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Field Trips

Admission is FREE to the Zoo for all students in San Diego County during the traditional school year. Non-San Diego County schools receive a reduced admission fee of $7 per student. All schools pay $7 per person on weekends, holidays, and during the summer. Group reservations are required for these rates. School groups without reservations pay regular admission rates.

Guided tours and classes are offered for all groups with advance reservations. All of our field trip tours and programs are aligned to California State Science Standards. We support your classroom studies in all curriculum areas: science, language arts, fine arts, social studies, and math.

Pre-ordered lunches are available for your visit. Each lunch includes: animal cookies, chips, a drink, and your choice of a hot dog, cheese sandwich, or chicken strips. Lunches can be ordered at the time of your field trip reservation or at least two weeks prior to your visit date. For Zoo lunch reservations, please call 619-557-3962.

First, a Few Rules

Most school groups respect our animals and property. Please familiarize yourself and your group with our rules before coming to the Zoo to make your visit run smoothly.

Take a Guided Tour with Your School Group

Teachers can choose a guided tour for their school group as part of a field trip to the Zoo. Guided tours are offered year-round and include a bus tour, behind-the-scenes visits, and up-close animal encounters. A special free tour is available for second grade classes in San Diego County. Many school tours are available in Spanish.
Guided Tour Descriptions…

Special Tours for Youth Groups

Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and other youth groups of any kind can have a great time learning at the Zoo. Choose from A Science Lab with Dr. Zoolittle or Explore the Zoo: An Insider’s Tour. Both programs include animal encounters and an opportunity to earn a great patch! Call 619-557-3963 for more info.

Do It Yourself: Self Guided Tours

Bringing a class of students to the Park or Zoo has never been easier! You’re the tour guide when you come to the Zoo on a self-guided visit (without a Zoo educator). FREE grade-specific educational materials supporting the California Science Standards will be sent prior to your visit so that you and your chaperones can easily direct your students through the Zoo.

  • Advance reservations: required for self-guided visits. To visit the Zoo, call 619-557-3962 for availability, or download the Zoo Self-Guided Visit Registration Form.  Reservations made less than two weeks in advance will be charged a $20 late fee.
  • Fee: Admission is FREE for students and chaperones within a radius for San Diego County schools during the traditional school year. Schools located outside of San Diego County pay a discounted rate of $7 for students and chaperones* on traditional school days. All schools pay $7 per person on weekends, holidays, and during the summer. School groups without reservations pay regular admission rates. Reservations must be made at least 2 weeks (10 business days) prior to your visit date.
  • * Discounted rate applies to adult chaperones within the assigned ratio.  Adults exceeding ratio incur higher fees.

Self Guided Activities
Download these fun activities to do with your students while visiting the Zoo, or any zoo or wildlife area! Activities are arranged by grade level.

College Study Passes

Use your neighboring San Diego Zoo as an educational resource. College Study Passes are offered to make these popular sites available to students. If you are a college instructor, you may order these passes for your students.

College study passes are for general admission only and do not include paid attractions. They are $25 per student and are valid for four months. Passes entitle the bearer to unlimited visits to the San Diego Zoo. If you wish to include the San Diego Zoo in your curriculum, please fax class rosters with typed names to the Guest Relations Office 619-557-3996 (phone: 619-231-1515, ext. 4320). You may then direct your students to Will Call to purchase their passes. A current school-issued student I.D. is required. Payment on all passes is due at the time of issue.

Questions? For Education programs for children, adults and families, or any school related programs, please call Zoo Education: 619-557-3962
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