Readers' choice Star Local Media 2017Do you remember the joy of spending childhood summers outdoors? Register for Heard Summer Nature Camps and share those wonderful moments and memories with your child. The Heard’s mission is to inspire children to discover, enjoy, experience, and restore our priceless environment.

Heard Summer Camps feature opportunities for children from north Texas and beyond to delve into the wonders of nature on our 289-acre sanctuary, encounter animal ambassadors, investigate nature-themed topics, and more. Studies have shown that spending time outdoors is not only fun for our children, but also plays an important role in many facets of child development.

At this time, Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary is planning to hold our in-person Summer Nature and Specialty Camps as scheduled. Because the health and safety of our campers and staff are a priority, we will implement recommended CDC guidelines as applicable. These may include requiring all staff and campers to wear face masks, conducting health screenings on arrival for both staff and campers such as taking temperatures, and asking pertinent questions about recent travel activities and health status. All campers and staff that have recently been ill or exposed to COVID-19 will not be allowed at camp. While we always limit class sizes to ensure the best possible camp experience, we will further limit class sizes to levels that allow for appropriate social distancing while in our classrooms and outside. Diligent adherence to regular hand washing and sanitizing for all will be stressed. We will also conduct extra sanitizing and cleaning of shared spaces and classroom items. Recent studies also indicate that outdoor activities, such as provided during out Nature Camps, have inherently less risk for catching Covid 19. Specific guidelines for each camp will be provided to registered campers before their scheduled camp. Camps may be rescheduled or canceled as dictated by changing conditions or governmental orders.

2020 Summer Camp Information

Registration now open to the public! See registration links below. A completed application must include:

  • a completed registration form
  • payment in full
  • immunization forms

Summer Camp Offerings

Summer Nature Camps  register

9:30AM-2:30PM 
Week-long Camps
$210 Heard Museum Members* | $235 non-members
Ages: 5-12 Years (as of June 1, 2020)
Pre-registration is required. 

These weeklong Heard Summer Nature Camps will feature opportunities to delve into the wonders of nature on our 289-acre sanctuary, encounter animal ambassadors, investigate nature-themed topics, and more! Pre-registration is required.

  • Camp Squirrel  - SOLD OUT
    • Dates:
      • June 8-12 - SOLD OUT
      • June 15-19 - SOLD OUT
    • Topics:
      • Mammal Mania – Discover all about these furry critters that can be found all over the world from land to sea.
      • Home Sweet Habitat – Nests, burrows, and caves are just some of the places animals make their homes. Investigate who lives where and why!
      • Secret Lives of Seeds – What is a seed? How do they get from one place to another? Investigate some of the different ways they are used.
      • Nature 9 to 5 – Day and night, there are animals going about their business. Explore which animals are nocturnal, diurnal or crepuscular.
      • Ecogames – our traditional end of the week celebration
  • Camp Bald Eagle register
    • Dates:
      • June 22-26
      • June 29-July 3
    • Topics: 
      • Winging It – What makes a bird a bird? What kind of beaks and feet do they have? What is migration and who does it? Explore these questions and more!
      • Branching Out – How many different things that come from trees do you use all the time? Delve into this amazing group of plants and discover their many roles in nature.
      • Wetland Bioblitz – Be a scientist for the day and investigate what flora and fauna live in our wetlands.
      • Color Me Wild – From bright to dull, light to dark, learn about the many ways color makes an impact in the natural world.
        Ecogames – our traditional end of the week celebration

Nature Art Camps register (Waitlisted)

9:30 AM-12:30 PM
Pre-registration is required. 
All art supplies are included. 

  • July 20-24
  • Ages: 6-12 Years (as of June 1, 2020)
  • $160 Heard Museum Members* | $185 non-members
  • Youth artists will follow in the footsteps of great artists such as Audubon, Beatrix Potter and Anna Atkins, with unique opportunities to create their own art inspired by nature and live animals. Each day, a different type of medium will be explored.
  • Projects: botanical blueprints, watercolor, fabric wall hanging ,and paper mache sculpture. Campers will respond to the beauty of the Heard Sanctuary and wildlife through hands on art experiences.

Our Nature Art Camps will be led by Lynne Hubner, who serves as the exhibit curator at the Heard. Ms. Hubner earned a BFA in Drawing from Manhattanville College, New York, as well as an MFA in Printmaking from the University of North Texas. Hubner is the co-founder and past president of the North Texas Printmakers Guild. She runs an active printmaking studio in the Historic District of McKinney, Texas where non-toxic processes are stressed. She is an independent artist, lecturer, educator and workshop facilitator.

Keeper Camps register

9:30AM-2:30PM
Week-long Camps
$260 Heard Museum Members* | $285 non-members
Ages: 10-15 Years (as of June 1, 2020)
Pre-registration is required. 

  • Keeper 1  register
    • Dates
      • June 1-5
      • July 6-10 - SOLD OUT
    • Campers experience a behind-the-scenes, hands-on adventure with our education and exhibit animals. Learn about our different animals and what it takes to properly care for them. Pre-registration is required.
  • Keeper 2  register
    • July 20-24
    • Want more? Continue your adventure and discover even more about taking care of animals and enriching the lives of our animal ambassadors. Prerequisite: must have attended Keeper Camp 1. Pre-registration is required.

Magic Planet Camp register

Additional dates added: June 15-19 and June 29-July 3
9:30am to Noon
Tuition: $100 Heard Museum Members* | $110 non-members
Ages: 5*-12 *Participants must have completed one year of Kindergarden prior to camp.
Pre-registration is required. 

