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Winter Nature Camp

Humber Arboretum day camps are based out of the Centre for Urban Ecology, but campers spend most of their time outdoors making their own discoveries in the woodlands, meadows, and gardens of the Humber Arboretum. Active and engaging, our nature camps are designed for ages 5-12 and take place within the northwest part of the City of Toronto.

Shelter building, animal tracking, chickadee feeding, and other seasonal fun awaits campers at Winter Nature Camp.

Children build an outdoor shelter out of branches

Due to the timing of the holidays, Winter Nature Camp 2019 will take place over THREE days this year, Wednesday January 2nd to Friday January 4th.

Kids aged 5-12 are invited to start the new year with three full days of seasonal outdoor fun, led by the Humber Arboretum's Nature Interpreters. Give your child a chance to get outside and be active while they develop a lasting appreciation for the natural environment.

New this year are daily themes for the three days of camp. Winter Break is the only camp where we offer single-day bookings, so your kids can sign up for the full three days OR pick the day with the activities that most interest them!

Winter Survival Camp 2019

Every day we’ll hand-feed chickadees and take a winter hike or head out to the outdoor playground. Plus:

Wednesday January 2nd - Warmth and Shelter
We'll learn how blubber helps keep animals warm, build our own winter shelter, and learn how to safely light a fire.

Thursday January 3rd - Animal Tracks and Signs
We'll see who we can find with some animal tracking and an owl prowl, then dissect an owl pellet. We'll also measure the pond ice and, if it's thick enough, make our own tracks with a little boot skating*.

Friday January 4th - Winter Moves
If we have enough snow we'll snowshoe out to the toboggan hill*; otherwise we'll play a winter survival game and make crafts to help fuel birds as they fly.

*Campers are asked to bring a helmet if they have one for boot skating and tobogganing. Some extras will be available if required.

Please note that ALL nature camp activities are weather-dependent and changes to planned programming may be required.

Cost & Policies - 2019

Winter Nature Day Camp runs from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm. Before care (from 8:00 am) and aftercare (until 5:30 pm) is available for an additional fee. The cost of camp is:*

  • Three days of camp - $150
  • Single day of camp - $55
  • Before care - $9 per day
  • Aftercare - $10 per day
  • Both before and aftercare - $16 per day

Meals and Transportation

The children will bring their own lunches, snacks, and drinks each day except for Friday, when pizza lunch will be provided by the Arboretum. Please inform us of any food allergies and please do not bring nut products of any kind to camp. We strive to minimize the amount of waste produced at the Centre, and a key part of that is promoting Litterless Lunches. Please bring only reusable or recyclable containers and utensils. We will ask campers to take their garbage and anything that can’t be recycled here back home and to compost any food waste using our on-site compost bins. For tips, see WasteFreeLunches.org.

The Humber Arboretum and Centre For Urban Ecology is accessible by TTC - see our directions page for details.

What to Bring

  • Warm coat
  • Snow pants
  • Scarf
  • Gloves/Mittens - 2-3 pairs for when they get wet
  • Long underwear
  • Winter boots
  • Thick socks - several pairs!
  • Toque
  • Sweater
  • Sunglasses
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Willingness to play in the cold!

Mossy’s Winter Clothing Tips

Whether it’s for coming to camp or just a walk in the woods, Sneior Nature Interpreter Mossy has some tips on how you – and Redwing – can best dress for winter weather:

  • Wool is wonderful
  • Cotton is cold
  • Polyester (Polar fleece) is perfect
  • Jeans are junk
  • Gloves are good but mittens are marvelous
  • Insulated boots are indispensable
  • Layering is logical
  • Under layers should not be underestimated!