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Snow Leopard Laying in the snow

Winter Camp

You have two great opportunities for winter fun this year! Winter Camp is the perfect activity for 4 year olds through 8th graders cooped up during winter break.

Campers explore the Zoo and discover the wonder of animals with hikes around the Zoo, visits from animal ambassadors, crafts, and so much more.

After Care is available for Winter Camp.

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MORE DETAILS

Dates: December 19-21 or 28-30
Time: 9:00am-4:00pm
Cost: Members: $150 / Non-Members: $165

After Care: 4:00-5:30-pm
Cost: $35
Note: Before Care is not available for Winter Camp

Questions? See our Frequently Asked Questions below.

Cold Weather Critters 

Br-rr-rrrr, get out the gloves, jackets and hats: winter is coming! Good thing many animals have built-in cold weather gear! Join us for this adventure as we meet cold weather animals face-to-face, hike to animal habitats, and discover the local wildlife that can tough out the harsh cold, just like we can!

Cold Weather Critters 

Br-rr-rrrr, get out the gloves, jackets and hats: winter is coming! Good thing many animals have built-in cold weather gear! Join us for this adventure as we meet cold weather animals face-to-face, hike to animal habitats, and discover the local wildlife that can tough out the harsh cold, just like we can!

Winter Warriors and Fair-Weather Friends 

Some animals are equipped to tough out the cold and snow while others migrate or hibernate to avoid the winter weather altogether. During this fun, hands-on program, we will investigate our own cold-weather adaptations with Zoo hikes, compare our adaptations to those of other animals with animal visits, and use games and other activities to have fun exploring and playing together.

Winter Warriors and Fair-Weather Friends 

Some animals are equipped to tough out the cold and snow while others migrate or hibernate to avoid the winter weather altogether. During this fun, hands-on program, we will investigate our own cold-weather adaptations with Zoo hikes, compare our adaptations to those of other animals with animal visits, and use games and other activities to have fun exploring and playing together.

otter snow Holiday Day Camps 2023

Join us on Martin Luther King Jr or Presidents Day for this single-day camp!

Explore the Zoo, experience nature, and discover the excitement and wonder of animals! Hikes around the Zoo, visits from animal ambassadors, crafts, and so much more make Camp a jam-packed experience to remember!

No Before Care or After Care available for in-person camp.

See details below for spaces available.

Register Now

MORE DETAILS

Winter Play Date

Date: January 16, 2023 (Martin Luther King Jr Day) or February 20, 2023 (Presidents’ Day)
Time: 9:00am-4:00pm
Cost: Members: $60 / Non-Members: $75

Is play an important part of your day? It is to animals here at the Zoo! In this one-day camp, we will explore how both human and non-human animals use play to stay healthy and learn how to get along with others. With interactive activities and observations of animals both in the Zoo and in the classroom, we will learn about how play is useful in keeping our animals happy and healthy. We will even create some special enrichment toys for some special Zoo residents to enjoy.

Questions? See our Frequently Asked Questions below.


Registration FAQs

Is it the same camp each week? Can I sign up for multiple weeks?

Full day camp topic repeats each week.

For Summer Camp:

Full day camp topic repeats each week. Half day camp topics alternate through the summer. We wouldn’t recommend doing multiples of the same group topic throughout the summer. For younger camps (4yr-K and 1st-2nd Grade) you can sign your campers up for a full day and both half day topics. If you would really like additional full day camp weeks, we suggest an early summer date and a late summer date.

Can I sign up for the morning and afternoon half day camp the same week?

No. We would ask parents to refrain from signing up their campers for the morning and afternoon sessions of a half day camp the same week. Half Day camps are the same topic for the morning and afternoon. With the break between morning and afternoon sessions, there are no staff available to supervise your child. Children cannot be left unattended at the Zoo.

My child will be turning four just a short time after camp starts. Can they come to camp?

In order to provide age-appropriate activities and instruction to all campers, we ask that all children turn 4 years old at least 2 weeks before the program date, can use the restroom unassisted, and are able to participate in long hikes.

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.

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.

My child has a developmental disability or an additional need that may require 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.

Will campers work with/care for animals?

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.

