Book Your Field Trip, Guided Tour, or Education Program Today!

Field Trips

Self-guided trips to the zoo
Starting at $6 per student

Guided Tours

2 hours with an experienced educator
Starting at $200

Science Programs

Bring your 7th graders for a half day science program!
Starting at $500

About Ross Park Zoo

Embark on a journey of wonder at the Ross Park Zoo! Our expansive zoo covers nearly 60 acres, accompanied by access to 30 acres of lush wooded nature trails. Here, you’ll encounter an array of captivating animals, boasting an impressive collection of approximately 100 creatures from around the globe.

We hold firm to the belief that exploring the natural world should be a delightful adventure. Our zoo offers engaging exhibits, interactive learning experiences, and a steadfast commitment to wildlife conservation. We warmly invite you to immerse yourself in the joy of discovery, fostering connections with animals in a secure and vibrant environment.

At the Ross Park Zoo, there’s a world of exploration waiting for curious minds of all ages. Come and craft cherished memories with us today!

Cancellations made less than two weeks prior to the scheduled visit will result in a $30 cancellation fee per group. Cancellations on the day of will result in full payment of the intended trip.

Groups arriving late will have an abbreviated program schedule.

At our outdoor venue, we understand that weather can be unpredictable. To ensure a smooth experience, we employ a two-date scheduling approach: a preferred date and a designated rain date. Please collaborate with your transportation providers to coordinate arrangements for both dates.

 

 

In the event of light rain, we will proceed with the program as planned. However, should heavy or prolonged rain, or thunderstorms be forecasted, it may be necessary to cancel the program for the day. Your safety and comfort are paramount.

 

 

It is IMPERATIVE that students and chaperones come prepared with appropriate clothing. This includes wearing a rain jacket if light rain is predicted. Additionally, we recommend closed-toe shoes that you don’t mind getting muddy, as our programs are conducted entirely outdoors and sometimes in muddy conditions. Your cooperation in dressing appropriately will help ensure an enjoyable and educational experience for everyone.

Nature Explorers Learn & Play Program

Embark on an adventure with your little ones at Ross Park Zoo’s Nature Explorers Learn & Play Program. Designed for children up to age 12 years old and their caregivers, this program offers an immersive experience in nature exploration and fun activities. 

Our June-July sessions are open for registration now!

Self-Guided Field Trips

Embarking on a field trip to Ross Park Zoo offers an enriching experience for students and teachers. Here’s what to expect and how to plan for your visit:

Payment Information

  • Pricing: $6 per person group rate (students & adults)
  • Payment Methods: Cash, credit card, or check upon arrival
  • Note: group rate is the same for students and adults

Drop Off & Bus Parking

  • Bus Drop-off: Zoo gift shop
  • Bus Parking: Upper pavilion parking lot
  • Parking Map for Bus Drivers: Bus parking map
  • Bonus: Free entry for bus drivers

Entry Information

  • Zoo Entry: Ticket booth, to the right of the gift shop

Lunch Arrangements

  • Storage: No on-site storage for lunches or belongings
  • Options:
    • In-Zoo Seating: Carry lunches during visit and find picnic tables throughout zoo
    • Out-of-Zoo Seating: Leave lunches on the bus; use city park pavilions (reservation recommended)
  • Pavilion Reservation: Visit our Plan Event page for availability and fees

Preparing Children & Adults for the Visit

  • Accessibility: Ross Park Zoo values inclusivity, however the terrain within the zoo can be challenging for those with limited mobility. Parts of the path are steep and uneven. We are committed to assisting and accommodating visitors as much as possible. Please contact us in advance for specific concerns or further assistance. 
  • Environment: Forested, mountain-side location with insects and sun exposure
  • Sun Protection: Prepare for full sun exposure in some areas
  • Self-Guided: No staff guides provided
  • Weather: Trip occurs rain or shine
  • Parent Letter: Send this letter home to parents – click/tap here to open

In-Zoo Map: Click/tap here for downloadable map; printed maps also available on-site

Wild Science Program at Ross Park Zoo

Wild Science Program at Ross Park Zoo

The Wild Science Program is a hands-on field trip for 7th-grade science students, ages 12-13, to connect their classroom learning with real-world experiences in the setting of Ross Park Zoo. This program encourages students to actively participate by making observations, recording data, sketching, and engaging in discussions. Its primary focus is to deepen their understanding of ecology, adaptation, and biodiversity.

