SchoolBus_MarioSánchezPrada school field trip ideas

© Mario Sánchez Prada


Each year, more than 1,600 schools visit the Academy on a field trip. School field trips are available for formal school groups bringing grades preK-12, including preschool, on a trip with their classroom teacher. Bring one class, or the entire grade!

Can we book a field trip for the 2021-2022 school year?

We anticipate welcoming schools on field trips in fall 2021, with the application opening up in August.

Join our newsletter to receive the announcement in your inbox when the application period opens!

Once group visits resume, those schools that submitted payment for a spring 2020 field trip which was unexpectedly canceled due to the onset of the pandemic will receive first priority. Our education team will reach out directly to those schools in early August 2021. All payments will remain on a school's account indefinitely as a credit for use on a future reservation, unless the site requests a refund.

In the meantime, enjoy your summer break!

Eligibility and Pricing

School field trip reservations are available for formal California school groups of students in grades pre-K through 12, including preschool.

  • To receive the school group rate, you must bring more than 10 people on your field trip, entering the building together at one time.
  • San Francisco school groups receive free admission.
  • For other California school groups, pricing is a flat rate of $11.25 per person, whether student or adult chaperone. We are proud to offer this heavily discounted admission prices to schools regardless of Title I status.
  • Eligibility for these free or discounted rates is at the discretion of the Academy, as subsidized admission is available thanks to generous annual donations to the Academy for All initiative.
  • Payment must be received in full at least two weeks prior to your visit date, although you may modify your headcount before submitting payment. We accept mailed checks or payment by credit card over the phone to 877-227-3311.
Tips for Planning a Visit Date

Generally, field trips can be scheduled on most dates with the exception of holidays and school breaks.

Please note that the Rainforest exhibit is expected to be closed for annual maintenance on the following seven dates: October 5-6, 2021; February 1-3, 2022; May 17-18, 2022. If you attend on one of those dates, your students may not enter the Rainforest dome.

  • Sharks is expected to run through January 23, 2022.
  • Venom: Fangs, Stingers, and Spines, is on exhibit in the Aquarium throughout the school year.
  • Wander Woods is expected to open mid-October in the East Garden, and is available for outdoor nature play throughout the school year.
Student Planetarium Shows

In lieu of student-centered shows delivered in the Morrison Planetarium at the museum, our astronomy educators will be running free online broadcasts for classrooms across California via our Distance Learning programs. You may register for any programs you’d like.

Thank you for your understanding as we work towards reopening safely with a limited museum staff. Should we have the ability to relaunch grade-appropriate dome shows for visiting school groups, our education team will be in touch with you as your field trip date approaches.

Do you teach elementary school in San Francisco?

The Rock Fund Program is open to K-5 classes in the city of San Francisco. This unique opportunity includes free field trip programming and needs-based transportation scholarships.

We Thank Our Sponsors

The School & Youth Field Trips program is generously supported by an a Anonymous donor, BioMarin, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Hearst Endowed Fund for Science Education, Jacques M. Littlefield Foundation, and Koret Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Academy’s local business donors.

Biomarin and Koret Foundation logos.