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Summer Zoo Crew

July 8–August 16
9 a.m.-3 p.m. each day; Late Stay at the Zoo till 8 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each session
$1200 non-member; $1020 member
Rising Grades 6-8

General Registration opens February 29

Click here to register


Zoo Crew is a two-week summer experience for campers entering Grades 6–8 in the fall. Through team-building and immersive learning, campers will explore the relationships between animals, humans, and ecosystems. They will meet zoo scientists and zookeepers, go on field trips, and participate in a Late Stay at the Zoo.

Campers may register for up to two different themed sessions of Zoo Crew. All campers must be registered by their legal guardian.

Click here to register

2024 Registration

Registration Opening Dates

Donor Club Members will receive an email on February 14 after 3 p.m. with a pre-sale registration link. Donor Club pre-sale opens Thursday, February 15 at 10 a.m. and runs through Wednesday, February 21 at 3 p.m.

Safari-level Members will receive an email on February 21 after 3 p.m. with a pre-sale registration link. Safari Member pre-sale opens Thursday, February 22 at 10 a.m. and runs through Wednesday, February 28 at 3 p.m.

Household Members, Individual Members and the general public may register starting Thursday, February 29 at 10 a.m. via the Zoo Camps webpage. Click “Learn More” under the Conservation Camp or Zoo Crew headings to find the registration links beginning 10 a.m. on February 29.

Safari-level members and above receive the opportunity to participate in pre-sale registration for camp.  To join the zoo as a Safari-level member, visit or call 312-742-2322.

Practice for the Chicago Air and Water Show is expected to take place near the zoo on August 9, with the show on August 10-11. For campers sensitive to loud noises, we ask that caregivers please consider signing them up for a different week of camp or providing them with noise-reducing headphones.

Electronic Devices at Camp

Campers should not bring cellphones or smartwatches to camp. Camp staff reserve the right to remove a cellphone from a camper’s possession for the duration of the camp day. Lincoln Park Zoo is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

If caregivers need to communicate with their camper during the camp day, they may call 312-742-2056 to reach a member of the camp leadership team. We will share messages with campers.

Registration Guide

Visit our registration guide here 

Camp Values

Lincoln Park Zoo strives to provide a camp experience that supports the whole child. We offer a safe and engaging environment that challenges and uplifts each camper as they try new things, make new friends, and navigate new situations.

We encourage campers to build resilience and practice their problem-solving skills. We support them in finding their own solutions to obstacles they face.

We provide opportunities for campers to practice leadership skills and develop empathy for people, animals, and the natural world.

Respect is the cornerstone of camp at Lincoln Park Zoo. Throughout each camp session, staff emphasize showing respect for property, others, nature, and themselves, and guide campers to demonstrate that respect. We seek to be a place where all campers feel welcomed and included.

Registered families will receive more information about Lincoln Park Zoo Camp’s behavior policy in the welcome email they receive the week before their camp date.



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What are the procedures for check-in and checkout?

Check-in will take place each morning from 8:45–9:15 a.m. Checkout will take place for all grade levels from 3:00-3:15 p.m., unless the camper is registered for After Care. Caregivers must be present for both check-in and checkout. They will drop off and pick up campers in the designated area outside the Judy Keller Education Center on Cannon Drive. Caregivers authorized to pick up campers must show a photo ID every day at checkout.

Can my camper check themselves in and out of camp?

Caregivers are required to be present with their camper for both check-in and checkout. Caregivers authorized to pick up campers must show a photo ID every day at checkout.

What are the rules for parking at the zoo during check-in and checkout?

Caregivers may park in the temporary camp parking zone located just outside the Judy Keller Education Center. Enter the parking lot where Cannon Drive meets Fullerton Avenue. Take a ticket or use your Zoo Member ID to enter the lot and proceed south until you see the blue signs marking our temporary parking zone. You may also park in any space outside the temporary parking zone if you plan to remain at the zoo after check-in or checkout ends. If you take a ticket to enter the lot, you have 30 minutes to exit before you incur a fee.

What if I need to arrange a late drop-off or early pickup?

Please avoid late drop-offs and early departures as much as possible. These disrupt the flow of the camp day, cause staff to be pulled away from programming and other essential duties, and result in missed activities for your camper. If they cannot be avoided, please plan to drop off/pick up your camper between 11:45 a.m.–12:30 p.m. if possible. All late arrivals or early departures should be arranged in advance by contacting the camp staff at If you do not notify us in advance, you may have to wait as long as 25 minutes for staff to retrieve your camper from zoo grounds. Please note, campers cannot participate in camp on field trip days if they do not arrive at the zoo by 9:15 a.m. If you are running late, please call the camp phone ASAP for further instructions.

What gear does my camper need for camp?

Each camper will receive two green Zoo Crew T-shirts and a backpack with their registration. Campers should wear their green camp T-shirt and bring their backpack every day they attend camp. Campers may also wear green camp T-shirts from previous years if they wish. Caregivers will have the option to purchase additional shirts via a link sent to their email after registration is complete.

All campers should bring:

  • refillable water bottle
  • sunscreen
  • clothing suitable for the outdoors
  • face covering (may be needed in some indoor spaces and for certain experiences)
  • closed-toe shoes with a back—no sandals please!

NEW this year: Optional gear pickup events will take place from 4–6 p.m. on May 28, 29, and 30. Gear that is not picked up at one of these events will be given to each camper on their first day of camp.

