Summer camps and in-person birthday parties are coming back to Sunset Zoo

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Sunset Zoo is ready to celebrate this summer with the comeback of summer camps and in-person birthday parties.

Marketing and Development Officer, Melissa Kirkwood, says summer camps this year will be limited in capacity, but she adds that while the sessions are small in attendance, their focus is big. Kirkwood tells KMAN the campers will be split into two groups- the Animal Cracker group (K-2) and the Summer Safari group (3-4). She says the campers will be on the go each day from 8AM- 4:30PM.

“Very rarely are you in a classroom setting in the Sunset Zoo summer camps,” Kirkwood says. “You are out exploring our environments and learning about conservation and learning about nature in a variety of different ways, and we have several different themes and topics for each week of our camp.

Kirkwood says for the older kids, ages 10-13, they have created the Junior Conservation Crew which will take a more hands-on approach.

“They’ll come once a week for four hours, and during that time frame, each youth that is participating in Junior Conservation Crew will take on a project. It may be turtle conservation, it may be invasive species, it may be some other activities that we have lined up for that age group.”

All summer camps will begin on June 1, and COVID precautions will be in place.

June 1 also marks the comeback of in-person birthday parties at the zoo. Kirkwood, says while they are keeping virtual birthday parties around, they are excited to be bringing back in-person birthday parties

“You’ll have the opportunity to have an animal painting experience; the animal that you will be visiting with will do a painting for your group,” Kirkwood says. “You’ll get a zoo tour, you’ll have a live animal encounter at your birthday party, and then you’ll have time with your group to open presents and things like that.”

To make it even better, she says the zoo also provides a little surprise for the birthday guest.

“We will provide a goody package for your birthday guest that will be pre-packaged. We have cotton candy here at the zoo, so your guest will get a pre-packaged goody bag with cotton candy.”

Kirkwood says in-person birthday parties will still have a limit of 22 guests.

For more information on hosting a birthday party at the zoo or how to register for summer camps, visit sunsetzoo.com or call the office at 785-587-2737.

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