Visitor FAQsYou’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers
Thank you so much for your interest in Exploration Place! We have compiled and categorized some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) with helpful answers for you to review. If you do not see one of your questions answered, you may contact us by phone at (316) 660‑0600 or contact us online.
What age can kids be dropped off to explore alone?
Exploration Place welcomes visitors of all ages; however, unless enrolled in a museum-sponsored program, children under 12 years of age must be accompanied and supervised by a chaperone 16 years of age or older.
Is outside food and drink allowed in the museum?
Yes! You are welcome to bring in outside food and drink during your visit. We ask that you do not bring glass containers or alcohol. We also have a Snack Bar where you can purchase concessions.
Do you have wheelchairs available to rent?
A limited number of manual wheelchairs are available to borrow at no charge, on a first-come-first-served basis. Guests may bring their own wheelchairs or electric scooters as well
Are strollers and wagons allowed?
You are welcome to bring a stroller and/or wagon with you on your visit. There are a few places where we ask that strollers be parked outside of the exhibit/theater due to space restrictions. This includes the Kansas Kids Connect exhibit, the Live Science Theater and the Dome theater. There is designated stroller parking near the entrance to these areas. Please keep in mind to take your valuables with you as the parked strollers are not monitored by staff.
Is the museum accessible for all?
The Museum is committed to providing a quality experience for all our guests and all areas of the building and exhibits are ADA accessible. There is an elevator to access the administrative offices and board room on the second level as well as the offices in the basement. The Dome and Live Science Theaters have reserved spaces for those needing accessible seating.
Is there a private space for nursing mothers?
We offer a lactation room for nursing mothers. Please visit the ticket counter for access or more information.
Is re-entry allowed?
Visitors are welcome to leave and reenter the museum during the same business day. Please show your receipt when visiting the ticket counter.
Does Exploration Place offer reciprocal entry with other science museums?
Exploration Place is a member of the Association of Science and Technology Centers Passport Program. Please show your participating location’s member card upon check in at the ticket counter to receive complimentary museum admission. Learn more about the program at https://exploration.org/astc/
Are animals allowed in the museum and shows?
We do not allow animals and pets within the facility unless they are certified service animals.
Where are birthday parties held in the museum?
Birthday parties are held in Discovery Room A or Discovery Room B. These rooms are located in the Island Building, between the Design, Build, Fly exhibit gallery and Kansas in Miniature. Each room has eight 6-foot tables. Take a 3D tour.
Can I bring a cake into the museum for the party?
Yes! Cakes, cupcakes, drinks, pizza and snacks are all welcome. Birthday candles for the cake are allowed – but don’t forget to bring a lighter! No refrigerator or freezer access is available, but coolers are welcome. Our newly renovated Discovery Room spaces include a counter space perfect to set up your cake and refreshments without using valuable table space, and there is a sink in the room to make cleaning up a breeze.
Do parents and siblings count toward the 30-person capacity?
Yes. The room has a limit due to size and seating, so every person, no matter the age, is counted toward the 30-person included capacity.
Can we decorate the room for our party?
Absolutely! Ideas include table coverings, themed plates and cups, centerpieces, goody bags, party hats or glasses, and fun placemats or coloring sheets. Pinterest is a great resource for ideas! Things to leave at home include anything that needs to be hung or taped to walls or cabinets (such as banners or streamers), bubbles, confetti and helium balloons, which are not allowed in the museum. The first 30 minutes of your party is reserved for decorating and set up.
Do you have birthday party invitations I can use to invite guests?
What if I have more than 35 people on my guest list?
Depending on availability, both party rooms can be rented, and the wall in between can be removed to create one large space. Please fill out the form, and we will contact you to talk through the options for larger groups or special requests.
Who do I contact if I have questions or need help on the day or weekend of my party?
If you need to speak with us on the day of the party, call Exploration Place at (316) 660‑0600 and ask for the Manager on Duty. If you have questions leading up to the event that are not urgent, please contact us online.
