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School & Youth Programs

School Group Rules

We look forward to your visit and hope you have a wonderful experience exploring our Zoo. Over 250,000 school children visit us each year. We ask school groups to follow our rules and respect our animals and property.

Chaperones

To help prevent any problems, and for the safety of your students, you are required to bring enough adults to assist your group. We recommend a 1:4 ratio: 1 adult for every 4 students in the group. You are required to have at least one adult for every 10 students. Classes including students with disabilities may bring one adult per student needing assistance. Unsupervised students will be escorted to the guest ambassadors' office. 

If You Ride the Guided Bus Tour

  • $5 per person (prices subject to change). Students must be accompanied by chaperones at all times. Not valid for the Kangaroo Bus.
  • Bus seating is limited. Groups larger than 12 may not be able to ride together.
  • Groups must arrive together at check-in, with tickets in hand.

If You Ride the Skyfari

The Skyfari aerial tram is included with admission tickets. No spitting, rocking, standing, or throwing objects—it's against the law. Please note: children ages 7 and younger can ride Skyfari when accompanied by a chaperone.

Name Tags

Name tags should be used for students in grades Pre-K through 2. Use sticky labels or yarn; no pins, please.

Lunches

The best option is to have students carry their lunches in their backpacks or purchase food vouchers at the time you make a reservation. During the construction of the new Children’s Zoo, the free lunch lockers are no longer available. Please do not store boxes of lunches on the tables provided for you on Centennial Plaza by Wegeforth Bowl. There are some lockers available for a fee on Front Street, next to the Cantina.

Past Problems

Unfortunately, a small number of students have been caught vandalizing Zoo property, swearing at other guests, and harassing the animals. During a recent school year:

  • In one day, over $5,000 in damage was caused at our polar bear and hippo exhibits by unsupervised students scratching graffiti into the glass panels.
  • Students riding the Skyfari tram were observed spitting at guests and throwing objects at other guests and animals.
  • Students from several middle and high schools were found unescorted on Zoo grounds and their groups were escorted from the Zoo as a result.

Students who are found unescorted will be brought to the guest ambassadors' office near the Zoo's entrance, and their group will be asked to leave. Students vandalizing or shoplifting will be prosecuted. Schools will be asked to pay for any damage caused by their students. Serious violations will suspend that school's privilege of visiting the Zoo for one year.

Questions?

619-557-3963
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