Topeka
Topeka
  • Location: 635 SW Gage Boulevard Topeka, KS 66606-1234

Basics: 

The Topeka Zoo is home to nearly 300 animals from around the world. This walk-able zoo has easy-to-see animal habitats. The Topeka Zoo serves more than 30,000 students, teachers, and chaperones annually through field trip programs that provide children with an unforgettable experience exploring the zoo, going behind the scenes, and learning all about animals, nature, and our environment.

Subjects covered: Science, Animals, Nature, Conservation

Grade level:  All grade levels.

Best time to visit: Spring or fall are most comfortable for outdoor activities, but open year-round availability. 

Indoors, outdoors, or both? Both.

Clothing type recommended: Dress for the weather outside and wear comfortable walking shoes.

How to book field trip: 

  • Self-guided or Twilight Tours: Call Melissa at (785)368-9161 or complete the online form
  • Educational programs, camps and guided tours: Call Rachael at (785)368-9137
  • ZooSnooze Overnights, birthday parties, room rentals and behind-the-scenes tours: Call (785)368-9180

Curriculum & Standards:

What standards apply? Programs offered align with federal and state standards. Tours can be customized based on your needs. Note: The animal education program aligns with more standards than the guided tour.

Are there curriculum materials or guides at the site? Not currently.

What key vocabulary should students know beforehand? Activities are based on the standards, so all terminology will be covered by your everyday classroom activities. Otherwise, educators are on hand who can be flexible with the program.

Grade-specific field trip programs available? Yes. You can explore the zoo on your own, or you can participate in a Guided Zoo Tour, where a member of the zoo's education team will lead your group.

The following programs will enhance your experience and are tailored to grade-level: 

  • 1-hour live animal education program
  • 2-hour class: 1 hour of live animal education and one hour of activity-based learned, tied to standards or scout badge requirements.
  • Zoo2U program: 1 hour program where staff conduct a live animal education in your facility.
  • Behind-the-scenes tour: Come meet the Topeka Zoo's animals up-close!
  • ZooSnooze Overnight Expeirence: Enjoy games, movies, a night tour and more! Begins at 7 p.m. and ends at 8:30 a.m. 

Logistics & Budget:

Cost: Varies by program type.

  • Guided Zoo Tour: $75 per hour for up to 30 people
  • 1 hour live animal education program: $75 for up to 80 people.
  • 2 hours class: $145 for 1-29 people. If your group is larger the cost is $5 per person up to 80 people.
  • Zoo2U Program: $115 in Topeka. Additional fees for transportation outside of Topeka.
  • ZooSnooze Overnights: $30 per person; 1 free adult per 5 kids under 18 with a minimum of 15 guests required. If there are fewer than 15 people, the base fee is $450.

PLEASE NOTE: Admission to the zoo is not required if you’re just doing the program. If you want to explore the zoo before or after the programs or tours, you also will need to pay admission.

Are there scholarships, general grants, or transportation grants available? No transportation assistance is available. Shawnee County schools and daycare facilities receive a $2 rate. Non-Shawnee County schools or daycare facilities receive get a $0.50 discount for groups of 15+. To receive the discount, complete the online form or call Melissa. Forms must be submitted at least 48 hours prior to the trip.

How long will the tour take from start to finish? Depends on the speed of the group and programming involved, but plan on at least 90 minutes.

Pre-Post classroom visits available upon request? No.

Maximum number of students the venue can accommodate for a tour? There is no maximum for general admission/self-guided tours. Check group size for specific programs.

Minimum number of participants needed for a tour? A group of 15 is required for the group rate, otherwise no minimum is required for a tour. 

Number of adults per student needed? 1 for every 10 children is recommended but not required.

Can they eat lunch inside/on site and/or bring their own lunches? No outside food or drink is allowed. There is a box lunch special available. Please call Melissa or Rachael for more information. If you plan to bring lunch, there is picnic space available at nearby Gage Park.  

Where do the buses need to park? Is this also where the kids get dropped off? Bus drop-off is at the front gate and parking is available at the back of the parking lot, closest to Gage Park.

Resources: 

Social Media

General field trip information

Specific field trip programs