What if I need to cancel my party?
We would be happy to reschedule your event. Our birthday parties are non-refundable.
How much time is included with my rental?
Rentals for Halls and Larger Venues include four hours of event time. Additional hours for these spaces are available for $300 per hour. Smaller venues and theaters are charged at an hourly rate. Outdoor spaces are charged as either daytime or evening rentals. For all-day access you have the ability to rent both daytime and evening together. All rental times are subject to availability.
Complimentary set-up and tear-down time is included with your rental and does not count against your rental times.
When can I start to set up?
You can begin setup in the Exhibit Building after Exploration Place has closed to the public, 5 pm daily and 8 pm on Thursdays. WaterWay Hall can accommodate decorations as early as 2 pm for evening events. Smaller venues and theater availability can be determined upon booking.
What is your food and beverage policy?
Exploration Place has a list of preferred vendors for catering and bar service. These approved vendors are familiar with our facility, policies and procedures. If your vendor of choice isn’t listed we are accepting applications and encourage them to apply.
What is included in a rental?
- Indoor rentals include tables and chairs
- Table and chair setup/teardown
- Security (when alcohol is being served)
- Ample, free parking
- Custodial duties
- Decoration and clean up time
Who is responsible for cleanup?
You are responsible for anything you or your guests bring into the event. Exploration Place will be responsible for the breakdown of chairs, tables, trash, etc.
If I have an outdoor event, is there a rain contingency plan?
We encourage you to plan ahead for rain and make a contingency plan that includes using tents. We are happy to rearrange the layout of your event if rain is in the 48-hour forecast, but there are no guarantees for inclement weather. We ask that you notify the Events Manager of any major changes 48 hours in advance. If you need to cancel due to dangerous outdoor conditions beyond rain, we would be happy to find another date that is agreed upon by both you and Exploration Place.
What happens if I need to cancel?
Exploration Place requires 30 days’ notice for all canceled rentals. For cancellation requests received 30 days or more before the event date, 50% of the rental fee will be refunded. For cancellation requests received 29 days, or less, from the event date, there will be no refund given.
When does my membership become active?
If you are joining for the first time, your membership is active immediately after purchase for you to enjoy! If you are renewing and your current membership hasn’t expired, 12 months will be added to the end of your current membership. If your membership lapsed and you renew, your membership will be active immediately for us. If you are purchasing this as a “gift,” you can select the start date.
How do I receive my card?
As soon as we receive notification of your new membership we will prepare some welcome information and print you an ID card that we will mail to the address on your account. There is no need to request a card, unless you are needing a copy of it immediately.
Is there a digital membership card or an app?
Yes! There’s an app for that! Search for “Exploration Place” on either the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store and download the free app that features the Exploration Place logo. Once you have downloaded the app you will be able to use your member ID number, or the primary email on your account, to be able to access a digital membership card that you can use to check in at our museum as well as the 300+ partner locations around the globe. Please be prepared to show a picture ID along with the app for verification of account details and ownership.
The app also gives you quick access to information including our daily hours of operation, upcoming events, member deals, renewing your membership, member perks, FAQs and the full list of ASTC reciprocal membership locations in an easy to use, clickable list that you can pull up on the go.
We hope that you will find the app to be helpful as you enjoy the full benefits of your membership. If you have any questions on the app, please email us and we’ll get back to you asap. Thank you!
How do I buy a gift membership?
To give a membership, use the “GIFT” button. In the online portal, you’ll fill out information for you and your recipient and choose a start date for the membership. All new members receive a welcome email and letter with their membership details immediately following the membership purchase. If you want the gift membership to be a surprise, select the Deliver Membership to Buyer option on the Gift Message page to have these sent to you instead of the gift recipient.
Will you send me something with my gift membership that I can wrap up and give?
