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School Group Admission Rates 2014*

  • Schools: $5.25 / person
    To make your field trip to the Zoo as easy as possible, please fill out the Field Trip Form prior to your arrival.
    If you would like to check on availability of an Auditorium Program please use this e-mail form or availability of an Investigation Station please use this e-mail form.
  • Title 1 Schools: $4.25 / person
    (Must show evidence of status and schedule a free learning program with the Cargill Learning Center. Programs must be booked a minimum of two weeks in advance and are subject to availability)
  • Headstart: $5.25 / person
  • Licensed Child Care/Preschool: $5.25 / person
  • Home Schools: $5.25 / person
    (Must contact the Cargill Learning Center a minimum of one week in advance of visit. If less than one week, full price)
  • Other care organizations (i.e. nursing homes, non-profit groups, homeless, crisis or rehab centers): $5.25 

Guests with special needs are welcome. Please contact the education department for more information.

* Rates are subject to change without notice.

This program is to help Title 1 public schools within Sedgwick County visit the Zoo this year. The program will offer reimbursement of up to $400 per bus to schools for field trip transportation costs.

To receive this funding, Sedgwick County Title 1 public schools need to complete the following steps:

  • Call the Zoo (316.266.8213) to register for transportation reimbursement – school must know how many buses will be needed.
  • Book their field trip and free education program with the Zoo – showing proper Title 1 school documentation.
  • Book the buses for the class through bussing company.
  • Enjoy your field trip to the Zoo and participate in the required education program.
  • Following the field trip, send receipt for bus transportation to the Zoo.
  • The Zoo will confirm the class’s attendance to the Zoo and required education program and reimburse school for up to $400 per bus.

Registration for transportation reimbursements will be on a first-come, first-served. Title 1 schools may ask for more than one reimbursement in the school year.

Interested Title 1 schools should call the Cargill Learning Center at 316.266.8213 for more information or to register.

You may schedule an Investigation Station for your class Monday-Wednesday* at 10:00, 10:30, 11:00 or 11:30 a.m. in April and May—just in time for your field trip to the Zoo. Investigation Stations allow your students to interact, investigate, explore, and meet an animal ambassador. Each program will include: artifacts, inquiry-based activity, animal information and a live animal. There is a maximum of one school group (40 students) per 20-minute program. All classes are aligned to Kansas State Science Standards. This program is at no cost. Please plan to arrive at least five minutes before your scheduled program.

If you would like to check on availability of an Investigation Station please use this e-mail form.

Programs include:

Critter Coats – American Barn - Monday through Friday
Fur, feathers, and skin we use them all. Students will discover how these animal body coverings help us every day.

Migration Madness – Big Bear Watering Hole - Monday through Wednesday
Students will learn what migration is, why animals migrate and dangers and issues that face the migrating animals.

Who’s Who – Tiger Look Out - Monday through Wednesday
Participants will learn how zoo keepers identify individual animals and why it is important.

Shark Attacks Bite – POET Gazebo - Monday through Wednesday
Students will learn about the adaptations sharks have to survive and dive into some of the myths surrounding these wonderful predators.

*Critter Coats Investigation Station is also available on Thursday and Friday at 10:00, 10:30, 11:00 or 11:30 a.m. 

Auditorium Programs

You may schedule a program in our auditorium for no additional charge. Auditorium programs last approximately 45 minutes and are held in the Education auditorium. They involve an AV presentation, audience participation and animal biofacts (skulls, feathers, fur, etc.). There is no charge for this program.

Program can serve ten to 300 people and are scheduled on-the-hour. Kindergarten and preschool groups are limited to 50 students per program. One adult for every ten students is required. We ask that these adults distribute themselves throughout the students during the presentation. Groups with less than 30 students may be combined with other like groups.

We ask that you schedule your educational program at least two weeks prior to your preferred visit date. Scheduling begins in August for each school year. Programs fill up quickly in the spring. We suggest scheduling as soon as possible and planning trips during the fall and winter months. It is only possible to schedule one type of program per visit to the Zoo. If you would like to check on availability of an Auditorium Program please use this e-mail form.

Confirmation: Soon after you schedule your program you will receive a confirmation packet which will include confirmation of the date and time, a payment form, and pre-visit instructions. Please check the letter carefully and call the Education Department if there are any problems or changes. Due to tight schedules, programs will be cancelled if groups are more than ten minutes late. Groups that do not show up AND do not call a minimum of 30 minutes before the program is scheduled to begin will be charged a $10.00 service charge. This will be invoiced to the school.

Parents with siblings are encouraged to enjoy the Zoo or wait in the foyer during the presentation. For those parents with younger siblings who decide to join a program we ask that you be courteous and exit the program if the sibling becomes unruly or disruptive.

Preschool — 30 minute programs. There is a maximum of 50 studetns per program.

  • Bear Snores On
  • Edward the Emu
  • Is Your Mamma a Llama
  • I Wanna Iguana
  • Mixed-up Chameleon
  • Roar
  • Salamander Roam
  • Stellaluna
  • Stranger In the Woods
  • The Great Kapok Tree
  • Wide-mouthed Frog
  • Verdi

 Kindergarten — 20 minute programs. There is a maximum of 50 students per program

  • Zoo Babies: This 20-minute program includes a discussion on bird, mammal and reptile babies and talks about the current babies at the Zoo. There is a maximum of 50 students per program.
  • Backyard Buddies: Discover the plants and animals living in your own backyard as we use finger play and puppets to bring learning alive

Grades 1–2

  • Animals, Animals: The differences between birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish are explored by looking at their body coverings, method of birth and lifestyle.
  • Your Big Backyard: This program focuses on what plants and animals in Kansas need to survive. It also takes students through a variety of native Kansas plant and animal life cycles.

