Blank Park Zoo
Blank Park Zoo

Open Daily, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Closed Nov 26, Dec 24, 25 & Jan 1

View All Rates ›

Open Daily, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Closed Nov 26, Dec 24, 25 & Jan 1

View All Rates ›

Winter Safari

Day Camp – 5-9 years
Virtual Camp – 7-9 years
Overnight Safari Camp – 10-12 years

Day Camp – December 28-31
Virtual Camp – December 28-31
Overnight Safari Camp – December 29

Day Camp – 9 am-4 pm
Virtual Camp – 9:30-10:30 am
Overnight Safari Camp – 5 pm-8 am

Day Camp - $150 members/$200 non members
Virtual Camp - $60 members/$80 non members
Overnight Safari Camp - $50 members/$60 non members


Theme: Triassic Park

Join us as we learn about the rise of the dinosaurs and make comparisons with our living zoo animals.

Day Camp – Our Winter Safari Day Camp is a four-day, drop-off, in person camp for children ages 5-9 years. During this camp, children will participate in hands-on learning activities, enjoy the outdoors and explore the Zoo.

Virtual Camp – Our Virtual Winter Safari Camp is a four-day, virtual camp for children ages 7-9 years. During this camp, children will join an educator from the Zoo for a live camp experience 1 hour each day, and participate in self-guided activities for the rest of the day. Supply Boxes are available for purchase, click here for more information.

NEW! Overnight Safari Camp – Our Overnight Winter Safari Camp is a one-night, drop-off, in person camp for children ages 10-12 years. During this camp, children will come to the Zoo for an evening full of fun activities, spend the night and then wake up for a morning hike around the Zoo before heading home. Dinner and a light breakfast are included.

Registration and pre-payment are required

Registration available now! Click here to register!

Participation Guidelines

Winter Safari Day Camps are drop-off program for children ages 5-9 years of age. Virtual Winter Safari Camp is an online virtual camp for children ages 7-9 years of age. The Overnight Safari Camp is a overnight, drop-off program for children ages 10-12 years. It is important to us that your child receives the best experience. As such, we hope that you will help us by honoring the age guidelines.

For in person camps, please dress children in comfortable, weather appropriate clothing including: coats, hats, close-toed shoes or boots and gloves/mittens. Temperatures permitting, we will spend portions of each day outside exploring the zoo and winter landscape.

For virtual camps, we will be utilizing Zoom for the live camp experiences. Zoo staff will email out Zoom meeting links. All campers will require access to a computer or tablet with a microphone and webcam.

Drop-off/Pick-up for In-Person Camps

Curbside drop-off and pick-up will be instituted to avoid having parents and caregivers enter the Zoo. Please view our drop-off map here for drop-off/pick-up location instructions.

Drop-off times:
Day camps - 8:50-9:15am
Overnight Safari - 4:50-5:15pm

Pick-up times:
Day camps – 3:50-4:15pm
Overnight Safari – 8-8:15am

Please note, Zoo admission hours are 10 am-3:30 pm. If you need to drop-off/pick-up your child outside of our designated drop-off/pick-up times and before/after Zoo admission hours, please call 515-974-2550 as Zoo admissions will be locked.

For the safety of your children, we will only release your child to the person/s you list during registration. If there are emergencies/last-minute changes, please notify educators at drop-off.

Extra Purchases (Before/After Care, Lunch, T-shirts, Virtual Camp Supply Boxes)

Before/After Care: Before and After Care are not available during this camp.

Lunch: Lunch is available for purchase for the week for $25. Because we have to order lunches in advance to be catered in, lunches must be purchased prior to the start of camp and are not available for daily purchase.

T-shirts: Leftover Summer Safari t-shirts are available for purchase for $5. T-shirts must be purchased prior to the start of camp. Two designs are available. If purchasing a t-shirt, please list which design you would like in the special considerations section of your child’s registration (Red Panda or Okapi). T-shirts are available for virtual camp participants! For in-person camps, t-shirts will be sent home on the first day of camp. For virtual camps, t-shirts will be available for pick up December 21-23.

