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Ready for your field trip to the Cincinnati Zoo?

Rest easy! The Zoo has you covered, and we’re here to make sure you have everything you need to make your field trip a successful one! Below, please find helpful tips, suggestions, and guidelines for your day at the Zoo.

Need to register for a field trip? Visit the Field Trip Page.

Sign up for our monthly Teacher Newsletter.

Join our Teacher Facebook group, for up-to-date information on wildlife education.

red pandas wrestling
Expand for Important Information

  • Bus Parking: All buses that are parking at the Zoo must purchase bus parking. Different parking lots are available during different parts of the year, please ensure you go to the right one
  • Supervision: All students (including those 18 years old) must be accompanied by a chaperone at all times while at the Zoo.
  • Rescheduling & Cancelling: There is no fee to reschedule or cancel your trip. Please email [email protected] to let us know as soon by 8:00 am the day of your field trip. Schools that register for a Close Encounter are committed to a $25 per program fee, unless cancelled 48hrs before arrival to the Zoo. If you have placed a school lunch order, you must contact [email protected] 48 hours prior to your scheduled date to receive a full refund.
  • Festival of Lights: Field Trip rates are only available for schools visiting before 2pm during Festival of Lights (November 17, 2023-January 7, 2024). Schools wishing to visit for the lights, will book tickets through Group Tickets.
  • Rides: Train and Carousel are unavailable during Festival of Lights before 2:30pm (November 17, 2023-January 7, 2024) and are closed during Penguin Days (January 8-March 12, 2024)

Field Trip Overview

Pre-Registered Programs

Get more from your field trip with interactive and engaging educational programs designed specifically for school groups.

Close Encounters, Sustainability Tours and CREW Tours are offered for preschool-college ages, and are aligned to state education standards. All programs must be pre-registered. Programs must be booked two weeks in advance. Questions? Contact us at [email protected].

Close EncountersSustainability ToursCREW Tours

Look for this sign at your meeting point.

No stuffy lectures here, these programs introduce students to live animals while sharpening students’ sensory and observation skills as well as supporting Tri-State academic standards.

NOTE: During Festival of Lights (Nov 17-Jan 8) SMALL Close Encounters will be in the Frisch’s Theater located in the Education Building.

Already Booked a Close Encounter?

  • Please arrive at your program location 5-10 minutes before program start time.
  • Program Locations (please see confirmation for program size/location)
    • Small/Classroom Program (8-20 students) – Wolf Woods
      • NOTE: During Festival of Lights, Small Close Encounters will be in the Frisch’s Theater located in the Education Building.
    • Large/Assembly Program (20-35 students) – The Clubhouse at the Train Station
    • Check out locations 9 & 10 on our Field Trip Map.

Due to space limitations, Close Encounters are limited to 1 adult to 7 students, with up to 3 adults for small encounters and 5 adults for large encounters. Additional chaperones are encouraged to enjoy the Zoo during the encounter and reunite with the group upon its completion.

The Zoo is doing its part to conserve natural resources that are critical to saving wildlife and its habitats. The Zoo is committed to greening its daily operations and reducing its impact on the environment through the use of rain gardens, recycled building materials, solar panels and more. The Sustainability Tour introduces students to the sustainability and green practices that go on at the Zoo everyday.

Already Booked a Sustainability Tour?

  • During the Sustainability Tours, experienced Zoo educators will lead the group through the Zoo and showcase various green practices of the Zoo and introduce or reinforce science concepts aligned with Tri-State academic standards.
  • Please arrive at your program location approximately 5-10minutes before program start time.
  • Program Locations
    • The Food Garden between Discovery Forest and Elephant House, tour throughout Zoo
    • Check out location 8 on our Field Trip Map.

Due to group size limitations, Sustainability Tours are limited to 20 students and up 10 adults with at least 1:7 ratio. Additional chaperones are encouraged to enjoy the Zoo during the encounter and reunite with the group upon its completion.

Look for this sign at your meeting point.
Look for this sign at your meeting point.

The Lindner Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife’s (CREW) world-renowned scientists form critical partnerships with other leading conservationists and governmental and non-governmental organizations to achieve CREW’s mission to Save Species with Science®. The CREW Building Tour introduces students to the conservation research science that goes on at the Zoo everyday.

Already booked a CREW Building Tour?

  • During the CREW Building Tour, students will get to tour the CREW facility led by one of our experienced CREW volunteers. Students will get to see work areas where active conservation research occurs.
  • Please arrive at your program location approximately 5-10minutes before program start time.
  • Due to limited indoor space, groups are limited to 15 people.
  • Program Meet-Up
    • Please meet your Tour leader at the CREW building.
    • Check out location 7 on our Field Trip Map.

Program Details

Program Commitment: By signing up for this program you are committing to attending it. Should something interfere with your ability to keep this commitment, please notify us as soon as possible by calling 513-559-7730. Zoo staff will be waiting for you. Out of respect for the time and effort our staff put into this program, please arrive on time.

If any students in your group require special accommodations, please notify our registration team and touch base with your instructor the day of your program. Access for All Program

Cancellation: Programs must be cancelled in advance to avoid being charged. Programs with a fee (ie Close Encounter) will still incur a cost if not cancelled at least 48 hours before the field trip or if school does not show or call.