girl pets chicken held by zookeeper

Take your students on an educational field trip they are sure to enjoy.

School & Group Programs

Let the area’s best zoo provide an unforgettable learning experience for you.

Cosley Zoo education programs support many Illinois State Learning Standards for children ages 3 and over. Cosley Zoo staff is experienced in working with a wide variety of ages and groups with special needs. Program material is adjusted to be age-appropriate for your group. We look forward to being part of a memorable learning experience.

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Program Topic Descriptions

Introduce your students to the different body coverings found on animals. In this class, they’ll see examples of feathers, fur, and scales and identify their functions.

What makes a mammal a mammal, a bird a bird, or a reptile a reptile? Students learn the criteria that help us place animals in their proper classification or group.

What has three body parts, six legs, two antennae and sometimes wings? Insects! Learn basic insect characteristics and much more.

Which animals have bones and which do not? This program focuses on the differences between invertebrates and vertebrates.

Why do some birds have webbed feet? How can some animals live in the mountains? Learn about animals’ special features, their habitats, and their conservation.

Is the animal a predator, scavenger, decomposer, or prey? Find out about the important role animals play in their environments and in each other’s lives.

Learn more about the characteristics of these scaly creatures.


A minimum two-week advance notice is required for scheduling a program. Earlier registration is recommended. Scheduling is on a first-come, first-served basis.

When making your group reservation, please have the following information available:

  • Group contact information
  • Type of program you would like to reserve
  • Date(s) of program. Please have an alternate date in case your first choice is not available.
  • Time(s) of program
  • Number of individuals (children and adults)
  • Age/grade of participants
  • Any special needs or accommodations
  • The program topic you would like for your group

For more information or to make reservations, please call 630.665.5534 or e-mail Once you have made your reservation, confirmation material will be sent to you. Review it carefully and verify that all the information is correct. Call us as soon as possible with any corrections or changes to your reservation.

Payment & Cancellation

  • Payment is due two weeks prior to your program date. To pay by credit card (Visa, Discover, or MasterCard) please call 630.665.5534. Please make checks payable to Cosley Zoo and mail to Cosley Zoo, 1356 N. Gary Ave., Wheaton, IL 60187, Attn: Education.
  • Final headcount (children and adults) must be provided two weeks prior to your program. Refunds for on-site programs will not be given for a decrease in group size made less than two weeks before your scheduled program. Due to capacity limits, an increase in the number of participants may not be able to be accommodated. It is not recommended that siblings attend the program. Any siblings ages three and over need to be included in the final participant count and will be charged the program fee.
  • Cancellations made with at least a two-week notice will receive a full refund less a $20 processing fee. Cancellations made between two weeks and 24 hours prior to the program will receive a 50% refund. Cancellations made less than 24 hours prior to the program will not receive a refund.
  • In-person programs are held rain or shine. Refunds will not be given for weather-related cancellations. In the case of extreme weather, where participant safety is a concern, staff will work with you to schedule another date. If your group is unable to reschedule, the normal cancellation policy applies.


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