Need financial assistance?

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

In-Person Field Trip

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.

Masks are optional for vaccinated guests. Masks are required for all guests, regardless of vaccination status, during human-animal interactions (Close Encounter programs, giraffe feeding and goat yard) and highly encouraged while in animal buildings.  Let’s stay safe and healthy. Masks On! Please note that mask policies may change at any time and may vary by program/location.

NOTE: Due to driver and bus shortages, please give extra advance notice to your bus.

Picnic shelters are unavailable due to construction.

Request for 2021-22 Trips


Who: daycares, preschools, private & public/charter schools, universities, alternative education schools, homeschool families and co-ops
Dates: Sunday-Saturday, year-round
Time: 10:00am-5:00pm; Early Entry 9:00am during spring/summer. See FAQs for dates/times.
Cost: Students $7; Adults $7.
Note: We require 1 adult for every 7 students. Required adults are free. Students in grades PreK-12 must be supervised by their chaperone at all times. Student aides and bus drivers are always free.

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
School lunches are available to purchase for groups of 10 or more, Monday-Friday, year-round. 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 >

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 >

Virtual Field Trips

Experience the Zoo in a whole new way! Virtual Field Trips allow you to choose your adventure from a selection of grade-specific topics.

Each program package comes with themed videos of our Zoo animal residents in their habitats and a corresponding standards-based worksheet for your students to complete.

Interested in a live, virtual program? Check out our Zoo on the Move and Wild Chats!

Register for Virtual Field Trips


Dates: 1 week access, Saturday-Friday. You pick date
Time: self-guided, self-paced.
Cost: $25 per topic
Note: All programs are prerecorded. Teachers will be sent password protected link to a Dropbox folder with videos and worksheet. Videos are not downloadable. Teachers may either watch with students in person, share a screen with remote students, or share link with students for self-paced activity.

Color the Rainbow Find out how animals use color to survive.

Ani-Moves Observe how animals are adapted to use movement
Color the Rainbow Find out how animals use color to survive.

Handy Primates Use observation and inquiry to learn about primate handedness.

Animal Stereotypes Identify stereotypes associate with specific types of animals and the impact those stereotypes may have.
Investigating Enrichment Explore enrichment and understand its importance in animal care excellence.

In-Person Field Trip FAQs

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

Are masks required? Masks are optional for vaccinated guests. Masks are required for all guests during human-animal interactions (Close Encounters, giraffe feeding, and goat yard) and highly encouraged while in animal buildings. Let’s stay safe and healthy. Masks On! Please note that mask policies may change at any time and may vary by program.

Can we stay in our large group? We encourage 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 – 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 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 513-559-7730 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?

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. Students in grades PreK-12 must be supervised by their chaperone at all times.

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 for processing.

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

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.

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 to unregistered groups.

Where should we park?

Due to heavy construction around and within the Zoo, parking for buses and cars will be limited in the spring. All registered schools will receive more information in regards to parking closer to their field trip date. We highly encourage all chaperones 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. At this time, all vehicles will park in the main Vine Street parking lot at 3427 Vine Street. During high volume days, please following parking signage to available lots.

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.

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.

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