Sedgwick County Zoo has set a reopening date of May 21, 2020. They’ll be implementing some special measures to help keep the zoo animals, visitors and staff as safe as possible, which will include limiting ticket sales and scheduling visit times.
The Zoo was on Facebook Live this week to explain their reopening policies/procedures and how this will all work. Here are some of the particulars you need to know:
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- Every visitor (including members) will need to have a ticket before they enter.
- The zoo is limiting its capacity to 1000 people daily, which is well below its usual capacity, allowing plenty of space for visitors.
- Each available admission time slot is limited to 100 tickets, but there is no time limit once you are there.
- Zoo hours are still 9 to 5; scheduled admissions are until 2 p.m. (2 p.m. is the latest time slot you can get.) Members and seniors can schedule time slots for 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Once you arrive at the zoo, there is no time limit for your visit; you can stay as long as you like while the zoo is open.
- Members must also schedule admission, but their tickets will be $0. You’ll need to use your membership ID online to show that you are a member.
- When you arrive at the zoo entrance, you’ll stop at the window for staff to scan your ticket. Paw prints painted on the ground will help everyone waiting in line maintain a safe distance from other visitors.
- Masks are required for SCZ employees, and encouraged for guests but not required. Masks will be available for sale at the “sundries station” just inside the zoo entrance.
- One-way flow is encouraged throughout the zoo, with barriers in certain places to help direct you; just try to stay to the right side of the paths as you walk.
- Nearly all of the zoo animals will be accessible to visitors, and only a few areas are closed. The petting areas are not open at this time, the giraffe feeding area is closed, and the outdoor viewing area for apes and orangutans are closed to protect them. (The indoor viewing areas for apes and orangutans are open.)
- A few areas will be closed for cleaning and feeding at specific times throughout the day. You can find the cleaning/feeding schedule at the zoo website.
- Restrooms are open and will be cleaned frequently. Hand sanitizing stations are located around the zoo.
- Concessions are open, but the newly renovated interior dining area of the Beastro is not open. You can order at the outside express windows at any of the concession stands.
- Drinking fountains are closed.
- Open buildings have decals to encourage keeping distance. Staff will be stationed at some buildings to ensure that the buildings don’t get too crowded. They may ask you to wait a few moments before going in.
- Wheelchairs and strollers are still available to rent. The tram will not run during this phase of the reopening.
- You won’t get a paper map when you arrive, but the zoo map is available on the website, or you can take a photo of the large maps posted around the zoo.
- You can pack a picnic and/or non-alcoholic beverages with you to the zoo.
Visit the Sedgwick County Zoo website to buy a ticket and schedule your visit. The zoo is also keeping its Frequently Asked Questions page updated with the latest information so you can get answers to your questions.
The zoo had a soft opening Monday through Wednesday for members only. Admission is free for members, but they do need to schedule their visits on the zoo’s website.
Sedgwick County Zoo is one of Wichita’s biggest attractions. With the large enclosures, educational Keeper Chats, large variety of animals (including many rare and endangered species) and more, it is a fun outing for the whole family!
The best way to find out about discounts to Sedgwick County Zoo is to sign up for our FREE Wichita on the Cheap email subscription, and like our Facebook page. We are constantly updating the new deals we find and sharing them with our readers, so check back often!
Annual Zoo Discount Days
Sedgwick County Zoo offers a variety of free and discounted days throughout the year. Here is a list of events for 2019. Some of the information for events are not released until a month or so before it starts. Therefore, some of the info below is current and some of it is from last season. We will update the links below as soon as we have the latest info. The pricing and terms and conditions of these events are subject to change at any given time. Click on the links below for the latest updates and info!
Reminder: Planned events may need to be rescheduled or canceled. Please be sure to double-check with the event organizers in case of cancellations.
- Mother’s Day
- Father’s Day
- Red, White and You Blood Drive
- Twilight Tuesdays
- Back to School Bash
- Winter Wednesdays: usually every Wednesday from November through February (We’ll update this as soon as we get the new info)
Regular Admission Prices
Young Children (ages 0–2): FREE
Children (ages 3–11): $11.95/person
Adults (ages 12–61): $15.95/person
Senior Citizens (ages 62+): $11.95/person
Save $2 on Admission
Use the FREE Wichita Explore Card to save $2 off regular admission to the zoo. Check out the full list of other participating Wichita Explore Card attractions.
If you plan on going to the zoo on a regular basis throughout the year, a membership is a great way to save money. For my family, after we visit the zoo 3 times in a year, the subsequent visits are “free” with our membership.
Note: Before purchasing a zoo membership, check with your employer. Some local employers offer discounted membership prices for the zoo and other local area attractions.
2020 website pricing for zoo membership:
- Single Plus: For $96, membership is good for one year from date of purchase. Includes free admission for two named adults living in the same home or one named adult and one guest daily.
- Senior Plus: For $76, membership is good for one year from date of purchase. Includes free admission for two named adults age 62+ living in the same home or one named adult age 62+ and one guest daily.
- Family (Formerly Household or Grandparent): For $139, membership is good for one year from date of purchase. Includes free admission for two named adults living in the same home and their children or grandchildren under age 21. Grandchildren under age 21 are permitted when accompanied by a grandparent.
- Family Plus (Formerly Household Plus or Grandparent Plus): For $159, membership is good for one year from date of purchase. Includes free admission for two named adults living in the same home and their children or grandchildren under age 21. Grandchildren under age 21 are permitted when accompanied by a grandparent. Plus, one additional guest each visit when accompanied by the member.
- Family Plus Two (Formerly Sponsor): For $209, membership is good for one year from date of purchase. Includes free admission for two named adults living in the same home and their children or grandchildren under age 21. Grandchildren under age 21 are permitted when accompanied by a grandparent. Plus, two additional guests each visit when accompanied by the member.
Reciprocal Zoo Admissions Program
Sedgwick County Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). This means that if you have a membership to Sedgwick County Zoo, you can get free or discounted admission to other AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums that participate in the AZA Reciprocal Admissions Program. For a complete list of participating zoos, visit the AZA website. It is also always a good idea to call ahead so there are no surprises upon arrival.
Year Round Discounted Zoo Classes & Special Events
- Tot Tuesdays: SCZ’s Cargill Learning Center offers educational programs held every fourth Tuesday. (free with membership or regular zoo admission)
- Wheeling Wild Tuesdays: Ride your bike at the zoo every 3rd Tuesday of the month through October. $5 per person ($4 for members).
- Senior Wednesday (55+): Every 2nd Wednesday. $4 fee. (Does not include admission to the zoo.)
- Flocktails (21+): Every 4th Thursday. Enjoy yard games, live entertainment, food and drink at these after-hours events April through September. Tickets are $10/person* and can be purchased in advance or at the gate. *Price of drinks not included in admission fee.
Sedgwick County Zoo usually offers some kind of Holiday Membership Bonus if you buy a membership in December. (Think Non-Toy Gift Ideas.) For example, in 2018, they offered 3 extra months with the purchase of a membership. They also offered half price admission from December 14-31 in 2018. As soon as we know, we’ll tell you what the 2019 December membership bonus is.