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Kids & Families

Camp Zoofari

Camp Zoofari is an immersive experience for children ages 4-14. Campers explore the Zoo, meet our animals and make new friends while learning about wildlife and how to protect them in the wild.

Registration Dates

Registration is now open! Please use the link below to complete your registration.

 

Register Now

Hours & Important Information

Drop Off: 8:45 – 9:15 am
Pick Up: 3:45 – 4:15 pm

Starting at $330 per week

For camper and staff safety, all drop-off and pick-up will occur curb side. For a full list of safety considerations, please see our “Changes to Camp” section below.

Camp space this season is limited, register early to reserve your space!

Topics by Age Group

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.

Cost: $330

Weeks Offered: June 21, July 5, July 19, August 2

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!

Cost: $330

Weeks Offered: June 21, July 5, July 19, August 2

Sold Out

What is 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!

Cost: $330

Weeks Offered: June 28, July 12, July 26, August 9

sold out

Does your camper dream of working at a Zoo? In “When I Grow Up…”, campers will meet and role play activities with Zoo team members in a variety of positions from animal departments, to horticulture, nutritionists, safety rangers and more.

Cost: $330

Weeks Offered: June 28, July 12, July 26, August 9

sold out

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.

Cost: $330

Weeks Offered: June 28, July 5, July 12, July 26, August 2

sold out

Look, in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… animal ZOOperheroes, as you have never seen them before! Investigate which superhero traits mirror their wild counterparts as you take steps to become a superhero to animals everywhere!

Cost: $330

Weeks Offered: June 21, June 28, July 12, July 19, July 26, August 9

sold out

Despite the Olympics being postponed last year, animals have always been the original champions! Campers can go head-to-head against our animal champions as they explore animal adaptations. Compete in challenges designed to showcase the champions of the animal kingdom.

Cost: $330

Weeks Offered: June 21, July 5, July 19, August 2, August 9

sold out

No passports required as we travel around the globe and encounter animals from every habitat. Along our journey, we will play games from around the world, learn what the animals are called in other languages and track down the animals that call these far flung destinations home.

Cost: $330

Weeks Offered: June 28, July 5, July 12, August 2

sold out

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!

Cost: $330

Weeks Offered: June 21, July 19, July 26, August 9

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!

Cost: $330

Weeks Offered: June 21, July 19, July 26, August 9

sold out

Time to separate the fact from fiction! Why do cats have nine lives? Are owls truly wise? And who said bats are blind? Each day tackles a new animal myth as campers explore the animal kingdom. Sometimes, the truth is stranger than fiction!

Cost: $330

Weeks Offered: June 28, July 5, July 12, August 2

sold out

Who works at the zoo? Is it just zookeepers? Explore the various people and positions required to run a zoo and meet some of the faces around the world that the zoo works with to promote animal conservation in the wild.

Cost: $500

Weeks Offered: June 28, July 12, July 26, August 9

sold out

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.

Cost: $500

Weeks Offered: June 21, July 5, July 19, August 2

sold out

Changes to Camp

Houston Zoo Safety

For information on the safety standards currently used by the Houston Zoo, please visit the “Welcome Back” page.

Both the Houston Zoo policies and Camp Zoofari policies are informed by current recommendations from local, state, federal health officials, agencies, and authorities, including CDC guidelines. As such, these policies may shift or change.

For any questions or additional information, please contact our Camp Zoofari Team by emailing education@houstonzoo.org or calling at 713-533-6739.

Updated Safety Procedures

  • Capacity has been reduced by 50% each week.
  • Camp will be offered for 8 weeks, from June 21 – August 13.
  • Camp groups will be distanced from one another while in camp spaces and encouraged to maintain distance from general Zoo guests while on grounds.
  • Each camp will function as a pod, remaining separate from other camp groups.
  • All Zoo staff and volunteers will be required to wear a mask.
  • All campers will be required to wear a mask.
  • Access to camp spaces will be limited to Houston Zoo staff and campers. All drop-off and pick-up for campers will occur curb-side to help maintain the integrity of our camp spaces.
  • Camp games and activities, outside of Zoo tours, will occur in camp specific spaces.
  • Camp spaces will undergo a thorough daily cleaning, with supplies sanitized as they are used.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there extended camp hours?

To accommodate necessary changes to Camp programming due to the Pandemic, we are not offering Before Camp Programming this Summer.

Are there scholarships available for Camp Zoofari?

Camp Zoofari will be awarding need-based scholarships for the 2021 season. To apply, each candidate must fill out a camper application as well as have a teacher or instructor submit a teacher application. A scholarship will defer the cost of a single week of camp, excepting a $35 registration fee.

