Hitchcock Nature Center

Summer camps at Hitchcock Nature Center in Honey Creek, Iowa, are all about the outdoors. Here, preschoolers learn how to catch and release.


Preschoolers just want to have fun. And there are day camps designed just for them and their interests. Think water adventures, outdoor exploration, learning to be a Jedi and spending time with animals.

Water Wipeout

Jump, belly flop or dive into camp with water-filled events — balloons, slides, games and races. Welcome to this watery world.

When: May 31-Aug. 5, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays

Where: Armbrust YMCA, 5404 S. 168th St., Omaha; Council Bluffs YMCA, 7 S. Fourth St., Council Bluffs; Maple Street YMCA, 7502 Maple St., Omaha; Sarpy Community YMCA, 1111 E. First St., Papillion; Southwest YMCA, 13010 Atwood Ave., Omaha

Who: Ages 3-5

Cost: $20 for members, $30 for nonmembers

Information: metroymca.org

KinderNature Camps: Insect Safari

These campers are on the hunt — for insects. Youngsters go armed with nets for catching and magnifying lenses for viewing during the great outdoor safari. There’s time for crafts and games, too.

When: June 3, 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m.; children may attend one two-hour session

Where: Hitchcock Nature Center, 27792 Ski Hill Loop, Honey Creek, Iowa

Who: Ages 3-5

Cost: $15 per camp

Mini Jedi Training

May the Force be with you as you investigate robots, light sabers and space travel. Explore droids and build models of space communities.

When: June 6-10, June 13-17, July 18-22 and July 25-29, 9 a.m. to noon; June 20-24 and June 27-July 1, 1 to 4 p.m.

Where: Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St.

Who: Ages 4-5

Cost: $120 members, $135 nonmembers

Information: ocm.org

Dancing in the Desert

Be ready for sand while you learn about the animals that dwell in the desert. They include head-bobbing meerkats, slithering snakes, fringy iguanas and birds of many colors. Don’t forget your water bottle. It gets hot in the desert.

When: June 20-24, 9 a.m. to noon

Where: Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.

Who: Ages 3-4

Cost: $65 for members, $70 for nonmembers

Information: omahazoo.com

Little Farmers Camp

There’s a lot to do on this educational working farm. Besides farm chores, campers will have story time, songs and crafts.

When: June 20-24, June 27- July 1, July 11-15 and July 18-22, each 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where: Camp ­Gifford Farm, 700 Camp Gifford Road, Bellevue

Who: Ages 4 and 5

Cost: $100

Information: 402-597-4920, giffordfarm@esu3.org

— Compiled by Sue Story Truax

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