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  • Education FAQ

    Below is a list of frequently asked questions about our school programs.

    Do I need to make reservations if my school class is coming for a field trip?
    Yes, all groups are required to make reservations for their visit. This helps us better prepare for your visit. Reservations are required at least 2 weeks prior to the date you plan to visit.
    How much are your fees?
    Fees vary depending on the programs you choose. A general field trip to the zoo without any educational programs or tours is the cost of general admission. If you would like to add on a guided themed tour of the zoo or a live wildlife Zoofari theater show then there would be an extra fee. You can learn more about the program options and fees by visiting the education page.
    Do you offer a group discount?
    Yes, we offer a group discount of $1.oo per person for groups of 20 or more.
    What are the general rules to think about when planning a field trip at the Zoo?
    Please visit the Planning your field trip and Chaperone Checklist to help plan your trip to the zoo
    How far in advance do I need to make my reservations?
    Field trip, outreach and educational programs should be booked at least 2 weeks from the desired date.
    Why is there a maximum number of students allowed for each program?
    In order to ensure a more personal and effective learning experience for your students, we have restricted the allowed number of students for many of the programs we offer. We have found that when we are working with small groups, there is more time to interact with each student, activities are more engaging, students have greater enjoyment of the experience, and learning is greatly enhanced. While there are limits on the number of students in each structured lesson, these limits do not pertain to the total size of the group you bring to the Zoo.
    What happens if more students attend our class session than scheduled?
    Program and lesson class size maximums are set to provide the ideal educational experience and quality for the students. If the number of students you bring to your scheduled program is over the maximum for a lesson, Zoo staff may need to significantly alter your program, schedule and charge you for additional program(s), and/or may not be able to teach your program. If you think you may have more students than scheduled, please be sure to communicate with the Zoo in advance.
    Can we purchase lunch at the zoo?
    Yes, but we recommend you to pre-order your lunches. This will allow us to have your lunches ready at a pre-determined time for your group. To make an order for safari lunches please call (806) 381-7911.
    Can we bring our lunches to the zoo and where can we eat?
    Outside food or drink are not allowed to be brought in to the Zoo. Picnic tables are available in  Thompson Park. Students may also eat picnic style on the grass lawn in front of the Zoo. 
    If I have more than one group scheduled for a class, what will students who are not in a lesson do during that time?
    Additional groups are welcome to explore zoo. To enhance your students’ learning experience, we can provide some observational activities to help guide students through the zoo and prepare them for their program session.
    What are the hours of operation?
     9:30am – 5:00pm
    When is the best day of the week to schedule my field trip?
    Mondays through Wednesdays are the best days to schedule a field trip because the Zoo is generally less crowded on these days.
    The fall and winter months are also best because the Zoo is generally less crowded during these months.  Afternoons are also less crowded.
    How long does it take to go through the Zoo?
    The engagement and preparation of your group chaperones often dictates how long it takes to go through the Zoo. Well-prepared and engaged chaperones can generally guide their group through the exhibits in about an hour. To best prepare your chaperones, it often helps for teachers to visit the Zoo prior to your group visit. Teachers are always admitted to the Zoo free of charge.
    What are the driving directions to the Zoo?
    Review driving directions to Amarillo Zoo (link to yahoo maps)
    Why do we need to pre- register for field trips this year?
    We ask all groups to pre-register to their visit. This allows us to be better prepared for busy days. To pre-register you can call (806) 381-7911. Please be prepared to provide school name, address, phone, email, fax plus total number of students, chaperones and teachers. You aren’t required to pay in advance for your field trip but will be required to pay on the day of your visit.
    What happens in the event of rain or severe weather on the day of my trip?
    We encourage all visiting groups to maintain their reservation status. If it’s cold or rainy, there are still lots of fun things to see and the Zoo probably won’t be crowded. Click here for a map of indoor or covered zoo exhibits and a packet of activities you can do at the Zoo in any kind of weather!

    However, in the case of severe weather, you may contact the Zoo at (806) 381-7911 to reschedule your program.
    It is possible for some animals to be off exhibit for certain reasons such as severe or inclement weather.
    Amarillo Zoo does not offer rain checks or refunds once you have entered the Zoo.

    What are some Zoo experience tips that can be shared?
    Read the graphics at the animal exhibits, which provide invaluable information about the animals in our collection, their habitat and conservation efforts.
    When will I receive confirmation of my request?
    You will receive either an email or faxed confirmation within 1 week of booking your program/field trip.
    Can I book a program in the evening or on a weekend?
    Outreach and on-site programs are available between the hours of 9:30 am and 4:00pm Tuesday through Saturday. We do not over programs on Sunday or in the evening.
    How much are travel fees for a ZOOmobile outreach program?
    There are no travel fees inside the city limits of Amarillo. Programs booked outside of the Amarillo City limits will be charged .51 cents per mile round trip from the zoo to the program location.

     

    What animals will I see in the program?
    Due to the nature of live animals we cannot guarantee any specific animals. Please be aware that we cannot bring large dangerous animals such as lions, bears or monkeys. The animals used in both our on and off-site programs are generally small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates.
    Can we touch the animals?
    Almost every program includes a touchable animal.  Instructors will guide participants in methods of safely touching one or more of the program animals.
    When and how can I pay for programs?
    Payment is due the day of the program. You can use a credit card, cash or check (made out to City of Amarillo).  Receipts are included in your confirmation packet or can be obtained from your educator.  

    Still have questions? Call 806-381-7911 or email mike.boley@amarillo.gov