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Adventure Programs

Teens will explore natural areas in Texas and participate in outdoor activities such as hiking, canoeing, kayaking, camping, etc. They will also participate in conservation projects such as beach clean-ups and habitat restoration.

Open to all accepted Zoo Crew members throughout the year. Open to all teens, ages 13-17, in non-summer months (January-May, September-December). This includes teens not accepted into Zoo Crew program.

Spring 2024 Adventure Programs

Are you a fan of the outdoors and wondering about opportunities to spend time outside this Spring Break? Join Houston Zoo at Long Acres Ranch for a day of outdoor adventure! We will start the day with a low ropes challenge course followed by a “break-in” room and end the day with some fishing or bug picking (looking for aquatic invertebrates!).

Transportation will be provided by Houston Zoo. We will meet at the Houston Zoo at Gate 8, which is approximately 200 yards to the left of the main entrance, at 8am. We will take the Zoo van to Long Acres and spend the day enjoying the outdoors. We will depart Long Acres Ranch by 2:30pm and return to the Zoo around 3:30pm.

Please wear comfortable clothing for outdoor activities that you won’t mind getting dirty or wet and closed-toe shoes. Also be sure to bring a hat, sunscreen, a reusable water bottle, a sack lunch, bug spray, and any other necessary supplies for a day outside.

Registration fee is $50 per teen.

Register Here

High Island is an important stopping place for migratory birds. The Smith Oaks Sanctuary on High Island is a favored nesting spot for waterbirds. Every spring roseate spoonbills create a rookery, a large breeding colony, in the Smith Oaks Sanctuary. Birders come from all over to witness and photograph this incredible site.

We will meet at the Houston Zoo at Gate 8, which is approximately 200 yards to the left of the main entrance, at 8AM. We will drive the Zoo van to High Island and spend the day exploring, birding, and observing the nesting spoonbills. We will return to the Zoo by 5PM.

Please wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes. Also bring a sack lunch, water bottle, sunscreen, hat, bug spray, and any other necessary supplies for a day outside.

Registration fee is $50 per teen.

Armand Bayou is a haven for many wetland species including alligators, egrets, roseate spoonbill, and even bald eagles. We will take a kayak trip through the bayou for a chance to hopefully see many of these species in their natural habitat. We will meet at the Houston Zoo at 7am and then drive to Bay Area Park where we will set off on our kayak adventure. After we explore the bayou, we will have lunch and then spend some time at Armand Bayou Nature Center exploring their trails.

We will meet at the Houston Zoo at Gate 8, which is approximately 200 yards to the left of the main entrance, at 7am. We will return to the Houston Zoo by 4pm. Transportation will be provided by the Houston Zoo.

Interested participants must be able to swim, however, we are not expecting to actually get in the water. Be sure to wear clothes and shoes that you are ok with getting wet as well as a hat and sunscreen. Be sure to bring a lunch and reusable water bottle.

Registration fee is $50 per teen.

Accommodations & Accessibility

We believe there should be no boundaries in our Teen Adventure Program experience. Teens of all abilities are welcome to join, and all participants receive coaching throughout the duration of the program. However, please note that outdoor adventure inherently may involve hazards or challenges such as weather, steep terrain, or fast flowing water. Teen Programs staff are committed to promoting the physical and emotional well-being of all participants.

The Teen Adventure Program experience may include:

  1. Exploring natural areas throughout Southeast Texas, which has varying smells, light, noise, and temperature levels
  2. Maneuvering on uneven terrain sometimes up to 5 miles
  3. Maneuvering into and out of watercrafts such as kayaks or canoes, and maneuvering watercrafts through waterways such as bayous, rivers, or lakes
  4. Spending up to 8 hours at a time outdoors
  5. Maintaining a positive attitude and openness to working as part of a team
  6. Being open to going out of your comfort zone or challenging yourself
  7. Following all field practices and policies described in the program information or taught by program instructor

Our goal is to set up all teens and staff for success. Specific details will be included for each program. To help us provide the best possible experience, please inform us of all special considerations prior to participation. This may include information on allergies, accessibility concerns, behavioral, psychological or emotional conditions as well as any other special needs. Please contact us at or 713-533-6567 to make an accommodation request. We are happy to work with households to make our Teen Adventure Programs accessible to teens with varying needs. We are, however, unable to provide one-on-one support or supplementary services.


Email us at or call us at 713-533-6567

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