Winter Camp

The Topeka Zoo is excited to offer Winter Escape Adventure Camp!

Due to the new Shawnee County COVID-19 guidelines, we are not accepting any new registrations for our winter camps. Camp is still occurring for those who registered prior to November 17th, 2020. Please contact 785-368-9137 with questions. 


This camp is for children ages 6-12 (can be 5 if currently in kindergarten), and registration is on a DAILY basis—so you can sign up for as many days as you’d like. Registration for winter camp opens on Monday, October 19th, at 9:00am. The 2020 dates and themes are listed below. Please note there is no camp on December 24th and 25th, as well as January 1st.

Camp runs from 9:00-3:00 and is held in the zoo's new Kay McFarland Event Center*. Each camp day will include a live animal education program, behind-the-scenes tour, crafts, games, and more! There is no stay-late option for winter camp.

The cost is $40/day for FOTZ members and $45/day for non-members.

Capacity: 20 students/day

Dates, Themes, and Descriptions:

Wednesday, November 25th: Extreme Animals

From lightning fast birds of prey to super hard shells, animals have taken their adaptations to the max! In this camp, we will learn all about extreme animals and the unique ways they survive!

Monday, December 21st: Winter Wonderland

The weather outside might be frightful but the view is so delightful! With nature as our inspiration, let’s get our creative minds going with this art-themed day of camp.

Tuesday, December 22nd: Zoo Scene Investigation

Calling all junior detectives to our Zoo Scene Investigation (ZSI)! Help us unravel this mystery and narrow down our pool of animal suspects.

Wednesday, December 23rd: Lands of Ice and Fire

Animals live in extreme places--from frozen tundra to searing deserts. In this camp, we will learn about what it takes for creatures to live in ice, fire, and nature’s harshest environments.

Monday, December 28th: Mad Scientist

Grab your lab coats and safety goggles as we explore the wacky and weird adaptations of animals.

Tuesday, December 29th: Zoo Chef

What do a giant freezer, a measuring cup, and a clipboard full of charts have in common? They are all essential to help feed an entire zoo! In this camp, we will put on our chef hats, try a few animal diets, and see if we can make the cut to become a zoo chef!

Wednesday, December 30th: Ice Age-A Blast from the Past

From giant ground sloths to wooly mammoths, the Ice Age was a cool place to be. Join us as we learn about these prehistoric creatures and their relatives that survived to today!

Thursday, December 31st: Zoo Year Resolutions

So long 2020, hello 2021! This day of camp looks at ways that we can help our Earth and its wildlife in the coming New Year. *This camp day will be held in the Gary Clarke Education Classroom, due to a rental in the Kay McFarland Event Center.

Monday, January 4th: Jungle Survivor

Journey with us out of the cold and into the tropical rainforest. Come learn how animals survive where danger could lurk behind any tree!

New this year: City of Topeka: 501 Day

Friday, November 13th: Zoo IQ

From tool use to memory, animals can be amazing problem solvers. Put on your thinking caps as we explore just how smart animals can be.

Camp runs from 9:00-3:00 and is held in the Kay McFarland Event Center. Each camp day will include a live animal education program, behind-the-scenes tour, crafts, games, and more! There is no stay-late option for winter camp. Capacity is 20 students. This camp is for children ages 6-12 (can be 5 if currently in kindergarten).

Cost for this day: $30/camper for FOTZ members; $35/camper for non-members

Optional Camp T-Shirt: $14/shirt (plus tax) with youth and adult sizes available (additional charges apply for Adult 2XL and 3XL). Available at (page 3). Place order by November 30th; will be delivered in-person for December camps. November campers can order and will receive an email when shirt is ready to be picked up at zoo.

Cancellations for any winter camp day:  If you cancel your camp registration 8 or more days before the start date, the Zoo will refund the registration fee, except for $10. This fee is applied per child per day you cancel. The Zoo will not refund any registration fees if cancellation occurs within 7 days of the start date.

Please call 785-368-9137 for more information. You can sign up for one or multiple days of camp at a time; payment required to secure registration.

Temperature Checks: Zoo camp staff and students will have their temperatures checked with a no-contact thermometer every morning before camp.

Zoo Mask Policy

Individuals age 10 and older must wear a mask indoors at all times. When outdoors, they must wear a mask if they cannot social distance from other individuals/families; however, if 6 feet or more can be maintained between others, then masks are not required outdoors.

There are no mask requirements for children age 9 and younger. They are encouraged to wear a mask; however, they do not have to (both indoors or outdoors).

KDHE Forms

These forms are required to be completed by the morning of the first day of camp (before you drop your child off), otherwise your child cannot attend camp until we have the following paperwork. These are kept on file for an entire calendar year–so you only need to fill them out once per camp year. Thus, if your child attended spring break or summer camp at the zoo in 2017, you do NOT need to refill out these forms.

Health History Form –> Required for ALL children. Immunization records are not required if your child attended school in Kansas, Missouri, or Oklahoma this year. Immunization records are required if they did not attend public/private school or attended in another state other than KS, MO, or OK. Please note that this form has to be completed in its entirety. We need all names and street addresses where it asks for them (street intersections do not work). If none of the boxes at the top of page 2 are applicable, please write “NA” in each box.

Authorization for Emergency Medical Care –> Required for ALL children. You do not need a notary if you have someone else witness your signature and sign as well. Please note, health insurance information is required at the bottom. If your child does not have any allergies, please write “NA” on that line.

The following two forms are only required for children who bring medication to camp. You will only choose one of the following forms.

Authorization for Self-Administration of Medication –> Please fill this out if you have a child who will be dispensing their own medications while at camp–including medicine, EpiPens, inhalers, etc. This means that camp counselors do not carry around these items and the camper is responsible for dispensing medication to themselves. You do NOT need it signed by a licensed physician or nurse practitioner.

Authorization for Dispensing Medications to Children –> Please fill this out if you have a child who wishes to have camp staff dispense medication to them. This includes having counselors carry around EpiPens, inhalers, medicines, etc and having the staff dispense it as needed.

You may email completed forms to before camp starts or may bring them to the first day of camp your child attends this year. Please contact 785-368-9137 with questions.

Thinking about a membership? If you are signing up for at least camps, a family FOTZ membership pays for itself! Click here to learn more about the benefits of becoming a member or sign up today.