Group of students look at hedgehog.
School & Group Programs

Field Trips

Self-guided and Guided Field Trip Reservations Are Now Available!

To learn more about our virtual education options, please visit Virtual Education Programs.


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.   


Quantities and Ratios

Group of elephants
  • 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 and all requirements listed on the fee/rate calendar 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.


An educator and student look to the right.

San Diego County Students

  • Grades K-12
  • Free on traditional school days
  • Price is for traditional school days
  • Bus tour, meal vouchers, and other add-ons available!
  • In-county fee/rate calendar

San Diego County students are admitted 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. The in-county fee/rate calendar is for in-county schools and accredited home school groups only. Please click here to request your field trip.

A group of children look at the camera with craft binoculars.

Non-San Diego County Southern California Students

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. The out-of-county fee/rate calendar is for schools and accredited home school groups located in these counties. Please click here to request your field trip.

Girl scout looks at an owl held by a care specialist.

San Diego County Youth Groups

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. The fee/rate calendar linked above is for San Diego County youth groups only. Please click here to request your field trip.

Youth group with Dr. Zoolitle.

School and Youth Groups from All Other Areas

School and youth groups from all other areas need to arrange their self-guided visit by emailing The fee/rate calendar is for out-of-county youth groups.

Group of children on a bus tour.

Add-on Activities

  • $5 per person for bus tour
  • $3 per student for 4D Theater
  • $16.50 per person for meal voucher
  • 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. 
  • Meal vouchers are $16.50 each, and can be redeemed at select food stands throughout the Zoo for an adult meal with soft drink.
educator with zebra talking to children

Zoo Education Experience

  • Ages 5 to adult; recommended for students (kindergarten through college) and adult learning groups
  • $15 per person for Zoo Education Experience tour; $16.50 per meal voucher. Minimum 20 people (including group leaders and chaperones
  • Not available during summer. Reservations for 2022–2023 school year open in mid-August.
  • 90 minutes

Join a Zoo educator for a 90-minute educational experience that includes your very own private bus tour of the Zoo and a special surprise experience! Will you check out an exclusive off-view area? Meet an animal up close? Something else? It's always a fun surprise on this tour, which is adaptable for students in kindergarten through college. Topics may include healthy habitats and food webs, conservation, and best practices in wildlife care. If there are any specific areas of focus you would like our educators to incorporate, please let us know. We will do our best to accommodate all requests!

Please Note: This program is not available during summer. We will begin accepting reservations for the 2022–2023 school year in mid-August.

Book your Zoo Education Experience through Zoo Education, at

School Groups Only

Group of giraffes.

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.


Let us answer your questions and help create your day at the Zoo!

Protective cloth face masks featuring chubby unicorn designs, gorilla, and lion.


In Child and Adult sizes!
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Hotel with pool
Creature Comforts


Groom and bride embracing as a giraffe looks on in the distance.
Wild Weddings

Picture Your Special Day at the Park!



Go Wild. Enjoy the most nonstops from the West Coast.

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