Summer Camp | Hands-On House

*Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays. *Morning and afternoon sessions. *$30 per session.

Click here to register now on Sign-up Genius! 

UPDATED 6/7/2020:  Hands-on House will be offering camp activities this summer, beginning Tuesday, June 16!  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have altered the structure and programming to protect the health and safety of our campers and staff and to comply with current state regulations and color phase guidelines.

Camp Structure

  • We’ve combined on-site programs with take-home activities.
  • Rather than 5 consecutive days, we will be offering 9 unique on-site days over a 3-week period (which will be repeated weeks 4-6 and weeks 7-9). See Camp Sessions listing below. A bonus day of Virtual Space will also be available. Fees will be structured per-day rather than per-week. Register as often as you wish – space will be limited!
  • Camp will be held (weather permitting) Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays beginning June 16. Campers must be pre-registered and have all necessary paperwork submitted at least 72 hours before attending their first session.
  • Campers will sign up for morning sessions from 9:00-11:00 a.m. or afternoon sessions from 12:30-2:30 p.m..
  • Each day will consist of a series of Hands-on House activities around a theme and self-guided free-time play. Select days will include take-home activities or virtual activities to extend the learning and fun to home.
  • Campers must be 4 years old by September 30.
  • All children attending MUST be toilet trained (not needing diapers or pull-ups).
  • Cost is $30 per session. Click here to register on our Sign-up Genius page. 

Addressing COVID-19

  • Camp will be outdoors only except for restroom breaks.
  • Staff is required to wear face masks. Children are encouraged but not required to wear face masks. Adults dropping off and picking up campers must wear face masks.
  • Before leaving home, parents are to ensure children are not symptomatic.
  • At drop off, the first and last name of the child is to be boldly written and visible in the front passenger side windshield. Temperatures will be taken, children signed in, and then children will be led inside to wash their hands.
  • To pick up, have child’s name displayed as before. The child will be brought out and signed out by you.
  • We have imposed a maximum of 16 children per session.
  • Sessions with 10 or more children will be divided into two groups.
  • Social distancing will be enforced as best as possible during planned activities. No more than 10 people will be permitted in a designated area at the same time.
  • Between sessions, materials and equipment will be cleaned per CDC guidelines.

Weather and Cancellation

  • In the event of rain, color phase change, or health/safety risk to the children, camp will be closed. We will aim to communicate to families via email and/or text 45 minutes before scheduled start time. If camp is in session and we need to close, children will be escorted inside to safely await your arrival. It is expected the child will be picked up within 20 minutes of notification.
  • In the event of a weather-related closure, we will schedule a make-up day for Friday of that week. If Friday is rained out, an alternative day can be scheduled. No refunds will be issued.
  • In the event of a COVID-19 exposure, Hands-on House will shut down upon notification to properly sanitize before reopening. A notification will be sent to all camper families via email, text or phone as quickly as possible.

Camp Sessions

Backyard Bugs

Meet the insects and spiders that call the Hands-on House Garden their home. Did you know that Scientists think there are more kinds of insects than any other animal in the world? Campers will go on a Backyard Bug Hunt to discover the kinds of insects you can find right in your own backyard. We will learn how a spider makes a web to catch its prey, learn some fun facts about insects and spiders, and participate in all kinds of bug-themed activities!

Tuesday June 16 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. sold out  
Tuesday July 7 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday July 28 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.


Be a Paleontologist and uncover clues from the past that help us understand what the Dinosaurs looked like long ago, what they ate, and what may have caused them to become extinct. Campers will dig up claws, bones, and teeth of these prehistoric reptiles. We will make a fossil from clay, erupt a volcano and have all kinds of Dino fun!

Wednesday June 17  9:00 – 11:00 a.m. sold out  
Wednesday July 8  9:00 – 11:00 a.m. 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday July 29  9:00 – 11:00 a.m. 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Ahoy, Matey! Pirate Adventure

Aargh you ready for a Pirate Adventure? Batten down the hatches and set sail on the high seas in search of buried treasure. Combine the fun of pirate exploration with real scientific discovery. Campers will test their engineering skills as they design and test their own pirate ship in the “Don’t Sink the Ship” STEM challenge.

Thursday June 18  9:00 – 11:00 a.m. sold out  
Thursday July 9  9:00 – 11:00 a.m. 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Thursday July 30  9:00 – 11:00 a.m. 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Scales and Tails

Reptiles have lived on the earth for millions of years. Campers will feel like real scientists as they examine an iguana skull, a snapping turtle shell, a lizard fossil, a crocodile tooth and a rattlesnake X-ray. The adventure continues as we take a walk on the wild side to learn more about the three main groups of reptiles: tortoises and turtles, crocodiles and alligators, and lizard and snakes.

Tuesday June 23  9:00 – 11:00 a.m.  sold out 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday July 14  9:00 – 11:00 a.m. 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday August 4  9:00 – 11:00 a.m. 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Creature Close Up

There are more than 5,000 types of mammals on earth. Some live in the ocean. Some live on mountaintops or underground and a few even fly. Go under cover as we investigate five different replicas of real-life mammal specimens, including a beaver skull, a hippo tooth, a black bear claw, bobcat fossil tracks, and a fruit bat X-ray. Get up close and personal with hands-on activities that will examine creature features.

Wednesday June 24  9:00 – 11:00 a.m. 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday July 15  9:00 – 11:00 a.m. 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday August 5  9:00 – 11:00 a.m. 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

The Word on Birds

Detailed specimens will help young scientists develop essential skills in identifying and recognizing the characteristics of birds-hands on! An owl skull replica, a peacock feather, a sparrow nest replica, crows track fossil replica and a falcon X-ray will set the stage for learning activities centered around our fine feather friends.

Thursday June 25  9:00 – 11:00 a.m. 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Thursday July 16  9:00 – 11:00 a.m. 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Thursday August 6  9:00 – 11:00 a.m. 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.


Insects may be tiny, but you will discover how incredible they are when you examine our five realistic insect specimens: a laminated butterfly, dragonfly fossil replica, stag beetle in acrylic, silkworm cocoon in acrylic and a honeycomb. Become an insect inspector when the hands-on activities bring the great outdoors to you.

Tuesday June 30  9:00 – 11:00 a.m. 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday July 21  9:00 – 11:00 a.m.  12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday August 11  9:00 – 11:00 a.m. 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Undersea Adventure

Sea creature await as we dive down deep to uncover marine life specimens. No experience needed to explore a sea sponge, sea star, stingray jaw replica, piranha replica, and a shark tooth replica. Want to do more? Investigate some tide pool tidepool treasures when the beach comes to you.

Wednesday July 1  9:00 – 11:00 a.m. sold out 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday July 22  9:00 – 11:00 a.m. 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday August 12  9:00 – 11:00 a.m. 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

When Science Meets Art

What happens when you mix science with Art? Campers will explore the science of chemical reaction, reflection, chromatography and viscosity as they experiment and get a first-hand look at the science behind the art. Dress for mess in this hands-on activity day of discovery!

Thursday July 2  9:00 – 11:00 a.m. 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Thursday July 23  9:00 – 11:00 a.m. 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Thursday August 13  9:00 – 11:00 a.m. 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.


Access to the rear exhibit area of the museum may be limited through Friday, March 5 as we continue work on our upcoming construction exhibit.