Camp children walk across the snow-covered zoo Camp children walk across the snow-covered zoo

Winter Break Camp

Tuesday–Friday
Calendar Icon
January 3–6, 2023
Clock Icon 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
Clock Icon $300
$255 for members
Age Icon Grades PreK–5

Overview

Winter Break Camp offers exciting, in-person exploration opportunities for animal and nature lovers in grades PreK-5. Each Winter Break Camp group will explore the zoo and participate in activities to learn about animal diversity, environmental conservation, and ways Lincoln Park Zoo cares for animals at the zoo and conserves them in the wild.

To attend, campers must be at least 4 years old on their first day of camp. Registration includes a camp T-shirt. COVID-19 vaccination is required for all eligible campers.

Click here to register

More Info

Refunds

Lincoln Park Zoo’s standard refund and cancellation policy will be in effect. Refunds may be issued on cancellations requested in writing by December 16, less a 12.5% processing fee. Please send cancellation requests to camp@lpzoo.org.

After December 16, camp fees are non-refundable, except in the instance that Lincoln Park Zoo makes the decision to cancel camp. Unfortunately, we cannot issue refunds for campers who are sick or who must quarantine because of exposure to COVID-19 outside of camp.

After Care

Aftercare is available from 3–5 p.m. each day. Caregivers may add Aftercare to their registration for a flat rate of $100 for all of Winter Break Camp. Unfortunately, we are not able to sell single days of Aftercare. Space for Aftercare is limited.

Gift Cards for Zoo Programs

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), Malott Family Penguin Encounters (ages 6 and older), Zoo Investigations (preK–5), and Zoo Explorers (preK–8).

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

Lunches

Add-on lunches are available for purchase via link provided in camp receipt received upon completion of registration. All lunches are nut-free and made fresh daily. Vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free diets are available; please indicate your child’s dietary needs in your registration. A daily snack is included with the purchase of lunch. All those who do not purchase a lunch are responsible for providing their camper with nut-free, non-refrigerated lunches and snacks.

Fee: $45 for all of Winter Break Camp

Sample Menu:

Tuesday: 6-piece chicken nuggets

Wednesday: Hamburger

Thursday: Grilled cheese

Friday: Cheese pizza

*Veggie burger contains gluten.

All meals will come with baby carrots, animal crackers, a Jell-O cup, and fruit juice.

Menu items are subject to change based on availability.

Scholarships

A limited number of scholarships are available for Winter Break Camp.

Click here to complete scholarship application in English

Haga clic aqui para completar la solicitud de Becas en Español

Camp Theme: Animal Opposites

This Winter Break, campers will explore the wide world of animal opposites. From big giraffes to small songbirds and hairy gorillas to scaly snakes, campers will investigate contrasts within the animal kingdom.

All campers will participate in age-appropriate games and activities about the same theme.

FAQs

What are the procedures for check-in and check-out?

Check-in will take place each morning from 8:45–9:15 a.m. Check-out will take place for all age levels from 3–3:15 p.m., unless campers are registered for Aftercare. Caregivers will drop off and pick up campers in the designated area outside the Judy Keller Education Center on Cannon Drive.

What gear does my camper need for camp?

  • Each camper will receive a blue Conservation Camp T-shirt with registration. Campers should wear their blue camp T-shirt every day they attend camp. Please do not wear different colored T-shirts from 2021.
  • Caregivers will have the option to purchase additional shirts.
  • Many camp activities will take place outside, weather permitting. All campers should dress to be outdoors.
  • Campers may be required to wear a face covering indoors, so please be sure to send a mask with them.
  • All campers should bring their own refillable water bottle.
  • Unless you have purchased lunch during registration, all campers should bring a non-refrigerated, nut-free lunch and snack.

What are your policies regarding health and safety?

  • It is Lincoln Park Zoo’s responsibility to provide a safe space not only for our staff and guests, but the animals in our care. Therefore, all campers must be vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to participate in camp.
  • If your child is medically unable to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, please contact us at camp@lpzoo.org to discuss ways your camper can safely participate. You will be required to show documentation of your camper’s medical exemption signed by a medical doctor, as well as a negative COVID-19 test at the start of each week in which your camper participates.
  • All campers and staff in groups with campers who are not vaccinated (due to medical exemption) will be required to wear face coverings except when they are eating or drinking.
  • Lincoln Park Zoo staff members are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Lincoln Park Zoo will follow city and state guidelines regarding face coverings and other health procedures. At times, campers may be required to wear a face covering regardless of vaccination status, so please be sure to send a face covering with your camper.
  • Camp staff 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 or 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!

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. These are times when campers can ask their most pressing animal care questions.
  • Outside time, as much as weather permits.
  • Activities that help campers build knowledge, empathy, resiliency, and curiosity about animals. These might be movement-based, art-focused, or imaginative.
  • Visits to many of the zoo’s animal residents; however, animal care is left to our professional zookeepers.

Consider asking your camper:

  • What made them smile today?
  • What did they choose to do during free play?
  • What animals did they see? What were the animals doing?
  • Did they play a game? What was the goal of the game?
  • What is their group’s animal name? Do they have a cheer or a song?
  • Did any of the other campers do something silly that made them laugh?
  • What did they do to be helpful today?

Will my camper get to touch or feed animals?

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

What if my camper needs accommodations?

Lincoln Park Zoo is committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all. If your child needs accommodations or has specific needs, please contact our camp team at camp@lpzoo.org or include this information when registering so that we may discuss how to make sure your camper has a great experience.