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 and your students.

Cosley Zoo education programs meet 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. Choose from one of the programs listed in our brochure or have us customize a program for you. Program material is adjusted to be age appropriate for your group. We look forward to being part of a memorable learning experience for your students.

Visit the Zoo

A trip to Cosley Zoo will offer an unequaled experience as the children participate in an educational, fun, interactive program in the midst of the zoo’s animals. Zoo programs covering a variety of topics are available year-round for children ages 3 and over.

Education Programs are:

  • Interactive and include live animals for a one-of-a kind, up-close encounter
  • 45 minutes in length
  • Designed for individual classrooms/small groups. Maximum of 20 participants per program (ages 3-5) or 30 participants per program (Kindergarten or older)

Education Program Fees

  • $5.50/participant (A minimum of 12 participants per program or $66.)
  • 1 chaperone for every 10 children is free.  Additional chaperones are $7 each.

Reservations
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
  • Date(s) you wish to come to the zoo. Please have an alternate date in case your first choice is not available.
  • Time(s) of program
  • Number of participants
  • Number of chaperones
  • 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 education@cosleyzoo.org. 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 and 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 (participants and chaperones) must be provided two weeks prior to your program. No refunds will be given for a decrease in group size made less than two weeks before your scheduled program. There may be an additional fee if your group size increases. 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.
  • 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.

Download our School & Group Program Brochure (PDF) for more information.

Let the Zoo Visit You

Can’t come to the zoo? Let us come to you!

These dynamic, one-of-a-kind programs are done right in your classroom or multi-purpose room. Both classroom and assembly programs are offered to suit your needs. Fees vary based on group size and program location.

Zoo to You Programs are:

  • Interactive and include live animals as partners in the teaching process
  • Available year-round

Download our Zoo to You Brochure (PDF) for more information.

Zoo to You Program Fees

  • Classroom Presentations (Maximum 30 participants): $105 plus travel fee
  • Assembly Presentations (Maximum 150 participants): $225 plus travel fee
  • Multiple programs scheduled to take place on the same day may be eligible for a discount.

Travel Fee

  • 0-5 miles = no additional fee
  • 6-10 miles = $20 additional fee
  • 11-20 miles = $40 additional fee
  • 20+ miles = fee determined on a case-by-case basis

Reservations

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
  • Date(s) you wish to have us visit your facility. Please have an alternate date in case your first choice is not available.
  • Time(s) of program
  • Number of participants
  • Number of chaperones
  • Age/grade of participants
  • Any special needs or accommodations
  • The program topic you would like for your group

Cosley Zoo Discovery Boxes

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Bird Discovery Box

Discovery Boxes are designed for teachers to enhance their classroom curriculum. These learning kits for grades pre-K through 3 contain biofacts (animal artifacts), activity ideas, videos, puppets, and more! Contents vary with themes. Discovery Boxes are loaned out for up to two weeks. To reserve a Discovery Box, call 630.665.5534, and a Guest Services staff member can assist you. Discovery boxes can be picked up at the zoo during normal business hours.

Themes available:

  • Mammals
  • Birds
  • Reptiles and Amphibians
  • Life Cycles
  • Native Illinois Wildlife

Fee: $15 per box.

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