Zoos play a pivotal role in animal conservation efforts, and many operate education programs promoting conservation awareness. It is the perfect place to spend a day with family and friends while learning about amazing animals. The state of Kansas is home to several zoos, each with their own unique offerings and attractions.
By visiting the best zoos in Kansas, you get to see animals from all over the world up close. You will have an opportunity to learn about their natural habitats and how zoos are working to protect and preserve them. Visitors of all ages will enjoy watching animals play, eat, and sleep while learning about the critical role that zoos play in saving species from extinction. If you’re going to be visiting a Kansas zoo, it’s best to go prepared.
Cities With Zoos in Kansas
Here are the most well-known zoos and sanctuaries in Kansas.
Cedar Cove Feline Conservatory & Sanctuary
This conservatory and sanctuary is located at 3783 Hwy. K68, Louisburg, Kansas. The Cedar Cove Feline Conservatory & Sanctuary is a non-profit sanctuary devoted entirely to the services and survival of threatened large cats, as well as providing education about their behavior and attitude, brain structure, wildlife habitat, and the vulnerabilities and threats of their endangerment. With guided tours, you can learn about the cats up close, see how they live and feed, and what the sanctuary is doing to help them. The staff is passionate about the cause and welcomes any questions you may have while you explore.
This sanctuary is home to a wide variety of felines, including lions, servals, a caracal, mountain lions, a leopard, Siberian and Bengal tigers, and bobcats, along with coatis and wolves. Before visiting, everyone is encouraged to call the office so that the staff can be aware and prepared for your arrival. With a little bit of notice, they will be more than happy to give you a tour and show you everything that the sanctuary has to offer!
Clay Center Zoo
Located at 4th Street and Pomeroy, the Clay Center Zoo has been a widely known family-friendly destination and interactive presence, providing visitors with the opportunity to feed and pet many of the animals. The animals in this zoo are fit and active, and they seem to be happy and well-cared for. The staff is nice and informative, the cages are clean, and it’s a great place to spend an afternoon if you have kids who love animals.
For such a small town, this zoo offers a lot. With free admission, everyone who wants to visit the zoo is encouraged to donate what they can to help keep the zoo running. The Clay Center Zoo is home to a variety of animals, including bears, birds like emus and peacocks, squirrels, badgers, deer, guanacos, and many more. There is also a petting zoo where kids can get up close and personal with some of the animals. This zoo is a great place to visit for all ages. Just make sure to follow the established rules and respect the animals and their space.
David Traylor Zoo of Emporia
Located at 75 Soden Road, Emporia, the David Traylor Zoo of Emporia is a small zoo with landscaped grounds, exotic animals, and vibrant botanicals. Almost 400 specimens of birds, mammals, and reptiles from over 80 unique species are in natural habitats at this zoo. This place is a great way to spend some quality time outdoors with the family, friends, or even by yourself. There are many different kinds of animals that you can observe and learn about here, such as lemurs, prairie dogs, mountain lions, bald eagles, and more.
This zoo is open year-round and there are many events that take place throughout the year, so be sure to check their website or social media for updates. Admission to the David Traylor Zoo of Emporia is free for everyone, but donations are always welcome. If you’re looking for a fun and educational way to spend a day, then this zoo is definitely worth a visit. With its wide variety of animals and friendly staff, you’re sure to have a great time. The next time you’re in town, be sure to stop by and say hello to the animals in this zoo.
Eagle Valley Raptor Center
Located at 927 N 343rd St W, the Eagle Valley Raptor Center is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to the rehabilitation of sick, injured, and orphaned raptors. They also provide public education about these amazing birds of prey that can be found in Kansas. Some of the birds that you can see at the center include kites, hawks, eagles, falcons, owls, vultures, condors, and ospreys. The staff is very knowledgeable about all of the birds and habitats, and they’re always happy to answer any questions that you may have.
With free admission, charity donations are encouraged so that the center can continue to provide top-notch care for the raptors. The Eagle Valley Raptor Center is a great place to learn about these amazing creatures and see them up close. If you’re interested in seeing some of Kansas’s most majestic birds, this is definitely the place to go. It’s also a perfect place to take the family for an educational and fun day out. So, if you’re ever in the area, be sure to check out this amazing center and all of the incredible birds that call it home.
Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo
Located at 2123 Main St, Great Bend, the Great Bend Zoo is a medium-sized zoo that is home to hundreds of animals. The zoo is open 362 days a year and offers a variety of educational animal rehabilitation programs and classes for both children and adults. The Great Bend Zoological Community has an animal sponsorship program that helps to offset the cost of food and care for the animals. The zoo is staffed by a non-profit group established to carry out overall charitable, enlightening, and generally beneficiary jobs with the aim of expanding and enhancing the home of animals at the Great Bend Zoo.
