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Summer Safari Camps at the Zoo

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Outdoor Activities, Summer in Des Moines

Summer Safari Camps at the Zoo

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Looking for a Summer camp for your kiddo?  Check out these fun Summer camp options at the Blank Park Zoo.
Summer Safari is Blank Park Zoo’s day camp program. Camps are one week in length and are available for children age 3 through grade 7.  Ages 3 and 4 are half-day camps, ages 5 and 6 have both half-day and full-day options and grades 1 through 7 are full-day camps. Camps begin the week of June 8.  Click here to Register today.
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CAMP DESCRIPTIONS

AGES 3-4
Camps are 9:00am – 11:30am, Monday-Friday

Home Sweet Home – A dark cave, a nest high above the ground or a tiny hole in the ground, animals live everywhere! Let’s explore the different homes and habitats for creatures large and small. Find out how and why animals live where they do!
Camp Dates: June 8-12, July 13-17
Cost: $90 member/$130 non-member

Five Little Monkeys – Five Little Monkeys were jumping on the bed, one fell off and bumped his head.  Some of our favorite songs are about animals.  Come to camp and learn animal songs and at the end of the week we will have a special concert for our families!
Camp Dates: June 15-19, July 20-24
Cost: $90 member/$130 non-member

I Like to Move It – Let’s get moving! Animals get a lot of exercise, they move in all sorts of different ways.  While we look at all the animals in the zoo, let’s move like they do and learn why different animals move in so many different ways!
Camp Dates: June 22-26, July 27-31
Cost: $90 member/$130 non-member

Animal Tales – Silly animal tales and beautiful pictures make the best story books. Each day during camp a Blank Park Zoo zookeeper will come and read a story to you and then take you to visit the animals in the story! We will also do crafts and activities based on the book of the day!
Camp Dates: June 29-July 3, Aug 3-7
Cost: $90 member/$130 non-member

Turtle-rific – They can be tiny or huge, they walk or swim, they can be found almost everywhere because they carry their house on their backs!  They are the terrific turtles of the world! We will learn all about turtles this week and visit the zoo’s most famous tortoise, Barnaby!
Camp Dates: July 6-10, Aug 10-14
Cost: $90 member/$130 non-member

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Ages 5-6
Half day camps are 9:00am-11:30pm, Full day camps are 9:00am-4:00pm

Pocket Babies – You can carry around a lot of stuff in your pockets! Some mommies and daddies even carry their babies around in pockets or pouches!  This week we will learn about marsupial babies and why living in a pocket is a great way to grow up!
Camp Dates: June8-12, July 13-17
Cost: Half Day- $90 member/$130 non-member, Full Day-$180 member/$260 non-member

Zoo Clues – Animals leave clues everywhere. From scat to tracks we will use special clues to figure out what animals have been around the Zoo and what they have been doing. This week you will receive a special Zoo Detective badge and learn how to be an animal detective!
Camp Dates: June 15-19, July 20-24
Cost: Half Day- $90 member/$130 non-member, Full Day-$180 member/$260 non-member

How the Wild Things Grow – Bugs and butterflies have an important job, they help plants grow! We will explore the zoo’s Butterfly Garden and try to find some cool insects that are responsible for keeping our world healthy and growing!
Camp Dates: June 22-26, July 27-31
Cost: Half Day- $90 member/$130 non-member, Full Day-$180 member/$260 non-member

Feast of the Beasts – Did you know that porcupines like corn on the cob and rhinos like to eat salad? At the zoo, the zookeepers have to make sure that all the animals get the right foods to eat. This week you will learn about what animals eat and even help make some of the animal’s meals!
Camp Dates: June 29-July 3, Aug 3-7
Cost: Half Day- $90 member/$130 non-member, Full Day-$180 member/$260 non-member

Creatures, BIG and small – Animals come in all shapes and sizes. This week we will learn about all the animals from the tiny Bee hummingbird to the huge Blue whale, and all the creatures in between!
Camp Dates:  July 6-10, Aug 10-14
Cost: Half Day- $90 member/$130 non-member, Full Day-$180 member/$260 non-member

[divider] Grade 1 & 2
Camps are 9:00am – 4:00pm, Monday-Friday

Imagi-dragon – Is your favorite animal a unicorn or maybe a dragon?  There are so many wonderful mythical animals in books, movies and in our imaginations.  During this week of camp we will explore how some of these animals came to be and create some new imaginary animals.
Camp Dates: June 8-12, July 13-17
Cost: $180 member/$260 non-member

Splash! – Water we doing this week?  We’re exploring the deep blue sea!  The sea is home to some very amazing and very strange creatures.  We’ll explore how they live in this unique habitat and why they are important to the ocean.  Add in some fun crafts and water activities, and we’ll definitely be making a big splash this week!
Camp Dates: June 15-19, July 20-24
Cost: $180 member/$260 non-member

The Creative Cassowary – Animals are used in art all around the world. If you love animals and enjoy art, this week will be full of crafts and zoo animal interactions.  We will even be able to do some animal prints with the zoo’s animal ambassadors!
Camp Dates: June 22-26, July 27-31
Cost: $180 member/$260 non-member

Creepy Crawlies – Insects, arachnids and arthropods, oh my!  They may be creepy but they are all important in our world. They help feed animals, pollinate our plants and fertilize our soil. Learn about these fascinating animals and learn that they may not be so creepy after all.  This week we will also do some special projects for Blank Park Zoo’s Butterfly Garden!
Camp Dates: June 29- July 3, Aug 3-7
Cost: $180 member/$260 non-member

