Self-Guided Tours

Self-Guided visits are a more inexpensive way for students to learn about animal wildlife.  Children are able explore the zoo with their chaperones on their own time.

When to Schedule a Visit -
Zoo Boise is very busy during the month of May, particularly on Thursdays and Fridays. To avoid large crowds, consider taking your Zoo Boise field trip on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday and/or during another month of the year. March, April, September and October are great months to visit the zoo because the weather is cooler, the crowds are smaller, and you are more likely to see animals such as snow leopards, red pandas, and owls.

Self-Guided tours are available during Zoo Boise's normal business hours.

Cost & Restrictions- 
  • The reduced admission rate applies only to nonprofit youth group organizations and government funded organizations that provide services to individuals with disabilities. These types of organizations include schools, scouts troops, youth church groups, Boys & Girls Club, and the YMCA. If you need clarification regarding your group’s status, please contact Zoo Boise at 608-7748.
  • $2.50 per student, teacher, and chaperone.  Children 2 years and younger are free.
  • One payment for your entire group must be made at the zoo entrance on the day of your visit; chaperones and other adults do not pay separately. Payment is accepted by school check (payable to “City of Boise”), cash, or credit card (Visa, Mastercard, and Discover). To make arrangements for purchase orders, please contact 608-7748.  Anyone paying separately will be charged the regular admission price.
  • Friends of Zoo Boise members are admitted free only if they present their membership card and photo identification at the zoo entrance (no photocopies). Otherwise, members must pay the $2.50 admission rate.
How to Schedule a Visit -
Contact the zoo by email at and provide the following information:
1) At least 3 dates & times (arrival and departure times) for a Zoo visit in order of preference
2) School Name
3) Number of Students
4) Grade of students
5) School Contact Name
6) School Contact email
7) School Contact phone number
Zoo Education Staff will email a final confirmation and information packet to the school contact provided once a Zoo visit is scheduled.

Discovery Stations at the Zoo - April & May - NEW!
Beginning in April 2014, Zoo education staff and volunteers will be in the zoo at discovery stations from 10am-2pm conducting interactive presentations focusing on animal biology and adaptations, habitats and ecology. Of course, one of the stations will be an animal encounter! The Discovery Station activities meet Idaho Standards and can be supplemented with activities that will be available to teachers and chaperons through our website or by contacting the Zoo's education department; these activities are will in development and should be available on April 1, 2014.

Before Arriving at Zoo Boise -
Following these guidelines will help ensure a quick entrance into the zoo when you arrive.
  • Ensure your transportation is aware of the visitor and bus parking guidelines for Julia Davis Park
  • Visit Educator Resources for information about Zoo Boise.
  • Chaperone/Student Ratio - We request 1 adult chaperone for every 5 students. Chaperones must accompany their students at all times while in the zoo.  Please, arrange chaperone/student groups before arriving at the zoo.
  • Have the payment collected for your entire group (including students, chaperones, and teachers).  
  • Have a separate count of total students, adults, Friends of Zoo Boise members, and children 2 & under ready.
  • Read and review Zoo Etiquette with your students, teachers, and chaperones. Zoo Etiquette will provide you with the Do’s and some Don'ts of human behavior expected while at the zoo!
  • Plan on a rendezvous site other than the front of the zoo. This area can become very congested during the spring. Consider a meeting spot in Julia Davis Park. The zoo entrance staff will not make announcements for groups to meet unless in the case of an emergency.
  • Plan to visit the Zootique Gift Shop or Expedition Grille.

When Arriving at Zoo Boise -
  • If attending Zoo Boise in May, have one representative from your group wait in line at the zoo entrance upon your arrival. The rest of your group can wait in Julia Davis Park away from the zoo entrance. Groups will be let in one at a time by Zoo Boise Staff after each school’s representative has paid. This procedure will allow the zoo to avoid extreme congestion at the main entrance during this busy time.
  • Have your payment collected and ready along with the number of students, teachers, Friends of Zoo Boise members, and children 2 and younger.
  • Pay for your entire group in 1 payment (chaperones and other adults do not pay separately). Students, teachers, and chaperones that are not included in the single payment will be charged full admission price.