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Field Trip Policies

For a safe and enjoyable field trip, please follow the following policies during your visit to Fernbank.

Planning Schedule,  Deposits and Payments

June – July Arrivals

  • Full payment and a final head count are required at the time you make a reservation.
  • Reservations cannot be changed at check-in. A refund will not be given for any unused tickets included in the final headcount.

August – May Arrivals

  • A 50% deposit is due six  weeks after making your reservation.   
  • 1 week prior to your field trip or virtual program, the final head count and balance is due.  Reservations cannot be changed at check-in. A refund will not be given for any unused tickets included in the final head count.
  • The deposit is due at time of booking for reservations made less than four weeks in advance.
  • After your visit or virtual program, a final receipt will be emailed to the field trip coordinator. Overpayment made by check will be returned to the school by mail within four to six weeks. Payments made by credit card will be refunded directly to the card used for the initial payment and will post within three to five business days.

Cancellations and Refunds

  • Payments are fully refundable when the reservation is cancelled more than 2 weeks before visit date or virtual program.
  • Payments are non-refundable when the reservation is cancelled less than 2 weeks from the visit date or virtual program.
  • No refunds will be granted if you miss any or all of your scheduled field trip or virtual program.

Late Arrivals

  • Groups must arrive at the museum at least 30 minutes prior to any scheduled activities to allow adequate time for check in and wristband distribution.
  • Virtual Program participants must be logged into Zoom five minutes prior to the start of your program.
  • Giant Screen movies and educator-led programs will begin at the published start time. Late groups will not be seated.

Field Trip Entry and Wristbands

  • The field trip group leader should use the main lobby entrance to check in at the Box Office. The rest of the group will need to wait outside in the museum’s Dinosaur Plaza until the group leader returns.
  • In lieu of tickets, field trip groups are provided with color-coded wristbands. The field trip group leader is responsible for verifying the correct number of wristbands at check in.
  • All students and chaperones in a field trip group are required to wear wristbands for the duration of their visit. Wristbands must be presented for entrance into the museum and/or Giant Screen Theater. If your group needs to leave the museum for any reason (pick up something off the bus, etc.), wristbands will allow re-entry into the museum.
  • Wristbands are valid same-day only and are not replaceable if lost or stolen.


  • A minimum of one adult chaperone for every 10 students is required for all field trips.
  • Chaperones are required to stay with students, regardless of age/grade. Students found without the supervision of a chaperone will not be allowed to enter exhibits, programs and or/the theater.


  • Chaperones are responsible for the behavior of their students at all times during the visit. Please remind students to refrain from running or yelling and to respect the “no touching” policies in place within exhibits and museum areas as noted.
  • Students should use considerate “museum voices” both inside the museum and on the museum campus to allow for enjoyable experiences for others.
  • Use of skateboards, roller skates and Heelys® is strictly prohibited while in the museum and on the museum campus.
  • Please use the elevator only in cases of physical need, so guests who require the assistance of the elevator may use it in a timely manner.
  • Fernbank is a nicotine-free campus. Smoking, including e-cigarettes, is not allowed on or around the museum campus and parking lots.
  • Fernbank reserves the right to ask any disorderly members of your group to leave the campus. Under this circumstance, a refund will not be granted.

Exhibit Access

Some exhibits are limited by space and grade level:

  • NatureQuest is available to chaperoned students in pre-K through fourth grade.
  • Nature Stories, located in WildWoods, is available to chaperoned students in pre-K through third grade.
  • Adventure Outpost, located in WildWoods, is for fourth through sixth grade.
  • Access to all exhibits is on a space available, first-come, first-served basis.

Outdoor Guidelines

  • The natural world is home to stinging insects, poison ivy and snakes. Please be mindful and stay on the trails to protect yourself and sensitive habitats. Students and guests are not permitted to wade or swim in creeks, ponds or other water features.
  • Students should not collect, remove or handle natural items and living things.


  • Fernbank and the media frequently take photos and/or videos of guests. These images may be used for promotional purposes whatsoever in perpetuity and without compensation. If you do not wish to be photographed, please notify the photographer.
  • Personal photography and limited personal filming (using iPhone or equivalent) are permitted with paid museum admission, except in the Giant Screen Theater or in certain exhibits designated as no-photography areas.

Make a reservation online or contact the Field Trip Team at 404.929.6320 or