VISITORS: Please note that the Zoo will close early to pedestrians and vehicular traffic on Oct. 20, 21 and 22 in preparation for Boo at the Zoo. Please visit the hours page for full details.

School's Out Camp

Camps for
Grades K - 6
  • red panda closeup
    Join FONZ on your day off from school!
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Make the most of your child’s day off school by exploring the "living classroom" here at the Smithsonian's National Zoo! In this multi-grade program, campers gain a sense of respect for the animals at the zoo and an appreciation of the hard work that keepers put into caring for animals. With hands-on activities such as games, crafts, and scientific exploration, campers will have fun learning about conservation. Campers will also go on a Zoo walk and get an inside perspective on Zoo conservation and animal care from keepers and other Zoo staff.

Dates: Oct. 9 and Oct. 27, 2017

Times: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (campers must be dropped off between 8:45 a.m. and 9 a.m. in the Visitor Center lobby)

Cost: Members: $90 | Non-members: $112.50

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FONZ members receive early registration priority and camp discounts. Not a member? Join Today!

Camp Descriptions

Sea Lion
Walk on the Wild Side
Date: Oct. 9
Grade Range: K - 6
We humans use our own two feet to get around, but what about your favorite animals? Jump into the world of hooves, fins, flippers, paws and more to discover how members of the animal kingdom get around. No matter whether they live on land, in the sea or in the air, these wild creatures have all the right moves!
Zoo Crew
Date: Oct. 27
Grade Range: K - 6
Grab your magnifying glass and join the hunt for the clues that our animals give our keepers, veterinarians, and volunteers. How does our crew of staff keep our animals happy and healthy? They are expert investigators searching for evidence from our animals’ tracks, behavior, eating habits and more. Follow the signs and join the crew!

Camp Policies and Information

Cancellation requests received at least four weeks prior to the start of the session will receive a 75-percent refund. Transfer requests received at least four weeks prior to the start of the session will be charged a 10-percent administrative fee. Please contact the Education Programs Office with cancellation and transfer requests. No refunds or changes will be made for less than four weeks' notice.

Minimum Camp Size

FONZ reserves the right to cancel a program no less than two days before the class begins if registration is under five participants. In this event, you will be notified by phone or e-mail and offered credit for another program, a full refund, or the option to donate your program fee to FONZ.


Drop-off for all camps is in the Visitor Center lobby. After gathering with teachers and classmates, campers will be led to their classroom in the Visitor Center. Campers in After-Camp Care must be picked up in Visitor Center classrooms. You must show photo identification when picking up your camper at dismissal or in After-Camp Care.


All participants must have an online account in the Friends of National Zoo’s registration system. This system enables you to register multiple children at once, view your account online, and make payments. You will need your FONZ member ID, or temporary ID, and the 2016 discount code to receive member rates.

Animal Contact

For the safety of your child and the Zoo's animals, there is no contact with live animals or behind-the-scenes access provided in these classes.