ESSEX COUNTY, NJ – Spring and summer children's camps will be offered at the Turtle Back Zoo, Codey Arena, and the Essex County Environmental Center, according to a press release from the Office of the Essex County Executive. 

Joseph DiVincenzo, Essex County Executive, shared “Come participate in the many recreational and enrichment opportunities available for children of all ages. Young people can learn about nature and animals through exciting hands-on activities while visiting Essex County Turtle Back Zoo or our Environmental Center. Youngsters will have a fun-filled adventure when they go to one of our affordable camps at either facility. For a great physical challenge, they can hit the ice at Codey Arena in our ice skating camps.  Every day brings something new in Essex!” 


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Options at Turtle Back Zoo (560 Northfield Ave., West Orange) include several week-long summer camps that introduce children to the extraordinary world of animals, nature and science.

Turtle Back Zoo also has a Spring Break Mini Camp that is an educational camp that gets "students out of the classroom and into the zoo." Sessions are available for children ages 5 to 7 and ages 8 to 10 years. Camp will be held Monday, April 11 through Friday, April 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Registration is open now, click here.

Summer camps at Turtle Back Zoo are offered for children entering kindergarten and grades 1-8. Campers will be "introduced to the extraordinary world of animals, nature and science." The camps have age-appropriate themes and include games, teacher-led lessons, behind-the-scenes visits, up-close animal encounters, hands-on science, and fun crafts. Registration opens at 6 a.m. on March 28. For more information, click here.


The Essex County Environmental Center (621B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland) is offering Nature Explorers Spring and Summer Camps for children in pre-school to grade 5.

The Nature Explorers Spring Camp is a three-day program for children in grades 2 to 5. Participants will explore the nearby environment, "to help restore the bond between children and nature." The first session will be held on Tuesday, March 29, Wednesday, March 30, and Thursday, March 31 from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The second session will be held Tuesday, April 12, Wednesday, April 13, and Thursday, April 14 from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Nature Explorers Summer Camp is a one-week program for children in pre-kindergarten to grade 4. Students who attend will "explore woodland and river habitats for insects, birds, amphibians, Lenape life and much more." Children can sign up for one or two weeks per grade level.

Sessions for children in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten will be held July 11 to July 15, and July 18 to July 22 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sessions for children in grades 1 and 2 will be held July 25 to July 29 and August 1 to August 5 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sessions for children in grades 3 and 4 will be held August 8 to August 12 and August 15 to August 19 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

A minimum number of participants, advanced registration and payment are required. For more information, call the Environmental Center at 973-228-8776


Essex County Codey Arena (560 Northfield Ave., West Orange) has a spring and summer sessions of its Learn to Skate camps and a summer Figure Skating Camp for young skaters.

The Spring 2016 Learn to Skate begins April 5 and runs through May on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Registration opens Tuesday, March 1.

The Summer 2016 Learn to Skate runs from mid-June to early August on Tuesday and Saturday. Registration opens Tuesday, May 10. The Summer Figure Skating Camp will be held Monday to Friday from June 27 to August 5. Full and half day weekly sessions are available. There will be no classes held on July 4th.

For information about and fees for the skating programs, call the arena at 973-731-3828.