This zoo is home to various kinds of animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. It also has a petting zoo area with goats and other farm animals where kids can feed the animals. Admission is free for everyone, though donations are always accepted. With staff and volunteers that are passionate and dedicated to the animals, this is a great place to visit if you’re looking for an up-close experience with nature. You can become a member of the zoo and enjoy benefits like discounts on events, admission to other zoos, and more.
Hedrick’s Exotic Animal Farm
Located at 7910 N Roy L Smith Rd, Nickerson, Hedrick’s Exotic Animal Farm is home to zebras, camels, ostriches, giraffes, kangaroos, and many other forms of exotic wildlife. When staying at the Bed & Breakfast on the farm in Nickerson, visitors can communicate and interact with the amazing animals. The farm features a big party room that is available to rent for events like birthday parties, family reunions, group meetings, and so on. They also offer educational opportunities like summer camps, field trips, and group tours.
They offer a variety of packages for different occasions that could make your stay even more memorable. The staff here are very friendly and helpful, and the animals are well-cared for. If you’re looking for an exotic animal experience, this is the place to go. Before visiting Hedrick’s Exotic Animal Farm, you should visit their website to schedule a tour or make a reservation. This is a great place for animal lovers of all ages and is sure to make your trip to Kansas unforgettable. With races, petting zoos, animal feedings, and more, there’s something for everyone at this one-of-a-kind farm.
Located at 6 Emerson Loop, Hutchinson, Hutchinson Zoo is a small 9-acre zoo that offers a variety of educational opportunities and has a wide variety of animals. The zoo is open year-round with daily hours that change seasonally. Admission to the Hutchinson Zoo is free, but donations of around $2 per person or $5 per family are always appreciated and can help with zoo improvements. Its mission is to provide opportunities to learn about the natural world through recreation, education, and conservation. There is also a petting zoo area where kids can get up close and personal with some farm animals. The staff here are passionate about their work and are always happy to answer any questions you may have.
The zoo features many animals, including primates, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals. Their touch and talk encounters provide opportunities for zoo visitors to learn throughout the place. Visitors will be able to learn plenty of interesting stuff through this practical learning experience. The zoo has something for everyone, whether you’re searching for field trips or an exceptional setting for a party or business event. This is a great place to take the family for a day of fun and learning.
K-State Insect Zoo
Located at 1500 Denison Ave, Manhattan, the Insect Zoo exhibits maintained, surviving, and fossilized insects that are open to the public. Many of the art installations are interactive, such as microscopes that allow you to view preserved insects. This place is great for anyone who loves learning about insects or wants to see some really cool art. The staff is knowledgeable and passionate about their work and is always happy to answer any questions you may have. With so many educational opportunities, this is a great place to visit if you’re looking to learn more about insects.
The zoo has a wide variety of insects on display, including many that are rare or endangered. Admission to the zoo is $3 per head, $2 for the military, and free for children under three years old. Everyone who plans to visit the zoo must be scheduled a week in advance to ensure that there is enough time for the staff to prepare for your visit. With guided tours, educational programs, a bug petting zoo, and more, the Insect Zoo is a great place to learn about these amazing creatures.
Lee Richardson Zoo
Located at 312 E Finnup Dr, Garden City, the Lee Richardson Zoo is 47 acres wide and composed of more than 100 species of animals; these include amphibians, invertebrates, reptiles, mammals, and birds. Each animal serves as a representative for its native range, spreading awareness and preservation of biodiversity and wilderness areas. This zoo has over 300 native and exotic animals that live in naturalistic habitats. With so many educational opportunities, this is a great place to visit if you’re looking to learn more about the animal kingdom.
The staff is knowledgeable and passionate about their work and is always happy to answer any questions you have. The Lee Richardson Zoo is committed to providing excellent animal care and engaging visitors of all ages in the natural world. Their goal is to inspire people to value wildlife and take action to conserve it. Guests can take a leisurely stroll on one of the many paved pathways or get an up-close view of some of the animals during a feeding or training session. There is also a playground, picnic area, and gift shop on site where everyone can relax and enjoy their time during their visit.