What are your policies regarding health and safety?

Camp staff members are all CPR- and first-aid-certified and an EMT is on-site during camp.


Caregivers are the zoo’s most important partners in keeping our camp community healthy and safe. If your camper feels unwell, shows any signs of infectious illness (sore throat, new cough, difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, severe headache, or a fever at or above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) please do not send them to camp!

Lincoln Park Zoo strongly encourages all campers and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

At times, Lincoln Park Zoo may require additional health and safety measures beyond what is required by public health officials. Campers may be required to wear a face covering regardless of vaccination status in some situations. Please help campers be ready for these situations by providing a face covering.

What happens if a camper gets sick at camp?

If a camper doesn’t feel well at camp, caregivers will be called to pick them up. Campers who have symptoms of infectious illness must be tested for COVID-19. They may return to camp after receiving a negative COVID-19 test, if the camper has been fever-free for 24 hours and symptoms have improved.

What happens during the camp day?

No two camp days are exactly the same. Camp instructors do their best to follow camper interests while selecting each day’s activities from our camp curricula, so there is always variety. However, there are some things campers can count on.

  • Morning and afternoon free play.
  • Chats with zoo experts and other special experiences up to three times per week.
  • Outside time, as much as weather permits.
  • Activities that help campers build knowledge, empathy, and curiosity about animals and conservation.
  • Visits with many of the zoo’s animal residents; however, animal care is left to our professional zookeepers.
  • Field trips on Fridays.
  • One Late Stay at the Zoo each Zoo Crew session, which will last until 8 p.m.
Will my camper get to touch or feed animals?

Your camper will see many zoo animals throughout their camp week. However, we leave care of the animals up to professional zookeepers. Campers will not have the opportunity to touch or feed the animals.

Can my camper be in the same group as a friend?

There is only one Zoo Crew group per session. If your camper is registered for the same session as their friend, they will be in the same group by default.

What if my camper needs accommodations?

At Lincoln Park Zoo, we value the inclusion of campers of all abilities. Some accommodations at camp include social stories, visual schedules, fidget tools, noise-canceling headphones, behavior charts/incentives, countdowns for transitions, and occasional short breaks away from the group. One-on-one aides are not an accommodation we offer.

Campers for whom our inclusion model works well are able to participate in both structured and unstructured activities for most of the day in a group of 14–16 campers with two college-age or older counselors.

If your child needs accommodations or has specific needs, please contact our camp team at or include this information when registering so that we may discuss how to make sure your camper has a great experience. Learn more about inclusion at camp.

Please note: Practice for the Chicago Air and Water Show is expected to take place near the zoo on August 9, with the show on August 10-11. If your camper is sensitive to loud noises, please consider signing up for a different week of camp or providing them with noise-reducing headphones.

More Information


Refunds may be issued for cancellations requested in writing by Monday, May 20, minus a 15% cancellation fee. Please send cancellation requests to

After May 20, camp fees are nonrefundable, except in the instance that Lincoln Park Zoo makes the decision to cancel camp.

Unfortunately, we cannot issue refunds for campers who are sick.

After Care

After Care is available from 3–5 p.m. each day. Caregivers will have the option to purchase After Care for a flat rate of $150 per week via a link sent to their email at a later date. Space in After Care is limited.


A limited number of scholarships are available for Conservation Camp. Applications must be submitted by January 31. If awarded, you must register by February 10. Scholarship recipients will receive instructions on how to register via email.

Apply in English

Aplicar en Español

Gift Cards

Share the love of wildlife by purchasing a gift card for select Lincoln Park Zoo programs! Purchase one for your child’s class or the animal-lover in your life. Gift cards are valid for virtual and in-person camps (prek–8), Zoo Investigations (preK–5), and Zoo Explorers (preK–8).

Gift cards are available for $25, $50, $75, and $100.


Registered participants will receive an email about how to purchase add-on lunches. Lunch must be purchased for the full run of the camp week; meals for individual days are not available. All meals are nut-free and made fresh daily. Please indicate your child’s dietary needs in your registration. Vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free lunches are available.

A daily snack is included with the purchase of lunch. All those who do not purchase lunch are responsible for providing their camper with nut-free, nonrefrigerated meals and snacks.

Fee: $60 per week


Monday: Macaroni and cheese

Tuesday: Six-piece chicken nuggets
Wednesday: Grilled cheese sandwich
Thursday: Hamburger
Friday (field trip day): Sunflower seed butter and jelly sandwich

All meals will come with baby carrots or fresh fruit, animal crackers or baked chips, a Jell-O cup or applesauce, and fruit juice.

Menu items are subject to change based on availability.


Camp Themes

Theme A: July 8–19; August 5–16

Road Trip USA: Conservation Around the States

Campers will venture through the diverse and wonderful ecosystems of the U.S. They will explore different conservation programs designed to have positive impacts on the wildlife across the country and learn about how they can help species here at home.

Theme B: July 22–August 2

More than Animals: How Zoos Make Global Change

Campers will investigate the zoo’s efforts to maintain healthy animal populations at the zoo and in the wild. While focusing on team-building and immersive learning, campers will discover how humans and wildlife interact around the globe and the importance of creating spaces for communities and animals to thrive together.


Please contact us at or 312-742-2056.

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