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When school is out, Safari Camp is in!

Safari Mini-Camps provide the perfect adventure for campers that have the drive and desire to discover an affection for animals. Camps feature animal experiences, zoo expeditions, engineering authentic solutions to real-world challenges, and hands-on, camper-driven exploration. All 2018-19 camps will allow campers to build solutions to challenges based on Denver Zoo animals, their exhibits, and their native habitats!

Costs

2019 Camp Prices:

Members: $50 per child per camp

Non-Members: $55 per child per camp

  • Early Care: $10 per child per camp
  • Late Care: $10 per child per camp
  • Cancellation Fee: $10 per child per camp
  • Transfer Fee: $10 per child per camp
* All cancellations and transfers must be made via e-mail to Denver Zoo’s Guest Care Center at guestcare@denverzoo.org at least 5 business days before the date of the camp. Within 4 business days, all sales are final.

Dates & Times

February 18

Each camp runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Early Care and/or Late Care can be added to extend a camper’s day.

Early Care - 7:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.
Late Care - 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Important Information

Download the 2018-19 Mini-Camp Important Information PDF to ensure you are ready for camp.

See snack ingredient info.

Medication Authorization Form

If your child requires emergency, prescription, or over-the-counter medication during camp, a parent/guardian and the child’s physician must complete and submit a Medication Authorization Form two weeks prior to your child’s first day of camp.  Any medication for a chronic illness such as asthma, allergies, or diabetes must be accompanied by a Care Plan written and signed by the child’s physician. Upon review of your camper’s forms, it may be necessary to meet with the parent/guardian to develop a Health Plan.

Accommodations for Special Needs

Campers of all abilities are welcome to register for camp. In order to meet our goal of setting all campers up for success, we ask that you please contact us if your child has any special needs of which we should be aware.  We are more than happy to discuss all options available. If your child needs to attend camp with his/her full-time care provider, special arrangements can be made, but must be scheduled several weeks in advance for security purposes.  After undergoing a background check, the adult caregiver may attend at no charge.

Access to Awe Scholarship Fund

Read our important Scholarship Info PDF before signing up for a scholarship.

Contact Us

Questions or concerns? Contact our Guest Care Center at 720-337-1400 or e-mail guestcare@denverzoo.org

Program Information

4 Years Old Through 3rd Grade

DECEMBER 26: UNDER THE SEA

Dive in head first to meet animals from beneath the ocean waves!  Discover how zookeepers take care of aquatic critters, and learn what you can do to help them.  Will you brave the tide of this ocean-themed camp?  We can’t wait to “sea!”

Daily Schedules: Pre-KKindergarten-1st2nd-3rd

Register: Pre-KKindergarten-1st2nd-3rd

DECEMBER 27: HABITAT HIJINKS

Could animals from Colorado settle in to a new habitat on the island of Madagascar, and swap homes with the lemurs who live there?  Explore how animals’ adaptations help them survive in the places they live, and what happens when animals move from their old homes into new ones.

Daily Schedules: Pre-KKindergarten-1st2nd-3rd

Register: Pre-KKindergarten-1st2nd-3rd

DECEMBER 28: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE

Explore a world populated by animals – at Denver Zoo!  What would it be like to have to survive in a rainforest?  Investigate tropical creatures and their amazing adaptations to help you solve a survival challenge!  Can you learn the ins and outs of a rainforest by delving into the Denver Zoo jungle?

Daily Schedules: Pre-KKindergarten-1st2nd-3rd

Register: Pre-KKindergarten-1st2nd-3rd

JANUARY 2: JAWS, PAWS AND CLAWS

Powerful predators with jaws, paws, and claws are often misunderstood.  Meet these animal ‘beasties’ and see their not-so-scary side!  Wander and wonder with the wildest crowd around.

Daily Schedules: Pre-KKindergarten-1st2nd-3rd

Register: Pre-KKindergarten-1st2nd-3rd

JANUARY 3: TOO COLD TO HOLD

Brrr!  Don’t forget your mittens (or fur and blubber). You are going to need them!  Chill out and discover the built-in tools some animals have for toughing it out in the coldest of conditions.

Daily Schedules: Pre-KKindergarten-1st2nd-3rd

Register: Pre-KKindergarten-1st2nd-3rd

JANUARY 4: TOO HOT TO HANDLE

Is it getting hot in here?  Don’t sweat it — the animals that you meet in this camp can take the heat!  Find out what it takes for warm weather animals to keep their cool.

