Zoo Camps

Zoo Camps

Join us at Turtle Back Zoo for some wild fun!

The mission of Turtle Back Zoo camp is to foster an appreciation for wildlife and the natural world through fun and educational activities.

To further our mission of conservation, education, and stewardship, campers will be introduced to the extraordinary world of animals, nature, and science.  Children will enjoy age appropriate camp activities that include games, teacher-led lessons, behind-the-scenes visits, up-close animal encounters, hands-on science projects, and fun crafts.  Join us for a week during the summer or on a school holiday during the school year.

During the summer, we offer week long summer camps for children entering Kindergarten and grades 1-8.  Camp is 9am to 4pm, with extended care options available.  Camp fees are $425 to $450 per person per week.  We also offer mini-camps throughout the school year on days that coincide with many of the major school holidays.  Available for ages 5 to 10, our mini-camp days are from 9am to 4pm (no extended care option).  Mini-camps are $85 per person per day.  

Upcoming Mini-Camp Sessions, Spring 2019


Animals communicate by sharing information, but how is that information generated and interpreted? Discover how and why animals communicate, explore some unusual styles of communication, and observe animal communication in action in the zoo.  For ages 5 to 10 years old; this is a full day, drop-off program. Cost is $85/camper/day.  Camp is Monday to Friday, April 15 to April 19, from 9am to 4pm.  Sign up for one day or all week.  Registration opens March 1.

To register for Spring Break Camp:  Spring Break Camp Registration

There are still camp spots open for ages 8 to 10 years old.


2019 Summer Camp Program

Registration for the general public opens on March 30 at 8:30am.

To register for Summer Camp:  Summer Camp Registration


TBZ Summer Camp 2019
weekly public camp sessions from July 8 to August 23
ages 5 (and entering K) to 14 (entering grade 8)

Camp is 9am to 4pm, with extended care options available.  Camp fees are $425 to $450 per person per week plus additional fees for extended care.  You provide lunch for your camper, we’ll supply fresh fruit for snacks.  Drop-off is at the Berson Education Center and the Mount Building Multi-purpose Room.

Age groups and camp themes

Zoo Tales

Stories, experiments, games, and crafts will make your camper an expert on all the “wild things” at the zoo.  For children age 5 and entering kindergarten.

Super Animals

Explore the wild and wonderful assortment of fascinating adaptations that help animals survive in their habitats.  For children entering 1st or 2nd grades.

Wild Designs

Discover the complex world of animals as expert engineers and builders.  For children entering 3rd or 4th grades.

Conservation Quest

From the role of zoos to invasive species, campers examine the world of conservation locally and beyond.  For children entering 5th or 6th grades.

Zoo Crew

Learn all about being a zoo keeper, from feeding the animals and creating enrichment activities, to building habitats.  For children entering 7th or 8th grades.


Last Hurrah Camp 2019
August 26 to August 30 (full week)
ages 5 (and entering K) to 10

Age groups and camp themes

Ages 5 to 7

Curriculum will be a mix of Zoo Tales and Super Animals activities and content.

Ages 8 to 10

Curriculum will be a mix of Wild Designs and Conservation Quest activities and content.


General Registration Information

*Please note, some sessions may already have sold out. You can sign up for the wait list through the registration link above.

Don’t have a CampDocs account yet? Read below to learn more about our new online registration system.

Payment must be made in full at the time of registration through CampDoc.com in order to secure your child’s place in camp.

Cancellation/Refund Policy
For mini-camps, cancellations with full refunds will only be accepted up to two weeks before the first day of your registered camp session.  Cancellations made within two weeks of the first day of your registered camp session are not guaranteed any refund.

For full-week summer camps, cancellations with full refunds will only be accepted up to three weeks before the first day of your registered camp session. Cancellations made within three weeks of the first day of your registered camp session are not guaranteed any refund. Cancellation requests can be submitted via your CampDoc.com account or emailed to mhunt@parks.essexcountynj.org.

Please Note

*New Jersey is considered a “no touch” animal state. Campers will get to see a variety of animals up close, but contact is limited to only domestic species.


We have a new system to register for zoo camps. All registration and forms can now be filled out online!

The first step is creating an account through the camp registration link found under the camp you want.

Have more than one child? All the information is kept under one account. Just add a new participant and enter in the information.

We know you might have questions with this new system, so feel free to reach out to us at #973-731-5800 (ex 103, 230, 275, or 236) or use some of the resources below to help answer some of your questions on the new system.

CampDoc has an extensive support page that you can access by clicking the Lifesaver Icon located in the top right corner. Here you will find many helpful documents that can help you use CampDoc to its full potential!

Here is a direct link to the support documents: https://support.docnetwork.org/hc/en-us/categories/115000363510-Participants.
If at any time you have questions that may not be in our support pages, you can contact our Help Desk at 734.636.1000 or you can email them at help@campdoc.com.[/minti_box]

Turtle Back Zoo

Please note our Sea Lion Sound & Touch Tank exhibits will be closed for maintenance - we plan to re-open in Fall 2019.
+ +