Prairie Park Nature Center
Located at 2730 Harper St, Lawrence, Prairie Park Nature Center is an excellent display of the biodiversity of Kansas, including beavers, deer, bobcats, and birds of prey. Prairie Park has strolling routes for bird watchers and wild animal enthusiasts, as well as education programs for the wider population, education institutions, and community organizations. Natural habitat miniatures, exhibits, and live animals are also displayed in the education building. With its rich history and wealth of knowledge, the Prairie Park Nature Center is a great place to learn about Kansas’ native wildlife.
With a staff of experts and volunteers, the Prairie Park Nature Center is proud to continue its tradition of providing quality environmental education to everyone. This nature center provides a wide selection of environmental and recreation programs to schools, organizations, and the general public. Admission is free to all visitors who want to explore and learn more about the beauty of nature. There are also many events open to the public throughout the year, so be sure to check their website for more information.
Ralph Mitchell Zoo
Located at Riverside Park, 400 Mickey Mantle Way, Independence, the Ralph Mitchell Zoo has a wide variety of mammals, reptiles, birds, and invertebrates on exhibit for everyone to see. The owners recognize that progress is persistent, and they work hard to keep a healthy balance of new and old. They believe that they can add new places to visit while conserving and expressing what makes the zoo stand out from other zoos.
The Ralph Mitchell Zoo is a place where people can come to learn, appreciate nature, and have fun. They offer educational programs for all ages, as well as special events throughout the year. The zoo is also home to a variety of animals that are available for adoption. If you’re looking for a fun and educational experience, be sure to check out the Ralph Mitchell Zoo. With free admission for everyone, this is definitely a place worth visiting.
Rolling Hills Zoo
The Rolling Hills Zoo is located at 625 N Hedville Rd, Salina. It houses over a hundred different species and animals in a variety of programs and exhibits in a 64,000-square-foot wildlife museum at the zoo. The Association of Zoos & Aquariums has accredited the Rolling Hills Zoo for meeting the highest quality in wildlife management and animal care. They are committed to wildlife biodiversity and teaching the next generation about the value of diversity on our planet. If you and your family visit this zoo, you’ll be able to explore and learn about some of the most extraordinary wildlife and natural environments on the planet.
Admission fees are $15 for adults, $14 for seniors, $9 for children 3–12, and free for children 2 and under. You can rest and enjoy yourself with picnic areas, playgrounds, and a splash pad for the kids to enjoy. The Rolling Hills Zoo is open all year long every day of the week, and they are closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. With lots of upcoming events to check out, the Rolling Hills Zoo is definitely a place you don’t want to miss!
Safari Zoological Park
The Safari Zoological Park is a private zoo located at 1751 County Rd 1425, Caney. This park is home to hundreds of animals from all around the world, and the staff offers a variety of educational programs for visitors. The Safari Zoological Park is committed to providing a safe haven for displaced, captive-bred, and orphaned wildlife while promoting public education and global conservation awareness. They are also dedicated to animal care, enrichment, and the protection of endangered species. With their hard work and dedication, the Safari Zoological Park is a great place to learn about animals and their habitats.
They offer tours for everyone who wants to learn more about the animals and their habitats. With admission prices of $14.95 for adults, $12.95 for seniors, and $12.95 for ages 2–12, this tour will last up to 2 hours. Private trips and longer tours to the zoological park are available at a reasonable fee. This zoo is home to tigers, bears, lions, baboons, and many more. If you’re looking for a fun and educational experience, be sure to check out the Safari Zoological Park. It’s definitely worth visiting!
Sedgwick County Zoo
Located at 5555 W Zoo Blvd, Wichita, the Sedgwick County Zoo has a lot to offer its visitors. With hundreds of animals from all around the world, the Sedgwick County Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the United States. They offer a variety of educational programs and exhibits that are sure to educate and entertain everyone. From gigantic elephants and magnificent lions to mischievous otters and everything in between, there is plenty to see in this zoo.
Field trips and tours are available for students, teachers, and chaperones with an advance reservation. Admission to the Sedgwick County Zoo is different for online and gate costs, so make sure to check their website for the most up-to-date information. Their learning adventures programs are specially designed for groups of all ages and abilities, and they offer a variety of options to choose from. With so much to offer, the Sedgwick County Zoo is definitely a place you don’t want to miss. Whether you’re looking for an educational experience or just a fun day out, this zoo is the perfect place for you.
Sunset Zoological Park
Sunset Zoological Park, also known as Sunset Zoo, is located at 2333 Oak St, Manhattan. They are open every day, and they offer many educational programs for all ages. They also have a variety of exhibits that are sure to educate and entertain everyone. Their garden exhibits are open year-round, and they offer a variety of seasonal events that are sure to please everyone. You can also give a gift to the Sunset Zoo by purchasing a membership, making a donation, or volunteering your time.
