Field trip FAQ

Want to know more about fields trips to the Oregon Zoo? Here are some of our frequently asked questions.


I'm scheduling a field trip that falls between March 1 and June 30. Why do I need to choose two dates?

In order to ensure the best experience for all visitors, the Oregon Zoo is implementing a limit on the number of school goups during peak season. If you are planning to take your field trip from March to June, you will need to indicate your first and second choice for a date during registration. A confirmation email with your approved date will be sent once your order has been processed.

May I purchase additional tickets at the school group rate on the day of my visit?

Yes, you can purchase additional tickets at any ticket kiosk.

If I have unused tickets at the end of the day, can I get a refund?

Yes, just take your extra tickets to any ticket kiosk for a refund.


Does the zoo offer school lunches?

Yes, the zoo offers school lunches. You can choose from three options: hot dog, corn dog or cheese sandwich. Each meal includes potato chips and a soda and costs $4.25 each. Lunches should be ordered in advance on the school group advance ticket form or online.

Where do I pick up my pre-ordered lunches?

Lunches should be picked up in the AfriCafe at your pre-scheduled time.

Can my students purchase a lunch on-site?

Yes, you can purchase items ala carte at any of the zoo's concession stands. Please allow extra time for purchasing food ala carte. 

Is there a place to store our lunches?

Yes, there are shelves in Tiger Plaza (near the train) that are available on a first-come, first-served basis. They are not lockable. If you choose to pack your own lunches, please be aware that the zoo has limited availability for lunch storage. The zoo cannot guarantee a storage locker will be available so be prepared with alternative arrangements for managing lunches.

Can you help us transport our lunches?

No, but you may rent a stroller at the gift shop.

Where can we eat our lunches? Are there covered areas?

You can eat lunch on the concert lawn and at the BearWalk Cafe, but please note that these areas may or may not be covered or equipped with picnic tables or benches. The Kalahari Room, located below the AfriCafé, also is available from March 1 – June 15. Space will be limited so be prepared for an outdoor dining experience. Please help us keep our exhibit areas open for viewing by not having your group eat at or in close proximity to animal exhibits.


Are teachers considered chaperones?

Yes, teachers are chaperones and need tickets.

Do chaperones have to stay with the students on the zoo grounds?

Yes, your students must be chaperoned at all times (including in Lorikeet Landing and the gift shop) to receive the education discount. Unchaperoned groups of 20 or more can purchase tickets at the 20% discount rate.

I have students that are over 18 years old. Can they be chaperones?

No, high school students cannot be chaperones for other students.

Do chaperones need to wear the pink name tags included in my packet?

Yes, all chaperones are required to wear the pink name tags. This helps us identify who is in charge of a group of students. 

Lost students

What should we do if we lose a child?

Contact a zoo employee. Instruct your students to look for a uniformed zoo employee if they get separated from their group.


Why can't buses park at the zoo?

Unfortunately, there is not adequate space for every bus. In fairness to all schools and our neighboring facilities, the Children's Museum and World Forestry Center, we can't allow buses to park on-site. 


Do chaperones parking personal cars need to pay for parking?

Yes, beginning in October 2013 everyone who parks in the zoo lot will be required to pay for parking. From October through April the cost will be $1.60 per hour or a maximum of $4.00 a day. From May through September the cost will be $1.60 per hour with a maximum of $6.40 per day. For more information please see

Gift shop

May my students visit the gift shop?

Yes, but they must be accompanied by a chaperone (one adult for eight students). Large bags and backpacks are not allowed in the gift shop.