Important dates:

  • Application Deadline – March 15
  • Primary Notifications – March 22
  • Secondary Notifications – April 5

If selected, campers will have a two week window to finalize their registration. After that window, their scholarship will be forfeit and offered to another camper, if applicable. For any questions, please contact us at education@houstonzoo.org. All communication regarding this opportunity will be conducted via email.

Camper Application (English)

Camper Application (Español)

Teacher Application

How will drop-off and pick-up work?

A lane will be designated for drop-off and pick-up. Each car will pull up to be met by camp staff, who will screen each vehicle and escort campers into our Education Center. For the safety of our staff and campers, we are asking all caregivers to remain in their vehicle during this process. In advance of each camp week, a welcome video will be sent with additional camp information and a map showing where to go upon arrival.

Can I pick up my child early?

We plan our days to make full use of our time. As such, pickup and drop-off outside of normal hours may lead to missed activities for your camper.

We will do our best to accommodate pick-up and drop-off outside of normal hours, though we cannot accommodate early pick-up between 3:15 -3:45.

Please contact education@houstonzoo.org to arrange alternate pick-up or drop-off times.

What will a regular day look like for my camper?

A regular camp day varies by theme, but will included tours throughout the Zoo. Information and stories will be shared that relate to each camp’s theme. Games and activities will further support each theme. Throughout the week, campers will have visits from our Animal Ambassadors, as well as opportunities to feed the giraffes and ride the carousel.

Who will be supervising my camper?

Our Summer Camp staff, or Camp Guides, come from a variety of backgrounds, but all are experienced in working with kids in science and nature exploration. We select our camp staff based on their educational experience and scientific background. Many of our camp educators are full-time teachers during the year. They are supported each season with our teenage program participants, the Zoo Crew.

Both Guides and Zoo Crew undergo training ahead of each summer camp season on topics including animal information, positive behavior management techniques, critical and scientific thinking, and Zoo procedures.

Camp Zoofari operates under a Single Skill Exemption from the Texas Department of Health and Human Services.

Can I register my camper for a topic outside of their age group?

Each topic is developed with age-appropriate techniques and measures. As such, age requirements are not negotiable and are strictly enforced. Campers must fall within the specified age category on the first day of the camp session they are attending.  We divide the campers by their birthdate into smaller groups for Zoo tours and activities.

Is there a cancellation policy?

Due to the high demand for camp spaces, all sales are considered final. Patrons who provide a written notice of cancellation to education@houstonzoo.org on or before May 1 will receive a 50% refund of their camp registration fees. No refunds will be issued after this date, including participants who miss all or partial programs due to illness. T-shirt purchases are not refundable. The Houston Zoo reserves the right to cancel any program due to minimum enrollment, inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances, in which case a full refund will be issued. Cancellations are official upon receipt of confirmation from the Houston Zoo.

What should my camper bring each day?

You must bring the following:

Camp shirt
Close-toes shoes
Mask
Reusable water bottle
Lunch

You may want to also bring:

Weather-appropriate gear like hats, coats, rain coats, sunglasses, etc.
Sunscreen or bug spray. Please apply before dropping off your camper.  We are not able to apply.
Camera for older campers.

Does my camper need to wear their camp shirt each day?

Yes, a camp t-shirt must be worn each day of Camp Zoofari. One shirt is included in the registration fee.  You may purchase additional shirts at the time of registration for $10 apiece. Sizes are Youth XS (2-4), S (6-8), M (10-12), L (14-16), and Adult S, M, and L. If you are unsure of what size to order, please order a size larger to allow room for your camper to grow.

What do you do in the event of severe weather?

If Houston Zoo is open, Camp Zoofari is operating. To determine if camp is in session, please visit the Houston Zoo main page. Any closings will be announced on the homepage of our website. Closings will also be communicated via the Houston Zoo Facebook page. Please send campers in appropriate weather gear each day.

In the event of severe weather while campers are on grounds, they will be escorted into our indoor camp spaces. Activity times will shift to allow campers to continue to enjoy their day while waiting for the worst of the weather to pass.

What have previous campers shared about the Camp Zoofari experience?

“He said that it was his favorite camp. He said, “Zoo camp makes everything better!” Wow! Quite a statement from him”

“This was her first Camp Zoofari – and she loved every minute, couldn’t wait to go back each day. She feels like she is a “zoo expert” now, which is fantastic!”

“My daughter LOVES Zoo Camp!! She chatters non stop about everything she learns each day. She is never this talkative and excited about other things. She is a walking, talking animal referencer book. We are recycling now and doing outside projects based on her interest from what she has learned.”

How can I get in contact with you?

To contact any members of our Camp Zoofari team, please email education@houstonzoo.org or call us at 713-533-6739.