NOTE: COVID-19 related policy changes may be found on the pages for individual programs impacted by our pandemic response. You can also find additional information on our COVID FAQ page.

Questions About Classes

I want to register for classes, but I'm not sure how your online registration works. What do I need to do?

First, navigate to the program you are interested in and find the Register link or button. After clicking it, you will be prompted to login. If you are a Member, the only way to get your Member discounts is to login using your existing Member account. Use the Password Reset option with your email on file with us if you do not remember your login. (Members, DO NOT create a new login, as you will not receive Member benefits with a new account.) Once you login, you will see the list of available programs for registration.  Follow the links and make sure to submit your registration and payment to secure your spot.

What are your class registration, payment, cancellation, and refund policies?

General Registration Payment and Refund Policies

All forms must be completed in their entirety.

Full payment at time of registration is required to secure a reservation for a class, camp, program, or event.

If you have any special concerns about any of the requested information or about making payments, please contact the NDC prior to registering.

Please be sure to read any restrictions that may apply to the class, camp, program, or event for which you are registering.

The NDC is not responsible for errors made in registration. Falsifying or deliberate exclusion of information about any attendee on a registration form or other associated form may result in the immediate termination of participation. No refund will be issued in such an instance.

Registrations are not transferable to a different child or program. Nature Discovery Center Memberships are also non-transferable and membership fees are non-refundable.

Wait Lists

If there are cancellations for a program that is on wait list status, participants will be invited to enroll in the program in the order in which their wait list registration is received. Once a wait listed registrant has been contacted, their registration and payment must be completed in writing using the online forms we email them.

Cancellations by Program Participants

Written notice is required no later than 10 business days prior to the program start date to receive a 50% refund. Please send cancellation requests to mail@naturediscoverycenter.org and include CANCELLATION in the subject line of your email.

There are no refunds for programs cancelled fewer than 10 business days prior to the start of the program, unless they are due to a physician verified medical emergency. Absences due to medical emergencies, accompanied by a physician’s written verification, may receive a refund less a 10% administrative fee.

Other Guidelines:
NDC Staff reserve the right to dismiss any student whose influence and conduct becomes detrimental to the best interests of the class. A pro-rated refund will be made for dismissed students.

Cancellations by the NDC

Minimum Enrollment: The Nature Discovery Center reserves the right to cancel any class, camp, or program if the minimum number of registrants have not been met. A full refund or a full value credit will be issued if we cancel for this reason. Credits may only be applied to the same program category and are not transferable between different programs. Credits valid for 1 year from date of issue.

Unforseen Circumstances: If it is necessary to cancel a class for an unforeseeable reason and it is impossible to reschedule the class, either a refund or a credit will be issued at the discretion of the Nature Discovery Center.

Inclement Weather: Programs are held rain or shine. Refunds or credits will not be given due to weather unless the cancellation is made by the Nature Discovery Center for safety concerns. If severe weather or dangerous weather is a possibility, the Nature Discovery Center will make every effort to contact affected parties regarding either a cancellation or a rescheduling. If classes are cancelled by HISD, the Nature Discovery Center will not be open.
*All credits expire after 1 year from the date the credit was issued.

Do parents/grandparents/nannies have to stay for class?

An adult caregiver must stay with their child for preschool classes (Curious Kids and Sneak-a-Peek) and for Nature Story Time. Adults may leave during Junior Scientist classes and return promptly at the end of class.

Can we bring younger/older siblings to classes?

You may bring siblings to class. If they become disruptive to the class we may ask you to remove the from the classroom. if they participate in class, whether using class materials, interacting with live animals, or asking/answering questions, we ask that you pay for their participation even if their age falls outside the range for the class in question.

Where do we park for classes at the Center?

Please park in the parking lot at the north end of the park by the nature center building (entrance off Newcastle). If this lot is full, additional parking is available at the south end of the park in the lot off Evergreen Street, and on side streets in the neighborhood.

Questions About Camps

I want to register for camps, but I'm not sure how your online registration works. What do I need to do?

First, navigate to the program you are interested in and find the Register link or button. After clicking it, you will be prompted to login. If you are a Member, the only way to get your Member discounts is to login using your existing Member account. Use the Password Reset option with your email on file with us if you do not remember your login. (Members, DO NOT create a new login, as you will not receive Member benefits with a new account.) Once you login, you will see the list of available programs for registration.  Follow the links and make sure to submit your registration and payment to secure your spot.

What are your camp registration, payment, cancellation, and refund policies?

General Registration Payment and Refund Policies

All forms must be completed in their entirety.

Full payment at time of registration is required to secure a reservation for a class, camp, program, or event.

If you have any special concerns about any of the requested information or about making payments, please contact the NDC prior to registering.

Please be sure to read any restrictions that may apply to the class, camp, program, or event for which you are registering.

The NDC is not responsible for errors made in registration. Falsifying or deliberate exclusion of information about any attendee on a registration form or other associated form may result in the immediate termination of participation. No refund will be issued in such an instance.

Registrations are not transferable to a different child or program. Nature Discovery Center Memberships are also non-transferable and membership fees are non-refundable.

