Need financial assistance?

Qualifying schools may apply for free field trips. Visit the Living Classroom Education Access Fund for details.

Zoo Field Trips – Where the World is Your Classroom

Field Trips to the Zoo are a great way to observe animals and feel a connection to wildlife. Students will discover and learn at a world-class zoo that is actively engaged in conservation and sustainability, and filled with opportunities to get up-close and personal with wildlife. Field Trips are available year-round every day of the week.

Learn More below for pricing, dates, programs, and add-ons.

Parking and Sold Out Dates: The following dates are drop-off only: April 28-29, May 2-6, May 9-13, May 16-20, May 23-25. Register here for drop-off only dates. If your date is not listed, register via the link below.

Register Today!

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Who: daycares, preschools, private & public/charter schools, universities, alternative education schools, homeschool families and co-ops
Dates: Sunday-Saturday, year-round
Time: 9:00am-5:00pm March 12-October 30. 10:00am-5:00pm November 1- March 11. See FAQs for dates/times.
Cost: Students $7; Adults $7.
Parking Cost: Buses: free, Cars: $10; Location: See Field Trip Guide once registered. Some dates are bus drop-off only

Note: We require 1 adult (teachers, staff, guardians) for every 7 students. Required adults are free. Students in grades PreK-12 must be supervised by their chaperone at all times. Required 1:1 student aides and bus drivers are always free in addition to your 1:7 adults.



Do More with Your Field Trip

Close Encounters Programs

No stuffy lectures here, these FREE programs introduce students to live animals while sharpening students’ sensory and observation skills as well as supporting Tri-State academic standards. Close Encounters are the perfect way to supplement your Zoo visit! Masks are required regardless of vaccination status during Close Encounter programs. Please note that mask policies may change at any time and may vary by program. Learn More >

CREW Building Tours

The CREW Building Tour introduces students to the conservation research science that goes on at the Zoo everyday. During this 30-minute guided tour of the CREW building, students will have the opportunity to see scientists in the labs and gain a better understanding of the science taking place every day. Learn More >

School Lunches

Bring your own or order with the Zoo. Shelters available in late June/July. School lunches are available to purchase for groups of 10 or more, Monday-Friday, year-round. Learn More >

Self- Guided Field Trip Activities

Do more with your field trip with these grade-specific activities, aligned to state science standards. Learn More >

All Day Train & Carousel Rides

Students $4; Adults $4. Must be purchased at registration/check-in. Learn More >

Animal Encounters & Experiences

Get up close and personal with some of our animals around the park or learn in depth information at exhibits from our zookeepers! Schedules change seasonally. Learn More >

Teacher Field Trip Guide

All the information you need for your booked field trip to the Cincinnati Zoo, including parking, directions, maps, tips, and more. Learn More >

Field Trip Programs

Get more from your field trip with interactive and engaging educational programs designed specifically for school groups. Programs are offered for preschool-college ages, and are aligned to state education standards.

All programs are free for schools, but must be pre-registered. Programs must be booked two weeks in advance.


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Close Encounters (PreK-8th)

No stuffy lectures here, these FREE programs introduce students to live animals while sharpening students’ sensory and observation skills as well as supporting Tri-State academic standards. Close Encounters are the perfect way to supplement your Zoo visit! Masks are required regardless of vaccination status during Close Encounter programs. Please note that mask policies may change at any time and may vary by program.

Audience: all school children (traditional or homeschool) from preschool through 8th grade.
Program Length: 30 minutes
Program Capacity: classroom: 8-20 students; assembly 20-35 students
Program Cost: FREE

Dates: Mondays-Fridays; September 13th-May 21st
Times: 10:15-10:45am, 11:00-11:30am, 1:00-1:30pm (afternoon programs March-May only)

Note: Programs must be booked at least 2 weeks in advance and are booked on a first-come, first-served basis. Masks are required during Close Encounter programs.

Due to space limitations, Close Encounters are limited to 1 adult to 7 students. Additional chaperones are encouraged to enjoy the Zoo during the encounter and reunite with the group upon its completion.


Fur, Feather, and Scales

Younger students  learn how to determine  if animals are mammals, birds or reptiles based on body coverings.

Adaptations

Adaptable for younger or older students, this program introduces several unique live animals and explores their adaptations related to survival.

Food Chains 

Bring food chains to life while learning how living things get energy to survive, as well as how they may be affected by changes in the environment.

Adaptations

Adaptable for younger or older students, this program introduces several unique live animals and explores their adaptations related to survival.

Adaptations

Adaptable for younger or older students, this program introduces several unique live animals and explores their adaptations related to survival.

