Plan a Field Trip
Plan Your Field Trip to Chicago's Free Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo is a great destination for a school field trip in Chicago. We’re excited to have you come for a visit! A few easy steps will have you more than ready for your upcoming field trip. Let’s get started.
Step 1: Pick a day for your visit
We encourage you to consider less-popular times and days for your visit. These quieter times allow you and your students to get closer to exhibits, experience reduced bathroom lines and enjoy lower volume levels within exhibits, allowing for better communicating with your class. These details often ensure a more-successful visit.
Step 2: Let us know you’re coming!
Registration is required for all school and camp groups planning a zoo visit. We have a new online registration system you can access by clicking here.
Zoo Explorers facilitated field trip programs
Zoo Explorers is a facilitated, 55-minute, on-grounds program for school groups. Each program focuses on inquiry-based animal investigations aligned with the work of zoo scientists. The field trips are appropriate for students at the K–5 grade levels.
Each program is facilitated by a trained zoo educator with the support of the classroom teacher and accompanying chaperones. During explorations, students complete data sheets that help them carefully observe animals. Hands-on investigation of specimens and objects are also part of the experience.
Explorations are linked to the Illinois State Learning Standards and the Common Core Standards.
Step 3: Plan your Day
To help your visit run smoothly, we created some materials to help you with some logistics before you come.
Preorder ride tickets, lunches, souvenir bags and more at group prices through the zoo’s online shop or a faxable/mailable order form.
You also might want to find out which types of special programs will be taking place on the day of your visit.
Click here to view our daily schedule.
Step 4: Maximize the learning
In addition to logistical planning, it’s important to prepare for the learning aspect of your field trip as well. Conducting an activity or two in the classroom before your visit, carefully planning your time at the zoo and thoughtful following-up back in the classroom will help make your trip to the zoo a meaningful part of the classroom curriculum. Click here for a free guide to support the full field trip experience.
Step 5: Ask for Help
We are here to help make your visit a special one. If you need directions to the closest restroom or can’t seem to find the lions, any staff member can help you get to where you need to go. For additional needs or questions, you can visit Gateway Pavilion, located near the carousel at the east end of the zoo. We look forward to seeing you at the zoo!