Scales and Tails – Long tongues, pointy scales, short legs, no legs, black, blue, green and red! This week we will learn all about reptiles! Reptiles have some amazing adaptations and interesting characteristics that make them unique, let’sssssssss check them out!
Camp Dates: July 6-10, July 10-14
Cost: $180 member/$260 non-member

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Grade 3 &4
Camps are 9:00am – 4:00pm, Monday-Friday\

Crude Critters – Squishy meets science this week as we discover the ooey, gooey truth behind some of our animals’ not-so-pleasant quirks!  Why do giraffes drool so much?  Why do frogs feel so slimy?  Join us this week to learn the facts about the disgusting ways of our animal friends.
Camp Dates: June 8-12, July 13-17
Cost: $180 member/$260 non-member

Makin’ Waves – This wonderful, wet week will wow you with all things water! We will visit the seals, sea lions, penguins, aquariums and get a behind the scenes look at how the keepers keep our water-loving friends healthy in their underwater habitats. And we will make sure we stay wet with lots of water activities!
Camp Dates: June 15-19, July 20-24
Cost: $180 member/$260 non-member

Creatures of the Night – The night is full of creatures, even if you don’t always see them. During this camp we will learn all about the nocturnal animals that thrive at night. As an additional option, you can spend the night at the Zoo!
Camp Dates: June 22-26, July 27-31
Cost: $180 member/$260 non-member

Optional Overnight for Night Crawlers Camp – Spend the night at the zoo.  Instead of going home Thursday, stay the night with your fellow campers!  Do extra fun activities and sleep in the Discovery Center overlooking the rainforest.
Date: June 25, July 30
Cost: $45 per camper. Dinner and breakfast will be provided.

Animal Odyssey – North, South, East and West – animals go where they know best!  Animals like the Monarch butterfly travel for miles, some birds fly south for the winter and elephants can travel 50 miles in one day. This week we will talk about why animals take their long journeys and how they survive.
Camp Dates: June 29-July 3, Aug 3-7
Cost: $180 member/$260 non-member

I Spy – I spy with my little eye…  Animals have a good way of fooling us by blending in with their surroundings. Camouflage is not only important to the survival of an animal but it is an amazing adaptation. This week we will study the ways animals can hide without even trying and will be on the lookout for camouflaged animals at the zoo.
Camp Dates: July 6-10, Aug 10-14
Cost: $180 member/$260 non-member

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Grades 5 &6
Camps are 9:00am – 4:00pm, Monday-Friday

Zoo Tycoon – Have you ever wondered how YOU would run a zoo?  Well, now’s your chance!  This week, you’ll learn all about how Blank Park Zoo operates, and then work as a team to design your very own zoo!  You’ll meet some of the staff and animals at the Zoo and discover lots of behind-the-scenes secrets that make the Blank Park Zoo Iowa’s wildest adventure!
Camp Dates: June 15-19
Cost: $180 member/$260 non-member

Photo Safari – Have you ever noticed how pictures sometimes can tell a story?  Can you capture details of animals with the click of a button?  Gain inspiration for your own photographs by exploring some famous photos of animals in the wild.  This week we will create a blog to share the animal’s stories and feature your work.
Camp Dates: June 22-26
Cost: $180 member/$260 non-member

Santa in July – Animals need toys too.  Enriching the lives of animals at the zoo is not always easy but it is an important part of what zookeepers do.  During camp you will get a chance to work with a zookeeper and make toys for all sorts of animals and then of course watch the animals play!
Camp Dates: July 6-10
Cost: $180 member/$260 non-member

Shark Week – Let’s talk about sharks!  Sharks are unique, powerful creatures.  This week we will learn all about the types of sharks and what makes them so awesome.  And since the Blank Park Zoo does not have sharks, we will travel to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo for a special overnight trip!
Camp Dates: July 20-24
Cost: $260 member/$380 non-member

Myth Busters – Can porcupines really shoot their quills? Do whales really talk to each other? Join us as we confirm or bust some of the well-known animal myths. We’ll tour the Zoo and talk with zookeepers to find out the truth behind the animal lore. We will research, write and record our very own Mythbusters episode that focuses on the animals that are found at the Blank Park Zoo!
Camp Dates: Aug 3-7
Cost: $180 member/$260 non-member

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Grade 7
Camps are 9:00am – 4:00pm, Monday-Friday

Junior Zookeeper – Want to learn how to be a zookeeper?  Making diets, cleaning and keeping animals enriched are all part of what a zookeeper does every day.  You will get a chance to tour some behind-the-scenes areas and help take care of the very animals that you get to see every day at the zoo!
Camp Dates: June 29-July 3, July 13-17
Cost: $180 member/$260 non-member

Animal Careers – Do you want to work with animals when you grow up?  Each day during this camp you will get the chance to talk to a person who works with animals.  A vet, a zookeeper, an animal trainer and more!  This is a great time to learn about opportunities in the animal field!
Camp Dates: July 27-31
Cost: $180 member/$260 non-member

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About Author

Thomas Brogan, a native of Des Moines, was the original founder of Des Moines Parent and is a father to an 8 & 10-year-old. In his free time, he likes to explore nature, try new local restaurants and enjoy life as best as he can. Check out more of Thomas at www.broganlist.com.

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