Junior Museum & Zoo

Museum Exhibits

Twenty-five hundred square feet of indoor exhibits invite children and their caregivers to engage their curiosity in science and nature.

Through hands-on exhibits, kids playfully explore a variety of science concepts as they build, problem solve, observe and let their imaginations soar in our two current exhibitions: Clean Green Energy Machines and Buzzzz. Exhibits are developmentally appropriate for children from birth through nine years of age.

Clean Green Energy Machines

Clean Green Energy Machines introduces visitors to renewable energy and the science behind it.  Our hands-on machines help visitors investigate wind, solar, water and kid-power—creating connections between the choices we make and our environment. A timely topic that is guaranteed to generate a lot of energy!


In Buzzzz kids explore the beauty of bugs and their fascinating life stories through hands-on exhibits and by observing living and pinned insects and spiders. The exhibition includes a baby’s only area, called the Baby’s Bramble, with insect play, including a giant monarch butterfly chrysalis.

Zoo Exhibits

In our outdoor Zoo, nearly 50 species of animals introduce children to the rich diversity of life on earth and help build a lifelong passion for learning about the natural world. 

Residents include snakes and other reptiles, a variety of marine and fresh water fish, tropical birds, a duck pond, raccoons, fruit bats, and two bobcats!   

Bobcat Ridge

Bobcat Ridge is a verdant landscape that hides signs of a world beyond. Rocky outcrops and giant limbs provide a stimulating place for our cats, Rufus and Tule. Learn more from this video.  

The Kittens' Den

The Kittens’ Den is tucked beside Bobcat Ridge. A naturally landscaped sculpture garden, it is designed for a child’s imaginative play; it is a place to become a bobcat, climb on boulders and over logs, and discover hidden residents.

African Bat Cave

In the African Bat Cave, children can explore the mouth of a cave and adjacent tropical forest, discovering two species of fruit bats. These social bats can be seen hanging in the cave and in the late afternoon flying about to feed on fruit.

Raccoon Creek

Raccoon Creek is an enchanted landscape for interaction between our two most intelligent creatures, children and raccoons. Raccoons can be seen playing in the water of a flowing creek with waterfalls and pools surrounded by trees and boulders. Kids can explore inside a giant magical “redwood tree” and get nose-to-nose with our raccoons, Aigon and Loki. 

Tortoise Hill

Tortoise Hill
 is home to one of our largest and slowest animals, an African spurred tortoise named Edward. A majestic creature, he can sometimes be found on a walk around the zoo led by his keeper and followed by delighted children.   

Tortoise Hill

The Weaverbird House
is a climbing structure for children surrounded by weaverbirds and their nests.

Other zoo exhibits include The Duck Pond, Aviary, San Francisquito Creek and more.

Bobcat Ridge, The Kittens' Den, African Bat Cave, Raccoon Creek, and Weaverbird House were made possible by donations to the Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo. Please consider supporting us. Become a member!

Junior Museum & Zoo

1451 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Phone: 650-329-2111
Fax: 650-473-1965


Last Updated: May 6, 2016