Children will have fascinating adventures with the natural world this summer at Camp Zoo. 

Each week-long session is filled with up-close animal encounters, behind-the-scenes experiences, hands-on activities, games, in-depth investigations and organized free time. During the mornings, we take advantage of the cooler temperatures and participate in outdoor activities such as water-play and hiking. In the afternoons, when the temperatures increase, more time is spent participating in indoor activities.

Two different camp topics are offered on alternating weeks, so children can attend more than one session at Camp Zoo. All camp lessons and activities are age-appropriate and designed for multiple learning styles. Campers engage in projects independently and within groups, which encourages individual expression and helps promote collaborative skills. Content is delivered with an awareness of campers’ development and is flexible to meet the needs of each particular group.

Camp Zoo instructors have respect and understanding for children and a deep passion for the natural world. They are well trained in interpretive techniques, group management and activity facilitation.

We encourage campers to participate in all activities as designed, and are also able to provide modified lessons and accommodations for campers with special needs. We also have special day camps designed for children with orthopedic and sensory impairments. Visit our Special Needs Programs page for information about Camp Zoo programs for children with special needs and additional information to help determine if Camp Zoo is a good fit for your child.

Camp Zoo is for students who are entering kindergarten through eighth grade in fall 2020. Choose from nine weeks of full-day (8 a.m. – 3 p.m.) or half-day (8 a.m. – Noon) sessions, with the option to add Extended Day Camp (3 – 6 p.m.). Please note that for seventh and eighth grades only full-days are offered.

All camp participants receive a shirt, hat and water bottle with lanyard. Additional shirts are available for $10 each.  Campers must wear their Camp Zoo shirts every day. Full-Day campers must bring their own lunch every day.

Registration opens Sunday!

General Information

Camp Zoo 2020 Orientation Dates: 

  • Thursday, May 28 | 5 – 7 p.m. 
  • Saturday, May 30 | Noon – 2 p.m.

Attending an orientation allows you to pick up your Camp Zoo gear early, meet Camp Zoo Instructors, learn more about the Camp Zoo experience from Camp supervisors and ask any questions you have. Attending an orientation also helps speed up check-in on the first day of camp!

Camp Zoo Orientation is hosted open-house style and allows families who have already registered for their session(s) to pick up Camp Zoo gear early, meet Camp Zoo Instructors, learn more about the Camp Zoo experience from Camp supervisors and ask any questions you have. Attending an orientation also helps speed up check-in on the first day of camp!

  • One of each item (t-shirt, hat, water bottle and lanyard) is included with the cost of registration. Additional items will be available for a per-item cost.
  • Families who are not able to attend one of the orientation dates will be able to pick up Camp Zoo gear during camp check-in on the Monday of their session.
  • Session 1: June 1 – 5
  • Session 2: June 8 – 12
  • Session 3: June 15 – 19
  • Session 4: June 22 – 26
  • Session 5: June 29 – July 3
  • Session 6: July 6 – 10
  • Session 7: July 13 – 17
  • Session 8: July 20 – 24
  • Session 9: July 27 – July 31 

Camp Zoo 2020 Fees:

  • Full-day
    • Member: $254
    • General: $279
  • Half-day
    • Member: $159
    • General: $174
  • Extended Day
    • $15 per day or $50 for the entire week when paid in advance
    • $1 per minute for late pick up after 6 p.m.

Camp Zoo Fee Waivers are intended to direct benefits to those children most in need. Per the eligibility guidelines provided by the Department of Agriculture Child Nutrition Program, families who qualify for free and reduced price meals and free milk may apply for Phoenix Zoo Camp Zoo Fee Waivers.

Income eligibility guidelines can be found HERE.

If your family meets the eligibility guidelines above, you may submit an application for a Camp Zoo Fee Waiver found HERE starting March 1. Fee Waivers are limited and assigned on a first come, first serve basis.

Camp Zoo Fee Waivers include*:

  • One week of full or half day camp in July at the Phoenix Zoo’s Camp Zoo
  • Camp shirt (must be worn every day of camp), camp hat, and camp water bottle with lanyard

*Lunch and transportation are NOT included. Full-day campers must bring their own lunch. All campers must make their own arrangements for transportation to/from the Zoo.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

1) Complete the fee waiver application form starting March 1.

