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John P. McGovern Children’s Zoo

Fun at the Children’s Zoo
contact-yard-petting-zoo-goats-czPetting Zoo
butterfly-pavilion-stage-cz-biofactsLive Shows
Swap-Shop-CZSwap Shop
Ernie-porcupine-strawberryCool Animals
Bat Cave
Rainbow-Scarab-bug-house-insect-beetleBug House

About the McGovern Children’s Zoo

Watch a river otter play underwater, explore a realistic bat cave, get up close and personal with the goats in the petting area, and watch an entertaining show at the Butterfly Pavilion! The Children’s Zoo takes you through forty exhibits and features many native Texas animals. If the kids need to burn of a little energy, visit the playground so they can jump, slide, and climb. As you stroll through, stop by the Naturally Wild Swap Shop, where you can bring items that you find in nature and trade them for natural items in our collection.

On your next visit, don’t miss our Bug House, an exhibit that is dedicated to showcasing insects and why they are so important to our ecosystem.

Behind the Scenes

Meet Amber
In addition to being a keeper, Amber is a self-proclaimed goat whisperer. Stop by to see Amber, and maybe she’ll fill you in on the latest goat gossip.
Meet Courtney
Courtney works as an animal keeper in the Children’s Zoo. She loves watching the young one’s faces light up as they experience the animals up close.
Meet Kim
Kim has worked at the Zoo since 1991 and is a supervisor in the Children’s Zoo.  Her favorite animals are canids and she is the studbook keeper for the swift fox.

Journey through the Children’s Zoo

Come with us as we take a trip through the Children’s Zoo and show you all the great animals and activities you will find there.

Did You Know?

The porcupine is the second largest rodent in North America next to the beaver…and an adult has an average of 30,000 quills!


Have your child’s next birthday party at the Houston Zoo! Celebrate in style in your privately reserved birthday pavilion inside the John P. McGovern Children’s Zoo. Your party guests can share this special day with you at your party, and make it a whole day of animal fun – your guests receive tickets to explore the zoo on the entire day of your party! Parties can be enhanced with various animal-themed decorations to choose from, and even a touch animal experience at your party! (extra fees apply.) Our Birthday Party Package is for children 12 years of age and younger. Find out all the details and book your party today – we are a popular venue and spaces are limited, so don’t hesitate to reserve your spot soon.