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Audubon Gift Giving Ideas for Entire Family

Want to put a penguin in their stocking? Or an alpaca by the tree? For the first time, you can do just that by adding an Audubon Wild Encounter to your holiday shopping list.

Audubon Nature Institute is offering special Wild Encounters with animals at Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium and Audubon Insectarium that both gift-givers and receivers will enjoy. Among the unique experiences Wild Encounters offer include snorkeling with the fish at the Aquarium’s Maya Reef, helping a butterfly take its First Flight at the Insectarium, and going behind-the-scenes at the Zoo’s jaguar, orangutan, and bear habitats.

“Offering these types of encounters allows our guests to learn more about our animals by those who work with them daily and the importance of our conservation work,” said Ron Forman, Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO. “By engaging with the animal care team, our guests can experience how we care for our animals, learn about our conservation work, and go behind-the-scenes to areas reserved only for our animals and their care teams.”

Prices for the Wild Encounters include admission to the Audubon facility, and range depending on the animal and location. Proceeds benefit Audubon's conservation efforts.  Here are some of the options for your wild gift giving:

Audubon Aquarium 
Penguin Party – Meet one of our African penguins up close, learn how they can “fly” underwater, what they eat, and why they are endangered. 
Maya Snorkel – Don snorkel gear and slip into the waters of the 132,000-gallon Maya Tunnel where you’ll be surrounded by colorful fish and rays. 

Audubon Insectarium 
Butterfly First Flight – Learn about how Audubon raises butterflies and moths for the Insectarium and release a butterfly into the Insectarium’s Butterfly Garden and watch as it glides through the lush foliage in its new home. 

Audubon Zoo 
Alpaca Palooza – Get up close with these unique South American animals where you’ll be able to learn why fibers from their coats are so prized. You’ll be their favorite visitor when you give them a snack. 
Jammin with Jaguar –Go behind the scenes and help feed one of Audubon’s jaguars and learn about this beautiful animal. For this Wild Encounter, you’ll wear a face mask to keep the jaguars healthy. 
Orangutan Family Fun – Learn about our orangutan family and watch as they interact with each other, display in their version of acrobatics, and engage with their care team – and you! 
Sea Lion Splash – Tour their special kitchen, check out their diet and get up-close as they work with their skilled care team in training sessions. 
Black Bear Bonanza – Accompany keepers in the Louisiana Swamp as they work with and feed Audubon’s three young female black bears. 

Other Audubon Nature Institute gift giving ideas include certificates for Audubon Tennis Courts and Audubon Golf Course, unique items for the entire family at Audubon gift shops, special tribute gifts to honor the animal lover in your life, or discounted Audubon memberships that provide free admission and other benefits throughout the year. Visit to buy your gifts and support Audubon this holiday season!

All Audubon attractions are open daily 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and will close at 3:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve and remain closed on Christmas. For more details on Audubon Wild Counters, and to buy your Audubon Nature Institute Wild Encounters ticket voucher, visit