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.

2019 Summer Camp Information

early birdEarly Bird Registration: Register for a week-long camp by March 26 and receive a $25 Heard Nature Store gift certificate (limit one per family/household). Only completed applications are eligible for the Early Bird Gift Certificate offer. A completed application must include: 

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

Summer Camp Flyer LinkSummer Camp Offerings

Camp Availability Listed by Age Ranges

Summer Nature Camps

Week-long Camps
$210 Heard Museum Members* | $235 non-members
Ages: 5-12 Years (as of June 1, 2019)
Pre-registration is required. Click here to register

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 Kestrel register
    • Dates:
      • June 10-14
      • June 17-21 (waitlist)
    • Topics:
      • Winged Predators – Learn about animals that hunt their prey from up in the sky.
      • Don’t Mess with Texas – Where does your water come from? Where does your trash go? Learn about how we can all help keep Texas clean.
      • Positively Prairie – Learn about the who, what, and why of our local Blackland Prairie ecosystem.
      • Animal Marvels – Superheroes aren’t real, but these amazing animals are.
      • Ecogames – Enjoy our traditional end-of-the-week celebration.
  • Camp Bullfrog register
    • Dates:
      • June 24-28 (waitlist)
      • July 8-12
    • Topics: 
      • Pond Predators – Explore the variety of predators that hunt in the watery depths.
      • Deep in the Heart of Texas – Discover some of our state symbols and the importance of our native plants and animals.
      • Butterflies, Bees & Birds – Learn about pollinators that help our plants grow.
      • Herps ‘R’ Us – Be a herpetologist and study all about reptiles and amphibians. 
      • Ecogames – Enjoy our traditional end-of-the-week celebration.

Nature Art Camps 

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

  • Nature Art Camp Butterfly register
    • June 3-7
    • Registration deadline: May 17
    • Ages: 12-16 Years (as of June 1, 2019)
    • Tuition (register by day or for the whole week)
      • Week rate (Save $15): $160 Heard Museum Members* | $185 non-members 
      • Per Day: $35 Heard Museum Members* | $40 non-members 
    • Projects
      • Monday – Indigo and natural dye fabric. Arashi and Kanoko Shibori.
      • Tuesday – Clay planters and pendants
      • Wednesday – Nature Journaling gesture and expanded studies of wildlife and objects from the museum collections 
      • Thursday - Wire wrap pendants and figures
      • Friday – Weaving with multi-media fabric, paper, natural materials wall hanging
  • Nature Art Camp Caterpillar - SOLD OUT
    • July 15-19
    • Ages: 6-11 Years (as of June 1, 2019)
    • $160 Heard Museum Members* | $185 non-members
    • Youth artists will follow in the footsteps of great artists such as Audubon and Monet 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: Nature Journaling, watercolor, acrylic and clay. 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 acting 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. She specializes in relief printmaking in its many permutations. She is a frequent workshop presenter at the Women Printmakers of Austin and Burning Bones Press in Houston. She is also an instructor at Ghost Ranch, the Nature Printmaking Society, Wingtip Press, Flatbed Press, the Georgetown Arts Center and a featured presenter with Print Houston and Print Austin.

Keeper Camps

Week-long Camps
$260 Heard Museum Members* | $285 non-members
Ages: 10-15 Years (as of June 1, 2019)
Pre-registration is required. Click here to register

  • Keeper 1 
    • Dates
      • June 3-7 SOLD OUT
      • July 15-19 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 22-26
    • 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 - SOLD OUT

June 3-7 
9:30 AM-12:30 PM
$160 Heard Museum Members* | $185 non-members
Ages: 6-11
Pre-registration is required. Click here to register

Journey through our Solar System and beyond!  This new 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

June 3-7  
9:30am to Noon
Tuition: $100 Heard Museum Members* | $110 non-members
Age: for PreK campers born between January 2014 and January 2016 (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. 

New! 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 REGISTER

Pre-registration is required for all mini camps. Click here to register.
Ages: 6-11 (as of June 1, 2019)
Time: 9:30am – noon
Tuition: $22/non-member; $18/members (per mini camp)
*Mini Camps are not included in the Early Bird Offer.

  • Monday, July 1 – Herps R Us – Be a herpetologist and study all about reptiles and amphibians.

  • Tuesday, July 2 – Animal Marvels – Superheroes may not be real, but these amazing animals are.

  • Wednesday, July 3 – Butterflies, Bees & Birds – Learn about these and other pollinators that help our plants grow.

July 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 6-11. Spots are limited, so pre-registration is required. $22/non-members; $18/members. click here to register

Tuesday, July 16 – 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.

Thursday, July 18 –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.   

Tuesday, July 23 – 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!

Thursday, July 25 -- 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!

Tuesday, July 30 – 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. 

Thursday, Aug 1 – Sharks, the Sequel!  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!

*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.

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