The San Diego Zoo started with a roar in 1916, when Dr. Harry Wegeforth was inspired to create a Zoo for the children of San Diego. This initial inspiration is at the heart of our more than century-long commitment to education, and especially to children.
We thank you for your interest in bringing your students to the Zoo. We are fortunate we are able to offer schools free or discounted admission to the Zoo, as long as they meet our requirements.
- San Diego County students are free of charge during most traditional school days. Dates of traditional school days, holidays, and summer vacations are based on several school districts within San Diego County. Click here to view the in-county fee/rate calendar for in-county schools and accredited home school groups.
- Schools located in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Imperial, and Riverside counties pay a discounted rate of $15 for each student on traditional school days. Click here to view the fee/rate calendar for schools and accredited home school groups located in these counties.
- Youth groups in San Diego County (such as scout troops, Boys & Girls Club, etc.) pay a discounted rate of $26 for each guest ages 17 and younger and $31 for each guest ages 18 and older, including chaperones. Click here to view the fee/rate calendar for San Diego County youth groups.
- School and youth groups from all other areas need to arrange their self-guided visit by emailing YouthGroups@sdzwa.org. Click here to view the fee/rate calendar for out-of-county youth groups.
- The bus tour is $5 per person for students and adults when booked with a self-guided field trip. Groups larger than 12 may need to split into different buses.
- Simex 4D Theater admission is $3 per person for students when booked with a self-guided field trip.
- Skyfari is included with school group admission; children 7 and younger must be accompanied by a chaperone.
Quantities and Ratios
- The minimum size of a school/youth group is 15 people. Each school/group can bring a maximum of 200 people per day. Each individual over the 200-person limit is charged full price.
- Groups from accredited home schools are welcome! You must meet the minimum group size of 15 to qualify for the discounted education rate.
- Your group must have a minimum of 1 adult for every 10 students. Adult chaperones are required to stay with their students at all times.
School Groups Only
The maximum ratio of free adults is 1 adult per 4 students. If you have any special needs students, we allow one adult for every special needs student in the group.
Adults within the maximum ratio are the same price as the students. Adults above the maximum ratio, up to and not exceeding the total number of students, are $15 each. If the number of adults exceeds the number of students, each adult over and above the number of students will be charged the full admission price. Teachers are counted in the total number of adults.
School and youth groups from San Diego County and school groups from Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Imperial, and Riverside counties, please click here to request your field trip.
School groups from all other counties and youth groups from outside San Diego County, please email YouthGroups@sdzwa.org to arrange your field trip.
Guided Field Trips coming soon!