Learn someting new at the phoenix zoo
The Phoenix Zoo is the ultimate destination for an enriching and memorable field trip! Whether you want to explore the Phoenix Zoo on your own during a self-guided field trip or want to enhance your trip with a guide-led excursion, the Phoenix Zoo is your learning destination! Field trips to the Phoenix Zoo are available year-round, with the exception of December 25th when the Zoo is closed.
- We offer an educational rate for all youth groups of $15.00 per youth (3-17 years of age) and $20 per adult for admission to the Zoo for a minimum of 15 people. To qualify for this rate, all children must be accompanied by at least one adult (18 years and older) per 10 children. Rate applicable to youth groups, such as Scout troops, Boys & Girls Club, YMCA, and extracurricular programs.
- Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance.
- Everyone that enters the Zoo needs to be accounted for in your headcount. We will be asking for total number of youth and total number of adults/chaperones. There must be at least one adult for every 10 students, with no more than one adult for every four student.
- Any additional group members must be paid for at one time and enter with the prepaid group. Anyone not paying with and entering at the same time as the group will be charged the regular admission rate of $39.95 for adults and $29.95 for children ages 3-13. (It is up to the school to collect money and pay for any adults or chaperones to be included at the school group rate. Parents cannot pay separately)
- We require that payment or purchase orders be received two days in advance of your visit for each person in your group. We accept payment in the form of school or organizational checks, credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover) and cash. Please note that we no longer accept purchase orders on the day of entry.
- Group trips are not booked until you receive a confirmation email from Phoenix Zoo Reservations.
Thursdays and Fridays in February, March and April are the busiest times of the year for field trips. We limit group reservations each day to maximize your field trip experience therefore some dates may be unavailable. We recommend visiting earlier in the week or during other months throughout the year when the Zoo is less crowded.
add-on guided tours
Groups visiting the Zoo may add on a guided tour to enhance their experience. Guided tours are led by a Zoo instructor and are designed to support academic standards, are grade-level appropriate and include a variety of inquiry-based techniques. Guided tours last 45 minutes and cost an additional $2 per person. Guided tours are available to groups of at least 15 and are capped at 25 participants a tour. Groups larger than 25 may be split into multiple tours.
Choose from one of the topics below, each covering a wide span of animal and conservation sciences:
What is an Animal (K-2 grades)
What makes an animal an animal? Through the What is an Animal tour, students discover several characteristics of what makes something an animal, what makes something a plant, and what makes something non-living. A Phoenix Zoo instructor leads students on a tour of the zoo’s Children’s Trail, highlighting the characteristics of living and non-living, and the characteristics of animals and plants. The instructor challenges students, through inquiry, to improve their observation and critical thinking skills.
Crazy Classification: Arizona Animals (K-2 grades)
Mammal, bird or reptile? How do you know what type of animal you’re looking at? Through the Arizona Animals Guided Tour, students discover the five major traits that scientists use to categorize animals. A Phoenix Zoo instructor leads participants on a tour of the Zoo’s Arizona Trail, classifying desert vertebrate species. The instructor challenges participants with interactives and inquiry to improve their observation and critical thinking skills.
Crazy Classification: Rainforest Animals (K-2 grades)
Mammal, bird or reptile? How do you know what kind of animal you’re looking at? Through the Rainforest Animals Guided Tour, participants discover the five major traits that scientists use to categorize animals. A Phoenix Zoo instructor leads the tour of the Zoo’s Tropics Trail, classifying rainforest vertebrate species. The instructor challenges participants with interactives and inquiry to improve their observation and critical thinking skills.
Crazy Classification: Children’s Trail Animals (K-2 grades)
Mammal, bird or reptile? How do you know what kind of animal you’re looking at? Through the Rainforest Animals Guided Tour, participants discover the five major traits that scientists use to categorize animals. A Phoenix Zoo instructor leads the tour of the Zoo’s Children’s Trail, classifying rainforest vertebrate species. The instructor challenges participants with interactives and inquiry to improve their observation and critical thinking skills.
Desert Discoveries: Exploring Arizona (3-5 grades)
Food, water and shelter are hard to find in the Sonoran Desert. Avoiding predators and scorching temperatures are just some of the challenges living organisms must face. Through the Exploring Arizona Guided Tour, participants explore and learn about several desert animals along the Phoenix Zoo’s Arizona Trail by comparing and contrasting their habitats and adaptations. Utilizing manipulatives, a Zoo instructor will guide small discussion groups to uncover how various Arizona animals survive in the harsh extremes of our local ecosystem.
