Booking your School Field Trip

Discounted admission rates are available for various groups such as schools, businesses and non-profit organizations with 10 or more paying people in their group that make a reservation in advance and pay in advance. Reservations should be made at least 3 weeks in advance, and groups should plan on having their payment reach us at least 2 weeks in advance. A Field Trip is a self-guided visit. Animal encounters, workshops and Scout badge activities are extra cost programs. Carousel rides, food, appliance rentals and souvenirs are also extra costs.

Tips: Dates fill up quickly, especially from April to June. Book early. Book now. Avoid the rush and get the date you want.
* Groups can even make a reservation one or two years in advance.
* Fridays are always the busiest day of the week for field trips, and Mondays are generally the quietest.
* 10:00 am is always the busiest arrival time, and bus slots fill up quickly. Consider arriving at an off peak time like 9:30, 9:45, 10:15, 10:30 or 10:45
* The last two weeks of May and the first two weeks of June are always the busiest for school field trips.
* Did you know that we are open all year long? Fall is a great time to visit. Winter is fun too!

Group Visit Fees:
* $8.00 for Children (Ages 3 to 11)
* $8.00 for Seniors & Special Needs
* $8.00 for Youths (Ages 12 to 17)
* $8.00 for Camp CIT’s
* $8.00 for Adults
* $2.00 – Carousel ride per child if purchased at the site of the ride. Group Special: $1.00 per ride per child only if prepaid 2 weeks in advance through the Group Sales Department. Adults still ride free, and we encourage them to stand alongside of the little ones for safety.
* $5.30 - Single stroller rental
* $7.42 – Double stroller
* $6.00 – Wheel chair rental with a driver’s license deposit.
* Note: Rentals for both requires a driver’s license deposit.

We offer 1 free teacher or chaperone for every 5 paying children. The minimum age requirement for a chaperone is 18.

There is no charge for children under the age of 3, and they do not count toward free chaperones or as paying people.

Amenities:
* There is no charge for the parking of cars. For everyone’s safety, please have the bus driver follow the signs and unload the children using our conveniently located drop off area. Please confirm your pick up time with them. Bus drivers can obtain directions from us to offsite bus parking. After relocating the bus, your driver is free to walk around and visit while waiting for your group. We suggest you ask the bus driver for their cellular phone number in case there is a change in your plans. When your group is ready to depart, please use the same drop off area.

* Please keep in mind that we do not have an area to store lunches. You can bring a cooler on wheels, bring or rent a stroller or have each child carry their own lunch. Please do not leave paper bag or plastic wrap lunches unattended, anywhere, at all. We have no control over ants and squirrels that will chew right through paper bags. Please do not leave your lunches on the bus unless your driver has agreed to return with the bus at a predetermined time, and please keep in mind that buses and cars get very hot, very fast and food will spoil unless packed in coolers. To expedite your entry into the Zoo and to avoid traffic jams, please confirm your lunch and bus plans with your bus driver prior to arriving at the Zoo.

* Restrooms are located at the Zoo’s Front Gate Plaza and, up the road, past the picnic grove, around the corner from the Peacock Café. Tip: If your group can wait, using the restrooms nearest the picnic area is faster as there are more of them than there are at the Zoo’s Front Gate entrance.

* First Aid kits are located throughout the Zoo. Please contact any Zoo staff member for assistance.

* The Zoo has a Public Address System (PA) should an emergency arise. All Zoo staff members carry short wave radios. In the event of an emergency please, stay calm. Please contact any Zoo staff member for assistance.

* Small groups of ten or less with a chaperone may place food orders in the Peacock Café. For faster service, ice cream, soda and chips can be purchased using the take out window. Indoor seating in the Café and Carousel is limited, and groups are encouraged to eat outside in the picnic area. There are 60 picnic tables for outdoor use. For the safety of our animals, please see that all children throw the plastic straw wrappers from their juice boxes into a trash receptacle and not onto the ground. All groups are responsible for cleaning up after themselves.

