Thank you for your interest in booking a school field trip at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. Booking for the 2023-24 school year is now open!
Self-guided field trips are available for grades TK-12 Tuesday-Friday from October 3, 2023-May 3, 2024. School field trips must be booked at least three (3) weeks in advance of your preferred school field trip date.
School field trips will be blocked out on the following dates: November 21-24, 2023; December 26-January 5, 2024; April 2-5, 2024.
NEW Field Trip Scholarships: The Living Desert is pleased to offer limited school field trip scholarships to Title One schools. These scholarships will cover the cost of admission for students and chaperons.
To apply, please fill out the Wonderfully Wild School Field Trip Scholarship Form. Click here to apply. We are currently accepting applications for field trips booked for October-December. If your school is selected, you will be contacted by our Education Staff.
School Field Trip Details
Prices for school field trips vary depending on the date of your visit. Please see our rate calendar for more details.
We require a 1:10 teacher/chaperone-to-student ratio and a minimum number of 10 students. Any additional teachers or chaperones outside of the 1:10 ratio pay the regular admission price. These additional tickets can either be added to your invoice or purchased here. If the 1:10 ratio is not met on the day of your school field trip, then your group will be unable to enter the Zoo until the ratio is met. No exceptions will be made.
We are unable to offer any partial refunds for school field trips in the event of a decrease in student or teacher/chaperone numbers.
Add-on experiences like the carousel and the giraffe feeding can be purchased in advance.
• Giraffe Feeding: $8 per participant
• Carousel Ride: $3 per participant
For more detailed information, check out our Ultimate Guide to School Field Trips.
Ready to Book?
To book a self-guided school field trip, please follow these steps:
1. Complete and submit the School Field Trips Inquiry Form.
2. Complete and submit the School Field Trips Lead Teacher Agreement.
a. If your preferred date and time of arrival are not available, Our staff will reach out to you with alternative options.
b. You will know that your booking request is confirmed when you receive a confirmation email and an invoice.
3. Contact our Guest Experiences Center at (760) 346-5694 or at email@example.com to submit payment. Payment is due prior to your group's admission to the Zoo.
Please review our updated cancellation policy before booking:
Change requested for school field trip
Refund or fee
Cancellation made more than 30 days prior 100% refund Cancellation between 30 and 7 days 50% refund Reschedule between 30 and 7 days $75 administration fee** Less than 7 days' notice or no show No refund
**contingent on remaining times and dates to reschedule being available
When a 50% refund and/or a $75 administration fee applies, schools who have prepaid will have their refund issued minus the percentage or fee. For schools who haven’t prepaid, a charge will be applied to their account and must be paid before a future field trip can be booked by that school.
By taking these steps and booking your school field trip experience, you are agreeing to attend your school field trip on the day booked and follow all policies and procedures. Failure to follow all policies and procedures may result in disciplinary consequences.
*NEW!* Teachers who receive straight A’s on their school field trip review will receive priority booking next school year. School groups will be reviewed in the following areas: policies and procedures, communication, preparedness, and behavioral code of conduct. Please review the Lead Teacher Agreement and Ultimate Guide to School Field Trips for an explanation of expectations.
Once You've Booked Your School Field Trip
Prior to your school field trip, you’ll need to...
1. Print Parking Guides, one per vehicle.
2. Remind your students to wear name tags or uniforms that identify them as part of your group on the day of your school field trip.
We recommend downloading and printing our Ultimate Guide to School Field Trips for detailed planning and day-of preparations.
The Day of Your School Field Trip
While you are on your way to the Zoo...
1. Distribute the Parking Guide to each vehicle driver. If there is more than one bus in your group, designate a point of contact teacher/chaperone per bus.
2. Pack and label lunches to prepare for easy transport to our cooled lunch storage. Select a few teachers/chaperones to load the lunches onto our golf cart(s) for transport upon your arrival at the Zoo. Please be informed that we have a strict 50-pound weight limit for school lunches. In the event that lunches exceed this weight limit, your school group will be required to lift and/or carry the lunches as necessary. Please note that we are only able to offer lunch transportation into the Zoo. School groups will be responsible for transporting their lunches out of the Zoo.
3. Ensure that your students are wearing either name tags or uniforms that identify them as part of your group.
4. Please call or text the School Field Trips Staff at (760) 636-3473 when you are 10 minutes away from arriving. If you become delayed, please inform the School Field Trips Staff of your updated expected arrival time. We will do our best to accommodate late arrivals but wait times may be extended.
Upon Arrival at the Zoo For Your School Field Trip
1. Drivers should follow the Parking Guide to park in the designated area(s).
• If your group is arriving by bus, please have all members of your group except the Lead Teacher remain on the bus(es) after parking.
• If your group is arriving by personal vehicle, please have all members of your group gather at the bus parking island after parking.
2. The Lead Teacher will meet with the School Field Trips Staff at the bus parking island to receive the expectations and guidelines of your school field trip experience as well as any updates to Zoo operations.
3. The Lead Teacher and School Field Trips Staff will work together to:
• Distribute the School Field Trip Guidelines and Expectations
• Reconcile any updates to student or teacher/chaperone headcounts. Sign the Final Headcount Confirmation.
• Arrange lunch transportation and storage. Please have selected teachers/chaperones from your group deboard to load the lunches onto our golf cart(s) for transport.
• Distribute teacher/chaperone stickers received from the School Field Trips Staff. Please note that only those adults that are included on your invoice should receive a sticker.
• Distribute any pre-paid tickets for add-on experiences like the carousel and giraffe feeding
4. At this time, your group can deboard the vehicles.
5. Your group will be escorted to the Zoo’s main entrance, where you will be provided entry through the main gates. Payment is required before your group will able to enter the Zoo.
Nurses, medical staff, and 1-1 aides are eligible for complimentary admission when attending with a school group. School Field Trips Staff must be made aware of any medical staff receiving complimentary admission at least 1 week prior to the date of your school field trip. Adjustments to your invoice for medical staff receiving complimentary admission cannot be made day-of.
For more information about accommodations at The Living Desert, please click here.