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Kids & Families

Camp Zoofari

Camp Zoofari is an immersive experience for children ages 4-16. Campers explore the Houston Zoo, meet Zoo animals and make new friends while learning about animals and how to save them in the wild.

Hours & Important Information

Summer Camp Zoofari 2019 will run Monday-Friday, June 3 – August 16.

Registration open now!

Drop Off: 8:45 – 9:15 am
Pick Up: 3:45 – 4:15 pm
Half Day: 8:45 – 11:45 am
Early Drop-Off*: 7:30-7:45 AM
Late Pick up*: 5:00-5:15 pm

*Early/Late pick up is offered separately on select weeks. For full details, please see our Camp Policies.

Before and After Camp Programming

Before Camp Programming is offered each week of camp. After Camp Programming will only be offered the following weeks:

June 3-7
June 17-21
July 8-12
July 22-26

Before Camp Programming: $50
After Camp Programming: $60

Information regarding both programs can be found in our Camp Policies.

*New* Camper Pick-Up Lane

This summer, Camp Zoofari will be piloting a pick-up lane on the following weeks for:

June 10-14
June 24-28
July 15-19
July 29-August 2

Registration will be limited to 40 vehicles on a first come, first served basis for $60/vehicle.

For full information, please visit the bottom of this page.

For summer 2019, camp is offered as a week long experience built around different themes. Activities and interactions are tailored to your camper’s age. Each topic will offer different experiences and opportunities. Topics are listed below for each age group. Topics outlined in blue were voted #1 topics by 2018 camp families.

4-5 Years Half Day

Tall Tales and Silly Songs

Have you ever wondered how a cheetah got its spots? How an elephant grew such a long trunk? Join us on a trip as we explore the animal kingdom through song and story. Of course, we’ll also visit the real-life characters and learn awesome facts about these storybook superstars.

Offered at $225 the weeks of:
June 3
June 17
July 8
July 22

Animals A-Z

With the alphabet as a map, your camper will navigate the diversity of the animal kingdom. The letters will guide them from Alligators to Zebras, and everything in between.

Offered at $225 the weeks of:
June 10
July 15

Register Here!

4-5 Years Full Day

Dino Discovery *New*

Over 65 million years in the making, dinosaurs are back! Journey through time to explore the prehistoric world and discover how these magnificent (and sometimes fearsome) creatures measure up against the amazing animals of the Houston Zoo.

Offered at $330 the weeks of:
June 3 Sold Out
June 10 Sold Out
July 8 Sold Out
July 15
August 5

Offered at $200 the week of:
July 1-3

Creature Capers - Almost Sold Out!

Whoooo done it? Campers use the power of observation to follow the trail and solve the mysteries of the animal kingdom. Start each day with a clue, inspect the zoo, and track down the animal culprit to earn your Detective Badge!

Offered at $330 the weeks of:
June 17 Sold Out
June 24 Sold Out
July 22
July 29
August 12

Offered at $200 the week of:
July 1-3 Sold Out

Tall Tales and Silly Songs *New*

Have you ever wondered how a cheetah got its spots? How an elephant grew such a long trunk? Join us on a trip as we explore the animal kingdom through song and story. Of course, we’ll also visit the real-life characters and learn awesome facts about these storybook superstars.

Offered at $330 the weeks of:
June 17 Sold Out
June 24
July 22
July 29
August 12

Animagination - Almost Sold Out!

What’s it like to be as tall as a giraffe or swim like a sea turtle? In this fun and creative camp, your camper will discover a new animal each day and use their imaginations and dress-up costumes to become the creature!

Offered at $330 the weeks of:
June 3 Sold Out
June 10
July 8
July 15
August 5 Sold Out

Register Here!

 

6-7 Years Full Days

Zoo Science Investigators - Almost Sold Out!

Now you see me, now you don’t! Campers use detective skills and follow the trail to solve the mysteries of the animal kingdom. Start each day with a clue, inspect the zoo, and track down the animal culprit to earn your Detective Badge!

Offered at $330 the weeks of:
June 10
June 17 Sold Out
June 24 Sold Out
July 22 Sold Out
July 29
August 12 Sold Out

Offered at $200 the week of:
July 1-3 Sold Out

Magical Beasts - Almost Sold Out!

