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Kids & Families

Virtual Camp Zoofari

School break camps at the Houston Zoo

New hybrid camp offerings!

Join us during the school breaks for a new Camp Zoofari experience!

Through this virtual opportunity, campers will make new friends, meet Zoo staff, and get to experience the Zoo in the comfort of their own home.

To round out Camp Zoofari, all campers are invited to visit the Zoo for a Camp Zoofari take-over! Keep reading to find out more.

Topics

What is your favorite food? With over 6,000 animals at the Zoo, keeping them all well fed is no easy task! This week, lets dive into the diverse world of animal diets. From the always-eating elephants to seldom-hungry snakes and everything in between, we will look at what it takes to keep everyone satisfied!

REGISTER NOW

Unlike virtual camp this summer, campers will be split by age groups. The age groups and time slots are listed below.

Ages 4-6: 9:00 – 10:00 am daily
Ages 7-9: 10:30 am – 12:00 pm daily
Ages 10-14: 1:30 – 3:00 pm daily

Zoo Day: Friday, November 27*

Cost is $150/camper
For a list of everything that is included, please see our FAQs
Member registration begins Wednesday, October 14. All other registration begins October 21.

*EACH CAMPER REGISTRATION WILL INCLUDE TWO TICKETS FOR ZOO ADMISSION ON THE DAY LISTED. THE ZOO TAKE-OVER IS INTENDED FOR CAMPERS AND THEIR FAMILIES TO ENJOY THE ZOO TOGETHER AT THEIR OWN PACE AND PARTICIPATE IN EXCLUSIVE CAMP ZOOFARI ACTIVITIES. FOR MORE INFORMATION, SEE THE FAQS BELOW.

Every day at the Zoo is an adventure! This week, we will investigate some of the hidden gems around the Zoo. From staff favorites and little known animal stories to camper favorites and the newest exhibits, this expedition is sure to have something for everyone!

REGISTER NOW

Unlike virtual camp this summer, campers will be split by age groups. The age groups and time slots are listed below.

Ages 4-6: 9:00 – 10:00 am daily
Ages 7-9: 10:30 am – 12:00 pm daily
Ages 10-14: 1:30 – 3:00 pm daily

Zoo Day: Thursday, Dec. 31*

Cost is $150/camper
For a list of everything that is included, please see our FAQs
Member registration begins Wednesday, October 14. All other registration begins October 21.

*EACH CAMPER REGISTRATION WILL INCLUDE TWO TICKETS FOR ZOO ADMISSION ON THE DAY LISTED. THE ZOO TAKE-OVER IS INTENDED FOR CAMPERS AND THEIR FAMILIES TO ENJOY THE ZOO TOGETHER AT THEIR OWN PACE AND PARTICIPATE IN EXCLUSIVE CAMP ZOOFARI ACTIVITIES. FOR MORE INFORMATION, SEE THE FAQS BELOW.

Every day at the Zoo is an adventure! This week, we will investigate some of the hidden gems around the Zoo. From staff favorites and little known stories to camper favorites and the newest exhibits, this expedition is sure to have something for everyone!

REGISTER NOW

Unlike virtual camp this summer, campers will be split by age groups. The age groups and time slots are listed below.

Ages 4-6: 9:00 – 10:00 am daily
Ages 7-9: 10:30 am – 12:00 pm daily
Ages 10-14: 1:30 – 3:00 pm daily

Zoo Day: Thursday, Dec. 31*

Cost is $150/camper
For a list of everything that is included, please see our FAQs
Member registration begins Wednesday, October 14. All other registration begins October 21.

*EACH CAMPER REGISTRATION WILL INCLUDE TWO TICKETS FOR ZOO ADMISSION ON THE DAY LISTED. THE ZOO TAKE-OVER IS INTENDED FOR CAMPERS AND THEIR FAMILIES TO ENJOY THE ZOO TOGETHER AT THEIR OWN PACE AND PARTICIPATE IN EXCLUSIVE CAMP ZOOFARI ACTIVITIES. FOR MORE INFORMATION, SEE THE FAQS BELOW.

Ages 4-6:

  • None needed for live digital sessions.

Ages 7-9:

  • Sunflower seeds (or other small, edible seeds, like watermelon or pumpkin seeds)
  • Access to household items or toys of various colors
  • Printout of animals and diets (documents will be provided. If unable to print at home, colorful toys you already have can be substituted)
  • Paper plate
  • String or yarn
  • A small ball

Ages 10-14:

  • Access to supplied digital photos
  • A hula hoop or the ability to create a small, moveable ring

For all age groups, additional supply lists will be sent after registration. The supplemental supply list will be used for additional activities outside of the live camp sessions. For questions regarding any of the listed supplies, please contact our Education department via email at education@houstonzoo.org

Ages 4-6:

  • None needed for live digital sessions.

