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Summer Camp

Explore the Zoo, experience nature, and discover the excitement and wonder of animals! Hikes in the Zoo, visits from animal ambassadors, crafts, train rides and so much more make Summer Camp a jam-packed week to remember! Every camper receives a Summer Camp t-shirt.

No Before Care or After Care available this summer.

Register Here

Do you have a Zoo Enthusiast younger than 4 years? Check out Zoo Troop!


Due to high demand this year, most of summer camp has sold out. Waitlist is currently available for all camps.  See our Waitlist FAQ below for more information.


MORE DETAILS

Dates: weekly camps running May 31st-August 13th

Full Day Time: 9:00am-4:00pm
Full Day Cost: 4 Year Old-6th Grade: Members: $235 / Non-Members: $250;
7th-8th Grade: Members: $245 / Non-Members: $260
Half Day Time: 9:30am-12:00pm or 1:00-3:30pm
Half Day Cost: 4 Year Old-2nd Grade: Members: $120 / Non-Members: $135

Questions? See our Frequently Asked Questions below.

Full-Day Camp

Where in the World

All aboard! Summer campers will take a journey from the North to South Pole and every Habitat in between! Along the way they’ll experience live animal encounters in the classroom, Zoo hikes to animals from every continent, and even get to feed some long-necked neighbors! It’s sure to be an adventure!

Dates: May 31-June 4, June 7-11, June 14-19, June 21-25, June 28-July 2, July 5-10, July 12-16, July 19-23, July 26-30, August 2-6, August 9-13
Time: 9:00am-4:00pm
Note: This camp is for 4 and 5 year olds or those entering Kindergarten in the fall. Camp will meet on Memorial Day for May 31 camp.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/68jx1603ldvvqbi/4yo-K%20Where%20in%20the%20World%20FD.png?dl=0

Half-Day Camps

Fur, Feathers, Scales

Are all animals covered in skin like ours? No way! Animals have different coverings that help them slither, hide, hover, and so much more! Campers will fly, flutter, slither, and scurry through the week as they experience up-close animal encounters, Zoo hikes, songs, games, and crafts!

Dates: June 7-11, June 21-25, July 5-10, July 19-23, August 2-6
Time: 9:30am-12:00pm or 1:00-3:30pm
Note: This camp is for 4 and 5 year olds or those entering Kindergarten in the fall.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/t0ts2itf7peub5i/4yo-K%20Fur%2C%20Feathers%2C%20and%20Scales%20HD.png?dl=0


Shake, Rattle, and Roll

Does your child like to jump, hop, swing, or climb? Bring your little mover and shaker to meet some of the Zoo’s movers and shakers! We’ll take a look at feet, fins, flippers, and wings and see how animals move around their world. Each day we’ll explore animal locomotion with hikes in the Zoo, crafts, games, and close encounters with some live animal “movers”. Whether it’s by land, sea, or air, your little one will enjoy this action-filled summer Zoo adventure!

Dates: June 14-19, June 28-July 2, July 12-16, July 26-30, August 9-13
Time: 9:30am-12:00pm or 1:00-3:30pm
Note: This camp is for 4 and 5 year olds or those entering Kindergarten in the fall.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/dxr8iptu7vlk1e0/4yo-K%20Shake%2C%20Rattle%2C%20Roll%20HD.png?dl=0

Full-Day Camp

Extreme Animals

Are you extreme enough? Animals are out of this world, equipped with outrageous abilities such as being able to dive a MILE deep into the ocean! Join us as we meet these extreme animals and discover why they must act the way they do. Your camper will explore the animal and plant kingdoms by meeting our ambassadors face to face! You will identify their features and decide who is the fastest, strongest, or largest of them all?

Dates: May 31-June 4, June 7-11, June 14-19, June 21-25, June 28-July 2, July 5-10, July 12-16, July 19-23, July 26-30, August 2-6, August 9-13
Time:9:00am-4:00pm
Note: This camp is for those entering 1st or 2nd Grade in the fall.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/qh2mtzf3nzmualv/1st-2nd%20Grade%20Extreme%20Animals%20FD.png?dl=0

Half-Day Camps

Feast for the Beasts

Termites, durian fruit, and dung are just a few of the unusual, tasty “treats” that animals like to eat. In the Zoo’s unique learning environment, your child will enjoy discovering the world of herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, and scavengers as well as where they all fit into the food chain.