Calling all magicians! From the color changing chameleon to the glowing firefly, your camper will meet the magicians and illusionists of the animal kingdom and learn the secrets behind their fantastic feats of magic.

Offered at $330 the weeks of:
June 3
June 10 Sold Out
June 24
July 8 Sold Out
July 15
July 22
August 5 Sold Out

Things That Make You Go Ewe - #1 Family Vote *New*

From animals that poop on themselves to stay cool to those that use slime to change their color, this camp explores the gross yet fun stories behind the weirdest animal behavior. Discover why some of the things we think are “gross” are important to animals everywhere.

Offered at $330 the weeks of:
June 3 Sold Out
June 10 Sold Out
July 8 Sold Out
July 15
August 5 Sold Out

Offered at $200 the week of:
July 1-3

How to Train Your Dinosaur *New*

Just like training a dinosaur (or a dragon), Zoo Keepers work hard to ensure the animals at the Zoo are happy and healthy. As we explore animals of the past and present, campers will learn a few training techniques of their own!

Offered at $330 the weeks of:
June 17 Sold Out
June 24
July 22
July 29
August 12 Sold Out

Register Here

8-9 Years Full Day

Digging Up Dinos - #1 Family Vote *New*

Get ready to dig into the past! Campers will unearth what it takes to be a paleontologist while learning about the amazing animals they study. Discover prehistoric life that still exists today and go on a mock dig to discover animal artifacts.

Offered at $330 the weeks of:
June 3
June 10
July 8
July 15 Sold Out
August 5

Offered at $200 the week of:
July 1-3

Wildlife Vlogger

Has your camper dreamed of producing a video blog? Here is their chance to practice and hone their skills. Campers will use Houston Zoo equipment to create their own video blog (vlog) as they explore the Zoo in this technology-driven camp.

Offered at $330 the weeks of:
June 17 Sold Out
June 24
July 22
July 29
August 12

Wild Survival - Almost Sold Out!

Do you have what it takes to survive in the wild? Our animal counterparts can make it look easy. Join us as we delve into the realm of animal adaptations and pick up some survival skills along the way!

Offered at $330 the weeks of:
June 3
June 10
July 8
July 15 Sold Out
August 5

Animals In Action *New*

We know that birds can fly and fish can swim, but how do they do it? Where does a chameleon keep its tongue when not hunting prey? How is a cheetah able to accelerate so quickly? The mechanics behind the wonders of the animal kingdom will be explored through this interactive camp!

Offered at $330 the weeks of:
June 17 Sold Out
June 24 Sold Out
July 22
July 29
August 12

Register Here!

10-12 Years Full Day

Excellent Enrichment

All zoo animals need enrichment to help encourage natural behaviors and promote exercise. Discover different types of enrichment and create some enrichment of your own.

Offered at $470 the weeks of:
June 10
July 22
August 5

Offered at $300 the week of:
July 1-3

Building the Zoo

Houston Zoo is under construction! Explore the Zoo through its architecture in this unique camp. We will look zoo design from historic exhibits, through modern zoos and explore the Houston Zoo’s master plan. This camp will include an overnight experience.

Offered at $470 the weeks of:
June 17
July 8
July 29

Keeper Camp - #1 Family Vote

Think you have what it takes to be a zookeeper? Each day, discover more about the challenges faced by our keeper staff and the rewards their work can offer. Go behind the scenes and get an up close look into the world of zookeeping.

Offered at $470 the weeks of:
June 3
June 24
July 15 Sold Out
August 12

All Access

See below for additional information. This camp is for campers between the ages of 10 and 16 years old.

Offered at $1000 the weeks of:
June 3
June 17
June 24
July 8
July 15
July 22

Register Here!

13-16 Years Full Day

Keeper Connection - #1 Family Vote

Zoo keepers have a unique connection to the animals they care for. Through this activity driven week, forge your own connections with our animal residents as you explore what it takes to build a bond between a zoo keeper and their charges. Work as a team to create a solution to a real challenge posed by one of our animal care team members.

Offered at $470 the weeks of:
June 3
July 8

Warriors for Wildlife *New*

All around the world, Houston Zoo’s Wildlife Warriors are making a difference. From the Pantanal of Brazil to the forests of Borneo, these heroes are on the front lines saving animals. Discover their work and create a solution to a real-world challenge from one of ourwildlife conservation partners.

