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This series is for the animal lover, the question asker, the explorer and scientist!

Sessions include M-Thursday morning focused on a specific species paired with afternoon laboratory experiences and animal care.  Participants can come for AM or PM or full day.

Each day is hands on exploration on a theme of reptiles, dinosaurs, fish and so much more!  Kids will learn through inquiry exploration of their natural world.  

Calling All Young Scientists! 

Summer excitement is learning all about reptiles, dinosaurs, fish, insects and MORE!

Burpee’s summer series are designed as stand alone weeks, so you can sign up for one…or stick with us all summer through 7 weeks of different themes.  Recommended for Grades 1-8. (Registered campers are divided into age appropriate groupings) Not Old Enough?  Check Out Into The Wild!

Morning Session: 9am-12pm

Classroom adventures in zoology.  Dig into a specific group of animals and explore living and non-living specimins.

Afternoon Session: 1pm-4pm

Critter Club & Zoology Lab.  Venture behind the scenes to learn how to care for Burpee’s live animals. From our special summer reptile and amphibian exhibit to our old favorites, YOU will get to feed and care for these animals in Critter Club.  The Zoology lab will take you into a laboratory all about animals.  Experiments and explorations led by inquiry.

4 DAYS of 1/2 Day Session Cost: $90 General Public ($80 Members)

4 DAYS of  Full Day Session Cost: $180 General Public ($120 Members)

After & Before Care available.  Inquire for details.



Register online (below) or call 815-965-3433

NOTE: Advance registration is required. Registration closes 5:00 pm on MONDAY the week before class.

Cancellation Policy:  Refunds (less 10%) are available for classes with at least 24 hours of advance notice. Refunds will be issued by check. Burpee museum reserves the right to cancel events.  In the event that a class needs to be cancelled, a full refund will be issued. This includes any online service charges.

NOTICE: SPECIAL PARTNERSHIP with Discovery Center for session #3 and #6.

AM Session available at Discovery Center.

Session #1:

Turtle Power

AnimalHour 2

June 11-June 14

Burpee’s NEW live animal exhibit becomes your second home as you learn & care for aquatic turtles, tortoises and even prehistoric fossils from Burpee Dig Sites.

Session #2:
Lizards & Snakes


June 18-June 21

From ball pythons to bearded dragons, get ready to fall in love with amazing creatures.  Learn anatomy, animal care and diversity of these species.  Future vets won’t want to miss this!

Session #3:

Delightfully Deadly Dinos

DinoDayClass 1

June 25-June 28

Giant Teeth. Sharp claws. Strong tails.  All this and more will be ready for you to examine.  Go “behind the scenes” and work in our PaleoLab with real scientists.

NOTE: PM at Burpee Only. 

Sign up for AM through Discovery Center.

Session #4:

Tip the Scales

bluegill 1

July 9 – July 12

Don’t underestimate the most amazing bony fish.  From salt water to fresh water species, examine the wild and captivity.  You will examine the local Rock River ecosystem and its health.

Session #5:

Breathe Through Skin!?


July 16 – July 19

With over 4,000 species of amphibians there is so much to learn.  These amazing creatures breathe air through their thin skin.  They are often an indicator of environmental change.  Lets see what makes them so special.  Participants will get to hold and care for amphibians from salamanders to poison dart frogs!

Session #6

Water Wonders


July 23 – July 26

Dive into the wonders of an underwater ecosystem.  The banks of the Rock River become your lab as you study the creatures of our hydro-world. From living fish, to turtles, to microorganisms, you will have your hands full of wiggling excitement!

NOTE: PM at Burpee Only. 

Sign up for AM through Discovery Center.

Session #7:

Butterflies & Bugs!


July 30 – August 2

The summer brings butterflies to Rockford each year.  Learn t catch, raise and research in our area.  Examine different bugs both in collections and in the wild.