Dates: June 7-11, June 21-25, July 5-10, July 19-23, August 2-6
Time:9:30am-12:00pm or 1:00-3:30pm
Note: This camp is for those entering 1st or 2nd Grade in the fall. Camp will meet on Memorial Day for May 31 camp.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/qhuqzmucx4jkizu/1st-2nd%20Grade%20Feast%20for%20the%20Beasts%20HD.png?dl=0


Jungle Journey

Come on a tropical safari with us! This camp will explore the tropical rainforest where we will meet every animal under the canopy! From singing gibbons to hooting gorillas, campers will take a trip around this awesome biome and discover some hidden jewels of the tropical rainforest and why these habitats are so very special.

Dates: June 14-19, June 28-July 2, July 12-16, July 26-30, August 9-13
Time:9:30am-12:00pm or 1:00-3:30pm
Note: This camp is for those entering 1st or 2nd Grade in the fall.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ugld3xu56f6madj/1st-2nd%20Grade%20Jungle%20Journey%20HD.png?dl=0

Full-Day Camp

Choose Your Own Adventure: Animal Rescue

We have an action-packed week planned for your camper. Campers will choose adventures that require teamwork to understand animal populations and what information should be collected to help rescue these animals. Every day, campers will “rescue” a different animal, make measurements, take weight, and estimate population sizes using field techniques.

Dates: May 31-June 4, June 7-11, June 14-19, June 21-25, June 28-July 2, July 5-10, July 12-16, July 19-23, July 26-30, August 2-6, August 9-13
Time:9:00am-4:00pm
Note: This camp is for those entering 3rd or 4th Grade in the fall. Camp will meet on Memorial Day for May 31 camp.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/o2hwop56aa0htj9/3rd-4th%20Grade%20Animal%20Rescue.png?dl=0

No Half-Day Camps

Full-Day Camp

Animal Behavior 101

Studying an animal’s behavior in the wild or a zoo can help us get to know them better as individuals AND give scientists valuable insight into the nature and habits of their species. This knowledge can lead to improvements to their care and conservation in the wild and captivity. During this week-long camp, we’ll utilize Zoo hikes and special animal visits to focus on learning the basics of animal observation and investigate the questions that come up.

Dates: May 31-June 4, June 7-11, June 14-19, June 21-25, June 28-July 2, July 5-10, July 12-16, July 19-23, July 26-30, August 2-6, August 9-13
Time:9:00am-4:00pm
Note: This camp is for those entering 5th or 6th Grade in the fall. Camp will meet on Memorial Day for May 31 camp.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/hd5cqwcurcueqqg/5th-6th%20Grade%20Animal%20Behavior%20101.png?dl=0

No Half-Day Camps

Full-Day Camps

Zoo Careers

Running a zoo involves a lot more than meets the eye. Join us for a week of exploring the many jobs involved in taking care of the Zoo’s animals and creating a great experience for Zoo visitors. You’ll get a chance to get down and dirty and creative with hands-on activities, animal encounters, & special experiences with Animal Care Staff. We’ll also give you a better understanding of the variety of zoo careers that are here at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.

Dates: May 31-June 4, June 7-11, June 14-19, June 21-25, June 28-July 2, July 5-10, July 12-16, July 19-23, July 26-30, August 2-6, August 9-13
Time:9:00am-4:00pm
Note: This camp is for those entering 7th or 8th Grade in the fall. Camp will meet on Memorial Day for May 31 camp.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7gqysptqsptysqf/7th-8th%20Grade%20Zoo%20Careers.png?dl=0

Full-Day Camps

Eco-Explorers

Become a backyard biologist while exploring our fields, forests, and wetlands out at our 600 acre Bowyer Farm! Campers will spend time learning what it takes to protect our wild spaces through hands-on activities such as bird watching, plant identification, and animal tracking. Our adventure filled camp will encourage campers to get back in touch with their wild side, while building confidence as they hone their naturalist skills. On Friday, your camper will lead you on a nature hike to show off their new skills.

Dates: June 7-11, June 14-19, June 21-25, June 28-July 2
Time: 9:00am-4:00pm
Location: Bowyer Farm, 2210 Montgomery Road, Mason, OH 45040
Note: This camp is for those entering 7th or 8th Grade in the fall.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/63r2rq3x4x4rqop/7th-8th%20Grade%20Eco-Explorers.png?dl=0

Generous support provided by:

mikesells

Zoo Camp FAQs

What will be required of parents and children attending Zoo Camp?

It is mandatory that all campers wear masks during camp.
All campers will have their temperature taken during drop off each day using a touchless thermometer.
We respectfully require all parents and guardians to wear a mask during drop-off/pick up.
All parents will be required to complete an electronic waiver confirming they will adhere to all of the guidelines required by the Zoo and State of Ohio for safe participation in camp. This will be sent to all parents in advance along with important Welcome Information.

What should I bring to Zoo Camp?

