Welcome Teachers!

The Zoo is here to help build upon your students’ understanding of the natural world. Your students will experience programs that foster a sense of wonder, share knowledge, and advocate active involvement with wildlife and wild places. 

Ready to come to the Zoo? Register for Field Trips & Education Programs

For schools that need financial assistance, we have the Living Classroom Education Access Fund. To find out if you qualify, or to apply,  click here!

Questions? Email registrars@cincinnatizoo.org or, to register over the phone, contact us at (513) 559-7767 option 2. Remember to make your reservations early; some dates in April and May sell out.

Field trips to the Zoo are available year round every day of the week. School admission is only $5 per student, and one adult per ten students is free.  Bus parking is also free.

What will field trips to the Zoo do for my students?

Increasingly, education research is suggesting that field trips – especially to places like Zoos & wildlife centers – enhance learning in the classroom by increasing student interest in science and providing them with social learning opportunities outside the classroom.

We also know that active, student-centered learning, whether through inquiry or other participatory activities, empowers students to ask and answer their own questions. In turn, this leads to a genuine ownership of knowledge that leads to greater performance in and out of the classroom.

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has committed itself to providing these active learning opportunities for all our guests, including grade-banded learning activities for pre-K – 12 students. For you teachers in the Cincinnati / Tri-State community, we want to be your resource for field trips, outreach programs, and overnights that are standards-based and filled with fun, activity, and inspiration!

School Group Policies

Once you have registered, please follow these policies to improve your field trip experience:

Days before your trip – Download the Field Trip Letter for Chaperones Template and adjust as needed. Distribute to chaperones prior to the day of your field trip. 

Before arrival – Take a final head count of all students, adults (including teachers), and buses. Use the Admission Form (included in registration materials) to tally your numbers. Present this form at the ticketing window. 

When you arrive at the Zoo- One total group payment is due at the gate. After checking in at the gate, you will receive one ticket for your students and separate tickets for each adult. Anyone not included in this group payment will be charged general admission upon their arrival. Zoo memberships may NOT be used for school admission.

Chaperones driving separately

    - Zoo memberships cannot be used to pay for student or adult admission. School groups receive a deeply discounted rate, which we are able to offer only when everyone pays as part of the group.
    - If driving separately, parking is $8.00 per vehicle. Chaperones may use their membership for parking ONLY.
    - Each adult chaperone must have a ticket purchased by the school to enter the Zoo.
    - If chaperones drive separately, they should check in at the ticket window nearest to where they have parked. After your school has checked in, the lead teacher will have the groups’ tickets. If a chaperone is separated from the group, they should alert the ticketing representative and we will let them know when they may enter.
      - In order to stay connected on the day of the trip, please share cell phone numbers. We accept cash, credit cards, check, or PO (a copy of the actual PO is required; a number will not suffice).

Student Lunches

Students are encouraged to bring their lunches along with them in backpacks as they explore the Zoo. Chaperones can be asked to carry younger students’ lunches. The Zoo has many great places to break for lunch in small groups. Here are a few of our favorite spots: Garden of Peace, Oriental Garden, Vine Street Village, Safari Camp, Sea Lions and Monkey Island. Large coolers are not recommended.

Special school lunch options are now available for purchase and available for pick up at a designated location. All pick up locations have seating nearby.

Lunch Option One: School PB&J or Hotdog Lunch   

        Price: $4.50 per person Choose either Uncrustable PB&J sandwiches or Hot Dogs. You may choose all PB&J, all hotdogs, or half PB&B & half hotdogs. Each person will receive one (1) sandwich, pretzels, mini carrots, and juice box. The minimum number of lunches you must purchase is twenty (20).

Lunch Option Two: School Pizza Lunch

        Price: $7.00 per person Choose from cheese pizza or pepperoni pizza. Each person will receive two (2) slices of pizza, a small bag of chips & a juice box. The minimum number of lunches you must purchase is twenty (20).

Our Group Sales department also offers a full catering menu for other lunch options. Additionally, the Safari Camp Picnic Shelters can be reserved for large groups. Contact Group Sales at 513-487-3481 or email groupsales@cincinnatizoo.org.

Of course, you may always buy lunches at the Zoo Cafe, open year round, or from other food locations, open as weather permits.

Meet Academic Standards

Zoo field trips take your students beyond the boundaries of the classroom walls while meeting academic standards. Learn more about Visiting the Zoo or bringing the Zoo to You and how our programs align with state academic standards for Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.

School Field Trip Cancellation/Change Policy

If you must cancel or change your school field trip to the Zoo please Click Here or call 513-559-7767 option 2. We understand your group totals may change. Once you have registered, there is no need to contact us if you have more or fewer students attending.

Rides and Attractions

Add tickets to the 4-D Theater, train, tram or carousel and receive a special school rate.

All Day Rides Package (unlimited rides on the Train, Tram and Carousel) $2.00/ person 4-D Theater Package (one ticket to the 4-D Theater) $3.00/person Total Experience Package (all day rides plus 4-D Theater) $5.00/person

Free Teacher Planning Visit

Teachers who have registered their class for a field trip are invited to visit the Zoo for a free planning trip. Teachers who register for this option will receive free admission. We will contact you to see if you would like to meet or take the day to reacquaint yourself with the Zoo layout prior to arriving with your students. Please bring your school ID with you the day of your visit. Teachers’ families are welcome but will be charged full admission if not Cincinnati Zoo members.


Looking for continuing education, travel opportunities, and a Masters Degree or Masters Credit? Want to know more about current environmental education resources?

Learn More >

School Group Evaluation

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Review the latest teacher/chaperone guide here!