* Reminder: These items are not permitted on grounds: pets; roller skates; roller blades; Heelys; bicycles; bouncing balls; balloons; whistles; cooking of any kind; alcohol of any kind; catering vehicles or reserving picnic tables. Prior management approval is needed to bring in outside entertainment such as, but not limited to: clowns; magicians; face painters, etc.

* A copy of our etiquette guidelines will be sent to you ahead of time to review with your group prior to arriving at the Zoo.

* Small groups may visit the Gift Shop with a chaperone, and back packs may be left on the front porch. Items for sale are priced starting at fifty cents. There is also a Carousel Gift Shop located inside of the Carousel building.

* An alternative to individual shopping is to use our Group Souvenir shopping form to purchase low cost popular souvenir items. This allows groups more time to visit, especially those groups with younger aged children. A form is included in your invoice package.

Prepayment
* All groups are asked to prepay their Front Gate admission fees as early as possible and receive wristbands in advance to expedite the arrival process. Please schedule your prepayment to reach us at least 2 weeks before your trip date to allow sufficient time for us to process your payment and to mail your wristbands.

* Tip: You can prepay as early as the day you make your reservation using the convenient credit card information line. Don’t forget Carousel rides!

* You may prepay through the mail with a check (payable to: CZS) or with a credit card by mail, telephone or fax. We do not accept purchase orders. Please remember to include a copy of your invoice with your payment to ensure your payment is applied to the appropriate facility. Afterward, the wristbands will be mailed to you.

* Please be sure to order the appropriate amount of adult and children’s wristbands to cover all parents, chaperones, teachers and children. Wristbands are issued in a group format only, and they are issued only once for each order. Wristbands are issued from the office only. Wristbands are not sold at the Zoo’s Front Gate ticket window. Discounted Carousel rides are not sold at the Zoo’s Front Gate ticket window.

* Tip: We suggest you select a cut-off date and ask parents to R.S.V.P. to you with their money.

* Important reminder: Group rates cannot be given to individual adults, parents, chaperones or children that walk up and pay separately at the Zoo’s Front Gate ticket window. All persons need to pay you so as to be included in your group head count. To avoid any awkwardness at arrival time, please remind your guests that any individual paying separately at the Zoo’s Front Gate ticket window will need to stand in line and pay full rate admission prices.

* Refunds are done only in group format and only when an entire group cancels their whole visit. The group must return the entire package of wristbands to the Zoo, intact, within ten days of calling us to cancel their visit. There are no partial wristband refunds.

* Tip: Leftover “paid” wristbands can be used on your next visit. Just let us know when you book your next visit.

* The Zoo is open 362 days a year, rain or shine. Please remember to dress according to the weather forecasted for the Bridgeport area. While the Zoo does have places to seek shelter such as the Greenhouse, Gift Shop, Rainforest, Wolf Building, Farmyard Barn, Carousel, Café, etc., we do not have a large indoor structure to seek shelter for large groups for hours at a time.

* If you prefer, you can request a rain (or heat) date right on your reservation form. You are welcome to wait and see what the weather brings up to the last minute on the day of your visit, but please remember to check your school guidelines for their weather policy and check with your bus service to see what their cancellation policy is. If you decide that you are not going to visit because of the weather, we would ask you to call us that morning and leave a message on our voicemail telling us that you are not coming due to the weather along with your group name and your rain date. We will make the changes on our computer and save a tree by asking you to use your existing confirmation paper already sent to you.

If your school or organization would like to receive discounted admission rates for a self-guided visit, please call our Group Sales Office at (203) 394-6572. Just request a reservation form, fill it out and return it to us. Afterward, we will enter your reservation into our computer and send you back an invoice to pay from. After we receive your payment, we will send you wristbands to wear which will expedite your entrance into the Zoo. We will also include maps and scavenger hunts for your chaperones to help with your self guided visit. The Group Sales office is open for reservations all year long.

Or if you prefer, you can print a copy of the reservation form, fill it out and return it to us by fax and by first class mail to ensure we receive it.