Youth Education

The Flint Hills Discovery Center offers a number of fun, educational opportunities for the youth in our community.

Adventure Camp

Program offered for ages 5-12. Full Day and Half Day sessions avaiable. Prices range from $13-$25 per session. 

Preschoolers in the Flint Hills

Program offered for ages 3-5. One hour sessions avaiable. Fees range from $7-$9 per session. 

Adventure Camp


Adventure Camp (ages 5-12) is a unique program offered at both the Flint Hills Discovery Center and Sunset Zoo throughout the school year. The age of the child attending determines the camp location when offered at both sites. Children may be dropped off as early as 7:30 a.m. each session in which they are enrolled. Pick up for half-day registration is between 12:00 p.m. and 12:15 p.m., and pick up for full-day registration is between 5:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.  Day registrants must bring their own sack lunch.


All participants will need to complete emergency release and permission forms here and return them to the Flint Hills Discovery Center Education Department on or before the date of your first program of the season




All Day (8 a.m. - 5 p.m.)

$22 per session $25 per session

Half Day (8 a.m. - Noon)

$13 per session $15 per session

*Members of the Flint Hills Discovery Center receive discounted rates, and applicable discounts will be applied at checkout.

Activity Schedule

Friday, November 21


Who Found It?

Do you know who Lewis and Clark were or why they were important? What about Sacagawea?  Ever heard of Zebulon Pike?  He explored the Flint Hills and now you can explore all there is to know about him.  The early explorers of the Flint Hills and the West did not only find trails leading west they also wrote about the plants and animals they saw along the way.  They gave names to the things they saw, names we still have today.  Learn how important the early explorers and naturalists were to the history of our nation in this fun and exciting class that answers the question – Who Found It?

Wednesday, November 26


Flint Hills Pioneers

Join the Flint Hills Discover Center as we identify these well known devices only to leave them behind to experience the ways of the past. We will peak into the lives of the first settlers to this region, and discover how different things were when settling the space we now call home. With the help of real wagon hoops from a covered wagon of pioneer days, we will embark on our adventure exploring the their ways full of working from dusk to dawn doing everything from construction to finding food on the prairie. Their lifestyle and our experiences during this camp are ones for the ages. Everyone will walk away with a strong appreciation for what it took to build the foundation of our present day Flint Hills communities, just in time for Thanksgiving!

Monday, December 22 K-2

The Shortest Day

What is the winter solstice and what it is the big deal?  Join the Flint Hills Discovery Center team as we learn why this is the shortest day of the year through exciting activities and experiments!   As the mark of the winter season, we will discover what causes winter and the solstice.  We will even make our own snow globe to help us remember that the Earth is always spinning, moving and sometimes it may be snowing.  We will wrap up our explorations by looking at how different cultures from around the world celebrate the winter solstice. The day may be short but the fun continues on at the Flint Hills Discovery Center.

Tuesday, December 23 K-2

H2 Oh My Fun

From the glaciers to the sky to the ocean, H2O travels great distances and changes as it moves.  In fact, it lives inside you making up a majority of the human body.   We will discover the different states of H2O and where all it can be found in this exciting Adventure Camp dedicated to water.  We will follow the water droplet trail as it travels falling from the sky to discover all the places it will go by pretending to be a water droplet ourselves.  You might get frozen on this amazing journey or get washed out to sea.  The fun will last all day when you learn about water the Flint Hills Discovery Center way.

Friday, December 26 K-2

Smooth Operators

Not feathers, nor hair, or scales.  The smooth operators of the Flint Hills are the misunderstood amphibians.  The toads, frogs, salamanders and newts of the outdoors.  The next Adventure Camp at the Flint Hills Discovery Center will take us on a journey to understand the uniqueness of amphibians.  We will learn what characteristics make amphibians different from other animals including an exploration of their life cycles as we compare them to mammals, reptiles, and others.  We will make a frog to hang on your door at home and play frog trivia.  We will have a hopping good time discovering all about these smooth operators of the Flint Hills.

Monday, December 29 3-6 grade

Small World Afterall

What is the smallest living thing in the Flint Hills?  A mouse?  A butterfly? An ant?  Not quite.  Bacteria, viruses, mold and yeast are all much smaller yet play an important part in sustaining life in the Flint Hills. In this Adventure Camp we will learn all about the microscopic organisms that live throughout the Flint Hills.  Using microscopes and the Underground Forest exhibit, we will get a good look at the various tiny natives.  We will also scout out places in and around the building hunting out these microscopic organisms.  You may not be able to see everything because it truly is a Small World After All.