CREW Tours (6th-College)

Through advanced animal and plant research, CREW is leading the way to secure a positive future for endangered species. During this 30-minute guided tour of the CREW building, students will have the opportunity to see scientists in the labs and gain a better understanding of the science taking place every day, right here at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

Audience: all school children (traditional or homeschool) from 6th through 12th grade and college-aged students.
Program Length: 30 minutes
Program Capacity: 8-15 people
Program Cost: FREE

Dates: Mondays-Fridays; year-round
Times: 10:30-11:00am, 11:15-11:45am, 12:00-12:30pm

Location: Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife Building.
Note: Programs must be booked at least 2 weeks in advance. Programs at limited to 15 people, including adults. Masks are required for all participants.


School Resources

Everything and more that a teacher could need for a field trip or class at school.


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Teacher’s Field Trip Guide

Your handy printable resource filled with frequently asked questions, chaperone guide, maps, templates, and more. Download Now >

Self- Guided Field Trip Activities

Do more with your field trip with these grade-specific activities, aligned to state science standards. Learn More >

School Resources for the Classroom

Bring a piece of the Zoo to your classroom with these activities, games, and videos created just for the classroom. Learn More >

FAQs & Policies

Safety During Covid-19*(updated 3/9/22)

Are masks required? Masks are required during some programs. If you have a Close Encounter program or CREW Tour scheduled, please bring a mask.

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 – October 31: 9am – 5pm
  • November 1 – November 20: 10am-5pm
  • November 21 – January 4 (Festival of Lights): 10am-9pm
    • During Festival of Lights, any school wishing to come after 2pm must book through Group Sales.

When can we schedule a field trip to the Zoo?

Registration for school field trips is open year round. You can register online anytime or call 513-559-7730 Monday-Friday 10:00am-5:00pm. 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?

Close Encounters Programs No stuffy lectures here, these FREE programs introduce students to live animals while sharpening students’ sensory and observation skills  Learn More >

CREW Building Tours The CREW Building Tour introduces students to the conservation research science that goes on at the Zoo everyday.  Learn More >

Self- Guided Field Trip Activities Do more with your field trip with these grade-specific activities, aligned to state science standards. Learn More >

Animal Encounters & Experiences Get up close and personal with some of our animals around the park or learn in depth information at exhibits from our zookeepers! Schedules change seasonally. Learn More >

All Day Train & Carousel Rides Students $4; Adults $4. Must be purchased at registration/check-in. Learn More >

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.

Payment

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 for processing.

Rescheduling & Cancelling

There is no fee to reschedule or cancel your trip. Please call 513-559-7730 or email [email protected] to let us know as soon as possible.

Rescheduling

We can move most schools from one dates to another. Please note that due to high school numbers in May, dates may be limited. Rescheduling Close Encounter and CREW Tours may be difficult due to limited availability.

Cancelling 

Send us an email with the name of your school, teacher name, and confirmation number and we can cancel your field trip.

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 lunch and either carry it themselves or have a chaperone carry it for the group in a bag. The Zoo is not responsible for coolers/lunches left unattended at dining areas.
  • We have a convenient lunch program for children and adults that may include reserved seating for your group. This great option will save you the exhausting and time-consuming hassles of packing, hauling, and sorting out lunches. Learn More >

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.
  • Groups may eat at any of the outdoor dining areas.
  • Picnic shelters are currently unavailable through June due to construction.

Parking

  • Click here for parking map

    Bus parking (mini, mid-size, full-size, charter): will park in the auxiliary lot located at 3301 Euclid Avenue.

  • Bus drop-off: will drop-off in the main Vine Street parking lot at 3400 Vine Street.
  • Vans, Cars: will park in the main Vine Street parking lot at 3400 Vine Street.
    • Chaperones parking in main Vine lot should cross over the bridge at meet their group at the turnstiles.

Due to heavy construction around and within the Zoo, parking for buses and cars will be limited in the spring. On busy days, cars may be directed to overflow lots. Please follow road signs and staff directions.

Click here for parking map

Due to ongoing construction, parking is subject to change. We will notify all schools via email the week before their visit on parking.

Please share this address with your bus driver and chaperones as parking locations have changed from past years.

  • Bus parking (mini, mid-size, full-size, charter): will park in the our new auxiliary lot at 3301 Euclid Avenue.
  • Bus drop-off: drop-off will be along the west side of Euclid Ave. Enter from 35 Erkenbrecher Ave.
  • Vans, Cars: will park in the main Vine Street parking lot at 3400 Vine Street.
    • Chaperones parking in main Vine lot should cross over the bridge at meet their group at the turnstiles.

Due to heavy construction around and within the Zoo, parking for buses and cars will be limited in the spring.  We highly encourage all chaperones to ride with the bus, or if driving cars to carpool, and for school buses to drop off students and come back for afternoon pick-up rather than park. Please ensure to share parking information with drivers once received.

Field Trip Terms & Conditions

  • 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. Students 18 years+ may not act as chaperones for groups.
  • 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.

Education Terms and Conditions

See our updated and consolidated Terms and Conditions for additional details for all programs.

Call or email: 513-559-7730 or [email protected]

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