Yes, the educational group visit program (Adopt a Friend program) is the most economical way for educational groups to visit the Zoo. It includes your admission into the Zoo for a self-guided visit AND your group can also theoretically adopt an animal for one year at no extra cost.
The cost for a self-guided educational group visit for groups of 15 students or more ages 4-17 years is $6 per student. Please note, there is no tax charged on educational visits.
What’s a self-guided visit?
A self-guided visit is a great way for your group to explore the Zoo on your own and learn at your own pace.
When can I visit the Zoo via the educational group visit program?
The educational group visit program is available in April, May, June, September 8-30, October, and November.
Will touch tables be available in June?
Yes, bilingual educators will be available during peak hours to facilitate interactive animal artifact touch tables for your students to enjoy. These touch tables will be available weekdays from June 1-12 from 10 am to 11:30 am.
How many students can we bring?
A maximum of 400 students will be permitted to visit the Zoo per day.
How many chaperones do we need?
- One adult chaperone is admitted free for every 5 students.
- For students with additional needs who require attendants/aides; the attendant/aide will receive complimentary admission.
- Students under 12 years of age must be in supervised groups at all times.
- All chaperones must be at least 18 years of age.
- The role of the chaperones is to ensure the safety of all students and, in doing so, the chaperones are ensuring that all Zoo patrons enjoy their visit.
- The chaperones must encourage appropriate behavior from each student and demonstrate respect for the plants and animals. Any display of inappropriate behavior will be grounds for removal from the Zoo site.
- The admission fee for extra adults is $9 per person.
What extra options do you have for educational group visits?
Activity sheets: A one page activity sheet for students to complete during their visit.
- Includes questions about the animals that the students answer based on the information found on the animal signs.
- Group leaders are responsible for printing their own copies of the activity sheets and bringing these copies, along with pens/pencils, with them. (Ie. The Zoo will not provide paper copies or spare pens/pencils upon arrival.)
- The activities sheets are available in three levels of difficulty, in French and English, and with the answer key.
- Click here to download your activities sheets.
Do I need to book in advance?
Yes! In order to receive the educational group visit admission rate of $6 per student, registrations must be received a minimum of 7 days prior to the date of your visit. Unannounced walk-ups will not receive this special rate.
How do I book?
Step 1 – Read all of the information on this webpage and this FAQ.
Step 2 – Decide if you want to adopt an animal and if so, click here to view the list of animals.
Step 3 – Click here to fill out the online application form.
Step 4 – Wait up to 1-2 business days for a confirmation email from the Education team.
Step 5 – Receive a telephone call from a member of the Education team during the week prior to your visit to accept your credit card payment over the phone. A receipt will then be emailed to you.
How do I pay?
- Due to a high demand and in effort to reduce wait times to process payments upon arrival, all groups are required to pay in advance via credit card over the telephone.
- A member of the Education team will call you during the week prior to your visit to accept your credit card number over the phone. Your payment will be processed and an invoice will be emailed to you.
- If you are unable to pay in advance with a credit card, please email the Education team: email@example.com.
Can I get an invoice?
- No, we cannot provide an invoice prior to your visit because the admission fees to this program are considered a donation to the Zoo’s animal habitat improvement fund.
- We can email a detailed breakdown of the cost of your group’s visit that you can provide your group’s financial officer.
- We will also email you a receipt after the advance payment is received.
Which animals will we get to see?
- The total number of animals available for viewing varies depending on the weather conditions and the time of year of your visit.
- Generally, more animals are viewable in warmer and drier weather.
- The most animals are viewable from the Victoria Day long weekend until the end of June.
- The animals located in the two indoor buildings, the Ecodome and Imaginarium, are always available for viewing.
How does the complimentary animal adoption process work?
- Theoretically adopting an animal is optional and available at no extra charge.
- Should you choose to adopt an animal:
- An entire school or group may adopt 1 animal OR each class within a school may adopt 1 animal.
- Individual students may not each adopt an animal.
- On the online application form, you must indicate:
- Which animal you’d like to adopt.
- How you’d like your group name to appear on the certificate.
- Whether you’d prefer your certificate to be written in English or French.
- Before you visit, an electronic copy of your animal adoption certificate will be emailed to you, in addition to a link where you can choose to download your adopted animal’s information sheet.
- Due to the varying weather conditions and changes in temperature throughout the educational group visit season, we cannot guarantee that your adopted animal will be available for viewing on the date on your visit.
- All revenue gained from this program is used to build new and better animal enclosures.
- The educational group visit program is not available in January, February, March, July, August, September 1-7, and December.
- Prices are subject to change without notice.
- Questions, comments or to make changes to your application after you have submitted it
*The Provincial government declared a state of emergency and the zoo was included in the list of required closures. In addition, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development announced that the remainder of the school year is cancelled. We always keep the health and safety of our students, teachers, parents, guardians, visitors, staff, and volunteers as our top priority. Therefore, we are cancelling all group visits scheduled for April, May, and June 2020.