Yes! We will send you a welcome letter that you can give to the recipient. Place your order by December 12 to receive it by Christmas. Please remember that postal service takes longer during busy seasons. Once we hand over packages to the post office, we have no control over delivery times.
What happens if my membership isn’t ready for renewal yet?
You can renew at any time. When you renew, we will add 12 months to your membership and extend your expiration date for the additional year.
How many people are included on a membership?
Single Plus memberships include one person, plus a guest. Family, Premium and Traveler membership levels include exhibit admission for up to two adults and all dependent children under 18 and/or grandchildren under 18. Premium level includes one additional “guest” per visit. Traveler includes two additional “guests” per visit. A “guest” is defined as a friend or extended family member not residing in the same household as the member.
I’m a grandparent. Can I purchase a membership that allows me to bring my grandchildren in for visits?
Yes, the Family, Premium and Traveler membership options all include two adults and their children or grandchildren that are under the age of 18.
What is the difference between Family and Premium?
The Family level includes complimentary exhibit and Live Science Show admission. Premium includes complimentary exhibit and Live Science Show admission as well as unlimited admission to The Dome! Another differentiating factor is that Premium members are allowed to bring a guest of any age with them on each visit.
What is the difference between Premium and Traveler?
Premium allows members to bring one additional guest of any age per visit. The Traveler level allows members to bring two additional guests of any age per visit! The more, the merrier! A “guest” is defined by a friend or extended family member not residing in the same household as the member.
Can my child use our Exploration Place membership on school field trips?
Students must pay the field trip rate, regardless of membership. School staff are free for field trips. See our field trip page for more information.
Adult chaperones who are Exploration Place Members can use their benefits for free admission to the exhibits and Live Science Show on field trips, if they sign in separately from their related school or organization. Please check in at the ticket counter when you arrive.
If the class you are chaperoning will be watching a movie in the Dome, the ticket price for the parent or other chaperone is dependent on your membership type.
Adults who check in and/or pay separately from the school are not guaranteed a seat in the Dome or Live Science theater because capacity is limited and priority is given to the students and staff in the reserved field trip group
What ages are included in summer camp?
Classes are divided by age to allow the content to be at a learning level they can handle.
- 7 – 8 Year old rooms
- 9 – 10 Year old rooms
- 11 – 13 Year old rooms
Can I add Before or After Care in the middle of the week?
If there is space available, you are welcome to register mid-week. Exploration Place does not pro-rate Before or After Care. The price is the same if your child is present for one day or all five days.
Late arrivals and early pickups
Late arrivals and early pickups are allowed. Please go to the front desk and ask for camp assistance. We do not allow check out between 3:40 – 4pm to allow time for clean-up.
What services are provided with Before and After Care?
Before Care allows campers supervised free play by Exploration Place camp staff before the camp day begins. Before Care check-in begins at 7:30 am. All paperwork must be completed before adults leave. Breakfast is provided for campers. At 8:30 am, campers will transition to their groups’ lead teachers and meet arriving campers. The camp day begins at 9 am. Before Care is charged by the week at $34 Members/ $40 Non Members.
After Care allows campers to remain when the camp day has concluded. At 4:15 pm, campers transfer from lead teachers’ care to camp staff care. They will be served a snack and be allowed supervised free play. Campers must be checked-out to their adults by 6 pm. After Care is charged by the week at $42 Members / $50 Non Members.
Before- and After-Care fees are non-refundable.
Do campers leave Exploration Place?
Camp groups may walk to the Keeper of the Plains adjacent to Exploration Place if authorized by their family in the CampDoc forms.
Do campers spend any time outside?
Yes! Weather permitting. If the heat index is over 95 degrees Fahrenheit or under 32 degrees Fahrenheit campers remain inside.
What should my camper bring and wear to camp?
- Lunch, packed in a leak-resistant container and labeled with the camper’s name
- A water bottle labeled with the camper’s name
- Clothes that can get messy. Daily projects include glue, materials that can stain, and opportunity for kids to get wet, sweaty or dirty.
