School's Out Camp

Camps for
Grades K - 6
Share this page:

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: Jan. 19, Feb. 16 and Apr. 16, 2018

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

Camp Descriptions

Amur tiger
Happy Zoo Year
Ring in 2018 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. Make the New Year a zoo year today!
Date: Jan. 19
Grades: K - 6
an addra gazelle
Zoo's In Charge?
Have you ever wondered how zoos decide which animals to add and where they should live? Campers will get to be a zoo “director” for a day and pick a new species of animal to join the zoo! As the acting director, the campers will pick a species and modify and design the exhibit itself. Come join us and learn what it feels like to be in charge!
Date: Feb. 16
Grades: K - 6
a lizard sits on a branch
Walk on the Wild Side
We humans use our 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!
Date: Apr. 16
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.