Field Trip FAQs

What are the current safety policies due to Covid-19?

Are masks required? Employees are required to wear masks. Masks are required for all visitors 6 years old and older, in all buildings and high congestion areas per City ordinance effective July 9, 2020. This includes all indoor buildings, train lines, food and retail lines and some outdoor areas where it’s difficult to maintain the six-foot social distance like Gorilla World, Hippo Cove and Africa. Masks are also required to feed a giraffe. Let’s stay safe and healthy. Masks On!
Can we stay in our large group? We ask all groups to split up into smaller groups of 10 people or less. Each group must have an adult accompanying them. Students are not allowed to visit unaccompanied.

All of our safety policies and procedure can be found on our website. Please take time to look over and encourage all chaperones to read.

When can we come for a field trip?

Field trips are available year-round, 7 days a week. Operating Hours for School Field Trips:

  • January 5 – March 13: 10am – 5pm
  • March 14 – May 26: 9am – 5pm
  • May 23 – September 7: 9am – 6pm
  • September 8 –  October 31: 9am – 5pm
  • November 1 – November 20: 10am-5pm
  • November 21 – January 4 (Festival of Lights): Zoo Closed before 1pm
    • During Festival of Lights, any school wishing to come to the Zoo must book through Group Sales.

When may I schedule a field trip to the Zoo?

Registration for school field trips is open year round. You can register online anytime or call 513-559-7767 Monday-Thursday between the hours of 10m and 5pm. We encourage you to make your reservation at least 2 weeks in advance. The earlier you schedule, the greater the availability of field trip dates. Some days in April and May sell out.

What can we do during a field trip?

See our Self-Guided School Activities for  standards-based, multi-curricular activities for your students from prek-12th grade.

Check the Zoo Today page for day of updates on planned habitat or concession closures or special events and the Zoo’s daily Animal Encounter & Experience schedule.

What is the cost of a field trip?

Tickets are $7 per student. For every 7 students you bring, you are required to have one adult teacher/chaperone. Required adults are free, any additional teachers/adults beyond this free 1 to 7 policy are also $7. The Zoo accommodates students with special needs by offering free admission for adults in the role of IEP-mandated 1:1 assistant.

Do you have any financial aid available?

The Zoo is proud to offer free field trip grants through the Living Classroom Education Access Fund. To find out more information and if you qualify, click here.

When/how do I pay for my field trip?

Payment is only accepted the day of the field trip at the Ticketing Window. This allows for last minute adjustments to your totals up to the minute you leave for your trip. We accept check, credit card, cash, or Purchase Order for total group payment. If paying with a PO, you must bring a copy of the actual PO; PO numbers only will not be accepted. Over-payments less than $10 will not be refunded. Over-payments of $10 or more will be mailed by check and may take 2-3 weeks.

What if I need to reschedule/cancel my field trip?

There is no fee to reschedule or cancel your trip. Please call 513-559-7767 to let us know as soon as possible.

What should we do about lunch?

What to Eat:

  • Visitors are allowed to bring outside food into the Zoo. We strongly encourage students to pack a sack lunch and either carry it themselves or have a chaperone carry it for the group in a bag

Where to eat:

  • For the easiest lunch experience, we encourage each school group to carry their lunches with them and sit wherever they find a spot to eat at their convenience.
  • Picnic shelters are currently unavailable

Where should we park?

When you register for your field trip, you will receive a confirmation packet that includes directions and maps for parking. Buses may park for free, but any additional non-bus vehicles will be charged the Zoo parking fee of $10.00 per vehicle. Due to the high volume of school buses, during April, May and June all non-bus vehicles are required to park in general parking areas of the Zoo. See confirmation packet for details.

What are the Field Trip Rules & Policies for the Zoo?

    • Registration for a Cincinnati Zoo Field Trip constitutes acceptance of the terms and conditions set forth. Upon entry to the Zoo, school groups grant the Zoological Society of Cincinnati (the “Zoo”) permission to use images or media of anyone in the school group in advertising, publicity and other promotions without payment or compensation to holder. The school group voluntarily assumes all risk of personal injury (including but not limited to death) and loss of property, by accident or otherwise, incidental to attending the Zoo and using its rides, attractions and facilities, and agrees that the Zoo, its directors, officers, employees, and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for any such injuries or losses, no matter how caused. Entry to the Zoo evidences a revocable license to enter the Zoo’s property, and this license may be revoked (and the holders ejected from the Zoo’s property) at the sole discretion of the Zoo, without refund, if misused or if the holder fails to abide by the policies, rules or regulations of the Zoo. Such policies, among other things, prohibit the possession and/or use of controlled substances and intoxicants on Zoo property. Park hours, prices, policies, and programs are all subject to change without notice.
    • One chaperone per seven students is required. Students in grades PreK-12 must be supervised by their chaperone at all times. Unsupervised groups may be detained by Zoo staff or security until their chaperone is located.
    • All school groups must respect Zoo animals and property. Climbing on rails or fences, littering, picking plants or flowers, tapping on windows, screaming at exhibit animals, unauthorized feeding of exhibit animals, chasing free-roaming peacocks, ducks, chickens, or geese are all grounds for dismissal from Zoo grounds without a refund.
    • Cincinnati Zoo Memberships may not be used for school group entry or rides and attractions. The revenue generated from Field Trips helps to keep student admission rates low for all schools visiting the Zoo and allows us to offer world-class programming at no additional cost. Any chaperone attempting to use a membership will kindly be asked to purchase a chaperone ticket from a ticketing window.
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