Journey through our Solar System and beyond!  This camp will use the Magic Planet, a 4-ft digital interactive globe, to explore the unique characteristics of the planets, their moons, and other objects seen in our night sky.  We’ll also spend time exploring the fascinating characteristics of the planet we know best – the Earth!

Camp Roly Poly - SOLD OUT

Rescheduled for July 27-31 - SOLD OUT
9:30am to Noon
Tuition: $100 Heard Museum Members* | $110 non-members
Age: for PreK campers born between January 2015 and January 2017 (3.5 through younger 5 year olds that have not attended Kindergarten)
Participating campers must be able to use the restroom by themselves.
Pre-registration is required. 

Camp Roly Poly is a summer nature camp just for preschoolers! Based on our popular Nature Preschool, each day we’ll meet one of the Heard’s live animal ambassadors and take a nature hike to explore different habitats from wetlands and forests to prairie and ponds.  We’ll also prowl through museum exhibits, participate in hands-on science activities, sing songs, listen to stories, and play nature themed-games. A simple snack (such as animal crackers, goldfish, or pretzels with a glass of water) will be served. 

Summer Mini Camps - SOLD OUT

Pre-registration is required for all mini camps.
Ages: 6-11 (as of June 1, 2020) *Participants must have completed one year of Kindergarden prior to camp.
Time: 9:30am – noon
Tuition: $22/non-member; $18/members (per mini camp)
*Mini Camps are not included in the Early Bird Offer.

  • Tuesday, July 14 – Mammal Mania - SOLD OUT - Discover all about these furry critters that can be found all over the world from land to sea. 

  • Wednesday, July 15 – Secret Lives of Seeds - SOLD OUT - What is a seed? How do they get from one place to another? Investigate some of the different ways they are used. 

  • Thursday, July 16 – Winging It - SOLD OUT - What makes a bird a bird? What kind of beaks and feet do they have? What is migration and who does it? Explore these questions and more! 

  • Friday, July 17 – Color Me Wild - SOLD OUT - From bright to dull, light to dark, learn about the many ways color makes an impact in the natural world. 

Magic Planet Tuesday & Thursday Mini-Camps register

This series of Heard mini-camps will take place during the latter half of July on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9:30 to noon.  All sessions will meet in the Magic Planet exhibit room for the bulk of the morning but will usually involve a short period of time outdoors if the heat is not extreme. Each session will include Magic Planet time, hands-on or movement activities, and a visit from a Heard Animal Ambassador. Snacktime is not included. Participants are welcome to sign up for all sessions or for the individual sessions which best fit their schedule and interests.

Ages 6-12. Spots are limited. Pre-registration is required. $22/non-members; $18/members. Snack time not included. Time: 9:30am – noon

  • Tuesday, July 21 – Extreme Weather! -- Tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods -- What are the ingredients that create the kinds of extreme weather events that we experience in Texas? We’ll use the Magic Planet and weather instruments to learn more about these magical weather ingredients that we actually experience every day! register
  • Thursday, July 23 – Here Comes the Sun! – The star of our solar system provides us with light, heat, and the gravity which keeps our planet securely in the Goldilocks zone. We’ll use the Magic Planet to explore the Sun’s characteristics and then further explore the sun’s heat by making solar ovens.  We’ll know our ovens are successful when the chocolate chips and marshmallows melt! register
  • Tuesday, July 28 – Sharks!  Join us as we dive into the world of sharks to discover different shark species, where they live, and how they hunt.  Our program will include a short walk to the slough (a leftover portion of Wilson Creek) where we’ll determine why we would or wouldn’t encounter sharks in our North Texas waterways. register
  • Thursday, July 30 – More Sharks!  We’ll explore some of the facts and fantasies surrounding the prehistoric Megalodon, then take a plunge into the myths and legends of modern sharks.   We’ll also venture out into the portion of the Cretaceous Seaway currently known as the Heard Sanctuary to try to figure out just how big Megalodons really were! register
  • Tuesday, Aug 4 – Out of this World!  -- What’s that big spot on Jupiter?  What happened to Pluto? We’ll answer these questions and more on a Magic Planet tour of our solar system.  Hands-on and movement activities will help us experience concepts such as rotation, revolution, and gravity. register
  • Thursday, Aug 6 – The Earth is Always Changing! – Some changes are slow, and some are fast. But one thing’s for sure: the earth’s surface changes constantly, whether we can see it or not!  The Magic Planet and hands-on activities will help us get down and dirty with plate tectonics, earthquakes, and volcanoes. register   

The Heard offers Heard Summer Camp t-shirts (available only when ordered by May 1) and Heard insulated water bottle carriers (while supplies last).

This Year's Summer Camp T-Shirt Design

Summer Camp T-Shirt

Click here to view the Heard's Medication Policy.
Refund Policies
  • Deadline for 100% refund less a $20 admin fee – May 1
  • Deadline for 50% refund less the $20 admin fee – May 15 (no refunds available after this date).
  • Rescheduling of camp weeks may be possible after May 15 only as available
    • Please note that a $20 admin fee will apply for any modifications to registration after May 15.
    • Participants will also be responsible for any applicable additional fees that may be required for different camp type selection. No refund will be available for camps of a lesser price.
*Please note that the reciprocal admission agreement (click here for guidelines) that the Heard has with Perot Museum, Fort Worth Museum of Nature & Science and ASTC Passport Program participants does not apply to education programs or special events.