  • All campers are required to wear a mask. Please send your child with a comfortable, well-fitting facial covering.
  • All campers should bring a packed lunch (full day camp only) and water bottle (full day and half day).
    • To help reunite water bottles with campers, please have their name and phone number on the water bottle.
  • We recommend that campers wear close toed shoes. It is also recommended that campers dress for the weather.
  • Please bring your camper’s belongings to camp all in one bag with their name clearly marked on the outside of the bag, on their lunch bag, and the water bottle. All belongings must fit in one bag.

Will campers work with/care for animals?

We are working on creative ways to connect campers with animals this year. All of our programs include encounters in the classroom with ambassador animals.

7th-8th grade camps may have opportunities for closer encounters and special experiences.

Will there be after-care or before-care?

After careful consideration, we will not be able to provide before-care or after-care programming at this time. Our traditional care model brought campers together from different classes into one care group. This model is no longer possible as each class must remain a safe distance from other classes. Please know this decision was not made lightly, as we understand the important role before-care and after-care plays for families.

Will you still be providing a snack during camp?

Yes, we will still continue to provide a snack for our camp program. The snack will consist of pretzels and will be passed out by an instructor who will be wearing a fresh pair of gloves. Your camper may also bring their own food for snack time. The campers will have their snack placed on a clean, sanitized lunch tray. Campers must provide their own lunches.

My child has a developmental disability or other special need where they may need some assistance during camp, are you able to accommodate them?

Please reach out to [email protected] so we can work together to find a solution that is specific to your child’s needs.

Are you allowing aides to come with campers?

While we are still trying to minimize the number of people in one classroom, we do have some flexibility in how we incorporate aides into our programs in a safe manner. Please reach out to [email protected] so we can work together to find a solution that is specific to your child’s needs.

What is the supervision ratio for camps?

All camps are currently limited to 10-12 campers with 1 adult instructor. Summer Camps have an additional Zoo Teen to help supervise and assist the instructor.

What is drop-off/pick-up for Zoo Camp like this year?

Drop-off and pick-up is back to our normal Zoo Camp procedures this summer! Parents/Guardians may enter our building each morning and afternoon to drop-off and pick-up their camper(s). We will also offer curbside drop-off Tuesday-Friday and curbside pick-up Monday-Friday. We respectfully require all parents/guardians to wear a mask during drop-off/pick-up.

What if I want my child to only come for a portion of camp?

If your child will not attend all days of a session, please inform Zoo staff ahead of camp which days they will attend. We do not pro-rate or offer daily rates, so you will pay the full session fee.

May I enroll my child in a camp for an older/younger age group?

No, age requirements are not negotiable and are enforced. Campers must fall within the specified grade band the first day of the camp session they are attending.

My child needs to take medication/inhaler. How should I arrange for this?

The Cincinnati Zoo is not responsible for administering medication to children. We will remind them to take their medicine or inhaler by themselves if needed. To ensure a positive experience for all campers, it is imperative that you notify us of special needs or medical conditions your child may have. In most cases, we can accommodate these needs and will do so to the best of our ability.

My child has an allergy. Can I provide you with an epinephrine injector?

Yes, you can. Your child or our staff will carry it with the group throughout the day. Zoo staff will contact you via phone prior to the first day of camp to discuss your child’s allergy and go over the specifics of their injector.

How do I get in contact with a Camp Coordinator or my child during the camp if there is an emergency?

Please check the Zoo Camp Portal for the phone number for the camp coordinators. The password is located on your ticket confirmation.

Can I change dates/topics/age groups? What if I need to cancel? Cancellation/Change Policy

For summer camp, you may make changes to the topics and date of your camp at any time, as long as there is room in the topic/date you are looking to change to.

For cancellations, you can cancel at any time. However, we only offer refunds for summer camp programs cancelled at least 2 weeks in advance. If you cancel within 2 weeks of the camp date, you can receive a class credit that can be used for any education program and does not expire.

For all other programs (winter camp, spring break camp, family programs, Zoo Troop), the Zoo will give a class credit, regardless of when you cancel.

I have a gift certificate/class credit. How do I use it?

Gift certificates and class credits are great because they never expire and can be used for any of our education programs. To use your credit, you will need the order number and certificate number. Go through your registration as normal. When you get to the final payment screen, just above where you enter your credit card information, check the box that asks if you’d like to use a gift certificate. Check the box, and enter your certificate/credit information.

Up to 3 certificate/credits can be used per order. If your credit is for less than the total balance, you will then enter your credit card information. If your credit has a remaining balance, that balance will remain on that same certificate/credit and can be used at any time- remember, they never expire!

