Frequently Asked Questions

At the Zoological Society of Milwaukee, we know how important the details are for parents and guardians when deciding if our classes and camps are the right fit for your child and their needs. That’s why we take the time to listen to our participating parents and guardians, staff members, and volunteers to provide detailed and helpful answers to their questions that might also help you along the way.

We’ve gathered the most common questions we hear from families and educators and worked together to give you clear answers and guidance. If you have questions that are not covered here or you’d like further information, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Conservation Education Department at 414-258-5058!

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Frequently Asked Questions Intro

Frequently Asked Questions About
Our Zoo Classes & Camps

  • Zoo Classes and Camps take place at the Karen Peck Katz Conservation Education Center inside the Milwaukee County Zoo. The building is located in lot 3 toward the south end.
  • When you approach the building, look for signage that indicates the location of your child’s class.
  • Stop at the gated entrance and show the Zoo gate attendant your receipt or reminder email with the barcode.
  • Anticipate entrance gate lines by arriving at least 15 minutes early! The time required to enter the Zoo can vary greatly depending on weather, special events such as free admission days, corporate picnics and school field trips. Be sure to plan accordingly. If the Zoo has not yet opened, you may use the very left entry lane (Gate 7) to enter for Zoo Classes or Camps. Thank you for your patience.
  • Come to the Zoo with your child and your stroller.
  • All classes begin at the Conservation Education Building and will move into the Zoo five minutes after the program start time. Classes include time at our off-exhibit Nature Play site.
  • Classes go outside rain, snow or shine. We recommend close-toed shoes such as snow boots and warm clothing such as mittens, hats and winter coats during the cold months.
  • Due to space and class size, we ask that only one adult joins the class with their child.
  • Due to the nature of our programs, no unregistered children may attend class or wait in the hallway; this includes siblings and infants. If you have children of the same age, you can register them to be part of the class.
  • Dress your child for the weather as each class spends time in the Zoo, rain, snow 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 or a cell phone to class.
  • Talk to your child about appropriate classroom behavior. We will notify parents/guardians about positive or disruptive behavior observed in class.
  • An adult (18 years or older) must check children in with the instructor and provide/verify the important safety-related information below:
    • Emergency phone number during class hours.
    • Names of adults authorized to pick up your child. Authorized adults must show a valid ID at pick-up.
    • Medical, cognitive, behavioral or physical information. If your child needs any medication during class, you must fill out this medication form. If your child requires an EpiPen, you must fill out this form.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • All staff are given significant training to ensure a wonderful class or camp experience!
    • Each educator has a four-year degree or equivalent experience in education, life sciences, and/or social sciences, receives additional training, and is certified in CPR, AED and First Aid (including EpiPen® administration).
  • All COVID-19 Health & Safety Policies and Best Practices will be made available prior to the registration date. They can be viewed here.
  • 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.
  • 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 and the medicine to the education office on the day of class.
    • 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 with you on the day of class. The EpiPen will be kept in a fanny pack with the child throughout the day.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • We conduct extensive recycling, use recycled materials whenever we can in our classrooms and frequently innovate programs to practice sustainable purchasing.
  • To reduce our use of plastic, we no longer provide a plastic bag for class. Please bring a reusable bag to carry any Zoo Camp or Class creations!
  • AM & PM Care is usually available in the summer for children ages 6 and up. More information will be forthcoming for summer 2022.
  • We do not issue refunds if you cancel.
  • If you’re unable to attend, call at least 3 days before the class or camp and we will try to reschedule your child for another available date within the same season.
  • You can offer your child’s class to a friend of the same age. Please contact our staff at 414-258-5058.
  • The Conservation Education Department reserves the right to cancel classes due to low enrollment, weather or instructor illness. 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.
  • While many of our classes and camps are long-time favorites, we will update and revise programs based on participant feedback, evolving practices in our field and in pursuit of new and creative ideas.
  • All of our learning opportunities are informed by education best practices and science knowledge.
  • Once we have chosen a season’s offerings, we revise or build out the curricula both individually and collaboratively across staff. This takes research and translation of that information into content that is digestible and appropriate for the target age group.
  • Since we value creativity, interactive learning, and of course, conservation action, you will see these themes throughout all of our camps and classes.
  • Zoo Pass and Platypus Circle members receive a discounted price on all Zoo Classes and Camps.
  • Financial aid is available for qualifying households. Click here for requirements and an application.
  • 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 during the summer season.
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Don’t see your question here?

You can contact the Zoological Society’s Conservation Education Department by calling 414-258-5058.

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