Kids can have a wild summer at these family favorite animal and nature camps near Columbus! Parents are sharing their picks for the best local summer camps where kids can explore the outdoors, learn about the environment, and get up close with animals. Check the map to find one near you.

If your kid has gone to one of these nature and animal summer camps, please add a comment to share your review! Or submit a new recommendation to tell us about another camp we should add to the list.

Find more parent-recommended options for all interests on our Columbus summer camp guide.

    Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens - Summer Camps

     (383.8 mi)

    1-week sessions

    Full & half day options


    Age 3-8

    Hannah Scott:  Camps at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens are a fantastic way for kids to marvel in the wonders of science and nature without heading deep into the woods! Camps are themed and divided by age so your child is sure to find something they'll love. They get to spend time in the Children's Garden -- complete with a stream, wetland area, canopy walk, nature art studio and more!

    Grange Insurance Audubon Center - Audubon Adventure Camps

     (387.5 mi)

    2-5 day sessions

    Full & half day options


    Pre-K - 5th grade

    Katie G.:  Kids will explore the Grange Insurance Audubon Center and Scioto Audubon Metro Park in the Audubon Adventure Camps program. Campers will participate in nature hikes and scavenger hunts, explore different habitats, and enjoy songs and crafts. Some sessions offer an optional add-on cookout/overnight/breakfast.

    Olentangy Indian Caverns - Summer Camp

     (394.1 mi)

    1-day & 1-week sessions

    $45/day, $225/week

    Age 5-14

    Kelly R.:  Olentangy Indian Caverns offers a variety of summer camp sessions that promote fun and learning. Camp themes include Land Before Time, Rockin' Geology Camp, Barnyard Palooza, and Art in Nature. All campers are able to visit the caverns and interact with the animals.

    Stratford Ecological Center - Farm Camp

     (395.8 mi)

    4- or 5-day sessions, multiple weeks of camp offered

    Full-day sessions


    Age 3-12

    Kelly R.:  Farm Camp at Stratford Ecological Center is an opportunity for kids to explore nature, get their hands dirty, and help out on a working farm. 9-12 Year Old Camp concludes with a night camping out under the stars.

    Columbus Zoo and Aquarium - Summer Camps

     (396.9 mi)

    Multiple different sessions, most are weeklong sessions

    Full & half day options


    Age 3 years-7th grade

    Kelly R.:  The Columbus Zoo offers great camps for a variety of age groups, where kids have hands-on experiences and learn about animals and the environment with age-appropriate activities and animal encounters. They offer a unique 4-day camp in which you can choose which day of the week to attend, and then attend on that same day for 4 weeks in a row. They also offer traditional 4- and 5-day camps.

    Ohio Wildlife Center - Wildlife Day Camps

     (399.1 mi)

    Multiple 3-day and weeklong sessions

    Full & half day options


    Age 3-16

    Kelly R.:  Ohio Wildlife Center offers a Wildlife Day Camp where kids learn about nature through hands-on adventures. Campers help collect information for research, go on learning hikes, explore the study pond, identify animal tracks, learn about conservation, and more.

Primary photo:   Clint McKoy on Unsplash

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