Caring for Flippered Friends
Program: Caring for Flippered Friends
- 8 to 13
1 Hour 30 Minutes
(Start times vary)
Caring for Flippered Friends
Oceans of Fun is dedicated to providing topnotch welfare to the seals and sea lions that call us home. From their environment, to their diets, to monitoring their behavior daily, our animal care team assesses the health of our animals on various levels to ensure they are receiving the best possible care. Our Caring for Flippered Friends program allows kids ages 8-13 to put themselves in the shoes of our animal care team and explore the many different components that keep our animals and their habitat healthy. They will delve deep into one of the most important aspects of training: husbandry or voluntary medical work which our animals practice routinely to make any vet visit fun and positive! After participating in one of our daily seal and sea lion presentations, participants in this program will learn all about the husbandry behaviors our animals know and how they are helping us conserve not only the ambassadors in our care but also their wild counterparts. They will then apply this knowledge during poolside interactions with our seals and sea lions as they participate in a mock medical session to practice some of the husbandry behaviors our animals know!
After the program, our educator will escort the children and parents out to our Sea Lion Shoppe to conclude our program. This program includes a high resolution digital photograph of your participant interacting with one of our seals or sea lions that will be sent to your e-mail address within 24 hours following the program. We have a limited number of reservations per program and summers fill quickly.
This program is available at our Milwaukee Location
- Guests must be between 8-13 years of age to participate in this program.
- A parent/guardian must sign a liability release and all participation sheets before the child begins the program.
- A $25.00 observation fee per person will be charged to family/friends wishing to observe the program. Learn more about the Observer Program here.
- Participants must speak and understand English without the use of an interpreter.
- Participants will be meeting the seals and sea lions from the safety of dry docks and poolside areas. Although feeding and playing with the animals are part of the program, participants will not be entering the water or touching the animals.
- Participants should remove jewelry and sunglasses prior to the start of the program. Prescription lenses worn for vision correction are acceptable.
- Wearing comfortable footwear is recommended for safety.
- Photos will be taken during the interactive portion of your program. Photo packages will be made available and any packages purchased will be kept on file for 60 days. Personal cameras are not allowed. Paid program observers are allowed to use still photography equipment; however the use of video cameras is prohibited.
- Participants are expected to follow all instructions given by the Educators and Animal Care Staff. Oceans of Fun reserves the right to remove any disruptive individuals at any time during the program.
- Participants requiring assistance or with special needs must be discussed prior to the program. This is to ensure the safety of all program participants and our animals.
Pick-Up and Drop-Off
- All participants must report to the Sea Lion Shoppe (Located on the north end of Monkey Island) at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the program with an authorized parent or guardian. Due to program and show schedules, all programs start promptly. If you arrive late you may join the program already in progress.
- At the conclusion of the program, participants will be escorted to the Sea Lion Shoppe, located in front of the Oceans of Fun show stadium. Children will not be allowed to walk to the front of the zoo. To ensure the safety of your child, all participants must be picked up by an authorized parent or guardian promptly at the conclusion of the program at the Sea Lion Shoppe.
- There is a late fee for pick up if you are more than 15 minutes late. You will be charged an additional $5.00 for every 15 minutes you are late for pick up.
Ocean Connections reserves the right to cancel seal and sea lion show participation without advance notice due to inclement weather or animal needs. In this event, an alternate private presentation will be provided or we may extend an invitation to a future public presentation. We apologize for any disappointment this may cause.
No. Sea Lion Splash and Caring for Flippered Friends are pool-side programs. Participants will interact with our animals in dry areas where they may be splashed by the animals, but will not enter the pool.
We ask that participants dress for the weather. On hot summer days, we have the ability to get children wet while learning about animal adaptations at each participant’s comfort. We are always respectful of the weather/temperature conditions and comfort of our participants. At times children may only get splashed by a little pool water as the animal enters and exits the environment and at others they may get completely soaked.
Sea Lion Splash and Caring for Flippered Friends are 1 ½ hour programs. We recommend that participants bring a towel and water bottle to the program.
All interactive programs require liability and participation forms on file prior to the start of the program. These forms vary by program and may be completed online or in person during program check-in.
Summer Camp Check-In
Check-in for all summer camp programs will occur in the US Bank Gathering Place. Please look for the Ocean Connections sign for registration. Please allow extra time for check-in on the first day of camp to review important information. Camp participants do not check-in at the Sea Lion Shoppe.
Check-in for all other interactive programs will occur at the Sea Lion Shoppe which is located on the northeast side of the zoo near Monkey Island. Program check-in begins 30 minutes prior to the program start time. Please allow extra time to enter and navigate the zoo to reach our Sea Lion Shoppe at least 30 minutes before your program is scheduled to begin. This will allow ample time to check in all participants, ensure paperwork is complete and provide an orientation to participants and families.
