Early Childhood Programs

Sunset Zoo is your year-round destination for nature-based learning adventures. Many of our offerings require registration at least one week prior to a class. Class size is limited and enrollment is on a "first come, first serve" basis.

Refund Policy for Classes Requiring Registration

A full refund is granted if cancellation is received one week (seven days) prior to class; partial refund with notification at least 48 hours before and no refund if notified less than 48 hours in advance. We may also be able to transfer youth between class sessions; contact us at 785-587-2737 or sunsetzoo@cityofmhk.com for assistance.

Ages 2-3 | Prairie Dog Preschool

Help your child explore the natural world with animal-themed classes that include a craft, animal visitor and Zoo tour. Developed by our early childhood teachers, this program builds on Sunset Zoo's history and experience of connecting kids and families to nature. Cost is $8 per session; Friends of Sunset Zoo members receive $1 off. Classes go outside each session, please dress accordingly. Parent/guardian must accompany youth; to participate a current set of permission forms must be on file in the Zoo's office. Pre-registration required.

  • Winter/Spring 2017: Classes held 10:45am to Noon most Wednesday mornings. Registration opens Monday, January 9 at 10am.
  • Summer 2017: Classes held 9:30am to 10:45am most Saturday mornings. Registration opens Monday, March 27 at 10am.
See current class schedule and register online.

Notifications by Email or Text
Sign up to receive text or email alerts about program emergencies, weather related cancellations, and reminders.

Ages 3-5* | Kinder Cubs

Foster your child's connection with the natural world through our unique, animal-themed classes. Through interactive activities, tours, crafts and special animal visitors, children will explore the many aspects of nature. Cost is $8 per session; Friends of Sunset Zoo members receive $1 off. Classes go outside each session, please dress accordingly. To participate a current set of permission forms must be on file in the Zoo's office. Pre-registration required.

  • Winter/Spring 2017: Classes held 10:45am to Noon most Saturday mornings. Registration opens Monday, January 9 at 10am.
  • Summer 2017: Classes held 9:30am to 10:45am most Saturday mornings. Registration opens Monday, March 27 at 10am.
See current class schedule and register online.

Notifications by Email or Text
Sign up to receive text or email alerts about program emergencies, weather related cancellations, and reminders.

*Parents are not required to attend Kinder Cubs sessions with child. However they are welcome to participate, particularly if they feel it would aid in their child's learning.

Zoofari Tails with Manhattan Public Library | All Ages


Slither into reading with Sunset Zoo and the Manhattan Public Library. On the fourth Friday of every month at 10 am, Sunset Zoo will bring to life an animal-themed children's story. Each month is based on a different story and all storytimes include unique animal artifacts. Some storytimes feature a live animal and others may include a simple craft project. Storytimes rotate between the Library and the Zoo; click here to see our online calendarThis program is free and registration is not required.

Zoo Sprouts Childcare Program | Ages 2.5 to School Age

Zoo Sprouts connects youth at an early age to the wonder of the natural world. This year-round, full-time, childcare program is based out of the Nature Exploration Center; the Zoo's entryway and education facility. The program runs Monday through Friday and provides an one-of-a-kind experience for 15 toddlers. Utilizing national nature-based curricula, youth enjoy daily unstructured and structured play in the outdoor Nature PlaySpace, as well as guided Zoo tours, animal encounters and much more. Click here to learn more.