Grades 3–5

  • Habitats: This presentation includes a discussion of various habitats including the two most endangered ecosystems: the rainforest and the coral reef. Conservation and protection of habitats are emphasized.
  • Adaptations: Students will learn about the ways animals are adapted (movement, feeding, camouflage, defense and communication) to their environment
  • Kansas is Cool: Students will discover why Kansas is a great place to live while they explore native plants and animals. They will also discover ways to keep Kansas great.

Grades 6–8

  • Adapting for Survival: Students will learn about the ways animals are adapted (movement, feeding, camouflage, defense and communication) to their environment including examples of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.
  • Tropical Rainforest: This program includes a discussion of rainforest characteristics; animals that live in the rainforest, products that people use that originate in the rainforest and why rainforests are disappearing.
  • Big Cats: Roar, meow, purr… this presentation includes a discussion of what makes a big cat “big,” the cats we exhibit at our Zoo and other feline facts.

Grades 9–12

  • Animal Survivor: Endangered animals we exhibit here at the Zoo are featured in this presentation that includes a discussion of why animals become endangered and some of the things zoos are doing to help endangered species.
  • Is There a Doctor in the Zoo? What do you do when a snake has a tumor? This slide presentation covers the many jobs our veterinary staff is responsible for and how they care for our wide variety of animals.
  • Zoo Careers: Zoo Keeping is not the only career available at the Zoo. Learn how many job positions it takes to keep the Zoo running smoothly. There might just be a job for your future.
  • Zoo History: Students will be able to see the Zoo grow as we take a pictorial walk through the history of the Zoo.
  • Custom-tailored programs may be available with adequate advance notice. We can adapt most programs to any grade level or cover another topic. 


Make Your Day at the Zoo a Great Day at the Zoo

To make your visit to the Zoo more educational and enjoyable, we recommend that you have at least one adult for each ten students. We encourage sponsors and teachers to review the following rules with their groups:

  • Please walk, do not run in the Zoo.
  • Remain on the pathways at all times. No climbing on rails. Keep hands, feet and other objects outside of barriers and fences.
  • Do not chase or tease animals. (for example: throwing things at them, tapping on the glass, etc.)
  • Do not touch plants or pick flowers.
  • Feed only the food provided for the animals in the feeders in designated areas. Feeding in other areas of the Zoo is not allowed.
  • An adult must accompany students wishing to make purchases in the Plaza Beastro and gift shop.
  • Help us keep the Zoo clean. Please deposit trash and recyclable items in the proper trash containers.
  • Respect all Zoo guests and employees.

The Zoo reserves the right to contact school administrators if misconduct by students occurs.

Guest Services staff patrol the Zoo grounds. They carry radios and will be happy to assist anyone who needs help. In case of severe weather, Guest Services and other Zoo staff will alert you of the conditions and show you where to take shelter. First Aid plus Lost and Found are located at the Zoo Entrance.

Plaza Beastro offers sack lunches for $5.00 each. Please call 266-8226 one week in advance to make arrangements. If you prefer, you can bring your sack lunches in protective labeled containers, which may be stored in the shelter areas near Plaza Beastro. Please do not leave them near the Entrance or Gift Shop area.

Grab Bags, (also knows as party favors or in this case: field trip favors) are available for group purchase through the Gift Shop. Please call 266-8234 one week in advance to make arrangements.

If you have students with special needs that require assistance from our staff, please notify us at 266-8288.

When in the Cargill Learning Center, please remember that the same rules apply here as they do in a school building.

  • Please use inside voices and be considerate of others around you.
  • Due to high program demand, smaller groups may be combined with others.
  • Kindergarten groups are limited to no more than 50 participants.
  • Since this program was created specifically for your grade level, older/younger siblings cannot attend the program and should spend this time enjoying the Zoo with an adult or playing in the Parent Nook inside Cargill Learning Center.
  • To avoid disruptions and make this trip as beneficial to your students as possible, please intersperse adults among the children before being seated.
  • Food and drinks are not allowed in the auditorium or classrooms.

Please, don’t keep these rules a secret! It will make your trip to the Zoo a lot more fun if you take a few minutes to go over these with your group before your visit. THANKS!

This year, the Sedgwick County Zoo has joined the TerraCycle Drink Pouch Brigade.

TerraCycle converts drink pouch material into innovative products like tote bags and pencil cases. You may drop off your empty drink pouches from Capri Sun® and Honest Kids® at the Cargill Learning Center and we’ll send them to be recycled.

Questions about the program? Click here to e-mail Sedgwick County Zoo Education

Cargill Learning Center:   Education Specialist
Sedgwick County Zoo
5555 Zoo Boulevard
Wichita, Kansas 67212
t: (316) 266-8213
f: (316) 712-9867
Field Trip Hotline
t: (316) 266-8360
Field Trip Form 2014 download pdf
Hours of Operation
Summer Hours8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(Beginning March 1)
Winter Hours10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(Beginning November 1)
Open 364 Days a Year!*
*The Zoo will be closed one day only, September 6, 2014 to facilitate the preparation of the annual Zoo fundraiser, Zoobilee. For Zoobilee ticket information please call 266-8APE (8273).