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What's New at the Zoo

About the Zoo> What's New at the Zoo

Dog Days of Summer/World Rhino Day Festivities 

Join us on Sunday, September 21 and enjoy the "Dog Days of Summer" at our Painted Dog exhibit. Take in a special keeper chat and talk to our docents about these unique animals that are distant cousins of your dog at home.

Then take a short walk over to the Rhino exhibit as we celebrate World Rhino Day. Visit our Eastern Black Rhinoceros exhibit and learn more about this endangered species. We will have special keeper chats that include watching the Rhino's paint. Docents will also be answering questions and showing off biofacts. All of these activities take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Painted Dog and Rhino exhibits located in Africa. 

Zoological District Residents Can Use Postcard To Adventure in September  

Reminder to Jackson and Clay County (Zoological District) residents, September is a "Postcard to Adventure" month! If you live in Jackson or Clay County, MO you received a postcard in June. Don't forget to use your September coupon for FREE admission for two adults and dependent children residing at the address on the coupon. Please bring the September coupon and an ID stating the address on the coupon to redeem for your free admission. 

New Playground Is Open  

The KCZoo has opened an all new and updated playground! Children will have a brand new place to run wild and play during their Zoo adventure. Kids will be able to slide like a snake, climb like a leopard and swing like a gibbon in a habitat designed just for them! The new animal-themed playground replaces our older and much loved playground near the Discovery Barn. The old equipment was repurposed and given to some of our animals for enrichment. It appears they are loving it as much as our young Zoo guests always have!


Orangutan Canopy Is Underway

The official ground breaking of Orangutan Canopy was Wednesday, August 27 and construction on the new exhibit is underway. It will look very different from the existing one on Tiger Trail and will include a large outdoor habitat with a canopy and hillside trail that will challenge both the dexterity and intelligence of our orangutans while offering viewing of our apes like never before. 

The current indoor orangutan room will be transformed into an "Orangutan University" that will serve as a fitness studio and learning lab for our apes and our guests. We are so excited to give our Orangutans a brand new home! The Zoological District along with many donors helped to make Orangutan Canopy possible. Check back for construction updates in the coming months. The exhibit is scheduled to open in Summer of 2015

Kansas City Zoo Annual Photo Contest 

It's time for Kansas City Zoo’s annual photography contest and we are ready to see your incredible images. The theme for 2014 is “New Adventures” and we’re looking for creativity! Whether your new adventure took place at Helzberg Penguin Plaza or on the African Sky Safari we want to see the Zoo through your eyes. You may submit photos beginning August 1, 2014. There are two age categories, adult (18+) and youth (3 through 17). Photographs must have been taken by the photographer between September 1, 2013 and the last day for submission, September 30, 2014. Photographs must feature Kansas City Zoo animals and must be photographed at the Zoo. Digital manipulation is allowed for minor changes not affecting the integrity of the image. Winners will be announced on Saturday, November 15. Prizes will be awarded in each category. Learn more about photo contest rules.  

Science Adventure Club

Calling all preschoolers! Do you want to learn about science in a fun and interactive way? Science Adventure Club is just right for you! Children ages 3-5 will learn about different animal related topics each week through songs, stories, crafts, an animal encounter and a brief science lesson. Science Adventure Club meets most Wednesdays and Thursdays in the Zoo Learning Center from 11 a.m. to noon. We recommend that you pre -register as dates fill up quickly. Only $5 per child and an adult chaperone is complimentary. Learn more

When Science Attacks 

Join us for our all new homeschool class: When Science Attacks! Classes this year will explore the world of science through animals and nature for children K-8th grade. Join us twice a month from September to December to see the Zoo in a whole new way. Save 20% by signing up for the entire semester! To participate in When Science Attacks you must be a FOTZ member. If you have questions or want to register for the full semester, please call 816-595-1765. Learn more 

11th Annual Zoo Run

“Run for the King Penguins” on Sunday, October 5. The 4-mile will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the 1-mile family fun run will start at 9:45 a.m. Registration and additional information are available at

Hoots & Howls

Share your weekends with us as we host Hoots and Howls the first three weekends in October, 4 & 5, 11 & 12, 18 & 19. Activities include games, family-friendly activities and entertainment. Get your air brushed Tat-Zoo, shake your ghoul thing at the Monster Mash Bash, seek what lurks around the corner at the Hay Maze or relax on a Hay Ride. Each weekend will have an animal theme and we encourage guests to dress up as their favorite animal for that weekend. Thanks to Ford Motor Company for their sponsorship of Hoots & Howls.  

