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Guided Tours

If you don’t want to be the tour guide, a Zoo Educator can guide your students through the Zoo while enthralling them with inside information. All tours include a bus tour, behind-the-scenes visits, and up-close animal encounters.

Paid Tours

We have a variety of grade appropriate tours that you can reserve to enhance your visit. Choose the one that best fits your educational objectives.

  • Length: 2 hours
  • Maximum: 40 participants (students and chaperones)
  • Fee: $200 per group. Add discounted group admission rates if you are not in San Diego County.

Inside Story Tour (Grades K–12) —Students learn the fundamentals of running a zoo: animal health care, exhibit design, feeding, breeding, and more via an exclusive bus tour. A Zoo educator, ready to answer your students’ questions, will provide up-close animal encounters and behind-the-scenes visits. Life Science/Careers

Grade 2 Free Tour

Free guided visit—Second grade classes in San Diego County are invited to participate in a FREE guided visit at the San Diego Zoo. Dr. Harry Wegeforth, the founder of the San Diego Zoo, dedicated the Zoo to the children of San Diego. In honor of this dedication, the free second grade program has been a long-standing tradition at the Zoo. The program includes a bus tour and an animal presentation. This special program is very popular among teachers who are “in the know,” so reservations are required and must be made early in the school year!

At-the-Zoo Small Group Programs

Small group experiences are available in the Zoo’s Otto Center auditorium.

  • Length: 1 hour Maximum: 35 participants (students and chaperones)
  • Fee: $125 per group. Add discounted group admission rates if you are not in San Diego County.

Critter Coverings (Grades Preschool–2)—Using animal presentations, hands-on helpers, and magic, Critter Coverings is a program designed for young children. A reptile, a bird, and a mammal are used along with props to help children focus on the coverings of each animal group. A short interactive slide show and closing song are also part of the program. Participants can spend the rest of the day at the Zoo following their program. Also available as an assembly at your school.


“I loved the tour bus ride, the life cycle assembly, and all the other wonderful things you showed us!

My most favorite animal in the world is a giraffe! I love the Zoo! “—Sophia, 2nd grade student

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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