- Closed-toe shoes
Exploration Place Summer Camps are peanut and tree-nut free. We ask that parents do not pack these items in camper lunches to avoid any allergies.
What should my camper leave at home?
Unless a letter or special request comes from camp staff, campers should leave at home:
- Cards and tradables
Exploration Place is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
My camper has special medical or behavioral needs. Whom do I contact?
For any camper concerns, contact the Camp Director. There may be special forms that will need to be completed. You may reach the Camp Director at (316) 660-0612 or contact us online.
How do I reach the Camp Director?
You can chat with the Camp Director at check-in or check-out. If you need to reach her during the camp day, please call (316) 660-0612.
Behavior Guidance and Parent Information
What are the behavior guidance and discipline policies for camp?
Exploration Place’s philosophy of discipline is based on respect for each participant’s self-worth, sensible behavior boundaries with age-appropriate consequences, and encouraging youth to manage their own behavior.
All participants are expected to show respect for themselves and others; consideration for their own and others’ property; and to participate in the group activities.
As you prepare for your child to attend camp, please read the Parent Information and Policies.
If you have concerns about the quality of care, policies, or procedures, please contact the Director of Education at (316) 660-0612.
Group Assignment and Classroom Questions
What do I do if I need to speak to my camper’s teacher?
Camp teachers are available at check-in from 8:30 – 9 am and check-out from 4 – 4:15 pm. Other arrangements may be made to speak with a camp director if these times do not work with the camp parent. Parents are also encouraged to share any problems with the assistant camp director or the camp director via phone, email or in-person at any time during normal business hours.
Can siblings be in the same class?
We take all requests into consideration. Our lesson plans are targeted to a specific age; if siblings or friends are the same age, they may be in the same class. The camp director has discretion over camper placement.
Please make requests at least two weeks prior to your registered camp start date.
Are the lesson plans available for me to look at?
Lesson plans are proprietary. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact the Camp Director with any concerns (316) 660-0644.
How many campers are in each class?
Our classes are 15 students. Each classroom will have two teachers and an assistant.
Do campers go to the exhibits?
Yes! Each afternoon, campers have the opportunity to visit one exhibit. Campers will rotate to visit each exhibit at least once throughout the week.
Do campers go to the Dome and Live Science Shows?
Campers visit the Dome and Live Science Show when it applies to the week’s theme.
Lunch, Snacks and Drink Questions
Does my camper need to bring a lunch?
Yes, campers should bring a lunch labeled with their names in a leak-proof container (no paper sacks), silverware if needed, with an ice pack. Microwaves are available as needed.
Exploration Place Summer Camps are peanut and tree-nut free. We ask that parents do not pack these items in camper lunches to avoid any allergies.
Can campers get lunch at the Snack Bar?
No, lunch staff are not available to take campers to the Snack Bar.
Can I bring my camper a lunch?
Yes, check with an Exploration Place staff member at check-in to confirm your camper’s lunch time. You are welcome to check out your camper for lunch, drop off lunch at the front desk, or bring lunch to eat with your camper.
What about allergies?
Exploration Place Summer Camps are peanut and tree-nut free. We ask that parents do not pack these items in camper lunches to avoid any allergies. If your camper has any food allergies, please share with someone at check-in and put the information into CampDoc.
Registration Form Questions
Do I have to fill out all of the forms in CampDoc?
Yes, all forms are required to be complete upon the first day of camp. If information is missing we will require you to complete the information before allowing you to leave your child in our care.
COVID and Illness Questions
My child has been exposed to someone exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. What do I need to do?
We use the current CDC recommendations.
My child is sick, but I don’t think its COVID related.
Please keep your camper at home. Campers may not return until they have been fever and symptom-free for over 24 hours without medication.
My child requires medication for a condition that is not contagious. What do I need to do?
Please fill out the appropriate medical information on your CampDoc account.
For more information on Medication Policies, please read the Parent Information and Policies.