Tucson, AZ

Summer Camp Slots at Reid Zoo Filling Up Fast

Greyson F

Summer camp at the zooOmar Ram/Unsplash

Are you pulling your hair out trying to come up with ideas and other activities for your child to enjoy this summer? After a year of sitting inside, away from friends and online learning, wouldn’t it be nice if you were able to send them somewhere where they can continue their learning with a fun, hands-on approach? If so, Reid Park Zoo here in Tucson has half-day summer school sessions that are perfect for your child. 

The Reid Park Zoo Summer Camp has officially kicked off and will run Monday through Thursday, every week up through the end of July. And don’t worry if you’ve missed the first few days or weeks, you’re able to sign up and drop off your child on any day. 

What all do these summer camp days have in store for your child? Your child will be able to go behind the scenes with all of the zoo activities. They can see what regular visitors do not see when visiting the zoo. Plus, zookeepers and other employees will help educate campers about the varying animal adaptations and their habitats. With so many various habitats and animals at the Reid Park Zoo, it’s possible to go through all of the different locations and not repeat, so your child won’t be learning the same thing twice. 

The half days begin at 8 AM at the zoo and last until noon (so that should at least help you accomplish some much-needed activities and errands during the day. There is also a special at-home event on Fridays, from 9 until 11, which will be a virtual celebration of everything learned during the week. 

When signing your child up you will typically do it by the week. A Monday through Thursday week (plus the at-home virtual celebration on Friday) costs $145 for zoo members and $175 for non-members. If you are considering having your child attend for several weeks you may want to consider signing up for a membership at the zoo as it will, in the end, pay for itself. 

A family membership for the Reid Zoo costs $80 and covers two adults and up to four children. With the membership, you are also able to go to the zoo as often as you like. So not only will having the membership pay for itself after three weeks of your child taking part in the activities of the summer camp, but you’ll be able to come and go to see the over 250 different animals at the zoo whenever you’d like (the membership is also accepted at over 150 different aquariums and zoos around the country, so if you plan on traveling over the next year the membership is worth grabbing for that as well). 

There are varying age groups for the camp, so you can sign your child up for the group that best fits their personal needs. These groups are broken down into grades 1 and 2, grades 3 and 4, and grades 5 and 6. 

If you arrive on the website and find that the particular camp you are interested in is sold out (space is limited and this is a popular event for children of all ages), you can put your name on the waitlist. People are backing out and taking their names off the list all of the time. This is especially common around the Fourth of July, although there is almost a shift and additional space made from time to time. If space opens up you will be notified in advance that there is an available slot. The waitlist is first-come, first serve, so the sooner you add your name to any waitlist the better. 

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