Summer Camp

A Message About COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Botanical Garden Camps Canceled for Summer 2020

With the health and safety of campers, their families, staff and volunteers in mind, the Botanical Garden has made the difficult decision to cancel all in-person camps for summer 2020 due to COVID-19. While we are sad we will not be able to welcome you to camp, we are working on alternative youth programming opportunities with similar themes to the ones that you know and love. We will keep you informed when these activities are ready.

Summer Camp in Des Moines is taking a walk on the wild side!

Botanical Garden summer camps in Des Moines allow youth to explore the natural world through the lens of their favorite activities. Using the gardens as unique classrooms, our summer day camps inspire youth to create and explore with hands-on activities. Guest speakers from a wide range of expertise will participate.  All camps run 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and are designed for first- through fifth-graders, unless otherwise noted.

We also offer a wide variety of school break camps throughout the year.

Summer Camp Prices

Full-Week Summer Camps:

Members $210, Nonmembers $250

Three-Day Summer Camps:

Members $125, Members with extended care $155

Nonmembers $150, Nonmembers with extended care $180

Extended care for three-day summer camps:
$30/youth which includes both AM and PM care for all three days of camp.
Available from 8:00-9:00 a.m. and 3:00-4:30 p.m.

2021 Summer Camps

Check back soon for 2021 summer camp registration!

We also offer a wide variety of school break camps throughout the year.

All camps are designed for first-through fifth-graders, unless otherwise noted. Enroll your child based on what grade they will enter in fall of 2020.

Prices are listed per child per camp and includes a camp souvenir, daily snack, supplies for all activities and multiple projects to take home and enjoy. Youth should bring a sack lunch to enjoy.

Camper Information Form

Multi-Age Classrooms
Advantages and benefits to cross-grade learning:

  • Encourages youth of all ages to learn together

  • Promotes cooperation and mentoring

  • Children learn at their own pace

  • Younger children look for guidance from the older students

  • Older students organically develop leadership skills

  • Allows older children to revisit and fully understand complex concepts while the younger students are being introduced to the idea

  • Educators have the capability to work with children individually or in a group with similar abilities and understanding regardless of age

Summer Camp Testimonials

Parents Tell us What They Love About our Summer Camp

“I loved how excited my son was about everything he was doing. I think it was a really special week for him. From my perspective the hours were really nice because we live in West Des Moines, so getting him down there took a little time. When I came for drop-off and pick-up I thought the environment seemed really positive and supportive. The staff always seemed excited and pleasant, so I felt good leaving him there.”

“We felt like the kids actually learned something valuable; mixing it up with the plant information, arts and crafts as well as outdoor fun. From what we saw come home and from what the kids told us each day it couldn’t have been more positive.”

“I like that they were busy all day…[my daughter] was proud of what she did and…you create an environment where the child is empowered to make things at home and that’s awesome.”

“My experience of some camps at other institutions is chaotic, exhausting for the campers. Every time I encountered the campers and staff the environment was calm.”

“That my kids loved it! They were excited to go each day, which means a lot!”

“The staff seemed knowledgeable and the size of the camp/counselor ratio was comforting.”

“I liked that the enrollment was small and there weren’t lots of kids in other camps simultaneously. He’s done a couple of other camps…and sometimes there are just too many kids there for us.”

“Excellent small group sizes, activities and topics for learning. Staff was also wonderful. These were the best camps we went to this summer. Well done!!”