Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way. — John Muir
The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is home to over 1,400 species of animals and 2,000 species of plants from around the world. It is also the field trip destination for nearly 100,000 school students, teachers and chaperones every year from as far away as Columbia, SC & Savannah, GA, Orlando & Tallahassee, FL. Whether you are studying Life Cycles and Adaptations or Animal Behavior or Ecosystems, there is plenty to see and do while visiting the Zoo. Field trips are self-guided, but we encourage you to download scavenger hunts, attend keeper talks and schedule an education program to maximize the resources available to you and your students while you are here.
Public and private school groups of 15 or more receive a deeply discounted Education Rate when they visit the Zoo between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday – Friday during regular school days and make a reservation at least two weeks in advance. For more information or to request a field trip via e-mail, please send requests to the Education Department or call (904) 757-4463, ext. 122.
DUVAL COUNTY PUBLIC & PRIVATE SCHOOLS of 15 or more receive FREE admission and 1 chaperone for every 10 students receives FREE admission (including teachers) when they visit the Zoo between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday – Friday during regular school days and make a reservation at least two weeks in advance.
March, April & May are the busiest months for school visits. Nearly 50,000 or 50% of our annual field trip attendance occurs during these spring months, and our programming schedule fills to capacity. To avoid the reservation rush, make your reservation TODAY! Or, avoid the spring rush and plan your visit for fall or winter.
The Education Department has prepared a variety of scavenger hunts to help you maximize the educational resources at the Zoo. All of the answers may be found in animal graphics and identification panels at the exhibits.
Are you using The Great Water Odyssey™ curricula from the St. Johns River Water Management District for 3rd, 4th & 5th Grades?
The Great Water Odyssey™ Scavenger Hunt in Play Park & Answer Sheet .pdf
Field Trip Policies
Teachers, chaperones and students are expected to follow these guidelines while visiting the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
- One adult chaperone is required to accompany every 10 students at all times regardless of student’s age. Chaperones must stay with the students (all ages) and are responsible for the behavior of the students under their supervision at all times.
- Students must wear nametags that identify each by first name and school regardless of age.
- Please observe our “NO FEEDING” policy. Zoo animals are on special diets and outside food can be harmful. Feeding is allowed in selected animal areas. Only feed the food available for purchase in these areas.
- For your safety, we ask that you observe all signs and gates. Please stay on the public walkways and do not climb on or over fences.
- The Zoo is proud to be a smoke free and tobacco free facility. The use of tobacco products is prohibited in the parking lot and on Zoo grounds.
- Food may not be brought into the zoo. A picnic area is provided at the south end of the parking lot.
- Want to avoid the hassle of picnicking? Reserve lunches through the Zoo’s catering department!
LUNCHES MUST BE RESERVED AT THE SAME TIME THE FIELD TRIP RESERVATION IS MADE AND ARE AVAILABLE ON A FIRST-COME, FIRST- SERVED BASIS. The number of lunches that the Zoo can accommodate per day is limited. When the lunch reservations are at capacity, the Zoo cannot accommodate last minute requests should you change your mind later.