Offered at $470 the weeks of:
July 15

All Access

Has your camper dreamed of encountering the Houston Zoo animals and staff up-close and personal? In this immersive camp, your camper will visit a behind-the-scenes animal section every day. Campers will also get a tour of the Houston Zoo backlot and visit the departments that make the Zoo run. Animal experiences will vary based on animal and staff availability, but could include visiting Hoofed Mammals, Reptiles, Ambassador Animals, Sea Lions, Aquarium and more. Backlot areas may include animal nutrition, horticulture, theming workshop, recycling center and more. Not every encounter involves touching or feeding.

Offered at $1000 the weeks of:
June 3
June 17
June 24
July 8
July 15
July 22

Register Here!

Parent Information

Camp Communication is by Email. Check your email for a receipt! Please be sure you are receiving email from Camp Zoofari by checking your SPAM settings in your email. If registering for someone else, be sure to forward them all emails. Camp Zoofari communicates up to the start of camp via email. If you do not receive a receipt via email, please contact our office at education@houstonzoo.org to ensure you receive communications.

Camp Zoofari’s Policies


Scholarships

Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the Send a Kid to Camp campaign, we are able to offer partial scholarships to summer Camp Zoofari.

Important dates:

February 1           Scholarship applications posted
March 8                Scholarship applications due
March 18-April 1             Initial awards notified
April 1                   Scholarship registration due
April 3                   Secondary awards notified
April 17                 Secondary registration due
May 9 and 15     Camp Information Sessions to drop off immunizations and have any questions answered

Highlights from Camp Zoofari

Parent Comments

“This is one of the absolute best camps in the city. I feel that the kids learn so much and are very well cared for. I truly have zero complaints! I loved the addition of pictures this year so we could see some of what our kids did. I also loved the suggested questions each day that we could ask them.”

“It was a fantastic experience. Staff was so great and enthusiastic!”

“I think both of our kids were completely engaged and learned so much – some of the things they told us would just blow us away.”

“Your wonderful staff! She is greeted by name enthusiastically coming and going. Her counselors have taken the time to get to know her and have personalized interactions with her daily. She feels valued, listened to, and cared for at Zoofari.”

“All the camp leaders are very friendly and activities well organized. This was our first year but my son said this was his favorite camp by far.”

“LOVE the before/aftercare!!!! Huge thanks for adding that.”

Campers Made a Difference

Every camper had the opportunity to partner with Houston Zoo in saving wildlife.

  • 73% of the campers pledged to use a reusable water bottle during camp and the rest of the summer to help Take Action to save sea turtles.
  • 4392 single-use plastic bottles were avoided by campers bringing and refilling bottles in the Brown Conservation Education Center refill stations.
  • Ten campers donated cell phones or their own money to the Zoo to help protect gorilla habitat.
  • Campers recycled their lunch trash! 17% of camper’s total waste at lunch was recycling.

Camper Pick-Up Lane

This summer, Camp Zoofari will be piloting a pick-up lane on select weeks. If purchasing this option, guests will be able to drive up next to the Zoo on Hermann Park Drive and wait in their vehicle while campers are brought to them. Specifics can be found below:

  • Registration is $60/week per vehicle on the weeks of June 10, June 24, July 15, and July 29.
  • This lane will be open during the regular camp sign-out window of 3:45 PM-4:15PM. Late arrivals will need to come inside.
  • Registration is limited to 40 vehicles on a first come, first served basis.
  • The adults picking up will still be required to show a valid ID and must be on the roster. Anyone not on the roster or without an ID must park and come inside to sign their camper out.
  • The pick-up lane will be on the rightmost southbound lane of Hermann Park Drive, just past the entrance to Lot G (please see the map).
  • Four vehicles will be able to queue along the sidewalk while waiting for their campers.
  • Additional cars arriving will be asked to circle around as to not impede the flow of traffic.
  • A uniformed police officer will be on site to assist in directing traffic.
  • Campers registered for this service will be pulled from their group just prior to dismissal to be ready to go when vehicles arrive.
  • Additional emails will be sent to those registering for this service, so please provide a current email address at registration.
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