We strongly encourage participants to visit the restroom prior to the start of their program.
Some classes or camps may include an animal that participants can touch or see up close at the discretion of a trainer. All interactive programs include some level of animal interaction; however, Aquatic Adventure is the only program that includes petting.
Pre-paid merchandise will be available for pick up on the first day of your program. Merchandise will be distributed at our Sea Lion Shoppe located north of Monkey Island, just outside of the Ocean Connections show stadium.
Ocean Connections offers a photo session following most Seal and Sea Lion Shows. For more information please visit our Photo Program page.
Photos are taken during every interactive program and will be available for review and purchase following the program. We offer a variety of photo packages including digital photos and/or a USB photo option so that you may take your memories of your time with us home with you.
Yes. We offer group programs perfect for scout troops, community groups, family outings, special occasions and birthday parties. All Private Parties can be tailored to fit age groups 5 years and older making them a truly unique experience. For more information please visit our Private Parties page.
All interactive programs run rain or shine. Participants should come dressed for all weather conditions. (i.e., rain poncho, closed-toed shoes, boots, hat, gloves, etc.) Umbrellas will not be allowed in animal areas or utilized during interaction times.
In the event of severe weather, accommodations may be made to postpone or reschedule your program. Ocean Connections will make these determinations and contact you with as much notice as possible.
If you cancel: If you reschedule 14 days before the program is scheduled, we will try to reschedule your program for another available date within the season, or you may offer your program session to a friend of the same age. Please alert us of any participant changes. All changes will need to be verified by Ocean Connections staff.
If you need to reschedule with less than 14 days before your scheduled program, you may reschedule for a rescheduling fee.
Underwater Journey Summer Camp reservations will be charged a $50.00 rescheduling fee per reservation based on availability. All other program reservations will be charged a $25.00 rescheduling fee per reservation based on availability.
Please access your Ocean Connections account to reschedule your programs.We do not issue refunds if you cancel.
If we cancel: Ocean Connections reserves the right to cancel programs based on weather restrictions or animal needs. We will attempt to reschedule a cancelled program. If we are unable to do so, or if we cannot accommodate you in another session, you will receive a refund.
Program start times are not flexible. Due to animal and show schedules and in respect of other program participants, all programs will begin promptly at their start time. If you arrive late, please check in at the Sea Lion Shoppe where we will ensure all paperwork is complete. We will then allow you to join the program already in progress.
It’s important that you check your confirmation immediately. If you arrive on a day other than the date on your confirmation, we will not be able to accommodate you. Interactive programs have limited availability. If there is availability for a future program/camp, you may register again and pay the program fee.
If you miss a program due to a medical issue, you must provide a doctor’s note confirming care within two weeks of your missed program in order to reschedule your program without penalty. All rescheduled programs are subject to program availability.
We do not issue refunds if you miss your program.
Program participants will not be allowed to bring cameras into their program. It is important that you give the animals and training staff your complete focus and attention to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Our staff will take photos during the interactive program that will be available for review and purchase following each program.
As an Observer, you will have the opportunity to take still photographs from our designated area, but we ask that you remain seated to help minimize distraction for our animals. Videotaping during programs is prohibited. For more information please visit our Observer Program page.
If your child requires any medication (prescription or non-prescription) while attending a program, you must fill out and sign a medication form for each day your child attends.
Children must be the required age by the date of the session. Exceptions for children with special needs should be arranged by calling Ocean Connections 414-453-5527 ext 1 prior to registering.
Please contact Ocean Connections to discuss any special needs with our training staff. We need to be notified in advance of programs due to the safety considerations while working with animals. We want to ensure that we set both animals and participants up for successful interactions. We have the ability to tailor programs to accommodate a variety of special needs and would be happy to work with you.
In order for everyone to enjoy the program, we request that you silence your cell phone and/or pager when participating in an interactive program.
Contact Ocean Connections at 414-453-5527 ext 1 to get in touch with your child in case of an emergency.
Inform the staff when your child is dropped off for class or camp. If you need an early pick up after you drop off your child, call Ocean Connections at 414-453-5527 ext 1.
Contact Ocean Connections at 414-453-5527 ext 1 to notify us of the participant’s absence. If you miss a program due to a medical issue, you must provide a doctor’s note within two weeks of your missed program confirming care to reschedule your program without penalty. All rescheduled programs are subject to program availability.
If you have any questions regarding the Ocean Connections interactive programs or your registration, please contact Ocean Connections at 414-453-5527 ext 1 or contact us here.