Admission is FREE to the Zoo for all students in San Diego County during the traditional school year. Non-San Diego County schools and qualified youth groups receive a reduced admission fee of $10 per student. All schools and qualified youth groups pay $10 per person on weekends, holidays, and during winter, spring and summer school breaks. During October, in-county and out-of-county school groups, grades pre-K–12, are admitted free, but must make a reservation.
Click here to review our calendar for free and fee dates:
Home schools and parent participation classes receive a reduced admission fee of $10 per person, but must meet the minimum group size of 15. Group reservations are required for these rates. Groups without reservations pay regular admission rates. Guided tours and classes are offered for all groups with advance reservations. All of our field trip tours and programs are aligned to Next Generation Science and Common Core Standards. We support your classroom studies in all curriculum areas: science, language arts, fine arts, social studies, and math.
First, a Few Rules
Most school groups respect our animals and property. Please familiarize yourself and your group with our rules before coming to the Zoo to make your visit run smoothly.
Take a Guided Tour with Your School Group
Teachers can choose a guided tour for their school group as part of a field trip to the Zoo. Guided tours are offered year-round and include a bus tour, behind-the-scenes visits, and up-close animal encounters. A special free tour is available for second grade classes in San Diego County. Guided Tour Descriptions...
Take a Guided Tour with Your Youth Group
Youth group leaders can choose a guided tour for their qualified youth group (such as scouts, YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, etc.) as part of a field trip to the Zoo. Guided tours are offered year-round and include a bus tour, behind-the-scenes visits, and up-close animal encounters. Guided Tour Descriptions...
Do It Yourself: Self-guided Visit
Bringing a class of students or a youth group to the Park or Zoo has never been easier! You're the tour guide when you come to the Zoo on a self-guided visit (without a Zoo educator). FREE grade-specific educational materials supporting the Next Generation Science Standards can be downloaded on the Curriculum link prior to your visit, so that you and your chaperones can easily direct your students through the Zoo.
- Advance reservations: required for self-guided visits. To visit the Zoo, call 619-557-3963 for availability, or download the Zoo Self-Guided Visit Registration Form. Reservations made less than two weeks in advance will be charged a $25 late fee.
- Fee: Admission is FREE for students and chaperones within a radius for San Diego County schools during the traditional school year. Schools located outside of San Diego County or qualified youth groups pay a discounted rate of $10 for students and chaperones* on traditional school days. All schools and qualified youth groups pay $10 per person on weekends, holidays, and during the summer. School groups without reservations pay regular admission rates. Reservations must be made at least 2 weeks (10 business days) prior to your visit date. *Discounted rate applies to adult chaperones within the assigned ratio. Adults exceeding ratio incur higher fees.
- Self-Guided Activities: Download these fun activities to do with your students while visiting the Zoo, or any zoo or wildlife area! Activities are arranged by grade level.