Wait Lists

If there are cancellations for a program that is on wait list status, participants will be invited to enroll in the program in the order in which their wait list registration is received. Once a wait listed registrant has been contacted, their registration and payment must be completed in writing using the online forms we email them.

Cancellations by Program Participants

Written notice is required no later than 10 business days prior to the program start date to receive a 50% refund. Please send cancellation requests to mail@naturediscoverycenter.org and include CANCELLATION in the subject line of your email.

There are no refunds for programs cancelled fewer than 10 business days prior to the start of the program, unless they are due to a physician verified medical emergency. Absences due to medical emergencies (including COVID-19 symptoms by the program participant or person in contact with the participant), accompanied by a physician’s written verification, may receive a refund less a 10% administrative fee.

Other Guidelines:
NDC Staff reserve the right to dismiss any student whose influence and conduct becomes detrimental to the best interests of the class. A pro-rated refund will be made for dismissed students.

Cancellations by the NDC

Minimum Enrollment: The Nature Discovery Center reserves the right to cancel any class, camp, or program if the minimum number of registrants have not been met. A full refund or a full value credit will be issued if we cancel for this reason. Credits may only be applied to the same program category and are not transferable between different programs. Credits valid for 1 year from date of issue.

Unforseen Circumstances: If it is necessary to cancel a class for an unforeseeable reason and it is impossible to reschedule the class, either a refund or a credit will be issued at the discretion of the Nature Discovery Center.

Inclement Weather: Programs are held rain or shine. Refunds or credits will not be given due to weather unless the cancellation is made by the Nature Discovery Center for safety concerns. If severe weather or dangerous weather is a possibility, the Nature Discovery Center will make every effort to contact affected parties regarding either a cancellation or a rescheduling. If classes are cancelled by HISD, the Nature Discovery Center will not be open.
*All credits expire after 1 year from the date the credit was issued.

What if my child is not quite 5?

Our camps are geared to campers ages 5 to 10.

What is my child expected to bring?

Your child should bring a lunch and a refillable water bottle. Week long summer camps include a “water play activity”. For those days, campers will need a bathing suit and a towel. Camp instructors will tell campers whether or not water toys may be brought to camp for water play.

What should my child wear?

Your child should wear weather appropriate clothes and, preferably, close toed shoes for outdoor activities.

How early can I drop my child off? And do I need to come inside to drop them off?

Camp drop off begins at 9am. The building will remain closed until that time as instructors and counselors prepare for the day’s activities. At this time we do not offer pre-camp care. Parents or caregivers are required to come inside to check-in each day.

What does a day at camp look like?

Our camp instructors determine their daily activity plan based on the camp topic, the weather, and camper ages and abilities. Campers will spend part of their day inside and part of their day outside weather permitting. Each camp will include a mixture of activities from crafts, to hands-on exploration and experimentation, to live animal encounters, nature walks, active games, and self-selected “down time” activities. Weather permitting campers also spend some time at the playground after lunch each day.

Will campers spend time outside if it is hot/cold?

Yes. Our camps are indoor/outdoor camps. Please have your camper dress appropriately for the weather.

Do campers need sunscreen or bug spray?

Please apply sunscreen and bug spray before dropping your child off for camp. We have bug spray on site and can reapply during the day as needed.

What are the qualifications of your camp staff and volunteers? What are the ratios of campers to camp staff and volunteers?

Our camps are taught by degreed NDC Educators and current and/or retired local elementary school teachers. There are no more than 22 campers in each camp. In addition to their camp instructor, campers are supervised by a Head Counselor and 3 or more additional camp counselors, who are teenage volunteers ages 13 and up. Counselors, many of whom were once our campers, are interviewed and trained for their counselor positions, and most serve as counselors for us throughout their teen years.

Do you have scholarships?

We do occasionally have summer camp scholarships. Please contact Bailey Kinney at 713.667.6550 to inquire about the availability of these opportunities.

Do you take children with allergies?

Yes. Students with allergies are welcome in our camps. Please make notes of specific food allergies when registering your child so that we can plan ahead for safe snacks. And be sure to leave allergy medications (including epi-pens when necessary) with camp staff.

Do you accept children with special needs in your camps?

Absolutely. All children deserve a chance to learn about the wonders of nature and the world around us. However, we maintain the requirements that 1) your child be able to attend camp without your supervision, and 2) be able to follow camp rules in a class setting that encourages socialization and independence. Lastly, your child should be able to respect the inherent risk of learning in an outdoor setting without the tangible barriers of four walls. Call our Director, Bailey Kinney, at 713.667.6550 to discuss your child’s attendance further.

What are the behavior expectations for campers?

Camp Rules are introduced by the camp teachers and discussed by campers on Monday morning and are emphasized throughout the week. In the event of a serious behavior problem, we will call you to pick up your child. At our discretion, your child may be allowed to return to camp the following day.Children are expected to understand how to follow rules and manage their own choices in order to be responsible and safe in an outdoor learning environment. If children cannot make safe choices in an outdoor, less structured setting, our camps and classes are not the best fit for them.

Whom can I contact during the day if I need to leave an emergency message concerning my child?

Please call the NDC Office at 713.667.6550 and a staff member will deliver your message.