Desert Lives: Exploring AZ Native Plants & Animals (6-8 grades)
Food, water and shelter are hard to find in the desert. Avoiding predators and scorching temperatures are also the challenges desert plants and animals must face. In Arizona, there are four deserts, each one unique and presenting different trials. Through the Exploring Arizona Guided Tour, participants explore and learn about several desert animals along the Phoenix Zoo’s Arizona Trail by comparing and contrasting their habitats and adaptations. A Zoo instructor will guide discussion groups to uncover how various Arizona animals survive in the harsh extremes of our state deserts.
Dynamic Deserts: Exploring Desert Conservation (9-12 grades)
Conservation in the desert requires a unique understanding and perspective of one of nature’s harshest, and often misunderstood, biomes. With scarce resources and fierce competition, life in the desert has adapted creative techniques for survival. During this tour, a Zoo instructor will lead participants on the Arizona Trail while exploring different adaptations from our resident plants and animals, and the impact humans play on this surprisingly rich and diverse ecosystem.
More Than a Zookeeper (10-12 grades)
How many people does it take to run a zoo? There’s a lot of work going on every day at the Phoenix Zoo that many never even notice. Throughout the More Than a Zookeeper Guided Tour, participants will view the zoo from a different perspective. A zoo instructor will lead the group in discussions and an activity, while exploring some of the jobs necessary to run a successful zoo and conservation program. Participants will discover the importance of the Phoenix Zoo’s role in conservation while uncovering STEM career opportunities along the way.
Enriching Experiences: Exploring Behavioral Enrichment (K-12)
Movies, music and video games provide us with hours of entertainment, but what does a zoo do to keep a monkey from getting bored or a zebra from being stressed? Behavioral Enrichment! By providing mental and physical stimulation through naturalistic settings and environmental enhancements, managed setting animals’ lives are greatly improved. The benefits include increased natural behaviors and healthy, stress-free individuals. The Enriching Experiences Guided Tour provides participants with the opportunity to explore and learn about different types of behavioral enrichment used by the Phoenix Zoo through comparing a variety of exhibits and species. Utilizing manipulatives, a Zoo instructor will facilitate observations and discussions to discover some of the intricacies involved in the behavioral management of managed setting animals — making life more stimulating for the Zoo’s animals and guests alike!
custom guided tours:
There are way more exciting animals and topics than can possibly fit into one of our Guided Tours, so let us design a Custom Guided Tour for you based on your specific interests and needs. Our trained Zoo staff works with you to create a completely customizable 60-minute educational walking tour of one of our Zoo trails – covering the exhibits and topics you are interested in. Custom Guided Tours cost an additional $5 per person and are available to groups of at least 10 and are capped at 25 participants a tour. Subject to availability. Does not include behind-the-scenes viewing areas.
virtual field trips
Can’t make it to the Phoenix Zoo? No problem! You can visit the Phoenix Zoo from the comfort of your home or classroom through a virtual field trip.
Virtual Field Trips include pre-recorded guided tours with three different animals, a review activity, accompanying worksheet and challenge activity, PLUS a 15-minute live, virtual Q&A session with a Zoo educator! All Virtual Field Trips are aligned with Arizona State Academic Standards. Virtual Field Trips vary in length depending on the topic and are limited to 40 participants. Virtual Field Trips cost $50 per classroom and you can choose to add-on a 15-minute live virtual encounter with an ambassador animal for an additional $50.
Virtual Field Trip Topics:
- Grades K-2: Who Eats Whom?: Fangs, beaks, and tusks, oh my! Did you know that animals have different types of teeth? Come join us as we visit some of our animals at the Zoo to uncover what their teeth can tell us about what they eat and where they get their energy.
- Grades 3-5: Energy Flow: Have you ever wondered how energy moves within an ecosystem? Explore the Tropics Trail with us and have an up-close encounter with three animals who play important and unique roles in the rainforest!
- Grades 6-8: Human Impact: How do humans affect wildlife and ecosystems? Assume the role of a wildlife manager while we explore the Arizona Trail to discuss and observe three extraordinary species that we can directly impact!
- Grades K-2: Animal Features: Why are some birds colorful? How do monkeys use their tails? Observe three astounding animals at the Phoenix Zoo as we consider why they have certain features and how these features help them survive in the wild.
- Grades 3-5: Adaptations: How do animals survive and thrive in the harsh climate of the desert? Discover the amazing adaptations of three exceptional animal species on the Africa Trail.
- Grades 6-8: Genetics and Inherited Traits: Why are some species endangered while others thrive? Investigate the genetic and environmental factors affecting three rare species at the Phoenix Zoo!