Brew at the Zoo & Wine Too

On Saturday, October 18 join us for the second annual,  Brew at the Zoo & Wine Too! From 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. enjoy an evening of live music, delicious bites, and a variety of beer and wine from local breweries and vineyards. This event is 21 and over. Food, music, beer and wine samples as well as two drink tickets are included with your ticket. Tickets are $30 for FOTZ Members and $35 for Non-FOTZ Members. Sign in with your FOTZ Member number to receive your discount. Buy Tickets Learn More 

Boo at the Zoo 

Dress as your favorite animal or character and show off at the Zoo. Enjoy a safe family-friendly Halloween during Boo at the Zoo. Trick-or-treat, enjoy activities and have a ghoul-ole’ time. Boo at the Zoo is on Saturday, October 25 and Sunday, October 26 from
9:30 am – 5:00 pm. Thanks to Ford Motor Company for sponsoring Boo at the Zoo.

Great Pumpkin Smash

Our animals are getting into the post Halloween enrichment at the Great Pumpkin Smash on Saturday, November 1. Watch them crush, kick, bounce and play with big orange pumpkins. The pumpkin smashes will be at scheduled times from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Try Out Tuxedo Grill 

The Tuxedo Grill is now open and serving up delicious twists on your old favorites. Located just a penguin-hop from Helzberg Penguin Plaza, the new restaurant has indoor seating for 100, outdoor seating for 200 and updated restrooms accessible from both inside and outside the restaurant.  Items are Zoo-licious and expand the Zoo's food and beverage offering for all ages and all tastes. Try them all and share with us your favorites. The Tuxedo Grill is also available for evening rentals. 

Join Randy Wisthoff to Discover the Rhine River

Join Zoo Executive Director/CEO, Randy Wisthoff on an enchanting Rhine River Cruise. Explore Europe in style including stops at several European Zoos on this 9 day trip in July 2015. If you would like more information or are interested making your Rhine River Cruise reservations, please email

Day Camps Are A Wild Time 

An adventure awaits your camper as we explore the animal world from A to Z. When the kids are out of school there is no better entertainment than our Safari Day Camps. This one day camp is fast paced and full of hands-on activities. Or spend a day with Zoo staff doing everything from cleaning exhibits to educating visitors about conservation as a Keeper For A Day for ages 7-18. Sign up today! 

Invite ZooED Into Your Clay or Jackson County Classroom 

ZooED is the Kansas City Zoo's exclusive curriculum program for 2nd grade, 4th grade, and secondary schools, incorporating science and nature into the classroom. Teachers in the Zoological District may join the program and receive year-long benefits including teaching materials, a free zoomobile, and a free field trip to the Zoo including transportation! Contact the education department for more details. 816-595-1765. 

Host Your Corporate Event At The Zoo 

Let us plan an exotic evening, memorable meeting, or purr-fect picnic for your company's next outing. Our experienced staff will help you create an event to remember. We can accommodate large and small groups. Start planning your zoo-nique event today! 

Let Us Bring The Zoo To You!

Every event is more fun with a visit from the Zoo! Book a Zoomobile for your special event, festival, or community group! Visits include educational artifacts, activities and live animals. Zoo educators and our "animal ambassadors" along with touchable artifacts, will create a one of a kind experience. Zoomobiles are perfect for all ages and can accommodate groups of up to 300 participants. Just choose your date and pick your theme, booking a Zoomobile is that easy!




2014 Special Event Schedule

Oct 5        Run for the Penguins Zoo Run

Oct 4 & 5, 11&12, 18 & 19            Hoots and Howls

Oct 18   Brew at the Zoo & Wine Too

Oct 25 & 26  Boo at the Zoo 

Nov 1       Great Pumpkin Smash

Nov 15     Nikita's Birthday

Dec 6       Holiday Wild 



Join us on October 18, 2014 for Brew at the Zoo & Wine Too. Get tickets today!



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