2) Complete a Camp Zoo Registration form starting March 1.

3) Submit BOTH forms via fax, mail or email beginning March 1, 2019 at 9 a.m.:

  • a. Fax: 602.914.4328 ATTN: CAMP ZOO
  • b. Mail: Phoenix Zoo – Attn: Call Center/Camp Zoo Fee Waivers 455 N. Galvin Parkway Phoenix, AZ 85008
  • c. Email: TeamCallCenter@phoenixzoo.org

NOTE: Incomplete applications and applications received before March 1, 2020 at 9 a.m. will not be considered.

Session Descriptions

Storybook Safaris

Animals have inspired many wonderful stories throughout history. Today, some of the most beloved children’s books are all about animals. Campers will be exposed to some of the greatest animal stories ever told and will meet the animals that inspired the stories.

Animal Art

Many of the world’s greatest artists are not people. Animals around the world create beautiful pieces of art every day! Campers will learn about the unique artists of the animal kingdom and get a chance to mimic these incredible creatures, with art projects so wild, they could only come from nature!

Zany Zoology!

Tortoises and coatis and hornbills — oh my! Are you crazy for animals? Then this is the camp for you! Campers learn the zany, amazing and specialized adaptations and anatomy of living things throughout the animal kingdom. 

Home Sweet Home: Animal Style!

Whether it’s a giraffe in the African savanna, a spectacled owl in the South American rainforest or a mountain lion in the North American temperate forests, animals make their homes in wild places. Campers will explore habitats from around the world, including those created in the Phoenix Zoo — and will learn how animals use their habitats and the resources contained within, to survive. 

Eco Adventurers

The world around us is an amazing place! This week of camp provides a chance to explore, observe and appreciate our natural surroundings and the interconnectedness of life. To broaden their ecological knowledge and awareness, campers will discover microscopic animals that live in a pond and will travel to unique and picturesque mountain landscapes that overlook the Zoo.

Zoo Action Heroes

The world around us is an important place! This week of camp, allows children a chance to help protect and conserve the natural world. Service and conservation projects within the Zoo and beyond, will allow campers to complete their week knowing they made a difference. Camp activities reinforce the importance of respecting the places we live, the resources we need to survive and the living creatures which we share our environment. 

Build the Zoo

How does a Zoo create a home for animals? By the end of this exciting and productive week, campers will be able to answer that question and develop their knowledge of zoology and animal care. They will design, create and present their very own animal exhibit, complete with interpretive graphics. And who knows? Maybe their design will be inspiration for a new or redesigned Phoenix Zoo exhibit!

Scientific Investigation and Exploration

Calling all explorers, adventurers, question-askers, budding scientists and problem solvers! Combining criticcal thinking with nature exploration is the goal of this amazing week of camp. Observing animal behavior, practicing animal tracking skills, designing experiments, and interpreting the clues animals leave behind, are just some of the activities campers will experience. Campers should come prepared with a sense of adventure and plenty of curiosity. 

Who Works at the Zoo?

Do you think you’ve got what it takes to work at the Zoo? In this fast-paced, week-long session campers have a chance to learn the ins and outs of being a zookeeper. From cleaning to feeding, training to behavioral enrichment, campers will experience the rewards and challenges of this most popular job at the Zoo. But we won’t stop there… at the Zoo there are LOTS of fun jobs to do. Campers interested in food, shopping, math, anatomy, writing, computers, education, marketing, and more, may find there’s a job at the Zoo that’s perfect for them. 

Lights, Camera, Conservation!

Do you have a passion for animals and protecting the natural world? Do you strive to make a difference?

The Phoenix Zoo is home to more than 1,400 animals including more than 30 different endangered or threatened species from around the world. Campers will meet many of these amazing animals up close and learn about the efforts taking place to protect and preserve them in the wild. Campers will write, produce and film their own short movie to educate the public about the threats to these amazing animals. Through interviews with animal experts, behind-the-scenes access and personal experiences with the animals, campers will create lasting memories, becoming champions of wildlife conservation, and learn how Zoos function as centers for animal conservation.