School Groups

The Chattanooga Zoo is now CORED!  

COnservation, Recreation and EDucation are the leading themes behind The Chattanooga Zoo’s revamped educational programming.  While our educators align our old and new programming to Tennessee, Georgia, and National Science Standards, they have taken the “Common Core” and made it a little less “common”.  While your students’ and children’s school standards stand as the backbone to our programs, our goal is to take them to new and more exciting heights.  Every education program your child receives should not only educate, but also get them moving and thinking in ways they haven’t before.  All of which leads to the overall CORED mission of the department.  The Chattanooga Zoo’s Education Department is a critical aspect of its mission and continues to expand. In addition to new highly innovative and trained staff members, we are also a leader in the state-wide STEM initiatives.We seek to inspire a new view of the world around us. Experience Chattanooga Zoo’s Education Opportunities and have a truly WILD educational experience!

4 easy steps to book your field trip to the Zoo

    1. Review the "Do you Qualify"
    2. Book your Education Experience
    3. Review the Teacher F.A.Q.'s 
    4. Book your trip to the Zoo!

Do you Qualify?

  • To qualify for school group rates and programs, the group must be 10 or more students from an accredited public or private school, Headstart program, pre-school or organized home school group. School group rates are only available during the school year (Aug. - May).

Looking to book during the summer months (June & July)? Click here for summer information and registration

*All Hamilton County Headstart programs qualify for admission on the condition that they make a reservation online at least 2 weeks in advance and the appropriate letter proving Hamilton Co. Head Start status is brought with group. 

Education Experience




"Super-Duper Senses"

Pre-K & K

Can you taste with your feet or smell with your tongue?  We’ll look at some of the ways humans and other animals use their senses.

 "Mammal Mania" 

or "Reptile Round-Up"

Pre-K & K

Mammal or Reptile?  It’s a difficult choice, but either program you choose will introduce the basic characteristics of what makes that group special. Of course you’ll meet some animals that help illustrate those characteristics.

"Recipe for a Habitat"

1st & 2nd

We’ll add and mix up the “ingredients” that go into making a habitat and discover why habitats are so important to plants, animals, and to us.

"Animals Under Wraps"

1st & 2nd

Fur, feathers, scales- OH MY! Animals have all kinds of different body coverings, come explore this basic introduction to vertebrate classification. 

** "Amazing Adaptations"

3rd – 5th

Animals have and do some pretty bizarre things to help them to survive.  We will explore some of their Amazing Adaptations and a few of our own too!

** "Food Web Feast"

3rd – 5th

Worms, trees, birds, snakes and even fungus have their special roles!  You’ll find out how important the entire cast is as we build a rainforest food web.

"Buy, Sell, SAVE"


6th – 8th

What we do in our daily lives and things we buy while on vacation or online can have great effects on wildlife – both good and bad.  Find out how we can help protect and conserve wildlife in this game show style program.

All programs feature a 45 minute program with an animal encounter students can interact with at the end of each program. 

** These programs can be adapted for 6 – 8th grades

Add a CORED Education Experience to your visit!

  • The Zoo is not your ordinary classroom. Enhance your group’s zoo visit with a 45-minute class led by our education staff.
  • Admission + $2.00 per student (Chaperones/Adults are exempt)
* [Membership benefits do not apply to education programs]
  • Education programs are offered Tuesday - Friday at: 9:30 / 10:30 / 11:30
  • Programs after 1:00 pm are an option but based on staff availability. To schedule a program after the set programs times, please contact the Zoo Education Department or call (423) 643-5782

Pricing (Payments are not due at registration, but at the time of your field trip)

  • Students
  • NSLP (Free & Reduced Lunch)
  • Additional Adults (See Addl. Adult FAQ)
  • Kids (Ages 2 & Under)
  • Education Experience Add $2/student
  • 1 Chaperone/10 students FREE (K-12)
  • 1 Chaperone/5 students FREE (Pre-k only)
  • 1 Chaperone/1 student FREE (Special Education Classes/Paraprofessionals)

(special price admission days and coupons do not apply to groups)

Teacher F.A.Q.

Is a date available?
  • When you begin registration, you will see date availability. There is no limit for just field trips with no Education Experience. If you have an Education Experience with your program, availability is limited. 

When can we book a field trip?
  • Field trips can be scheduled Monday - Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.  If your group wishes to visit the Zoo during weekend hours, normal group admission rates will apply. It is recommended you book your field trip at least 2 weeks before your visit. 

want to book an Education Experience with my visit?
  • Education Experiences are offered Tuesday - Friday at: 9:30 / 10:30 / 11:30
  • When you register below, select the option "Field Trip w/ Ed. Program" to see availability
  • Please arrive 10-15 minutes before your program as one group. You will receive a map with Ed. Program information when you pay for your trip. 

How do I pay?
  • Payment is collected at the gift shop in the form of one check.
  • One person is responsible for the payment of the school group upon arrival by school check, VISA, MC, DISC, AMEX or cash.  All students and parents must be present at check-in in order to receive the group rate.
  • To speed up the check in process, please have the total number of students (broken down by regular and F/R lunch program price) and number of required free adults ready for the cashier. 

Can we eat lunch there? 
  • There is no outside food or drink allowed in the Zoo. However, there are picnic tables with seating for approx. 150 in Warner Park located a few feet outside of the Zoo entrance. There is also seating around the playground next to the ball fields. 
  • The best plan is to leave your lunches on the bus and pick them up from there whenever you are ready to eat. We DO NOT have an area to store lunches. You may leave your lunches at the picnic areas, but this does not guarantee reservation of the tables or safety of your lunches. 

Boxed Lunches
    • To get a menu or pre-order boxed lunches, click here or call Linda with Family Concessions at: 423-505-8697.  

What all information do I need to register?
  • You will need the number of traditional students, number of NSLP (Free & Reduced Lunch) students and additional adults. We understand numbers will change between registration and day of arrival. Registration is an estimate and you will receive a quote at the end of online registration to confirm your trip and you can use as a receipt. 

What timing should we plan for?
  • We are open daily from 9:00am – 5:00pm.  Plan about one hour to tour the zoo plus additional time for loading / unloading buses, getting your group organized, bathroom visits, time in the gift shop, carousel rides, or an education experience.  

Where do buses park?
  • The Zoo’s entrance is off Holtzclaw Avenue.  There is a bus turn around and ample free parking for both buses and cars.  Once buses have dropped off students, please have them move to the bus parking lot.  Please remind parents to park in the parking lots and not inside the bus turnaround. Unless the visiting group chooses to pay for the bus drivers, bus drivers will need to pay their own admission into the Zoo.

How do I pay for additional adults/chaperones or siblings?
  • Any adults that pay outside of the number that registered must pay regular admission ($8.95).  Siblings that are also not on the field trip are regular child's admission ($5.95). Zoo members can present their membership card for admission they are a current Zoo member. Please remember, groups will receive 1 free chaperone for every 10 or 5 (Pre-k only) students. If you have 86 students for example, you will be rounded up to 9 free chaperones. 

What if it rains?
  • Field trips are held rain or shine, so please be sure your students are dress accordingly.  (In the case of severe weather, we will work with your group to try to reschedule your visit for another day).  We cannot guarantee being able to reschedule field trips and education programs in April and May due to the high volume of schools that come during that time – it is best to keep your original date if at all possible. 

Register for your field Trip Now >

If you have any question regarding field trips, please contact the Education Department at or call (423) 643-5782


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