Houston Arboretum Camp

4501 Woodway Drive,
Houston, TX, 77024

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Head to the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center for fun-filled, week-long camps that explore the natural world through active, hands-on, indoor and outdoor adventures.

Campers ages 4-12 are invited to come learn in this 155-acre outdoor classroom.

Sign up for Wild Science over Spring Break or pick from five exciting topics this summer: Micro World, Outdoor Adventures, First Texans, Nature’s Inventors, or Angry Earth.

All camps include a combination of crafts, experiments, and outdoor excursions.

QUESTIONS? CALL 713-681-8433

About the Arboretum

The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is a 155-acre non-profit urban nature sanctuary located just miles from Downtown Houston on the western edge of Memorial Park. Established in 1967, the Arboretum was one of the first nature education facilities for children in the state of Texas, and it continues to provide nature education for more than 10,000 children annually and reach over 600,000 visitors each year. 

Visitors can enjoy 5 miles of nature trails, winding through native prairie, savanna, wetland, woodland, and riparian habitats. Six educational Field Stations throughout the site offer information about local plants and wildlife as well as places to sit and take in the views. The Arboretum’s eight ponds and wetland areas, along with Buffalo Bayou on its southern border, provide ample opportunities for exciting wildlife sightings.

The Nature Center building is open to the public and includes a Nature Shop filled with items for nature lovers of all ages as well as an interactive Discovery Room. Educational exhibits, hands-on activities, live ambassador animals, biofacts, and a weekly botany display make the Discovery Room the perfect place for visitors young and old to explore.

This 155-acre site serves as an outdoor classroom and backdrop for year-round educational opportunities. Schools, children, families, adults, and educators are all invited to learn and explore during one of the Arboretum’s many classes and events. The natural setting also provides a unique space for special events such as meetings, weddings, birthday parties, and more.

The Arboretum is a private non-profit educational space whose Board of Directors and staff operate City of Houston land under an agreement with the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department. Funding for the Arboretum’s operations is provided primarily through grants, earned income, and generous donations from both corporations and individuals.


The mission of the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is to provide education about the natural environment to people of all ages and to protect and enhance the Arboretum as a haven and as a sanctuary for native plants and animals.


The land on which the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center sits is part of Memorial Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country. From 1917 to 1923, the land was the site of Camp Logan, a World War I Army training camp. After the war, in 1924, the land was deeded to the City of Houston to be set aside as a park dedicated to the memory to the fallen soldiers of World War I.

The idea to create an arboretum began with local ecologist and educator Robert A. Vines who advocated carving out a piece of land from Memorial Park to serve as a nature sanctuary. In 1951, City Council agreed to his proposal and set aside 265 acres as an arboretum and botanical garden; since that time, roads and their rights-of-way have reduced the size of the arboretum to 155 acres. Vines’ intense botanical research sparked the interest and enthusiasm of Mrs. Susan M. McAshan, Jr., and in 1966, through a major contribution from the McAshan Educational and Charitable Trust, the Aline McAshan Botanical Hall for Children was funded.

On February 17, 1967, ground was broken for a nature center building. In the 1980s, the organization changed its name from the Houston Botanical Society to the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center to better represent the wild and natural quality of the surrounding grounds.

In 1995, funds from a capital campaign provided for a building renovation and the installation of new, state-of-the-art Discovery Room exhibits. This expansion allowed for an increase in the variety of Nature Center program offerings and sparked a surge in attendance.

The Meadow Restoration Project began in 1999 with a gift from Marie and Anthony Kraft. Through cooperation of many state and local agencies, the Arboretum was able to perform a much-needed prescribed burn to renovate soil and improve vegetation in the meadow.

The Charlotte Couch Memorial Birding Walkway was dedicated in the fall of 2000. Designed and built to reduce impact to the forest habitat, this raised walkway allows visitor access to views of Buffalo Bayou and the forest canopy while protecting a fragile ecotone.

A Wildlife Garden, which demonstrates plantings appropriate to attract hummingbirds, butterflies and other wildlife to an urban backyard, and the Carol Tatkon Sensory Garden featuring native plants attractive to the senses are the latest additions to the Arboretum’s ever-changing landscape.


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  • Website: http://www.houstonarboretum.org