As the weather heats up, parents everywhere endure a common tradition: the struggle to keep kids occupied during the summer.
Don’t let your child’s summer go to waste. From movie nights to canoeing, archery, and fishing, Precinct 4 offers a variety of summer camp activities from unique locations throughout the precinct. Check out some of our top activities below.
Bat Chat at Champion Forest Park
Thursday, July 2, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Ages 6 or older. Watch bats emerge from the Cypresswood Bridge over Cypress Creek while learning about the importance of bats and how to ensure their protection. Bring a lawn chair and arrive early. Space fills up quickly. Registration is required at Events.
Cub Scout Adventures
Tuesdays, Aug. 4, through Aug. 25, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Cub Scouts are invited to join a park naturalist each week for an outdoor adventure. For more information, call 713-274-4299. Registration is required.
Thursday, Aug. 6, at 10 a.m. Open to all ages. Learn geology basics and create your own pet rock. (No feeding or watering required). Registration is required at www.hcp4.net/events.
Reptile and Amphibian Study
Saturday, Aug. 8, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This program will cover basic requirements for earning the Boy Scouts Reptile and Amphibian Study merit badge. Children 10 or older or Scouts ranked above the basic level. Contact staff for details. Registration is required at Events.
Find Yourself Outdoors: Orienteering
Wednesday, Aug. 19, at 10 a.m. Gain experience reading a map and learn how to use a compass, a handy skill if exploring the great outdoors without cell service. Ages 10 or older. Registration is required at Events.
Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center
Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center Summer Nature Camp
Jones Park invites children 5 to 12 to learn all about pines, ponds, and prairies during Summer Nature Camp 2020.
Participants will enjoy educational demonstrations, hands-on activities, nature walks, crafts, and games, during this free four-day camp.
A parent or legal guardian must present the child’s birth certificate during registration, which begins on Saturday, May 2, at 8 a.m. Online registration will begin Monday, May 4, at 8 a.m. for Harris County residents. Online registration for non-Harris County residents begins Tuesday, May 5, until classes are full.
Wednesday, July 1, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Children 7 to 12 are invited to a fun-filled, one-day camp. Using props and hands-on activities, participants will team up in “families” for a journey to Texas. Find out what it takes to survive the hardships of earlier times and recreate a homestead. Reservations required beginning Wednesday, June 17.
Junior Canoe Training
Thursday, July 2, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jones Park invites children younger than 15 to earn their paddlers card, which will give them access to future park-sponsored canoe trips with an accompanying adult. Reservations required beginning Wednesday, June 17.
Saturday, July 4, at 10 a.m. Children 8 or older are welcome to join a staff naturalist to make American flag quilt squares, just like Betsy Ross! Bring your own sewing kit. All other materials are provided. Registration is required beginning Wed., June 17.
Geology of Jones Park
Saturday, July 25, at 10 a.m. Explore the park’s geologic processes and their relationships with the environment from a guest speaker. Children 10 or older will discover how geologic processes influence the balance between man and nature. Registration is required beginning Wednesday, July 15.
Year-round Outdoor Photography
Saturday, Aug. 22, 10 a.m. Children 10 or older are invited to a presentation from a member of the Kingwood Photo Club to learn tips for snapping the perfect shot and discovering the wonders of outdoor photography. Registration is required beginning Wednesday, Aug. 12.
Mercer Botanic Gardens
Outdoor Adventures Summer Camp at Mercer Botanic Gardens
Mercer invites children 6 to 11 to explore nature in the gardens by embarking on a nature treasure hunt. Participants will learn how to identify trees, birds, and other creatures found in the garden. Space is limited, and registration is required. Volunteer opportunities are also available. For more information or to register, contact Mercer Botanic Gardens at 713-274-4160 or mercerbotanicgardensathcp4.net. For a list of dates and camp themes, read more below.
- Outdoor Adventures: Tree ID Mystery. Tuesday, June 9, and Tuesday, July 7, from 9 a.m. to noon. Learn all about trees from the roots to the tip-top branches. Participants will learn how to identify trees, discover tree benefits, and explore wildlife tree habitats. Meet an arborist and help plant trees in Mercer’s West Side Arboretum.
- Outdoor Adventures: Birds of a Feather. Tuesday, June 16, and Tuesday, July 14, from 9 a.m. to noon. Ready for a day of feathered fun? Hit the trails to identify birds by how they look and sound, and share your findings on a citizen science program. Observe the natural habitats of birds, learn how to tell when they are nearby, investigate owl pellets, and more. Summer camp is for children 6 to 11. Space is limited, and registration is required. Volunteer opportunities are available. For more information or to register, call 713-274-4160.
- Outdoor Adventures: Creature Feature. Tuesday, June 23, and Tuesday, July 21, from 9 a.m. to noon. Investigate creatures that scamper, skitter, slither, and shuffle in the gardens. Search for evidence of animals and investigate the natural habitats of insects, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. Learn animal identification and tracking techniques. Summer camp is for children 6 to 11. Space is limited, and registration is required. Volunteer opportunities are available. For more information or to register, call 713-274-4160.
- Outdoor Adventures: Hike ‘N Hunt. Tuesday, June 30, and Tuesday, July 28, from 9 a.m. to noon. Hunt for hidden treasures cached throughout the gardens by learning to geocache – a method of finding hidden items using GPS coordinates. All you need is your favorite pair of walking shoes, a refillable water bottle, and a sense of adventure. Summer camp is for children 6 to 11. Space is limited, and registration is required. Volunteer opportunities are available. For more information or to register, call 713-274-4160.
