Welcome to the Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo!

The Friends is a non-profit organization that works to support the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo (JMZ), a beloved early-education science institute founded in 1934. The Friends and the City of Palo Alto strive to provide an equitable and meaningful experience to visitors of all communities, backgrounds, and abilities.


A smiling young girl holds a blue and green peacock feather in front of her face.
A young boy plays with black magnetic sand in the exhibit hall. A sign behind him reads

Funding Learning and Discovery

The Friends raised $25 million to rebuild the JMZ, thanks to a $15 million matching grant from the Peery Foundation and $10 million in private donations from local donors. The new facility reopened to the public in November 2021, and our organization’s fundraising work continues. The Friends is committed to programs that ensure that the JMZ remains accessible to everyone, regardless of physical or cognitive ability or the ability to pay admission.


Thank you to our supporters!

The Friends was awarded the 2024 Tall Tree Award for Outstanding Nonprofit. The Tall Tree Awards are co-sponsored by the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce and Palo Alto Weekly, and “given to a nonprofit that has made a substantial contribution to the lasting enhancement of Palo Alto.” Thank you to our supporters who have allowed us to make a lasting impact on our community!