General Camp FAQs

Do you provide a snack during camp?

Yes, we provide a pretzel snack for all our camp programs. Your camper may also bring their own food for snack time. Full day campers must provide their own lunches.

How often does the group take bathroom/water breaks?

We stop at water fountains and restrooms before and after hikes and whenever requested. Campers will carry reusable water bottles with them on hike.

My child is 4-5 years old and needs a rest in the afternoon. Do you have a break time?

Yes, as per state guidelines, we provide the 4-year-Kindergarten Full-Day camps with a 30-40-minute quiet time after lunch. This is a time for them to nap, rest, and cool down from the morning’s activities and get ready for the afternoon’s activities. During this time, children will either listen to a children’s book or calming music. If your child will take this time to rest, they may bring a small pillow or blanket with them preferably fitting into their backpack.

Can I visit the Zoo while my child is in camp?

If you would like to stay at the Zoo during or after your program, all vehicles must move to a visitor parking lot (Vine Street Parking Lot or next available lot).
Parking and admission rates will apply. Zoo Members may use their membership.
Please note, the Zoo opens at 10:00am (no early entry from Nov 1-March 11) and closes at 5pm.

Can I meet my child for lunch?

Adults cannot join the group for lunch during camp. The lunch break is an important bonding time for campers and may vary in its timing day-to-day.

Safety & Medical FAQs

Will campers and staff have to wear masks during camp? (updated 5/25/22)

  • Campers should bring a well-fitting mask each day.
    • Campers are required to wear masks during animal encounters with mammals.
    • Masks will be optional for campers and Zoo staff during all other portions of camp.

What if someone gets sick at camp? What if a camper/staff member is reported sick outside of camp hours?

Guardians should monitor their camper’s health leading up to and throughout the camp week. If your camper experiences any symptoms of COVID-19, your camper should remain home that day and take a COVID-19 test. If your camper is experiencing COVID-like symptoms, has a positive COVID-19 test result or is in close contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive, guardians should communicate this with the Zoo via email at [email protected] for further guidance from camp staff on how your camper could re-enter camp safely.

Children with a fever or other symptoms of illness cannot attend camp until: You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers) and other symptoms have shown improvement.

If a camper develops a fever or otherwise exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 or any other ailment while at camp, 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.

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.

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 any medical or behavioral 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.

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 do you do for inclement weather?

Programs occur rain or shine. In case of extreme weather, the Cincinnati Zoo will contact all participants via email by 8:00am the day of the program. If a program is cancelled due to extreme weather the Zoo will do it best to create a make-up class or will refund for cancelled days.

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

Please call 513-559-7730 for our main line.

Waitlist/Cancellation/Credits 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.

  • 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.

  • There is no charge to be placed on the waitlist.

  • 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.

  • You will only be contacted if a space becomes available for your camper.
  • We will contact waitlisted campers up to the Friday before the camp week starts.

Can I change dates/topics/age groups?

For camp, you may make changes to the topics and date of your camp up to 10 days before camp, as long as there is room in the topic/date you are looking to change to.

Cancellation and Rescheduling Policy

The Cincinnati Zoo’s Education Department has updated its cancellation and refund policy, effective for all programs starting January 3, 2022. Programs cancelled by the registrant at least two weeks in advance of the program date may now receive a refund. Refunds or credits are no longer available for programs cancelled by the registrant within two weeks of the program date.

The Zoo reserves the right to cancel a program. Every effort will be made to contact registrants if this occurs with either a reschedleud date or refund information.

To cancel or reschedule a program, please call us at 513-559-7730 or email us at [email protected]. We can make a refund directly back to the payment type used. For credit cards, refunds will go back directly to the original credit card as long as the purchase was not more than 120 days from the refund date. For cancellations made over 120 days from the purchase date, we will need to mail a check. Checks can take 2-3 weeks to process (though usually less).

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

Gift certificates are great because they can be used for any of our education programs. To use your certificate, 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 6 certificates 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].


Education Policies

Education Terms and Conditions

See our updated and consolidated Terms and Conditions for additional details for all programs.

CALL OR EMAIL: 513-559-7730 OR [email protected]

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