Field Trips
Let the Zoo be your Classroom!

Field Trips at The Zoo

Field Trips at the Zoo

Field Trip Registration is Available Now!

Field trip rates are available to public, private, and home school groups visiting the Zoo during the school year – Starting in the fall on the third Monday in August and available through the spring until the first Friday in June.

To qualify for the field trip rate, groups must be part of a school that is currently in session. Groups must have at least 15 people, including teachers and adult chaperones. One adult at least 19 years of age is required to always accompany every 10 students (through Grade 12). The field trip rate does not apply to weekend visits, day cares or summer camps, dates outside of our field trip season, or special zoo events such as Zoo Boo and Christmas at the Zoo.

Field Trip capacity is limited. Thursday and Friday dates are the most requested days and may sell out. For smaller crowd sizes, please consider visiting earlier in the week or in the fall or winter. A separate reservation is required for each visit.  A reservation is required at least two weeks in advance. All field trip groups will be invoiced after their visit.

For field trip questions, please email us at for the fastest response.

Check out our School Program Guide for more information on our field trips!

Sign Up for A Field Trip!

Make sure to reserve a lunch time if you plan on bringing and eating lunches at the Zoo. This is free of charge.

Field Trip Costs

Student Admission


Adult Chaperone Admission (Including parents and volunteers and home school parents)


School Employees (including teachers, aids, and bus drivers)

Free *on day of field trip

Bus parking on visit date

Free *on day of field trip

All other vehicles

Important Field Trip Information
  • Best Times to Visit

    Thursday and Friday dates are the most requested days and frequently sell out. For smaller crowd sizes please consider visiting earlier in the week. Or consider a visit in the fall or winter – fall is a great time to visit the zoo!

  • What to Do at The Zoo

    Explore the Zoo with your school group to learn more about plants and animals from around the world. Exhibits at the Indianapolis Zoo highlight various habitats, including Plains, Deserts, Forests, Oceans and the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center.

    Enjoy a dolphin presentation, which runs daily at 10:30am and 2:30pm (On busier days additional times may be available. Check with the guest services staff when you check in for that day’s availability.) Presentations are limited and tickets are issued first-come, first-served at the admissions windows. Tickets cannot be reserved in advance. The doors open 30 minutes prior to the presentation and will close five minutes before the presentation starts.

    In the Oceans exhibit, your students will have the opportunity to touch smooth dog sharks and rays. Please share these shark petting rules with your students and chaperones prior to your field trip:

    • Touch the sharks and rays on the side only, using two fingers.
    • Do not grab the shark’s fins.

  • Chaperone Requirements

    The Indianapolis Zoo requires one adult at least 19 years of age to accompany every 10 students. Adult chaperones, including school staff, are expected to accompany students (through Grade 12) at all times. An adult must accompany students in the restrooms and the gift shops. Security staff will escort undisciplined or un-chaperoned groups from the Zoo. Include your chaperones in planning and conducting the field trip.

  • Zoo Memberships

    Parent chaperones that are Zoo members may use their membership card for entrance for themselves and their child. They will enter on their own and meet you inside the gates. The adult whose name is on the card must be present with proper ID to use the card. Children cannot use memberships without their parents.

  • What to Wear

    Show us your school pride! To help keep track of your class, students and adult chaperones are encouraged to wear nametags, or hats or T-shirts with your school name or logo on them. Nametags featuring pins or strings are not allowed on Zoo grounds as they can be hazardous to our animals.


  • Dolphin Presentation

    Dolphin presentation seating is now on a first-come, first-serve basis.  The doors open 30 minutes before each presentation begins.

  • Lunches

    Groups are welcome to bring their lunch or purchase box lunches.  If you are bringing your lunch, reserve your lunch time as part of your reservation to secure a location (inside the Zoo) to enjoy it.  Note that the picnic tables that had been located outside the Zoo will not be available this spring due to construction.  Groups may bring water bottles into the Zoo. If you wish to purchase box lunches from Centerplate Catering, please fill out the order form.

Expand Student Learning by Adding A Guided Program to Your Field Trip

Animal Encounters

Cost: $100 for a class of up to 30 students

Get up close with one of the Zoo’s Ambassador Animals on your next field trip. Add this 20-minutes experience to learn more about a specific animal, their care at the Zoo and how the Zoo works to protect their wild counterparts. Request your reservation.


Virtual Classroom Adventures

Not able to visit the Zoo in person? Virtual Classroom Connect Sessions bring the Zoo live into your classroom instead! Students can chat with a Zoo educator using a virtual platform. Each session lasts 30 minutes. You can choose from a topic-based session or a Question & Answer session. Click here to learn more and request your reservation.

Science Investigations

Cost: $100 for a class of up to 30 students.

Enhance your students’ trip to the Indianapolis Zoo with one of our science learning opportunities! Offered throughout the school year, students will enjoy a variety of guided activities as they discover and investigate the science behind our natural world. All Science Investigator programs align to Indiana State Science Standards.

Programs begin on the hour and last for 45 minutes, include instruction, activities and a guided trip to a Zoo exhibit. Please note that Zoo admission must be purchased separately. Request your reservation.


If you plan to visit the Zoo before and\or after an Animal Encounter or Science Investigation, be sure you register for a Field Trip.


Science Investigator Program Topics

Pre-K - 2nd grade

What does it mean to be alive? What IS an animal, anyway? Students will learn about the life cycles of animals and plants and explore their basic needs.

3rd-5th grade

Where do animals live? Students will explore some wild animal habitats and how the Zoo creates animal exhibits to meet the needs of different animals.

Pre-K - 2nd grade

What does it take to survive in the wild? Students will explore animals adaptions and learn a little about themselves, too!

3rd-5th grade

Math and animals: how does that add up? Students will discover many of the ways numbers are used at the Zoo and solve some wild math problems!

3rd-5th grade

How are living things connected around the world? Students will learn about ecosystems and the interdependence of life on Earth while having fun keeping things in balance!

6th-8th grade

How is the climate changing, and why does it matter? Students will use game-based activities to observe how greenhouse gases affect our planet’s climate and what that means for life on Earth.

9th-12th grade

Want to have some fun with your brain? students will engage their memory skills and problem-solving abilities while learn more about the cognitive skills of orangutans.

9th-12th grade

There’s more to biodiversity than meets the eye! Students will explore preserved biological materials and participate in an activity to learn about three levels of biodiversity: species-level biodiversity, genetic biodiversity and ecosystem-level biodiversity and how these help us understand the world around us.

6th-8th grade

How can we help protect animals and plants in the wild for the future? Students will develop a connection to living thins by exploring why they become endangered and what we can do to help.