Live Animal Programs

Engaging Live Animal Programs for children/all ages

Now Virtual!

Joy has been doing live animal programs for children, and all ages, for over 20 years! Perfect for a library, school program, a birthday party or other special event. Programs can be customized to any audience.
Most programs are designed for 30 minutes

Looking for a fun birthday idea this year? How about a personal virtual live animal show for family and friends? Your Zoom or mine!

Birthday programs

Additional animal-related programs for families and children are also available on special fun topics like horses, working with dangerous animals such as venomous snakes, polar bears or crocodiles and other nature topics like birds, mammals, frogs, butterflies and dragonflies.

Virtual Live AnimalFun ExtrasOther Nature Programs for ChildrenScout BadgesTestimonialsMedia/TV

Science Shorts for Schools!

Are you a teacher looking for something special to add to your planned lessons? Joy offers customized 15 minute Science Shorts! Choose a virtual live animal visitor for your class or even a virtual close encounter with fossils like giant megalodon teeth.


Virtual Live Animal Programs

Virtual live animal programs include a short presentation with images/videos and live animal guests


Sensational Snakes!

Some people fear snakes, but we often fear what we do not understand. Snakes look very different and move very differently from many other animals, but anything that is different can be amazing too. Learn how snakes act as important predators and help people in many ways we may not realize. What should you do if you see a snake? Come find out and meet some very sssssspecial guests.

Not Really So Scary Animals

Some animals like sharks, snakes and spiders we think of as scary, but are they really when we learn more about them? Many seemingly “scary animals” have really important jobs in nature, even helping people! Don’t miss meeting some not really so scary animals too!

Terrific Turtles

What is the difference between a turtle and a tortoise? How big can a sea turtle grow? Are all turtle shells the same? Find out for yourself! Learn more about our wonderful shelled friends and meet some real turtles at the end!

Creepy Crawlies

How do you move if you don’t have legs? Hiss without using your mouth? Eat by using a built-in straw? Learn about some of the strange and creepy critters from our wild and wacky world of animals. Don’t miss a visit with some live creepy creatures at the end!

Leaping Lizards!

From a tiny anole and a huge Komodo dragon to the venomous Gila monster, lizards can look very different. How are they similar? How do their differences actually help lizards survive around the world and even here? Find out about some of the amazing abilities of different lizards and don’t miss our special lizard guests.

Wild World of Reptiles

What is the difference between a lizard and a snake and a crocodile and an alligator? Can turtles really leave their shells like they do in the cartoons? Are snakes really slimy? Learn more about our wonderful scaly friends and meet some reptile special guests.

Other Nature Topics for Families and Children

The Natural World has lots of amazing animals!
Learn more about Magnificent Mammals, Fintastic Sharks, Beautiful Butterflies, Fun Flyers and more!

Magnificent Mammals

Learn about some of the amazing large mammals across the US, like bears, seals, sea lions and big cats. What do big cats and sea lions have in common? Find more about these amazing creatures and which ones can be found here in the Northeast!

Our Feathered Friends

Many birds may visit our backyards during the year. Some are colorful, some are comical, but all can be fun to watch. Learn about our backyard birds and what brings them to our neighborhoods. Experience the sights and sounds of some of our most beautiful neighbors!

The Furry and Fuzzy:
Our Backyard Mammals

Various mammals live in and around our backyards. What makes a mammal different from other animals? How do you know which mammals are spending time in your yard? Learn more about our rabbit, chipmunk, squirrel and fox neighbors and learn how to tell by their tracks who is visiting!

Frogs and Life in the Vernal Pool

Fabulous Frogs

We have many species of frog here in the United States. Some frogs prefer grasslands, some woods, some desert habitats. Some make funny sounds too! Learn about the biggest, the smallest, the good tree climbers and so much more.

Super Frogs! Early Spring Wildlife of Vernal Pools

What is a vernal pool? It is a fresh water pool that may only have water in winter, spring and early summer and may dry up by fall. Some adult animals may only use the vernal pool for a short time each year. On cold, wet spring days, even when ice is still on the surface of the water, wood frogs and spring peepers emerge from their winter slumber far before other frogs. Learn more about these “super frogs” and the special ways they, and other early spring vernal pool visitors, survive.

Fairies, Frogs and Damsels: Spring and Summer Wildlife of Vernal Pools

In the spring vernal pool animals are often in a race against time for survival before the pool dries up during the summer. From fairy shrimp to damselflies, green frogs and painted turtles, learn about these seasonal pools and the many creatures that might inhabit them.

Butterflies and more

Fun Flyers:
Dragonflies & Damselflies

What is the difference between a dragonfly and damselfly? Are dragonflies dangerous? Do they breathe fire? Find out how they even help people! Learn more about these amazing animals through beautiful images and videos.

Beautiful Butterflies for Families

A wide variety of butterflies may be seen our area each year. From the huge Eastern tiger swallowtail to the tiny spring azure, there is a huge range of size and color. What is the difference between a butterfly and moth? How do butterflies eat? Find out more about our local butterflies and see images and videos of some of our most beautiful summer creatures!

A few fun extras!

Looking for some extra excitement?
Learn about horses or marine mammals like polar bears and sea otters
or reptiles like cobras, pitvipers, alligators or crocodiles
Can be adjusted to any audience level: Great for middle/high school students too!


Wild about Horses!

Before we had cars, horses were one way people could travel long distances. Now horses are often considered more of a partner with their human riders. From the small Icelandic horse to a large Cheval Canadien, horses are found around the world and come in many colors, patterns and sizes. Learn about some of the different types of horse and what makes each of them special. Have you ever wondered how horses are trained? Do they all move the same way? How do they sense the world around them? Learn how they communicate with each other and us! This is a great chance to ask your questions and learn more about these amazing animals!

