Field trip FAQ

Here are some of our frequently asked questions about field trips to the zoo. Please note that policies have changed. Please read carefully.


Some of my students have a family membership to the zoo. Can they use their membership as part of our school group?

No, membership benefits cannot be used for school group admission.

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

No, the school group rate is not available on the day of your field trip. Admissions purchased on the day of your field trip will be available for $18 per person, regardless of age.

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

No, unused tickets (wristbands) are non-refundable.

How long can I hold my reservation without paying?

Reservations must be  paid in full at least two weeks in advance of your reservation. 


Does the zoo offer school lunches?

No, not at this time. We are working on re-introducing this program in the future. 

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 available on a first-come, first-served basis in Elephant Plaza and behind Coffee Crossing. 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 may eat lunch at the new Polar Plaza, on the concert lawn, or at Elephant Plaza if there are no events taking place, but please note that these areas may or may not be covered or equipped with picnic tables or benches. Be prepared for an outdoor dining experience. Please help us keep our viewing areas open by not allowing your group eat at or in close proximity to animal habitats or on in the main walkways.


Are teachers considered chaperones?

Yes, teachers are chaperones and need tickets.

Can our bus driver be a chaperone?

No, bus drivers cannot be chaperones.

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

Yes, your students must be chaperoned at all times (including in the gift shop.).

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

No, high school students cannot be chaperones for other 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?

In fairness to all schools and our neighboring facilities, we can't allow buses to park on-site.


Do chaperones parking personal cars need to pay for parking?

Yes,  everyone who parks in the zoo lot will be required to pay for parking. For more information and current pricing, 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.