Essex County News

Essex County Offers Spring and Summer Camps


Essex County, NJ – Essex County is offering several camp options for children of all ages for both spring break and the summer at the Turtle Back Zoo, Codey Arena and the Essex Count Environmental Center.

“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," said county executive Joseph DiVincenzo.  "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 Learn to Skate programs.  Every day brings something new in Essex."

Turtle Back Zoo offers several week-long camp adventures that introduce children to the extraordinary world of animals, nature and science.  The week-long Spring Break Mini-Camp is from Monday, April 10 to Friday, April 14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.  A camp day includes hands-on scientific experiments, teacher-led lessons, behind-the-scenes experiences, up-close animal encounters, fun crafts and, of course, time in the Zoo. Attend for one day or all week.

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The Zoo Summer Camp is available for children ages 5 to 14. Campers will participate in age-appropriate themed camps that include hands-on scientific inquiry, teacher-led lessons, behind-the-scenes experiences, up-close animal encounters, and fun crafts and activities. Online registration opens to Zoological Society members on March 18. Registration for the general public will open two weeks later. 

To learn more about these programs or to register, visit

The Essex County Environmental Center 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. Children will have the opportunity to explore the nearby environment with an experienced educator/naturalist to help restore the bond between children and nature. The sessions are scheduled for Tuesday, April 11, Wednesday, April 12 and Thursday, April 13 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $125 per child for all three days or $50 per child per day.

The Nature Explorers Summer Camp is a one-week program for children in pre-kindergarten to grade four. Students 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 10 to 14 and July 17 to 21 from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. each day. Sessions for children in grades 1 and 2 will be held July 24 to 28 and July 31 to August 4 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. each day. Sessions for children in grades 3 and 4 will be held August 7 to 11 and August 14 to 18 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. each day. Cost is $160 per child/per week for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten sessions; $180 per child/per week for grades 1 and 2; and $200 per child/per week for grades 3 and 4.

A minimum number of participants, advanced registration and payment are required. For information, call the Environmental Center at 973-228-8776. The Essex County Environmental Center is located at 621B Eagle Rock Avenue in Roseland.

Essex County Codey Arena has sessions of its Learn to Skate camps available for young skaters.

Learn to Skate classes start the week of Tuesday, March 21 and last for eight weeks. Sessions are offered once a week: Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., Friday at 4:30 p.m. or Saturday at 11:15 a.m. All classes are 30 minutes long followed with free admission to a public skating session for those enrolled in the classes. Cost is $140. There is an additional $15 USFS fee for new registrations.

For information about and fees for the skating programs call the arena at 973-731-3828. Essex County Codey Arena is located at 560 Northfield Avenue in West Orange.


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