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Social Events & Tours

Pre-Conference Tour of Topeka Zoological Park and The Sunset Zoo

Topeka and Manhattan, Kansas
Saturday, September 7

8:00 am - 8:00 pm
Tour is NOT included with registration

Kansas is home to seven AZA accredited zoos; each with its own flavor and appeal. This trip allows attendees to experience the Topeka Zoo, located in the capital city of Kansas and the Sunset Zoo, in Manhattan, Kansas. Each zoo sits on approximately 30 developed acres and has complimentary animal collections. Guests on this tour will experience the importance of zoos in smaller communities and see the impact that small zoos can make on global conservation. From apes to elephants to the new Nature Exploration Center at the Sunset Zoo, this trip offers something to all interested participants.

Attendees will depart from the Kansas City Marriott and head 70 miles west to Topeka where you will enjoy behind the scenes tours and lunch. After lunch, the tour will take you 60 miles to Manhattan where you will see Sunset Zoo's new Nature Exploration Center. Dinner will be provided at the Sunset Zoo before heading back to Kansas City.

Pre-Conference Tour of Blank Park Zoo

Des Moines, Iowa
Sunday, September 8

9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Tour is NOT included with registration

The Blank Park Zoo is a 26 acre AZA accredited facility featuring over 205 species of animals. The only accredited zoo in the state of Iowa, guests can enjoy giraffe, lions, tigers, sea lions, an indoor rainforest, red pandas, a walk-thru Australia exhibit with wallaby and much more. Several exhibits have undergone recent renovations and May 2013 features the opening of the new Black Rhino exhibit, phase one of the new Jamma Kwa - connection to - Africa. Enjoy the shaded pathways, new exhibits, hands-on experiences and training demonstrations, all part of the zoo’s guest experience focus. 

Fee includes transportation, lunch, reception, and dinner.

Icebreaker at the Kansas City Power & Light District

Monday, September 9
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
One ticket is included in a full registration.  Daily registration DOES NOT include a ticket.
$60 for all others

Feel the energy at Midwest's premier neighborhood entertainment epicenter – the nine-block Kansas City Power & Light District.  Within walking distance from all AZA hotels, we'll be chillin’ at the outdoor covered "living room" at KC Live. Show off your wild side as you groove to the notes of KC’s best jazz, sip local spirits and munch on hearty appetizers. (Beverages are complimentary until 8 pm)  Surrounded by more than 50 unique and captivating restaurants, bars, shops and entertainment venues, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.  Bringing the beat to the conference, KC Power & Light is vibrant and waiting for you!

Zoo Day at the Kansas City Zoo

Thursday, September 12
1:00 pm - 9:00 pm

One ticket is included in a full registration.  Daily registration DOES NOT include a ticket.
$60 for all others

Wear your most comfortable shoes for a day exploring over 200 acres at the Kansas City Zoo.  Grab your lunch and lounge around the new Polar Bear Passage where two of the Zoo’s “rock stars” swim in their 140,000 gallon pool.  Peek at all the corners behind the scenes to “find out how we do it.”  See the almost-finished Helzberg Penguin Plaza in its final moments before opening to the public in October.  Let your toes dangle and fly high over Africa on the Sky Safari. Enjoy the best brews, blues and BBQ that will be served up to wind down your day o’ fun at the Kansas City Zoo.  After we show you our wild side -  you can show us yours!

Post-Conference Tour of Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Omaha, Nebraska
, September 13
7:30 am - 6:30 pm
Tour is NOT included with registration

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is home to the world’s largest indoor desert, glazed geodesic dome, nocturnal exhibit and indoor swamp.  The day will be yours to explore or there are staff led tours as well.  Tours include a look behind the scenes into the newly renovated Suzanne and Walter Scott Aquarium, Center for Conservation and Research led by our resident scientists and the Amphibian Crisis Center, an area where we care for critically endangered amphibians that is not accessible to the public.  There is also a tour highlighting the educational components including the full-time, year round kindergarten and high school.  

Transportation, lunch, and snacks will be provided.