School's Out Camp

Camps for
Grades K - 6
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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.

2019 Dates: Oct. 14 and Nov. 5

2020 Dates: Jan. 17, Jan. 27, and March 20

Registration Will Open by September 2019

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

FONZ members receive camp discounts. Not a member? Join Today!

Camp Descriptions

21-week-old western lowland gorilla infant Moke enjoys mom Calaya's birthday ice treats.
Happy Zoo Year
Ring in 2019 with some of the newest arrivals at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo! Get to know the fresh faces (and paws and tails) at the Zoo with games, crafts and activities. It may be cold outside, but we’ll be sure to give our new animals a warm welcome each day. Make the new year a zoo year today!
Date: Jan. 28
Grades: K - 6
Luke Lion
In Like a Lion
A little bird told me that we’ll have the lion’s share of fun in this camp! Meet the animals that play a part in some popular expressions. Even if it’s raining cats and dogs, we’re sure to get up to some fun monkey business in this camp!
Date: Mar. 8
Grades: K - 6
Tiger standing in grass
Costumed Critters
Now you see them, now you don't! Camouflaged creatures will catch your eye in this colorful camp. Explore the many ways animals use camouflage and color to survive, whether they are hiding in the shadows or standing out from the crowd. Look closely; you won't want to miss this camp!
Date: Oct. 25
Grades: K - 6
Resting tree frog
There's more than meets the eye to these shape shifters! Many animals change their shape or appearance sometime during their life to survive. Learn about the special powers they use to transform and change.
Date: Nov. 6
Grades: K - 6

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.