From amphibians to reptiles and everything in between, the Sunset Zoo is a great place to learn about animals and their habitats. With admission fees of $6 for adults, $4 for children, and free for members and children under the age of two, this is a great place to spend the day. Their conservation team is committed to saving animals and their habitats, and they offer a variety of ways you can help.
Tanganyika Wildlife Park
Located at 1000 S Hawkins Ln, Goddard, the Tanganyika Wildlife Park is not just a zoo but a hands-on animal experience. With so much to offer, you’re sure to find something that everyone will enjoy. Their admission fees can be found on their website, and they offer a variety of ways you can help support their conservation efforts and mission.
Their events include education programs, birthday parties, weddings, business events, twilight tours, pumpkins at the park, safari of lights, and more — you definitely don’t want to miss out on them. They also offer a variety of memberships with different benefits like free admission, discounts, and early access to events. You can also take part in their animal encounters, where you can feed different animals and even get to hold a baby animal.
Topeka Zoo & Conservation Center
Topeka Zoo is located at 635 SW Gage Blvd, Topeka, and it is certified by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. They work very hard to strengthen society through their conservation efforts and through the education of their visitors. Their conservation efforts include hands-on preservation work in the field by zookeepers, financing initiatives of groups, making their facilities a sustainable environment, and using their animal collection to improve the conditions for endangered animals through research in collaboration with other zoos.
You can get involved by becoming a member, making a donation, or volunteering. If you are looking for an educational experience or just want to have some fun, the Topeka Zoo is the perfect place for you. With so much to offer, you’re sure to find something that everyone will enjoy. With a wide variety of animals, including mammals, amphibians, reptiles, arthropods, birds, and even fish, you’re sure to find something that everyone will enjoy. You can also take part in their animal encounters, where you can feed different animals and potentially hold a baby animal.
Wright Park Zoo
Located at 71 N 2nd Ave, Dodge City, the Wright Park Zoo is a great place to take the family for a day of fun and learning. With over 126 different animals and 30 or so species from nearly every continent, you’re sure to find something that everyone will enjoy. Take your relatives and friends to Wright Park Zoo for a free, comfortable, and crafted day. The Dodge City Zoo was said to have begun with only two bear cubs that were kept to entertain tourists. Now, there are over 45 mammals and birds on display that are fed and cared for by professional zookeepers.
This zoo also offers lodging and restaurants that you can enjoy. The on-grounds restaurants offer a variety of foods and drinks for every taste. You can also find a wide variety of souvenirs at the gift shop to take home with you. Its accommodating staff is always willing to answer any questions you may have and make your experience the best that it can be.
Guide To Visiting Zoos in Kansas
Like any other trip, going to the zoo requires a bit of planning. Most zoos are large and there is a lot to see; this is especially true for zoos in Kansas. While planning your zoo trip, here’s what you can expect and how you can make your visit as enjoyable as possible.
- Think about your route: Plan your route to the zoo ahead of time. This will ensure that you don’t get lost and waste time. If possible, try to find a route that is scenic so that you can enjoy the drive as well.
- Arrange your admission: You can buy your tickets online in advance or at the gate. Many zoos offer membership packages with significant savings, so if you’ll be visiting more than once, it’s worth considering.
- Scan the map of the zoo: When you first arrive, take a quick scan of the map so you have an idea of where everything is. This will help you plan your route and make sure you don’t miss anything.
- Wear cozy clothes: Kansas can have some extreme weather, so make sure you dress appropriately. In the summer, it can get quite hot, so light, loose clothing is best. In the winter, it can get very cold, so layers are a must.
- Wear good walking shoes: You will be doing a lot of walking, so comfortable shoes are a must. If possible, try to avoid open-toed shoes as they offer no protection if you step on something sharp.
- Bring your water and snacks: Most zoos have food options, but they can be expensive and not always the healthiest. It’s a good idea to bring your own water and snacks so you can stay hydrated and fueled throughout the day.
Zoos provide a valuable service to the public and contribute to the conservation of many endangered and threatened species of animals. Next time you’re in Kansas, be sure to visit one or more of these amazing institutions. With a better understanding of the environmental role that zoos play, you’ll surely enjoy your visit even more. Packed with fun, education, and conservation, the zoos in Kansas will surely offer something for your loved ones. By contributing to the well-being of these animals, you also help to preserve our planet and its many resources.
Looking to explore Kansas? Here are some other great things to do in the state: