I also provide educational tabletop displays for use at fairs, expos, trade shows and other functions! I bring an assortment of reptiles and amphibians (though not as many as I bring to normal programs), props, snakeskins, a “Can you Find the Garter Snake?” display tank, and much much more! These are great for large, multi-hour events, as they allow people to stop by to touch reptiles and learn as much or as little about them as they please. The fee for my Reptile Touch-and-Learn Table is $85 per hour (minimum 2-hours) since it’s for mostly stop-and-go foot traffic. Examples of the setup are pictured below (exact reptiles may vary):
Find A Program Near You!!
The following programs are free for the public to attend*:
Programs have been canceled until further notice due to Covid-19. Stay safe, everyone!
*Some places may require pre-registration, and the Exotic Pet Expos require a $3 fee to enter. Please check the venue’s website or Facebook page for further details (address, whether a snake or turtle focus, etc).
Note: Most public programming occurs in June, July and August. Programs during the rest of the year are mostly private events.