Daily Schedules: Pre-KKindergarten-1st2nd-3rd

Register: Pre-KKindergarten-1st2nd-3rd

FEBRUARY 18 - GROWING UP WILD

Get the inside scoop on some of the Zoo’s most popular animal families and explore how cute and adorable animal babies grow up, here and in the wild.

Daily Schedules: Pre-KKindergarten-1st2nd-3rd

Register: Pre-KKindergarten-1st2nd-3rd

Registration Information

  • All campers must be 4 years old prior to their camp date.
  • Parents/Guardians must register their own child(ren), using their own account, to participate in Safari Camp.
  • Members must log-in as members to receive the discount. If you are a member and have never logged in before, use member look up to set your password and contact information.
  • If you are not a member, you must set up an account.

Looking for a different camp?

Learn about the other seasonal camps and mini-camps we offer.

Educational Focus

Our top priorities are safety, education, and fun. While zoo exploration/tours and animal encounters/demos are still the core of our programs, the camps staff are taking a different look at how the campers learn, explore, and engage while at Denver Zoo. The instructors will be utilizing inquiry-based, camper-driven approaches to learning in Mini-Camps.

Why do camps require campers work with and attempt to resolve actual challenges faced by Denver Zoo keepers and animals?

We want to provide children real and meaningful challenges -- and what better challenges than ones we actually face? This helps provide some insider information to the children as they discover how much goes into providing the incredible level of care Denver Zoo commits to. Additionally, the campers get to experience science in action and do the same types of things that keepers, vets, and Denver Zoo staff do. This method helps your children build critical thinking and problem solving skills in the real world. More importantly, this approach gives campers the chance to really get to know animals personally and build empathy for Denver Zoo's residents in a way that is not yet possible through a typical zoo visit.

Why did Denver Zoo decide to move to an inquiry-based model for its Mini-Camps?

In the Denver Zoo Learning Experiences Department, we place great value on designing and implementing programs that reflect best practices in teaching and learning. This means a reflective approach to assessing our existing programs as well, where we consistently seek opportunities to revise and move the bar that much higher. We are deeply influenced by research into inquiry, constructivist learning, and the power of learner-driven experiences. We knew our campers loved attending our Mini-Camps, and we're confident they walked away with some real inspiration. But we saw Mini-Camps as a perfect opportunity to open up the learning even more to students -- to provide genuine experiences for children to let their curiosity drive their learning. A supportive camp setting can be an ideal space for genuine inquiry. And so we are super excited to see what our Mini-Camp's young learners come up with this season.

What are the benefits of this type of education?

We know from the research that student-driven learning is the most impactful for genuine learning, for long-term knowledge and skill retention and growth. When we utilize inquiry in our programming, students have the opportunity to experience an authentic scientific process -- from observation and questioning to making predictions and constructing means to seek answers. This is real science, and much more powerful for students than memorizing a simplistic scientific method, the way old-fashioned classrooms used to have them do.

Why does Denver Zoo focus on education instead of just animal welfare?

At Denver Zoo, our mission is to secure a better world for animals through human understanding. And while we pride ourselves on our world-class animal care and husbandry, we also recognize the enormous task in impacting human understanding about animals, the environment and our relationship to both. Denver Zoo's education programs are a terrific opportunity for us to inform and inspire new generations of environmental stewards and scientifically literate citizens.

What does all of this mean?

Inquiry-based means the campers will be investigating, searching, and solving problems. They will seek answers or information and use their critical thinking skills to gather data, use their senses to make observations, problem-solve, engineer solutions, and build a deeper understanding. Student-driven means that while staff will still be facilitating the programs, the direction in which the learning goes really depends on the campers – they will be using their own interests and passion to drive their experiences. This allows campers to construct a better grasp a broader understanding of the zoo, animals, the environment, and their connections to the larger world.

So what would my child do in a Mini-Camp?

It will be different for each group, based on the specific challenge being explored, age of the group, interests of the campers, and more. Instead of instructors sharing facts or telling the campers information, the instructor will ask questions and guide campers to discover the answers. When out in the zoo, campers will make observations and gather information to help them solve their challenge and engage in scientific arguments from evidence. Campers will have more time to more fully examine and explore their challenge, the zoo, experience animals up-close, and synthesize their learning through nature play and engineering solutions.

How is this different than Mini-Camps from years past?

Campers will be learning through doing and have more of say in how and what they learn. A typical day would see campers use everything they do that day, from zoo exploration and animal experiences to design blocks and group time, to solve their daily challenge. If something is constructed and sent home, it will be something the camper felt he or she needed to build in order to solve their given challenge. If your camper brings something home, ask them to tell you about it!