Tueday, December 30 3-6 grade

A Wealth of Geology

There’s black gold in those hills!  Discovered in 1915, the Flint Hills town of El Dorado became a major oil producing site for the United States.  Between the black gold and the yellow gold further to the west, the Flint Hills experienced growth and travelers based on geological formations outside that of the limestone and chert.  The Wealth of Geology Adventure Camp will explore the use of geology to locate natural resources.  Using our gained knowledge, we’ll practice being an oil prospector as we look for the next big find in the Flint Hills, and we will learn to pan for gold as if we were headed out west by way of the Flint Hills over 150 years ago.  Even through the chances are slim we will bring home any actual oil or gold, we will still strike it rich with knowledge.

Wednesday, December 31 3-6 grade

Dust Bowl Disaster

Explore one of the biggest manmade disasters in history that impacted the Flint Hills and beyond.  During Dust Bowl Disaster, we will explore the timing and causes for this event.  Through roll playing games, we will experience the decisions that farmers have to make and which choices led to this disaster.  We will watch videos of dust storms to help us understand how these events impact our sight and breathing.  Finally everyone will get to make their own protective mask just like the old timers did during the Dust Bowl.  We are not going to talk about a cereal bowl this Adventure Camp but you will definitely be able to eat up the facts as we work to understand the Dust Bowl Disaster.

Friday, January 2 3-6 grade

Forces of Forces

Spanning both World Wars, the Forces II temporary exhibit explores their impact on Fort Riley and Manhattan.  Join the Flint Hills Discovery Center as we use Forces II to take a unique look at the physics that allowed for the numerous wartime technological advancements seen on the Fort today.  We will experiment with trajectory; discover advancements in understanding various uses for ships; use paper airplanes to understand how flight impacted war.  Through design and experimentation, the Forces of Forces will reveal the science behind the historical events.

Monday, January 19 3-6 grade

Forces Explored

Have you heard about the Forces II exhibition at the Flint Hills Discovery Center?  It highlights the three forces that helped shape Manhattan, Kansas. In this Adventure Camp, we will explore those forces first hand by traveling to the Riley County Historical Museum, Fort Riley and Kansas State. Students will get to discover the fascinating history by searching the various sites for clues as to how Manhattan came to be and what each force did to support Manhattan’s growth.  Everyone will create a journal to record their findings throughout the day so we are able to share our experiences of the past. 


Preschoolers in the Flint Hills

Preschoolers in the Flint Hills (ages 3-5). Preschool-age children begin discovering the wonder of the Flint Hills where they live, but look beyond the city limits in their exploration. Children further their sense of place and belonging to this region through interactions with the ecology and the history of the area. All sessions will run from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. There is a maximum of 10 children, minimum of 5. 


Fees: $7.00 for members; $9.00 for non-members

Activity Schedule

Tuesday, November 25

Explorers & Naturalists

Join in on the fun this fall as we learn about some explorers and naturalists who passed through the Flint Hills many years ago.  Their fascinating stories tell not only of the risks they took to see new places but what they saw along the way.  In the Animal Secrets Naturalist Tent, we will discover what a naturalist does then go examine the world around us.  We will even get to make our very own explorers hat to use as we finish out our adventure and begin to plan for future expeditions.  Come explore the wonder of nature found in the Flint Hills with this preschool class.

Tuesday, December 9

Woodland Wonders

The Flint Hills may be known for the prairie but there are woodlands, too.  The animals that live in them are secretive and hard to spot, so explore the Woods of the Animal Secrets exhibition with us to identify the animals living there.  To help us spy into the Woods as we make our discoveries we will make raccoon masks to hide our true identities.  Sneak into the woods with us and learn about the Woodland Wonders.


 Please view the calendar for additional information on these educational programs.
Adult (18-64):
Youth (2-17):
Military (with ID), College Students (with ID), Educators (with ID) & Seniors (65+):
Under 2:
10 am - 5 pm
10 am - 8 pm
Fri - Sat:
10 am - 5 pm
Noon - 5 pm
Open 363 days a year!