Jul 08, 2021 5:31 PM

UPDATE: Sunflower Summer: Educational places for students to visit for free!

Posted Jul 08, 2021 5:31 PM

UPDATE 12:30 p.m. Thursday: The Sunflower Summer app is now available in the Google Play Store.

TOPEKA — A new program will help children stay engaged in learning throughout the summer months while spending quality time with family members and friends touring some of Kansas’ greatest attractions – all for free.

The Sunflower Summer program, which is being funded by federal COVID-19 money to offer summer enrichment activities for Kansas students, is a collaboration between the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), Kansas Department of Commerce, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund, KU Center for Public Partnerships and Research, and Greenbush Education Service Center.

“This is a win-win for Kansas students and Kansas attractions,” said Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson. “The Sunflower Summer program can help enrich summer learning and is an excellent opportunity for students and families to go on educational adventures together while supporting nearly 70 Kansas attractions.”

Adults can visit sunflowersummer.org to download the Sunflower Summer mobile app to their phone or tablet device. The app is currently available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. 

An adult will need to register their family members and include their county and school district. There are nearly 70 attractions to choose from across the state, including zoos, museums, historic landmarks, libraries and outdoor locations.

Within the Sunflower Summer app is a passport that allows participants to track where they have visited on their adventures.

Once a location has been selected, tickets can be claimed within the app. When attendees are ready to enter, the ticket can be activated and presented to the ticket taker.

Child care facilities also can access and use the app for field trips. However, only one ticket per child and adult can be redeemed at each location. More information and a frequently-asked-questions section are available at www.sunflowersummer.org.

The Sunflower Summer program runs through Aug. 15. Funding for this program is limited, and tickets are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Following is the list of participating locations.

ATTRACTIONS & LANDMARKS

Cosmosphere

Curious Minds Discovery Zone

Evel Knievel Museum

Exploration Place

Kansas Aviation Museum

Kansas Children's Discovery Center

Kansas State Capitol

Lee Richardson Zoo

Mid-America Air Museum

Rolling Hills Zoo

Sedgwick County Zoo

The Topeka Zoo

Wright Park Zoo

HISTORY

Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum

Boot Hill Museum, Inc.

Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site

Eisenhower Presidential Library***

El Quartelejo Museum & Jerry Thomas Gallery and Collection

Fick Fossil & History Museum

Fort Larned National Historic Site

Johnson County Museum

Kansas Museum of History

Kiowa County Historical Museum & Soda Fountain

Lindsborg Old Mill and Swedish Heritage Museum

Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes

Mid-America All-Indian Museum

Miners Hall Museum

Nicodemus National Historic Site

Old Cowtown Museum

Pawnee Indian Museum State Historic Site

Pony Express Barn & Museum

Sternberg Museum of Natural History

The Big Well Museum

ART & THEATER

Prairie Museum of Art & History

Red Barn Studio Museum

Theatre In The Park

NATURE AREAS

Botanica, The Wichita Gardens

Cedar Bluff State Park

Cheney State Park

Clinton State Park - OK Kids

Cowley Lake Waterfall

Crawford State Park

Cross Timbers State Park

El Dorado State Park

Ernie Miller Park & Nature Center

Fall River State Park

Flint Hills Discovery Center

Flint Hills Trail State Park

Hillsdale State Park

Lehigh Portland Trails

Little Jerusalem State Park

Lovewell State Park

Meade State Park

Milford State Park

Monument Rocks Natural Area

Perry State Park

Pomona State Park

Santa Fe Trail Center Museum & Research Library

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

Tuttle Creek State Park

Webster State Park

Wyandotte County Lake Park

LIBRARIES

Clay Center Carnegie Library

Hays Public Library

Hoisington Public Library

Lawrence Public Library

Salina Public Library

Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library

***Requires reservation online through their website prior to entry with code SUMMERFUN.