Summer Camp with Animals

Parent Q&A

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  • Summer camps with animals?

    Jan 9, 2020

    Hi community - we are looking for recommendations for summer camps with animals for a rising first graders. We know about the Oakland Zoo camps, but that’s about it. Thanks!

    If you're willing to go through the tunnel (and can do a pricier camp), Sienna Ranch runs farm camps that are supposed to be great. Fairyland's camps have a little animal interaction (but it's not a focus). The Oakland SPCA also runs a camp focused more on pets and pet care.

    Doodleton Ranch in Clayton offers summer camps with lots of animals and outside time! Highly recommended. Also, a fantastic setting for kids birthday parties!

    My kids have done Sienna Ranch camps and I highly recommend them. The staff are wonderful and they get a lot of hands time working with the farm animals and in the garden. They also have a horse focused camp among many other specialty camps. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Hands-on animal camp for a 1st Grader

August 2010

I have a child entering first grade who loves animals - mostly the kind with fur. Farm animals or domestic - it doesn't seem to matter. Is there a camp out there for her? I've looked into ARF, but it doesn't seem like they let the kids work with the animals until they're in 4th grade. Tilden Mini Rangers doesn't start until age 8. Slide Ranch, although it looks like a fabulous program, is just too far away. Where can I take her where she can learn about, pet, brush, feed, clean up after and actually be around animals? Thanks! Madeline

Sienna Ranch! It's in Lafayette, but it's well worth the 20 minute trip from Berkeley/Oakland. It's exactly what you're looking for. parent of happy camper

Animal-related camp or volunteer option

May 2010

Our two 13.5 years old nieces are coming from abroad to visit us in Berkeley this summer and would possibly like to join a camp or to volunteer at one. They love animals (grew up surrounded with dogs, cats, horses and more) so anything related would be best. They get along well in English but options that include improving English would also be great! Thanks

Try Camp ARF at Tony LaRussa's Animal Rescue Foundation. You can find more information about the camps at Happy ARF'er

Camps for Animal Lovers

Dec 2009

My daughter will be 10 this spring and I'm trying to identify summer camps that would satisfy her love of animals. Would love to hear about any and all camps that involve learning about and working with animals of all kinds. Thanks! Lisa

ARF in Walnut Creek has excellent camps for kids with a focus on animals. I believe animals (dogs/cats) join them on a regular basis. There is even dog training for the older ones. You may also try Lindsay Wildlife in Walnut Creek. Not sure of camps. lindsey