Received a credit, but can’t find your email? Contact us at [email protected].

COVID related FAQs

Will campers have to wear masks during camp? (updated 5/14/21)

The Cincinnati Zoo requires that campers wear masks. Please send your child with a comfortable, well-fitting facial covering. Campers will always wear masks when interacting with other campers, Zoo staff and Zoo animals. Campers may take their masks off during lunch and snack time, and during that time campers will be sitting six feet away from Zoo Staff and each other. (updated 5/14/21)

What is the size of the camp groups? (updated 5/7/21)

To minimize the number of people in a class and provide ample space for distancing when necessary, we are limiting our group sizes to 10 children for 4 year old-Kindergarten camps and 12 children for 1st-8th grade camps. All of our classrooms are located in private education spaces. Campers from different classes will remain distanced at all times.(updated 5/7/21)

What is your cleaning protocol for camp?

The Cincinnati Zoo staff will be cleaning all high touch surfaces and shared spaces (like bathrooms) frequently with approved COVID-19 cleaning supplies. Staff will be taking campers to the bathrooms for handwashing throughout the day and utilize hand sanitizer frequently in classrooms.

Will the Zoo be open to the public during camp and will my child be around members of the public? (updated 5/7/21)

Yes, the Zoo will be open to the public during camp. Currently, the Zoo is carefully managing the number of guests allowed in the park to keep crowd size small. As part of camp we will be leaving our private classrooms and taking hikes around the Zoo to visit animal habitats. During some of these hikes there will be members of the public also visiting these same indoor and outdoor spaces. Zoo staff will do their best to maintain a safe distance between campers and the visiting public.

We will encourage all campers to use our private bathrooms before hiking through the Zoo. Zoo staff will use their best judgement when campers need to utilize the public bathrooms out in the Zoo and will avoid crowded areas. When campers are in their classrooms visiting with animals, playing games, crafting, etc. they will be in their own space away from the general public. (updated 5/7/21)

Will instructors and staff be wearing masks during camp?

Zoo staff will always wear masks when around campers, parents, and families. Zoo staff may take their masks off during lunch time, and during that time campers will be sitting six feet away from staff. Zoo staff would also be required to take off their masks if needing to perform CPR.

Are campers expected to stay 6 feet apart?

It is not currently a guideline for children to maintain 6’ distance within their class for an entire camp day. When campers within a class are going to be near each other for a greater length of time (for example, during lunch) they will be distanced. Campers from different classes will remain a safe distance apart at all times, and shared spaces will be frequently disinfected.

What if someone gets sick at camp?

Following guidelines, if a camper develops a fever or otherwise exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 or any other ailment, they will immediately be moved to an isolated location, while being supervised by two staff members wearing Personal Protective Equipment. Their family will be notified and they must be picked up from camp as soon as possible. Please refer to our policies below for more information about cancellations and refunds.

What if a camper is reported sick outside of camp hours?

Camp families will be notified in the event a serious, contagious illness, including COVID-19, is detected at camp. This will be done anonymously. Please refer to our policies below for more information about cancellations and refunds.

What if a Zoo Staff member gets sick at camp?

All Zoo staff will participate in a daily temperature and symptoms check. If Zoo staff are symptomatic, or have a temperature above 100 degrees, they will not report for work, and they will immediately seek testing. 


Waitlist FAQs

What is the waitlist? Can I waitlist for every week? How likely is it to come off the waitlist?

We were quite surprised at how quickly camps have sold out this year- people are ready for some outdoor education.

What is the waitlist? How does it work? When a program sells out, the waitlist automatically opens. When space becomes available for a week, we will call/email the first person on the waitlist for that week. If they want it, they get it; if they don’t, or do not respond, we move to the next person on the waitlist.

Is there a charge for waitlist? There is no charge to be placed on the waitlist.

Can I waitlist for the whole summer or multiple weeks? If you are open to multiple weeks, add each week to your cart. To register for multiple waitlist weeks, add one to the cart, then click Back to Shopping. There is no general summer waitlist. Many families waitlist for every week.

Do I need to waitlist for each group (A,B,C)? You only need to add your child’s name for one group on the week(s) you want. You do not need to waitlist for group A, B, and C.

How long is the waitlist? The waitlist is longest for the 1st-2nd and 3rd-4th grade camps, followed by 4yr-K and 5th-6th. 7th-8th grade has low waitlist numbers.

Will you contact me if I don’t get in to camp? You will only be contacted if a space becomes available for your camper.

How close to camp start date do you contact people? We will contact waitlisted campers up to the Friday before the camp week starts.

CALL OR EMAIL: 513-559-7767 OR [email protected]

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