30 minutes
(1 hour version for older audiences available)

Joy has been riding and working with horses since she was a small child, including competing at an advanced level.

Working with Dangerous Animals
(1 hour)

Venomous snakes, massive pythons, alligators and polar bears, what do they all have in common? They are all considered dangerous animals! What is it like to work with animals like cobras or rattlesnakes? Find out what some scientists are learning about venomous snakes by studying them in the wild and captivity. Learn how animal keepers and scientists stay safe when working with captive alligators or wild crocodiles. Why is it important to train captive polar bears, sea lions and even sea otters in zoos? Don’t miss meeting some live animals at the end!

Can be customized for a shorter program

Working with Alligators & Crocs

Crocodilians like alligators, crocodiles and caimans are amazing animals. Powerful, smart and resilient, they have survived since ancient times, despite over hunting and habitat loss around the world. Learn about scientists and their work with crocodiles in Belize and efforts to help local communities co-exist with these living dinosaurs. Find out what is it like to work with these animal in the wild and in captivity!

Joy working with venomous snakes in the field with the Copperhead Institute

Working with Dangerous Snakes

What is it like to work with cobras, mambas, gaboon vipers and large constrictors in captivity? Learn what amazing things these animals can teach us and the importance of current research on venomous snakes being done right now in the wild around the world and even in the Northeast. You never know, a venomous snake may save your life some day! Find out this and much more and meet some live snakes at the end!

Fintastic Sharks!

 Sharks are ancient and amazing animals. How large were the teeth of the pre-historic megalodon shark? How does a shark find its food? Just how smart are sharks? What is it like to be under water diving with them?  Learn what makes these animals special with images of great white, hammerhead, tiger, lemon, whale sharks and so much more.

Testimonials for Children & Family Programs

Learn what people think about Joy’s programs for libraries, schools, birthdays and beyond

Joy was able to get the campers engaged and they were thrilled for the full hour on Zoom! I would highly recommend “The Joys of Nature” to anyone looking for in-person, or virtual entertainment for their birthday party, or special event. These shows are highly entertaining and interactive for kids and adults, alike!

Ryan McCarthy

Summer Camp Director,
Buckingham Browne & Nichols School

The pandemic stay at home orders caused both branch libraries we support to cancel their in house summer reading programs. Joy’s Zoom wildlife programs were the perfect solution! She is knowledgeable and engaging and the kids LOVE her! The photography in the presentations is gorgeous and the live animals steal the show!

Diana Fotinatos

Board President,
Friends of the Library Southport & Oak Island

I highly recommend Joy for informative, educational and entertaining nature programs for all ages. Not only will you enjoy her narrative and learn from her vast knowledge but you’ll marvel at her photographs. Easy to work with, Joy can easily tailor her programs to suit your audience needs.

Fran Daneault

Children’s Librarian
Bacon Free Library, Natick

Joy is an engaging and knowledgeable presenter of nature programs for school-age children! When we pivoted to remote learning in the spring, Joy presented live animal programs during the Google Meets for my science classes. She worked with me to tailor the focus her live animal programs to the state standards my classes were working on: ecosystems and biodiversity for the seventh graders and heredity and genetics for the eighth graders. The students were riveted and really connected with Joy!

Amy Fleischer

Science Teacher, Nauset Middle School

Joy was an invited guest speaker for multiple virtual camp and after school programs offered by our science museum in the spring and summer. The students who ranged in ages from six to twelve years old, were captivated by her positive energy and engaging teaching style. Our students (and their parents) always look forward to her unique presentations, including great photos, live animals and fun stories. I highly recommend booking Joy for virtual or in-person camp or after school programs!

Sara Horwitz

Camp Director and Research Coordinator
The Children’s Museum, Hartford, CT

(Pre-Covid) Thank you so much for coming to our class to teach us about amphibians! As always, your visits are a truly fantastic educational experience that extends our curriculum. The kids loved learning from you.


Elementary School Teacher, Foxboro MA

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Scout and Birthday Program Testimonials

Just a few pre-Covid testimonials from in-person programs for children

Thank you so much for the informative and exciting program…the boys are still talking about it. The other adults and I thought it was one of the best events we had done all year.

Don – Cub Scout Leader

Thank you so much for all you did to make Jason’s 5th birthday party so special-it was excellent! The adults enjoyed it as much as the kids-a testament to your skills as a presenter and educator. Your enthusiasm and knowledge were amazing-I wish I had your energy.

Jen & Ian

Thank you very much for a wonderful program! I have received many comments from parents saying how much their boys enjoyed the program. Your enthusiasm and depth of knowledge really captured the boys’ attention and interest.

Jana – Cub Scout Leader

I wanted to thank you for the fabulous reptile/amphibian birthday party. The boys were so impressed with all the cool education animals. They have been talking about it for days. My son said it was the best birthday party he ever had! Thanks again for making his 10th birthday a very special event!

Janet & Marcel

Thank you for the wonderful program you did for our Brownie Troop! You made it fun and educational for the girls even with the rainy weather. I heard from several girls and their moms that they had a great time and learned many new things.

Trish – Girl Scout Leader

Thanks for making Gabriel’s 5th birthday so special. He said “I want to have my birthday with Joy next year!” Everyone had a blast. You clearly help children explore nature in new and exciting ways.


What an amazing person.
She was filled with knowledge, fun stories, and enthusiasm that kept the attention of 20 girls and 3 adults for 1.5 hours.

Laurie – Girl Scout Leader

Thank you again for such a wonderful birthday party for Logan! We were all thoroughly entertained!


Thank you for an extraordinary afternoon! The boys were really captivated and we all had a wonderful time.
Your love of the wild and snakes is really contagious! I was impressed!

Hilli – Cub Scout Leader