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Summer Learning Adventures Goals & Information

Our Educational Goals and answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Summer Learning Adventures at Sedgwick County Zoo

Summer Learning Adventure Goals

The mission of Sedgwick County Zoo is “Inspiring Respect and Conservation of Wildlife and Wild Places” through three pillars of success: Caring, Connecting, and Conserving.

Sedgwick County Zoo Educators will introduce, support, and encourage discovery so that adventurers will be able to demonstrate caring, connecting and conserving.


Encourage enjoyment, education, and exploration of nature and the environment.

A) Visit/tour the zoo.

B) Engage in outdoor games/activities each day.

C) Encounter and observe animals.

Explore the natural history of animals.

A) Identify the four basic needs of all animals.

B) Name the general classes/groups of animals and a characteristic of each group.

C) Know the meaning of adaptation, discuss its importance, and give an example.

D) Distinguish between carnivore, omnivore, and herbivore.


Promote scientific discovery.

A) Participate in or observe science-based activities/experiments.

B) Use question-based discovery to come to a solution or explain a situation.

C) Engage in hands on activities throughout the adventures.

Stress the importance of ecosystems and habitats.

A) Define and identify different habitats.

B) Name at least one animal in each habitat and describe how it has adapted to thrive there.


Help adventurers take an active role in the stewardship of our environment.

A) Adventurers will participate in reducing use and recycling of materials such as aluminum cans, paper, cardboard, and plastic.

B) Identify an environmental concern (habitat loss, global warming, etc.) and name at least one way they can take an active role to minimize the effects (reduce carbon footprint).

Summer Learning Adventures Information

LOCATION Summer Learning Adventures start and conclude in the Cargill Learning Center located just north of the main entrance to the Sedgwick County Zoo.

CLASS TIME Classes for children ages 4-9 years take place from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Junior Zoo Kids classes take place from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Please see your program ticket for class times for teen programs.

ARRIVAL for Ages 4-12 years old Check-in takes place curbside in the drop off lane in front of the Cargill Learning Center (CLC). Please remain in the car. Staff will approach each car for participant check in beginning 10 minutes before class start time. First day check-in will include registration confirmation and verification of any allergies and special needs.

Please be on time. Punctuality is very important as class begins on time. If your child is going to be late to class, please call the Education Department beforehand at 316-266-8213.

ARRIVAL for Teens Ages 13 and older Students and parents may park and enter the Cargill Learning Center (CLC) on the first day for registration confirmation and picking up t-shirts. After day one, students may be dropped off in front of CLC. Students who drive themselves should check in with an Educator upon arrival at the Zoo.

ZOO RIDER NUMBER for ages 4-12 years old On the first day of your Summer Learning Adventure, you will receive two Zoo Rider cards. You must have this card or the unique code listed on the card to pick up your child. We cannot release a student to someone without a Zoo Rider card or the unique code.

If the person picking up your child does not have a Zoo Rider card or the unique code, we will require a photo ID and will contact the emergency contact or parent/guardian for verification before the child will be allowed to leave with the driver.

We ask that families who have purchased tickets for two or more weeks of Summer Learning Adventures keep their Zoo Rider Number as we can use the same number throughout the summer.

DEPARTURE for Ages 4-12 years old Check-out takes place curbside in front of the Cargill Learning Center. Please remain in the car. Make sure the Zoo Rider card is visible to staff. Staff will approach each car where verbal check-outs will occur. If your child has not been picked up by 10 minutes after class ends, you will be charged a late fee. If early pick up from class is needed, please notify the Education Department a minimum of twenty-four hours in advance. Early pick-ups will only be allowed with prior approval as classes are often out in the Zoo. Your Zoo Rider number is required for pick up.

DROP OFF AND PICK UP ETIQUETTE Please do not block any roads or entrances into parking areas.

If you are more than 10 minutes early, please pull into a parking spot and wait until staff are present before pulling into the drop off lane. Parking in the drop off lane causes congestion and can impede emergency vehicles.

We also ask that you think about the environment and turn your car off if you are waiting. Idling, leaving the car running when not in drive, reduces your vehicle’s fuel economy, costs you money, and creates pollution. Idling for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel and produces more emissions that contribute to smog and climate change than stopping and restarting your engine. While the impact of idling may be small on a per-car basis, the impact of the 250 million personal vehicles in the United States adds up. For saving fuel and reducing emissions, eliminating the unnecessary idling of personal vehicles would be the same as taking 5 million vehicles off the roads.

BEFORE CARE Before Care is available for an additional fee. You must purchase a separate ticket for Before Care. You will need to enter the building for Before Care drop off.

BETWEEN CARE Between Care is available for students enrolled in both morning and afternoon classes of Junior Zoo Kids during the same week. You must purchase a separate ticket for Between Care. Students should plan to pack a sack lunch each day that does not need to be refrigerated.

EDUCATION STAFF Our Summer Learning Adventures staff are selected based on many criteria. All staff have previous experience working with children and/or an educational background in science and/or education. All Zoo employees are subject to a background check prior to hiring.

SNACKS Please notify the Education Department of any allergies or food preferences (like vegetarian) as we do occasionally make a special snack or provide a treat on a hot day. All participants should bring a water bottle with their name clearly marked on it.

CLOTHING Much of the day is spent outside, so make sure your adventurer is dressed for the weather! It can get really hot so we recommend comfortable shorts or capri-length pants. Socks and closed-toe, closed-heel shoes are required. Sandals, flip flops, or Crocs-style shoes are not allowed. If rain is forecast, send your child with a raincoat or poncho. Umbrellas are not allowed.

During Summer Learning Adventures, we get messy and sometimes make projects for outdoors that use non-washable paint. Please dress in clothes that can get messy. 

SUNSCREEN AND BUG SPRAY We recommend applying sunscreen and bug spray prior to leaving for the Zoo each morning.

WHAT TO BRING Reusable water bottle filled with ice water. Wearing a hat is recommended. All items should be labelled clearly with participant name. Please apply sunscreen and bug spray before getting in line for check in.

Please do not bring any items that are not for Summer Learning Adventures or any personal items. The Sedgwick County Zoo and its staff are not responsible for lost or stolen items.

REFUNDS AND CLASS TRANSFERS All sales are final. No refunds or class transfers will be given. We do not offer a wait-list option for Education programs.

WAIT-LIST All sales are final. No refunds or class transfers will be given. We do not offer a wait-list option for Education programs.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS Each person over the age of six months who attends any education program must have a ticket. Space is limited. Tickets will be scanned at the door. All classes take place rain or shine. Your purchase serves as your permission for use of your image by Sedgwick County Zoo. All reservations are final. Ticket may not be copied or resold and may be used only once. Tickets will not be replaced if lost, stolen or unused. No refunds.


If there is an emergency involving your child while they are at the Zoo, we will first contact the Emergency Contact as indicated at ticket purchase. If we receive no response, we will contact the other adults listed on your child’s registration. If your emergency contact information has changed since ticket purchase, please notify the Education Department at

If there is an emergency and you need to pick up your child early, please call 316-266-8213. If there is no answer, please leave a message. Messages are checked regularly.

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS If you have questions, please contact the Education Department at




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What to Know

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Animals Sightings

As always, some animals may not be visible due to weather or other factors. After 4:00 PM, you may see fewer animals during your visit.

Zoo Rules

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