Kids can have a wild summer at these family favorite animal and nature camps near NYC! 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 New York summer camp guide.

    Staten Island Museum - Earth Camp

     (258.6 mi)

    2 weeks, full day


    Age 8-13

    Jennie Utsinger:  Calling all adventurous kids! The Staten Island Museum's Earth Camp leads campers on an exploration of local wetlands and woodlands to learn about plants and animals. The young naturalists will build science skills while observing habitats and recording daily observations in a field journal.

    New York Aquarium - Summer Camp

     (264.6 mi)

    1 week, full day


    Grade PreK-8

    Jennie Utsinger:  During your time at the New York Aquarium's summer camp, your child will encounter many marine animals-sharks, sea lions, otters, fish. Camp activities include hands-on projects and experiments, animal encounters, exhibit visits, and beach exploration.

    Trail Blazers - Day Camp

     (266.8 mi)

    1 week, full day

    Age 3-10

    Jennie Utsinger:  Trail Blazers promotes experiential learning through outdoor adventure programs. Days include hands-on science experiments, group challenges, team building, nature exploration, art, and lots of outdoor play! Trail Blazers also offers several overnight camp options.

    Brooklyn Nature Days - Summer Programs

     (267.2 mi)

    1 week, half day


    Age 2 years -Grade 4

    Jennie Utsinger:  Connect to the natural world with summer camp at Brooklyn Nature Days. With a focus on learning through unstructured free play outdoors, Brooklyn Nature Days offers classes and camps. Kids will explore different locations in Prospect Park using tools, recycled materials and art supplies. Older children also learn mapping, compass skills, and learn more detailed plant and animal identification.

    Prospect Park Zoo - Summer Camp

     (267.9 mi)

    1 week, full day


    Grade PreK-6

    Jennie Utsinger:  Sign your animal lover up for camp at the Prospect Park Zoo and enjoy a nature and animal filled summer at the zoo! Campers can help feed the animals, play games, create crafts, and learn about animals and their habitats.

    Brooklyn Botanic Garden - Summer Classes

     (268.0 mi)

    1-2 weeks, half day/full day


    Grade PreK-8

    Jennie Utsinger:  The Brooklyn Botanic Garden holds several children's programs during the summer, even for the smallest gardeners! Eco-Explorers will plant and harvest vegetables and participate in science experiments and sustainability projects. Garden Adventures campers will get creative using natural materials. Make plant-based dyes, potions, foliage fashion, and more!

    Central Park Zoo Summer Camp

     (270.9 mi)

    1 week, half day/full day


    Age 2 years-Grade 12

    Jennie Utsinger:   The Central Park Zoo offers lots of opportunities to explore animals and science. All campers engage in hands-on activities and animal encounters.

    The Nature Place Day Camp

     (275.2 mi)

    5-6 weeks, full day


    Age 4-16

    Jennie Utsinger:  Located on 200 acres in Rockland County, the Nature Place's summer programs highlight nature exploration and outdoor play. Days at the The Nature Place Day Camp include nature exploration, hiking, gardening, swimming, and more. Transportation is available.

    Queens Zoo - Summer Camp

     (277.2 mi)

    1 week, full day


    Grade PreK-8

    Jennie Utsinger:  Campers at the Queens Zoo will discover and learn about animal habitats, diets, adaptations that help animals to survive, and more through up-close animal encounters, visits to exhibits, and hands-on activities.

    Bronx Zoo - Summer Camp

     (278.5 mi)

    1-2 weeks, full day


    Grade PreK-12

    Jennie Utsinger:  The Bronx Zoo offers opportunities for kids to connect with animals and nature. Camp includes animal encounters, science and learning investigations, art projects, and games.

    In addition to their full day camps, the Bronx Zoo offers a Toddler Camp for caregivers and children and specialty sessions, Little Zoo Vets and Zoo Vet Academy, for older campers that run after regular camp hours.

    New York Botanical Garden - Summer Camp

     (279.1 mi)

    3 weeks, full day


    Grades K-8

    Jennie Utsinger:  Spend the summer exploring the Botanic Garden's plant collection, forest, wetlands, and technology during one of the Garden's summer camp options. Camps include Summer Science Camp, Green Thumbs Gardening Camp, and Summer Field Science Camp.

    Alley Pond Environmental Center - Summer SENSES Programs

     (283.6 mi)

    1 week, half day


    Grade K-6

    Jennie Utsinger:  The Alley Pond Environmental Center, a nonprofit environmental education organization located in Alley Pond Park, holds several summer classes and camps for kids. Children will enjoy nature walks, stories, crafts, and meet live animals. Older kids will delve into local ecosystems, participate in survival games, learn basic botany, and go on hikes.

Primary photo:   Photo by Michael Stewart © Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Upparent collects community-submitted recommendations and reviews, and any ideas that are shared reflect the opinions of individual contributors.

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