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School Field Trips To The Sanctuary




Tour our Wildlife Sanctuary with your students to learn how to safely coexist with native Arizona wildlife. Small groups get an up-close view of Southwest Wildlife as we share the compelling stories of our sanctuary residents. Our tours are led by experienced guides using an engaging, standards-based curriculum. The tour is two hours long and takes place completely outdoors.

Fill out the Initial Request Form below to receive information about school tour fees and scheduling.

Please Note: 

  • The Initial Request Form does NOT guarantee tour availability. We will contact you regarding your tour request. 
  • Each in-person field trip has a maximum of 20 participants (students and adults combined). If your group is larger than 20, we must split your group over multiple days. 
  • Participant maximums per day depends on your classes age group. For kindergarten through 4th grade, 10 children can be accomodated. For grades 5th-8th, 20 children can be accomodated. For grades 9th and up, 25 children can be accommodated. If your class is larger than the allocated amount, we must split your group over multiple days. 
  • Dates for school field trips are limited and book quickly! Please contact us at least 2 months in advance with your preferred date.
  • We do not offer school tours past mid-May due to extreme heat of summer. Tours can be requested during the school year from September through mid-May. 
  • Have additional questions? Please see our frequently asked questions section below. 
Southwest Wildlife Arizona School Field Trips

Initial Request for School Program Form

(The animals eat peanuts and peanut butter on the tour unless an allergy is specified.)

Field Trip FAQ's

Does my group qualify for the school field trip rate?

The school field trip rate only applies to school groups (homeschool, public school, charter school, and private school) and groups that are for children such as girl scouts and boy scouts. If your group has more adults than children you will be charged the private tour rate. Call the education department at 480-471-3621 or submit our Contact Us form for more information about private tours.

How long are tours and what will I see?

School field trips are 2 hours long. You may see native southwest mammals including black bears, mountain lions, coyotes, foxes and more. 

How does a school field trip tour differ from a public tour?

School field trips are an engaging adventure that include educational activities along the tour route. 

Where are you located?

We are located near the town of Rio Verde, North of Fountain Hills in North Scottsdale. Our physical address is 27026 N 156th St, Scottsdale, AZ 85262.

Are weekend dates available?

On weekends our facility cannot accommodate private or school tours due to an increase in public tours. If your group can only attend on a weekend, please submit your request as far in advance as possible to give us time to try and accommodate. 

Do I have to commit now? Can’t I wait to sign up for a date?

Due to the high number of requests coming in for school tours, please let us know as soon as possible if you are interested in setting up a tour date. January through April are very busy months in which we fill up all available dates for school tours. The sooner you commit to a date, the higher the likelihood that you will get the date that you desire. Tours must be booked and the deposit paid at least one month in advance.

Are you open in the summer?

Yes! Our animals receive care every day, year-round. During the summer, we only offer public morning tours. However, we do not offer school tours during the summer.

What should I wear?

Tours are outdoors as you weave in and out of shady and sunny areas. Remember to have your students wear hats and sunblock, bring water, and wear closed-toed shoes.

Why do we have a tour guide, can’t we just walk around?

We are closed to the public outside of our scheduled tour times. You must be with a tour guide to see our facility.

What will my group learn by going on this tour?

Your students will learn about the vital importance of native mammals to Southwest Ecosystems. They will learn basic facts about each species as well as each individual animal’s story of how they came to live at Southwest Wildlife. We teach that wild animals are not pets and how to safely coexist with the wildlife around you. We also love sharing our appreciation of the Sonoran Desert with your class!

Is there food onsite? Can we eat lunch at your location after the tour?

There are no food options onsite and picnicking space is not available.

Will our bus fit at your location?

Yes, we can fit a full-size school or charter bus in our parking lot.