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.

General FAQ

  • Are gift cards available?

    Yes! Gifts cards are available to purchase at the ticket counter during regular business hours. Gift cards may be redeemed in person for exhibit admission, Dome shows, Live Science Shows, at the Snack Lab and in the Explore Store. Gift cards be used in person or over the phone for camp registration, tickets to special events and memberships. Vending machines in the museum are not able to accept gift cards.

    Gift cards are available in the amounts of $25, $50 or $100 and are not refillable. Multiple gift cards can be combined on a single purchase or registration.

  • 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. [TAKE A TOUR]

  • 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/

    For guests visiting Exploration Place using reciprocal admission from their home museum, our admittance policy is two adults in the same household and all dependent children under 18/unmarried grandchildren under 18. Free admission limited to general exhibit areas; does not include digital dome theater and planetarium, or exhibits with an additional fee. Proof of Residence Required.

  • Are animals allowed in the museum and shows?

    We do not allow animals and pets within the facility unless they are certified service animals.

Birthday Parties

Facility Rentals

General Questions
  • 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.

Membership FAQ

  • 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!

    Download the app now:   APPLE       ANDROID

     

     

  • 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

Camp FAQs

General Questions
  • What ages are included in Summer Camp and Edventure camps?

    Children are divided into groups based on age so the activities can be done in an age-appropriate manner.

    Ages for Summer Camp at Exploration Place

    • 6 – 8 Year old groups
    • 9 – 10 Year old groups
    • 11 – 13 Year old groups

    Ages for School’s Out Edventures at Exploration Place

    • 6 – 8 Year old groups
    • 9 – 10 Year old groups

    Ages for Exploration Place Travel Camps

    • 6 – 12 year old groups

    Children are divided into small groups of 2-4 and the STEM activities are adjusted based on the age of each group.

  • What is the cancellation policy?

    We offer a full refund of your camp fee if you inform us at least two weeks before the camp starts. In case of medical necessity, a major emergency, or military deployment any time before the camp begins, a full refund will be provided. If you decide to cancel 1 to 13 days before the camp, we are unable to refund your fee, but we are happy to transfer your registration to an available camp on a different date.

  • What is a typical camp day like? Is this the right camp for my child?

    Exploration Place camps are somewhat like school with 16 to 36 children and 2 to 4 counselors. The days are filled with fun hands-on STEM activities. Children do these activities as groups of 2 to 4 just like engineers and scientists.

    • You will have the clearest insight into your child’s comfort and capabilities. Trust your judgment on whether this setting will suit them.
    • We can’t offer refunds after camp has started.
    • Exploration Place camps are open to any child who has completed Kindergarten and is 6 years old.
    • We offer reasonable accommodations for children with disabilities. To request such, please reach out to our Camp Manager at (316) 660-0650.
  • What is the daily camp schedule?
    • Check-in: 7:30 am 9:00 am
    • Camp activities are 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
    • Check-out: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

    *New for 2024*

    To give parents flexible childcare options during Summer Camp and School’s Out Edventures, before and after care are available to all campers for no additional fee and with no additional paperwork. Drop your camper off as early as 7:30 am and pick up by 5:30 pm. The core camp activities will happen between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. Additional fees will only be charged if you pick up your camper past the 5:30 pm cut off (see FAQs for details).

  • Why did you eliminate the fees for before and after care?

    From the parent survey, we learned that parents and caregivers needed flexibility to drop off  children between 7:30 and 9:00 am and pick up between 4:00 and 5:30 pm. We heard you and have structured the program so that all campers have access to these benefits. Thank you for those who participated in the survey and helped us improve the program for all!

  • Can I drop off my child before 7:30 am or pick them up after 5:30 pm?

    Unfortunately, we cannot accept children before 7:30 am or care for them after 5:30 pm. Parents who pick up children after 5:30 pm should expect to pay additional fees. If a parent consistently picks up children after 5:30 pm, the child will not be permitted to return to camp.

  • Late arrivals (after 9:00 am) and early pickups (before 4:00 pm)

    Late arrivals (after 9:00 am) and early pickups (before 4:00 pm) are allowed. Please go to the front desk and ask for camp assistance.

  • What do campers do from 7:30 - 9:00 am and 4:00 - 5:30 pm?

    Campers enjoy supervised free play, crafts and games before and after camp. They are cared for by Exploration Place camp staff before the camp day begins. The core camp activities will happen between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm.

  • Do campers leave Exploration Place?

    This year, we expect construction to begin outside for the new outdoor amphitheater and destination playground. This means, we will be asking parents to sign permission slips for children to play outside at a partner site. Camp groups may also walk to the Keeper of the Plains adjacent to Exploration Place. Parents, must sign the field trip forms in CampDoc if they want to allow their children to play outside off the Exploration Place grounds.

  • What if I have concerns about safety during construction?

    All construction zones will be completely fenced off at all times to camp staff and campers as well as to the public.

  • Do campers spend any time outside?

    Yes! Weather permitting. If the heat index is 95 degrees Fahrenheit or higher or the wind chill temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit campers remain inside. Please dress appropriately for the weather so your child can enjoy playing outside.

  • 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 opportunities for kids to get wet, sweaty or dirty.
    • Closed-toe shoes
    • • If the weather is cool or cold, bring a jacket. We play outside.

    Exploration Place 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 the following items at home:

    • Electronics, such as any internet-enabled device (phones, watches, iPads)
    • Gaming devices
    • Toys
    • Cards and tradables or collectible items

    If a child brings any of the above items, they will be asked to keep them in their backpacks for the duration of camp and before- and after-care hours. 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) 660-0650 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 him during the camp day, please call (316) 660-0650.

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 Senior Director of Education at (316) 660-0612.

Group Assignment and Classroom Questions
  • What is a typical camp day like? Is this the right camp for my child?

    Exploration Place camps are somewhat like school with 16 to 36 children and 2 to 4 counselors. The days are filled with fun hands-on STEM activities. Children do these activities as groups of 2 to 4 just like engineers and scientists.

    • You will have the clearest insight into your child’s comfort and capabilities. Trust your judgment on whether this setting will suit them.
    • We can’t offer refunds after camp has started.
    • Exploration Place camps are open to any child who has completed Kindergarten and is 6 years old.
    • We offer reasonable accommodations for children with disabilities. To request such, please reach out to our Camp Manager at (316) 660-0650.
  • What do I do if I need to speak to my camper’s group leader?

    Camp counselors and leaders are available during check-in and check-out. Other arrangements may be made to speak with a camp director if these times do not work. 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. Email us at [email protected] or leave a message at (316) 660-0650.

  • Can siblings be in the same group?

    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 group. The camp director has discretion over camper placement.

    Please make requests at least two weeks prior to your registered camp start date.

  • Are the activity 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) 660-0650.

  • How many campers are in each room or group?

    Onsite camp groups each have 15-30 students. Each camp group is guided by 2-3 counselors. Additional staff float between rooms to support camper STEM and play activities, restroom runs, and brain breaks for children who need them.

  • Do campers go to the exhibits?

    Campers who attend camp at Exploration Place have scheduled time in the exhibits throughout the week.

  • Do campers go to the Dome and Live Science Shows?

    Campers who attend camp at Exploration Place go to Dome movies or 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 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 if my child has food allergies?

    Exploration Place Camps are peanut and tree-nut free. We ask parents not to pack these items in lunches. If your camper has any food allergies, please share this with a staff member at check-in and add the information into CampDoc.

Registration Form Questions
COVID and Illness Questions