If you don’t want to be the tour guide, a Zoo Educator can guide your students through the Zoo while enthralling them with inside information. All tours include a bus tour, behind-the-scenes visits, and up-close animal encounters. Our programs align with new Next Generation Science and Common Core State Standards.
We have a variety of grade appropriate tours that you can reserve to enhance your visit. Choose the one that best fits your educational objectives.
Inside Story Tour (Grades K–12): A Zoo educator leads you and your students through the Zoo with inside information about endangered species, caring for wildlife, and becoming partners in conservation. The two-hour program includes a bus tour, behind-the-scenes visits, and animal encounters.
- Program length: 2 hours
- Audience size (students and chaperones): Minimum of 20 per group, maximum of 40 per group
- Fee: $10 per person. Add discounted group admission rates if you are a qualified youth group (such as scouts, YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, etc.) or a school not in San Diego County.
Wildlife Conservancy Tour - (Grades 4–12): The San Diego Zoo has been saving species for almost 100 years! Get an in-depth look at how we help conserve endangered species and habitats around the world and in beautiful San Diego! Students will learn about native species and discover how they can be heroes for wildlife in their communities. This program includes two animal encounters, a bus tour, and an interactive, hands-on activity.
- Program length: 3 hours
- Audience size (students and chaperones): Minimum of 20 per group, maximum of 70 per group
- Fee: $15 per person. Add discounted group admission rates if you are a qualified youth group (such as scouts, YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, etc.) or a school not in San Diego County.
At-the-Zoo Small Group Program
Small group experiences are available in the Zoo's Dickinson Family Center for Lifelong Learning.
- Length: 45–55 minutes
- Maximum: 40 participants (students and chaperones)
- Fee: $200 per group. Add discounted group admission rates if you are a qualified youth group (such as scouts, YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, etc.) or a school not in San Diego County.
Be a Bug's Buddy! (Grades Preschool–K)—From beautiful butterflies to busy bees, the world of pollinators is amazing—and you'll never guess who the largest pollinator is! This program features up-close animal presentations and interactive instruction by a Zoo educator.
You can receive these discounts with advanced reservations only:
- Bus Tour tickets: $5 per person
- Skyfari tickets: $3 each way
- 4-D Theater Experience: $3 each show
Grade 2 Free Tour
Free guided visit—Second grade classes in San Diego County are invited to participate in a FREE guided visit at the San Diego Zoo. Dr. Harry Wegeforth, the founder of the San Diego Zoo, dedicated the Zoo to the children of San Diego. In honor of this dedication, the free second grade program has been a long-standing tradition at the Zoo. The program includes a bus tour and an animal presentation. This special program is very popular among teachers who are "in the know," so reservations are required and must be made early in the school year!
- Length: 1.5 hours
- Maximum: 70 participants
- Fee: FREE for schools in San Diego County only.