Education

Summer Classes and Camps FAQ


How do I get into the Zoo?

  • Anticipate entrance gate lines! The time required to enter the Zoo can vary greatly depending on road construction, weather and special events. Be sure to plan accordingly and anticipate entry gate lines. You may use the very left entry lane (Gate 7) prior to the Zoo’s opening time at 9:30 a.m. for Zoo Camp or Class. Note that Bluemound is often backed up for entry to the Zoo. Thus, we recommend arriving well in advance to access this lane prior to 9:15 a.m. Thank you for your patience.
  • Show your receipt or reminder email with barcode to the Zoo gate attendant and instructor for entry.

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What is the location of Zoo Classes and Camps?

  • Summer Zoo Camps and Classes take place at the Karen Peck Katz Conservation Education Center at the Milwaukee County Zoo.
  • Due to COVID-19, check-in and check-out will take place outside at designated spaces this summer (weather permitting). When you approach the building, look for signage that indicates the location of your child’s check-in or check-out.

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What do I need to know for Stroller Safari: Stay and Play classes?

  • All classes begin at the north gate of the Conservation Education Center’s backyard and will move into the Zoo five minutes after the program start time. Classes end at our off-exhibit Nature Play site.
  • We are no longer serving coffee in our Stroller Safari classes due to COVID-19.
  • We recommend wearing close-toed shoes and bringing your stroller along!

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What do I need to know for child and adult classes?

  • Due to the nature of our programs, no unregistered children may attend class or wait in the hallway; this includes siblings and infants.
  • Due to space and class size we ask that only one adult joins per registered child.
  • Enjoy tech-free time with your child! Please silence your cell phone and step into the hallway to call or text.

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What do I need to know for child-only classes or camps?

  • An adult (18 years or older) must check the child in and provide the following information: emergency phone number, allergies/medications and names of adults authorized for pickup (only authorized adults may pick up children with valid identification).
  • If your child needs any medication during class, please complete this form and bring it with you to check-in your child.
  • Provide a cold, bag lunch if your child is age 6 & up attending full-day camp. Please do not send food that needs to be heated.
  • Dress your child for the weather as each class has a Zoo tour, rain or shine. Please, no flip-flops or wheelie shoes. Children are not allowed to use umbrellas for safety reasons, so please provide appropriate rain gear.
  • Children should be able to fasten and unfasten clothes as staff will not assist children in the restrooms.
  • Please do not send your child with money, a camera, toys, a Smartwatch or a cell phone to class. These may be a distraction to other children and the Society will not be held responsible for any loss or damage to items brought by children.
  • Talk to your child about appropriate classroom behavior. We will notify parents/guardians about positive or disruptive behavior observed in class.

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Will you offer A.M. and P.M. care during the summer?

  • We will not be offering A.M. and P.M. care this summer.

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Do you serve snacks?

  • We are no longer serving snacks in our classes due to COVID-19. Please pack a snack for your child and we will ensure that snacks are not shared among children due to food allergies.
  • When registering, please thoroughly complete the “participant information” form with any food-related allergies and/or call our staff with updates at 414-258-5058.

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What is your commitment to a welcoming environment?

The Zoological Society is committed to inclusion, diversity and non-discrimination. Our practices support this commitment and are consistent with other institutions in the Milwaukee community.

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How do you ensure my child’s well-being and safety?

  • Be sure to fill out all relevant information during your online registration and discuss any additional concerns with your child’s educator for the day. The more information you can add to the registration, the better our educators can prepare.
  • If there are any changes to your child’s allergies, behavioral or medical needs from the time of registration, call our staff with updates at 414-258-5058. Staff will verify information on the day of class.
  • All staff are given significant training to ensure a wonderful camp or class experience!
    • Each class or camp educator has a four-year degree or equivalent experience in education, natural resources, and/or social sciences, receives additional training, and is certified in CPR, AED and First Aid (including EpiPen® administration.)
    • Conservation Education College Interns complete a comprehensive multi-day training including First Aid, Zoo safety and tour policies, developmentally appropriate practices, behavior management strategies, and more.
  • For information regarding our COVID-19 health and safety policies, click here.

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What if my child requires medication, has allergies, or has other special needs?

  • If your child requires any medication (prescription or non-prescription) while they are attending a program, you must fill out this medication form and bring the form to check-in.
    • We will store the medication for your child to self-administer.
    • Medications must be in the original container, which clearly identifies the child, the medication, the dosage, the prescribing physician, and written instructions for administering the medication.
    • For safety and liability reasons, medications received in any container other than the original will not be accepted.
  • If your child requires an EpiPen, you must fill out this form and bring the form and the EpiPen to check-in. The EpiPen will be kept in a fanny pack with the child throughout the day.
  • Be sure to fill out all relevant information during your online registration and discuss any additional concerns with your child’s educator for the day. The more information you can add to the registration, the better our educators can prepare.
  • If there are any changes to your child’s allergies, behavioral or medical needs from the time of registration, call our staff with updates at 414-258-5058. Staff will verify information on the day of class.

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Does the Education Department engage in green practices?

  • Yes! We conduct extensive recycling, use recycled materials whenever we can in our classrooms and frequently practice sustainable purchasing.
  • We will no longer offer a plastic bag to our participants at the end of class. This reduces our plastic bag usage by thousands of bags per year. Please encourage your child to bring a reusable bag to carry any Zoo class creations!

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How do I get my summer camp T-shirt?

  • Pre-ordered camp T-shirts will be ready in a paper bag for you to pick up at the check-in of your first class or camp.

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What do I do if I need to cancel?

  • If you’re unable to attend class due to scheduling conflicts, call at least 3 days before the class date and we will try to reschedule your child for another available date within June-August 2021. We do not issue refunds; however, you can offer your child’s class to a friend of the same age.
  • Please do not come to class if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. We will issue you a credit to join us another day! Please call us at 414-258-5058 for more information.

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What happens if the Conservation Education Department cancels?

  • The Conservation Education Department reserves the right to cancel classes. We will attempt to reschedule, accommodate your child in another class, or process a reimbursement. For weather-related cancellations, refer to local news stations or call 414-258-5058.

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Do you offer financial aid for summer classes and camps?

  • We sure do! Please click here to learn more and view the financial aid application.

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