SchoolBus_MarioSánchezPrada school field trip ideas

© Mario Sánchez Prada

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

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 group rate, you must bring more than 10 people on your field trip.

San Francisco school groups receive free admission.

For other California school groups, pricing is as follows:

  • Through December 20, 2019: $9.95 per person
  • From January 6, 2020 - June 5, 2020: $11.25 per person

Eligibility for 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. We are proud to offer heavily discounted admission for schools in California regardless of Title I status—no scholarships necessary. Spread the word!

Tips for Planning a Visit Date

Generally, field trips can be scheduled on most dates with the exception of holidays and some school breaks. You can even book a weekend visit!

Reserved seats in Planetarium shows are free, but you must request them on the online application to pre-book the seats. Use these Planetarium schedules when planning preferred visit dates to improve your chances of getting seats in your favorite show.

We anticipate closing the Rainforest dome for maintenance on September 10-12, 2019; January 21-22, 2020; and May 12-14, 2020.

Our new summer exhibit, Skin: Living Armor, Evolving Identity, opens June 14, 2019, and runs through mid-January.

Consider attending on the following dates if you'd like to experience special drop-in programs for English Language Learners:

Seeking Transportation Scholarships?

Schools from the 9 Bay Area counties may be eligible for Transportation Funds from the Environmental Volunteers or Excursion Grants from Philanthropic Ventures Foundation.

Schools from Oakland should check out the A to Z Fund.

Do you teach elementary school in San Francisco? The Rock Fund Program, currently open to 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classes, provides needs-based transportation scholarships, in addition to free educational programming for your field trip.

Find a reserved program

3rd Grade - 5th Grade
Free
Planetarium: School Show

Apr 16, 2020: Become a virtual space traveler and chart your course to the edge of the solar system—in Spanish!

3rd Grade - 12th Grade
Free
Planetarium: General Audience

This show is offered daily at 12:30 pm through May 1, 2020.

3rd Grade - 5th Grade
Free
Planetarium: School Show

This show is offered on most Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 10:30 am throughout the school year.

6th Grade - 8th Grade
Free
Planetarium: School Show

This show is offered on select Tuesdays at 10:30 am throughout the school year.

3rd Grade - 12th Grade
Free
Planetarium: General Audience

This show is offered daily at 11:30am through May 1, 2020.

Kindergarten - 2nd Grade
Free
Planetarium: School Show

This show is offered most Mondays and Fridays at 10:30 am throughout the school year.

3rd Grade - 5th Grade
Free
Planetarium: School Show

Apr 15, 2020: Be a virtual space traveler and chart your course to the edge of the solar system—in Cantonese!

Field Trip Sponsors

We Thank our Sponsors

The School & Youth Field Trips program is generously supported by an a Anonymous donor, BioMarin, Genentech, Inc., Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Hearst Endowed Fund for Science Education, Jacques M. Littlefield Foundation, Marin Community Foundation, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, and Union Bank. Additional support is provided by the Academy’s local business donors.

Genentech, PG&E, and Union Bank sponsored Academy field trips.