Red Panda Okapi

Virtual Camp Supply Boxes: Some supplies will be necessary for Virtual Winter Safari Camp. Supply lists will be sent out the week before camp so families can gather/purchase supplies on their own. Supply Boxes are available for purchase through the Zoo which will include all supplies needed during camp. Due to the holidays, supply boxes must be purchased by December 14, 2020. Boxes will be available for pick up December 21-23. Shipping/delivery of supply boxes may be available but additional fees apply.

Medications at Camp

If you are bringing any medication to camp with your child (including rescue inhalers and EpiPens), we ask that you please adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Please give all medications to your child’s camp instructor at check-in and advise whether the medication should be returned at the end of each day or stay at the Zoo for the duration of camp.
  • The child’s parent/guardian at check-in must sign a medication authorization form (required by law) that authorizes camp staff to securely store the medication until the time it is to be administered.
  • The camp child must administer his/her own medication.
  • All medications must be in their original packaging and labeled with appropriate prescription, dosing and/or pharmaceutical information. Liquid medication must be accompanied with an appropriate measuring cup/syringe.
  • We are unable to accept damaged/expired medications or loose medicine in unmarked packaging.

Click here to download a medication authorization form

COVID-19 Precautions & Protocols

Out of an abundance of caution, to keep our guests, animals and staff healthy, we are implementing the following precautions for our education programs:

  • Drop-off & Pick-up: Curbside drop-off and pick-up will be instituted to avoid having parents and caregivers enter the Zoo. Heath questionnaires verification and temperature checks will be completed daily. We use no-contact infrared forehead thermometers to check temperatures. Any child with a temperature of 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit will not be allowed to stay at camp and will not be allowed to return for the duration of camp.
  • Group Sizes: Group sizes will be limited to 10 participants and 2-3 instructors. There will be 2-3 additional Zoo staff that will help with animal programs and lunches.
  • Masks: Pursuant to the mayor’s proclamation on August 26, 2020, masks are required for ages two years and older while in the indoor areas of Blank Park Zoo and required in all outdoor spaces if you are not able to social distance. Any valid exemption in the mayor’s proclamation (click here) will also be a valid exemption while on Zoo property. If a child has a valid exemption, this should be stated in the special considerations section of registration.
  • Health screenings: Participants will be required to complete a short health screening prior to drop off camps that will be emailed out on December 23, 2020. If this health screening is not complete prior to drop off, children may not be allowed to stay at camp. Zoo staff are required to complete daily health screenings.
  • Activities & Supplies: Activities and games will be modified to keep campers separate as much as possible. Each camp group will have its own set of supplies to use, when possible each camper will have an individual set of supplies.
  • Water Bottles & Camper Belongings: This year campers will be required to bring their own water bottle from home. Any belongings from home must be labeled with the camper’s first and last name. Any unlabeled items left at the end of the camp week will be discarded.
  • Cleaning & Sanitizing: Cleanliness and sanitation are always top priorities at Safari Camp. We use antibacterial & antiviral solutions when cleaning. In light of COVID-19, we have increased the number of cleanings each space receives.
  • Animal experiences: As a part of camp, children will still be able to feed the goats and giraffe. Campers will be required to use hand sanitizer or wash hands with soap prior to and immediately following feeding animals. There will be no touching of animals during Ambassador Animal Programs.
  • Virtual Option: Virtual Safari Camp is available for children ages 7-9 years who are uncomfortable or able to attend in person camps.

Registration, Confirmation and Cancellation

Pre-registration is required for all camps. After your registration is processed, a confirmation email will be sent (please check your spam folder). Your registration is not confirmed until you receive this confirmation. Call 515-974-2550 if a confirmation email is not received within 24 hours.

If a cancellation is necessary more than two weeks out from the camp start date, Blank Park Zoo will grant a refund for the registration amount minus a $50 cancellation fee. Any cancellations requested within two weeks of the camp start date will not receive a refund (if the child is unable to attend, please consider your payment a tax-deductible donation at this time).

If you have any questions regarding camps or registration, please email or call 515-974-2550

Click here to purchase a Blank Park Zoo membership to save money on Safari Camps

Registration available now! Click here to register!

Click here to download our Safari Camp Parent Guide

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