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What's New at the Zoo

Visit The Zoo> What's New at the Zoo

Santa Dives With Penguins 

During the first three weekends in December, you can catch Santa Claus swimming with penguins. St. Nick will don a suit of another type and dive into the Helzberg Penguin Plaza's cold pool. Wonder what the penguins will think of his red suit and fluffy white beard. Join us at 1 p.m. on Dec 6, 7, 13, 14, 20 & 21 to find out. Be sure to bring your cameras; this could be quite the penguin-rific adventure!   

Give A Gift To The Animals 

During the month of December we are asking our Zoo friends to choose an item from the Giving Tree in the lobby or the virtual Giving Tree online and donate that item to our animals. 

On Saturday, December 20 and Sunday, December 21 we will be giving those very special gifts to our animals. The donated enrichment gifts will be given to the animals at scheduled times from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Watch as Nikita, penguins, tigers are many more enjoy their gifts from you! 

Lions & Trees & Presents, Oh My!

Our lions will also be joining in the fun as they un-trim the tree. When the lions come on exhibit they will find two Christmas trees complete with gifts under them. Watch them explore the tree and "open" their presents at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

FOTZ Members Bring Complimentary Guests on Christmas Weekend 

It's "the more the merrier" for Friends of the Zoo members during the weekend following Christmas. FOTZ members are invited to bring up to four guests to receive complimentary admission on December 26, 27 & 28. The Zoo is closed on Christmas Day. 

Un-Deck The Halls 

Un-stuff the stockings and un-trim the tree! Spend the weekend after Christmas un-decking the Halls with our animals. On Friday, December 26, Saturday, December 27 and Sunday, December 28, visit the Zoo and watch as our animals enjoy some post-Christmas enrichment at scheduled times from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The tigers, red pandas, macaws and more are getting in on the action. Our sea lions will also be getting a Christmas Tree. See what they do with it at 2 p.m.  

Zoo Year's Eve

Spend New Year's Eve the Zoo way at Zoo Year's Eve! On Wednesday, December 31 our animals are ringing in the new year with festive enrichment items from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Four Sea Lions Means Four Times The Splash 

Two new sea lions, Tamale and Debby, joined Sunshine and Delilah in the Sea Lion pool for four times the splash! All four sea lions are female. Tamale came to us from Sea World Orlando and is two years old. Debby came from Sea World San Antonio and is three years old. Debby will easily be spotted in the pool; she is the biggest of the four. Check out the Sea Lion Splash at 1:30 p.m. weekdays and 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on weekends. 

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

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 and is perfect for children K-8th grade. Join us twice a month from September thru December to see the Zoo in a whole new way. To participate in When Science Attacks you must be a FOTZ member. If you have questions or want to register, please call 816-595-1765. Learn more 

Try Out Tuxedo Grill 

The Tuxedo Grill is open daily and serving up delicious twists on your old favorites. Located just a penguin-hop from Helzberg Penguin Plaza, the restaurant has indoor seating for 100 and offers amazing dishes that are sure to warm you up on a chilly day. Ask about our daily specials. 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 montoyacollins@fotzkc.org.

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!




Santa Dives with Penguins

Catch our underwater Santa at the following times:

December 6 & 7 at 1 p.m. 

December 13 & 14 at 1 p.m. 

December 20 & 21 at 1 p.m.



Holiday Gift Guide

The Zoo is the answer for all of your holiday shopping needs.

Check out our Holiday Gift Guide. We have something wild for even the most adventurous person on your list!

Give A Gift To The Animals
Adopt A Wild Child

Animal adoptions are a unique, fun way to help us feed and care for our more than 1,100 animals. Which animal will you adopt?