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School Program FAQs

Find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about school programs. If you have additional questions, please contact the education programs office or call 202-633-3024.
Advance reservation is required for your bus. To make a reservation, please submit this form or call 202-633-4960 or 202-633-4964. School bus reservations can be made Monday through Wednesday and are on a first-come, first-served basis, so please make a reservation as soon as you have booked your field trip! Groups coming on Thursday or Friday can be dropped off and picked up in the bus lot, but buses will not be able to park on Zoo grounds during your program. All buses drop off in the designated bus lot, which is located next to Parking Lot B and the Panda Plaza.
 The Zoo is a 10-minute walk from either the Woodley Park stop or Cleveland Park stop on the Metro's Red Line.

Unfortunately, there are no lockers for lunch storage.  There are numerous picnic areas throughout the Zoo — the Panda Plaza, the Panda Overlook, the Great Meadow and the picnic pavilion next to the Mane Grill. 

There are several food vendors throughout the park where meals and snacks can be purchased. Please note that due to the variety of food vendors on site, we cannot provide information regarding allergies at this time.

The closest parking lot to the bus drop-off is Lot B. For chaperones arriving separately, parking is a flat fee of $25 per car (free for some levels of membership). On busy days our parking lots can fill up very quickly and chaperones may have to walk from one of the further lots, so please encourage chaperones to arrive early. 

Information about your program's starting location will be included in your confirmation email. 

Public restrooms are located in Panda Plaza, inside the Visitor Center, at the Elephant Outpost, next to the Conservation Pavilion and inside Amazonia.

Our programs run rain or shine! We do have a number of indoor exhibits, where we will try to spend the majority of our time, but expect to walk outside in between exhibits, so please dress for the weather!

If the Zoo or your school is closed due to inclement weather, however, we will work with you to reschedule at no cost.

No, there is never any direct animal contact in our programs. 
Due to timing restrictions and the layout of the Zoo, we are usually unable to deviate from the planned programs.
About two weeks before your trip, we will contact you to finalize all details and to provide you with pre-visit information for your students. 

If you are running late, please call the Education Office at 202-633-3024.

As we often schedule multiple programs per day, we may not be able to extend your program. We will work with you as best as we can within the available time frame to make sure your students have the best possible experience at the Zoo!