Ages 7-9:

  • Small toys
  • A basket, bucket, or box
  • Ethogram printout (link will be provided)

Ages 10-14:

  • Small toys
  • A basket, bucket, or box

For all age groups, additional supply lists will be sent after registration. The supplemental supply list will be used for additional activities outside of the live camp sessions. For questions regarding any of the listed supplies, please contact our Education department via email at education@houstonzoo.org

Frequently Asked Questions

What is included with Virtual Camp Zoofari?

Each registration includes the following:

    • Three live digital sessions offered Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
        • Daily extension activities for each age group to extend their camp day beyond the live session.
        • Daily live tours from Zoo grounds, including access to the newly opened South America’s Pantanal exhibits.
        • Q&A sessions with an up-close look at different animal ambassador each day.
        • An opportunity for campers to share and interact with other campers their age.
    • Access to at-home challenges throughout the week powered by the GooseChase app.
    • Access to the exclusive virtual camp page featuring additional video content.
    • For each camper registered, a two-pack of tickets good for any timed entry on the listed Zoo day for that camp session.

What is included in the Camp Zoofari Zoo Day

Each camper that registers will receive two tickets to visit the Zoo on a specific day to participate in the Camp Zoofari Zoo take over! During this take over, campers will have an opportunity to:

  • act as tour guides for their group.
  • share all of the information they learned during the week.
  • participate in an exclusive Zoo-wide scavenger hunt.
  • win an encounter with one of our Zoo animals.
  • feed the giraffes.
  • ride the carousel.
  • meet some of our camp staff in-person in socially distant ways.
  • celebrate saving animals in the wild and more!

To facilitate this family experience, each camper will receive two Houston Zoo tickets good for the day listed for their camp. Camp staff will be out on-grounds as part of the scavenger hunt, but campers will need to be chaperoned as if on an independent visit to the Zoo.

Previous campers are encouraged to wear their orange Camp Zoofari shirts, and additional shirts can be purchased while supplies last. Available sizes are listed below.

What is needed to participate?

After registration, the Zoo will provide a password for the Virtual Camp landing page and the Zoom meeting information for each live session. Campers will need:

  • A digital device with access to a microphone and camera
  • Activity specific supplies, as listed for each camp. Activities have been designed to access readily available items around the home as well as natural items. Each live activity should not require additional adult assistance.

Supplemental activities will be included. Supplies for those may vary and a list will be sent to households after registration. These supplemental activities are designed to extend the Camp Zoofari experience but are not required to actively participate in any live session. To participate in optional supplemental activities, campers may watch additional videos or participate in a virtual scavenger hunt through the free app “GooseChase.”

Do you have any other resources for our family to connect with Houston Zoo?

You can stay connected with the Houston Zoo and find videos with accompanying animal-themed activities via our website Bringing the Zoo to You. You can also connect with the Zoo social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

I have other questions, how do I reach you?

For any questions, please contact us via email education@houstonzoo.org. Our education team is working remotely and will respond within two business days.

Camp Zoofari T-shirts are available!

Help us turn the Zoo orange on Camp Zoofari take over day! Previous campers are encouraged to wear the Camp Zoofari shirts during their Zoo visit. Don’t have a Camp Zoofari shirt or outgrew the old one? We have limited stock for the sizes listed below. All newly purchased shirts ($20) include shipping directly to your door. Sell-outs of specific sizes will be reflected in the size chart below:

Sizes available:

Youth Extra Small Adult Small
Youth Small Adult Medium
Youth Medium Adult Large
Youth Large Adult XL
Adult XXL

ORDER NOW

PHOTO TAKEN DURING SUMMER CAMP 2019

What families are saying about Virtual Camp Zoofari:

“During this time at home, [our camper] has been totally focused on animals… collecting his favorite stuffed animals and asking literally hundreds of animal questions over the months. I’m becoming quite the google search expert. 😉 The Zoom format is so fun and creative. We also have enjoyed the prerecorded content. Thanks again.”

“Excellent program. Kids were engaged and felt like they were still experiencing behind the scenes special moments.”

“The projects were engaging, the counselors were great and the whole program was well thought out and well put together! Since we live over an hour away from the zoo, we probably never would have done Camp Zoofari live, but the virtual option was a no-brainer!”

“Staff have great animal knowledge, are organized and communicate well. They use their positive reinforcement skills- not just for the animals, but in managing the children’s behaviors and encouraging great ideas and questions.”