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Schedule a Field Trip Visit with an Education Program presented by the Zoo's Education Department

Let us help you make your Louisville Zoo visit more impactful and meaningful. Add one of our specially designed Education Programs to your School Field Trip reservation.

The following Education Programs are valid through school year 2013 - 2014 (unless otherwise noted)

To check program availability and to schedule your field trip with an Education Program, call the Zoo's Education Center at 502-238-5358.

School Group Rates

Field Trip with an Education Program included - $ 10.00 per person

Dare to Care Promotion - $5 per person admission
Nov. 1 - Feb. 28 with canned food per student admission.
(Not valid for education program fees)

For groups of 20 or more paying persons. $ 10 fee includes $ 7.00 for Zoo admission (full day) and $3.00 for your Education Program and materials. (Prices subject to change.)

Programs are taught by Zoo educators and docents (trained volunteers) and last 35 to 45 minutes, depending on the age of the group. Programs can be designed to fit curriculum needs. All programs have extensive pre-visit and post-visit materials. Programs are taught year round. The programs listed below can be adapted to any age level. Other topics are available and the Louisville Zoo Education Staff will be glad to work with you to design a program that fits your needs. Other common topics are: Zoo Careers, Experiencing Animals, Birds, African Animals and Australian Animals.

Cancellations - $25

This fee will be charged if notification of cancellation of a program is not received by the Zoo at least 24 hours in advance of the program date. Call 502-238-5358

Note: Programs will be held regardless of weather conditions unless your school district cancels classes.

Teacher packets, which are mailed after scheduling a program, should be read closely in order to have your group at its proper location on time. Programs are scheduled in classroom spaces located throughout the Zoo.      


For public and private school groups on field trips, school buses will not be charged parking. All teachers and chaperones must be included on the school's Admission Ticket and pay as a group and enter together as one group to get free parking. Those arriving separately will be charged full admission cost and a $5 parking fee per vehicle. 

Scout groups, daycares, YMCAs and other groups will be assessed a $5 parking fee per vehicle.

School Education Programs for Pre-school through Primary:


(Grades K through 3)

The world of animals is discussed in relationship to our own physiology. Differences and similarities between animals and humans will be covered.

Let’s Eat

(Grades K through 3)

Why doesn’t an alligator eat fruit? Why do zebras prefer grass? Students will learn what animals eat and the special features that determine whether an animal eats meat, plants or both.

Life Cycles

(Grade 3 & 4)

All living things go through different stages in a lifetime. This program will cover the life cycles of a butterfly, a turtle, a frog and a gorilla.

Creepy Crawlies

(Pre-school through Grade 1)

Children will discover that insects, spiders and other “creepy crawlies” are not so bad after all.

Feathers & Fur

(Pre-school through Grade 1)

Young visitors will learn about those animals with fur or feathers. Characteristics of mammals and birds will be discussed.

Life of a Tree

(Grades 1 through 5)

Trees are important to the survival of many animals. Students will learn about how trees grow and how animals and trees help each other.

Classes for Grades 4 through Adult:

Arctic Discovery

(Grades 4 through 8 )

This one-hour program will utilize inquiry-based activities to help students better understand the effects of human energy use on polar bears and their habitat.

Plant Adaptations

The zoo is an accredited botanical garden. This program is designed for middle and high school students. The class will look at the adaptations that plants have developed for life in various ecosystems.

World of Reptiles and Amphibians

General characteristics of reptiles and amphibians are covered along with myths and misconceptions that surround these animals.

Animal Endangerment

This is a specific program on the danger of impending animal extinctions, one of the critical areas of modern ecology. Recent research and conservation efforts are discussed along with the role that zoos are playing to save endangered species.


This is a generalized program focusing on the classification of organisms, with special focus on the characteristics of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.


A general discussion on the major ecosystems of the world. Teachers will need to indicate which ecosystem(s) they would like emphasized.

The Science Behind Global Warming

(Middle and High School)

What is the difference between weather and climate? How do human activities influence the atmosphere? This program will explore some of the basic science behind understanding global warming.


(Grades 4 and up)

This class takes a look at the similarities and differences that exist between prosimians, monkeys and apes.

The Louisville Zoo programs and materials are based on the following publications:

The Louisville Zoo Education Department develops and provides education that is engaging while being scientifically accurate and formally based on:

  • Project 2061's Benchmark for Science Literacy (American Association for the Advancement of Science)
  • Next Generation Science Standards Research Council
  • Kentucky Common Core Standards
  • Excellence in Environmental Education: Guidelines for Learning (North American Association for Environmental Education)