  • Number of students: minimum 10, maximum 60 
  • Chaperones: One chaperone is required for every 15 students (and included in the price). 
  • Drop off: Busses must arrive at the zoo no later than 9:30am.
  • Lunches must be packed and brought on the bus. Zoo staff will transport lunches to the break time location. 
  • Zoo staff will meet your bus upon arrival and guide you through each station.
  • Students and chaperones should be prepared for a full day of being on your feet and walking outdoors. Closed-toe shoes that you don’t mind getting muddy, warm layers, and bug spray should be applied in advance. Students should bring water bottles pre-filled as there are no water-filling stations on site.
  • Students will be brought back to the bus pickup location no later than 1:15pm.
  • Students will be broken into groups of 15 and will visit four stations, each lasting 40 minutes, with a 20 or 30-minute lunch break.
  • Stations include Water Quality & Biodiversity, Scavenger Hunt, Tree Observation and Identification, and Adaptations for Life.
  • Participants engage in hands-on activities, data collection, and discussions.

English Language Arts Common Core Learning Standards

  • Research to build and present knowledge
  • Comprehension and Collaboration (speaking and listening)
  • Presentation of knowledge of ideas (speaking and listening)
  • Vocabulary acquisition and use

Mathematical Practices Common Core Learning Standards

  • Counting and cardinality
  • Measurement and data

Science and Engineering Practices

  • Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
  • Planning and carrying out investigations
  • Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Learning Standards for Physical Education

  • Safe and healthy environment
  • Resource management
  • Science and Engineering Practices

The Wild Science program may be reimbursable through Broome-Tioga BOCES Extended Classroom program if your school is located in Broome or Tioga Counties, New York. Your school’s administration will need to complete the Extended Classroom (EC) order form and obtain approval from your school’s administrators.

Teachers should contact their administration to confirm that their district has Extended Classroom funds available.

If you do not have funds available for reimbursement through BT BOCES, the school can still pay out of pocket for the program.

  • Full Group Rate: $500 for up to 60 students.
  • Half Group Rate: $300 for a group of up to 30 students.
  • Chaperone Ratio: One free chaperone included for every 15 students.
  • Additional Chaperones: $6.00 per additional chaperone.

The Wild Science program may be reimbursable through Broome-Tioga BOCES Extended Classroom program if your school is located in Broome or Tioga Counties, New York. Your school’s administration will need to complete the Extended Classroom (EC) order form and obtain approval from your school’s administrators.

To learn more or to schedule a Wild Science program for your students, please email ehale@rossparkzoo.org with the following:

  • Preferred program date and time
  • The number of students attending
  • Any special accommodations or requests

Guided Animal Conservation Educational Tour

Guided Animal Conservation Educational Tour

Embark on an engaging and educational journey through the Ross Park Zoo! Our guided tour takes participants on a captivating exploration of our animal residents, their native habitats, and the pressing conservation issues they face.

During this immersive experience, our knowledgeable tour guides will weave captivating stories about the animals’ natural history, highlighting their remarkable adaptations. As we stroll through the zoo, we’ll delve into the critical topic of climate change and its impact on wildlife conservation, connecting these discussions to New York State Learning Standards.

This program not only offers an opportunity to witness incredible creatures up close but also aligns with educational objectives, providing a deeper understanding of our environment and the vital importance of wildlife conservation. Join us in this educational adventure, where learning comes to life amidst the wonders of the animal kingdom!

  • Grades: Pre-K through 12th grade
  • Group Size: up to 20 students plus 2 adult chaperones
  • Length of Program: 2 hours

English Language Arts Common Core Learning Standards

  • Comprehension and Collaboration (speaking and listening)
  • Presentation of knowledge of ideas (speaking and listening)
  • Vocabulary acquisition and use

Mathematical Practices Common Core Learning standards

  • Counting and cardinality
  • Measurement and data

Science and Engineering Practices

  • Using mathematics and computational thinking
  • $200 for up to 20 students
  • 2 complementary chaperones
  • Complementary admission for 1:1 aides
  • Additional chaperones pay group rate (excludes 1:1 aides)
  • Aides for individuals 18 and over who may require assistance/support due to a disability receive complementary admission
  • Payment must be made upon booking

Guided Animal Conservation Educational Tours may be reimbursable through Broome-Tioga BOCES Extended Classroom program if your school is located in Broome or Tioga Counties, New York. Your school’s administration will need to complete the Extended Classroom (EC) order form and obtain approval from your school’s administrators.

 

The Wild Science program may be reimbursable through Broome-Tioga BOCES Extended Classroom program if your school is located in Broome or Tioga Counties, New York. Your school’s administration will need to complete the Extended Classroom (EC) order form and obtain approval from your school’s administrators.

If you are looking to book a guided tour and are not going through BOCES, please click the link below to pick your date and book your guided tour now.