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Field Trips

Bring your group to the Zoo!

You can choose any day that the Zoo is open to bring your group, please make your reservations at least 2 weeks in advance to guarantee the date and time that you would like.

What do you need to do?

- Fill out appropriate form (see below)
- Submit form on-line, mail it in or by fax (309-799-5761)
- Watch for confirmation of your registration sent via email, it should arrive within 10 business days.
- Fieldtrips must be pre-paid, you can pay with cash, check or credit card (no   refunds will be given, please make sure your numbers are correct).

Which form for your group?

Are you an Illinois school (public or private), a head start or preschool associated with a school? Fill out Illinois School Fees form:
Are you an Iowa school (public or private), a head start or preschool associated with a school? Please fill out Out of State School Fees form: Are you a private preschool, daycare, summer camp or other group with at least 15 participants? Please fill out Preschool, daycare and group fees form:

A few things to know:

  • School group discounts are available on weekdays during the school year only. For summer field trips, please see Non-School Group Registration.
  • Every group must have a minimum of 15 participants.
  • Field trip groups must have 1 adult for every 5 students and must stay with the children they are supervising.
  • Any additional adults, siblings (ages 3-17) and other guests will be charged a reduced field trip rate if purchased with the group at check-in.
  • Additional guests entering the Zoo without the group will be charged full price.
  • Field trips must be pre-paid (payments are non-refundable).
  • If stopping by the Zoo to pay for your field trip, please note that the front entrance closes at 4:00 daily. Please call 309-799-3482 ext 222 if you think you will be after 4:00.

Make your Trip Ed-Zoo-Cational!

Use the Zoo to it's educational potential! These programs are fun as well as educational, and help meet state standards for your group.
From Pre-K-College level, we've got classes that will be great for your group!

What you should know:

  • Programs run from 20-40 minutes
  • Cost is $2 student and chaperones (teachers are free to attend the program)
  • Please call 309-799-3482 ext 222 with questions
  • Book early, dates fill fast!

Program topics include (but are not limited to):
  • *Habitats: Which animals live where? What do animals need to survive? Join us as we look at animals from around the world and the different habitats they call home.
  • *Adaptations: From tongues that can smell to ears that can hear insects 12 inches underground, let's take a closer look at what special characteristics help animals survive.
  • Cats: Have you ever seen a lion’s tooth? How sharp is a tiger’s claw? In this program your group will learn what it takes to survive at the top of the food chain.
  • Giraffes:  Learn about the surprising contrasts and amazing adaptations which make giraffes the superstars of the African savanna.
  • * Reptiles: Discover the world of reptiles and what makes them unique. Get up close and personal with some of our favorite reptiles.
  • Rainforest Animals:  From forest floor to emergent layer, we'll take a closer look at the rainforest and the amazing animals that  call it home.
  • *Passport to Africa: Zebras and lions and colobus monkeys, oh my, these are just a few of the animals we'll talk about as we explore the animals from Africa.
 * All programs can be tailored to any age group, but these programs are great for younger audiences.

Some of the programs are short walking tours and groups will need to stay together.
DON'T SEE WHAT YOU WANT? We'll design a program for you! Just give us a call with questions, 309-799-3482 ext 222.

One way for teachers to prepare for the field trip is to check out our Teacher Resources area which includes Curriculum Materials and Zoo Activity Packets. Kids will enjoy the Kids' Fun section which includes Games & Activities and Conservation for Kids.

Rides, Food and More Fun

Train rides and carousel rides are available for an additional $2.00 each per ride. Pony rides (seasonal) are available for $4.00 per ride.
Visitors can feed the animals at the petting zoo and the koi pond with feed available for purchase in those areas.
The Wild Things Gift Shop offers Zoo Grab Bags for $2.50 each. Each bag contains 15 items including crayons, coloring book, and tattoos. Grab bags may be pre-purchased and can be picked up at the Gift Shop on the day of your visit.
Field trip groups are allowed to bring your own lunch or enjoy food from our concession stand. If you plan on having a picnic lunch, you will eat on the Festival Lawn, located between the carousel and Australian Walkabout. (Remember no straws allowed in the zoo).