Lunch Bunch: Coyotes and Other Urban Wildlife
Wednesday, July 8, at noon. Children 12 or older are invited to join Diana Foss, a wildlife biologist for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, as she discusses Houston coyotes and other urban wildlife. She will review safe practices for viewing wildlife and explain why wildlife is important to our ecosystem. Registration is required.
Fun4Kids Summer Program
Mangum-Howell Center offers free children’s activities each Thursday at 1 p.m. from June 11 to July 30. Enjoy a variety of programs covering science, storytelling, magic, and much more.
Registration is required for all programs beginning Monday, June 1. A parent or adult must accompany children under 18. Light refreshments are served at each program. Please arrive 20 minutes before each program’s start time. Call 281-591-7830 to register.
Kids Archery Classes
Fridays, June 5-June 26, at 9 a.m. Children 9 to 15 are invited to learn how to shoot a bow and arrow. Participants can learn the basics of archery and archery safety at the center’s full-service outdoor range. Bows, arrows, targets, and arm guards are provided. Registration is required, and space is limited. Come by the center or call 281-591-7830 to register.
Lunch Bunch: Big Bend Oak Conservation
Wednesday, Aug. 12, at noon. Mercer staff recently traveled to Texas’ Big Bend Country to explore the unique ecosystem for isolated oak species. Join Mercer’s greenhouse manager Jacob Martin and Brandon Hubbard, The Mercer Society’s grower, as they recount their Big Bend journey to find the specific oak populations. Observe plant specimens collected by Martin and Hubbard, learn about plants they identified on their trip, and understand the importance of plant collection trips. Ages 12 or older. Registration is required.
Summer Reading Program Kickoff: Imagine Your Story
Kick off your summer of reading in a kingdom not so far away on Saturday, June 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Burroughs Park, 9738 Hufsmith Road in Tomball. Enjoy crafts, games, special story times, and more.
Trails As Parks Summer Passport Series
Harris County Precinct 4’s Trails As Parks program kicks off a free summer passport series on Saturday, May 4, at Burroughs and Spring Creek parks. Canoeing and fishing begin at 9 a.m. at Burroughs Park, and hiking begins at 1 p.m. at Spring Creek Park.
Junior Canoe Training
Wednesday, July 8, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Kickerillo Mischer Preserve, 20215 Chasewood Park Drive in Houston. Beginner paddlers can learn the basics of canoe handling, paddle strokes, and other know-before-you-go information. Canoes, paddles, and personal flotation devices are provided. Ages 10 to 17.
Animal Vision: Do You See What “Eye” See?
Wednesday, July 8, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Dennis Johnston Park, 709 Riley Fuzzel Road in Spring. Learn about animal vision during this dynamic, hands-on program that includes dissection. Ages 10 or older. All participants must be accompanied by an adult.
Thursday, July 16, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Dennis Johnston Park, 709 Riley Fuzzel Road in Spring. Wiggle your way through the morning learning about the wonders of worms! Learn about the effect worms have on soil and how they alter ecosystems. Participants will dissect an earthworm to learn about its functions and lifecycle. Ages 10 or older.
Saturday, July 18, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Collins Park, 6727 Cypresswood Drive in Spring. Join Trails As Parks to learn about the growing sport of disc golf. Equipment is provided. Bring a refillable water bottle. Ages 10 or older.
Park After Dark: Glow In The Dark Nature
Saturday, July 18, from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Pundt Park, 4129 Spring Creek Dr., Spring. There’s a whole rainbow of plants, fungi, and animals to explore at night! Join Trails As Parks for a walk through the park in search of glow-in-the-dark nature. Wear closed-toe shoes. Ages 7 or older.
Wednesday, July 22, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Burroughs Park, 9738 Huffsmith Road in Tomball.
Grab a net and discover the amazing fresh-water aquatic life in the pond at Burroughs Park! All equipment is provided. Ages 7 or older.
For more information or to register, visit www.hcp4.net/tap.
Summer Movie Nights
It’s a summer of movies in Precinct 4! Check out a new family-friendly selection every month from June through August. Movies begin at dusk. Early arrival is recommended to get a good location for your blankets and lawn chairs. Refreshments will be provided.
June – The Little Mermaid
Tuesday, June 16, at Bane Park; Wednesday, June 17, at Matzke Park; Thursday, June 18, at Burroughs Park; Friday, June 19, at Collins Park; Monday, June 22, at Lindsay/Lyons Park; and Tuesday, June 30, at Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve.
July – Monsters, Inc.
Friday, July 10, at Doss Park; Tuesday, July 14, at Bane Park; Wednesday, July 15, at Matzke Park; Thursday, July 16, at Burroughs Park; and Friday, July 17, at Collins Park.
Aug. – Shrek
Tuesday, Aug. 4, at Bane Park; Wednesday, Aug. 5, at Matzke Park; Thursday, Aug. 6, at Burroughs Park; Friday, Aug. 7, at Collins Park; and Monday, Aug. 10, at Pundt Park.
Sizing Up Trees
Friday, July 17, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Mercer Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road in Humble. Learn professional techniques to measure and record tree size, along with do-it-yourself methods. Ages 12 or older.
Tree ID 101
Wednesday, Aug. 5, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Pundt Park, 4129 Spring Creek Drive in Spring. Learn tree identification basics for some of the most common trees in our area. Registration is required. Ages 10 or older.