Best Summer Camps for Kids: Top destinations for children 7-10Christina Couch
Sports and Fitness Camps
Where: Lake Como, Pennsylvania
What it offers: This general-interest residential camp makes our list because of the sheer number of athletic activities it offers. Regardless of whether your child is an indoor or outdoor kid, this camp provides everything from flying-trapeze workshops to horseback-riding classes to riflery (don’t worry Mom, they’re only using BB guns). Campers are monitored 24 hours a day, medical personnel and nurses are available on grounds ’round the clock, and staffers receive safety and emergency training prior to your kid’s arrival. Though campers range in age from 6 to 15, specialized programming for the younger crowd will keep your elementary-aged child around his or her peers.
In session: June 26-August 24
What it costs: Two-week sessions range from $1,650-$1,925
Where: Woodward, Pennsylvania
What it offers: Action sports enthusiasts ages 7 to 17 gather to cheer, flip, free-ski, skate, snowboard, or BMX-bike their ways through summer. There’s even a digital media track for the indoor kids. Offering week-long residential programs focused on one sport of the child’s choosing, Camp Woodward provides students with intensive instruction from pro athletes and Olympic coaches as well as evening activities including hip-hop dance workshops and paintball tournaments. If they get bored, they can always flip through the litany of magazine articles written about their instructors.
In session: June-August
What it costs: $725-$1,350
The Walters Museum Summer Arts Camp
Where: Baltimore, Maryland
What it offers: What better place to learn about art than in the middle of one of Maryland’s finest museums? The Walters Musem’s week-long day camps each explore a different aspect of the museum. Think lines, colors, and shapes one week followed by a study of mythological creatures the next. Young artists get to explore the galleries and make masterpieces of their own.
In session: July-August, both half- and full-day programs available
What it costs: $136 per week for half-day programs; $190 per week for full-day programs
Captain Kidd’s Camp
Where: Long Island, New York
What it offers: What can we say? We can’t get enough of pirates. Kids spend half of their time in this week-long, half-day theatre camp working on a maritime-themed musical and the other half learning about the real Captain Kidd, some nautical basics, and Long Island’s maritime history. The obligatory treasure hunt, pirate feast, and musical performance are included as well.
In session: Dates set for July through August TBA
What it costs: $150/week; scholarships are available
Old Town School of Folk Music Summer Music Camp
Where: Chicago, Illinois
What it offers: This half-day camp provides kids with six different music- and movement-focused classes they attend over the course of a month to introduce them to a wide array of music and instruments. Past classes have included jug band, Beatles tribute band, food songs, world music fusion, harmonica orchestra, and rock opera. Kids get the chance to strut their stuff in a final performance at the end of camp.
In session: 9 am-3 pm, June 20-July 15
What it costs: $1,350
Academic and Specialty Camps
Youth Engaged in Science Robotics For the Younger Set Camp
Where: Various Georgia locations
What it offers: You’re never too young to start learning to build robots. At this camp for kids ages 6 through 9, young scientists use LEGOs to construct super simple robots – we’re not talking Terminators, here – and learn basic engineering and programming principals. Motors, sensors, and math abound. Programs for ages 10 and up are also available as is this list of robo-camps for kids nationwide.
In session: Week-long, half-day camps from May 31 through July 29
What it costs: $250 per week (prices may vary by location)
Anthropologists in the Making
Where: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
What it offers: The Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology provides a series of 8 week-long history- and archaeology-oriented day camps for kids ages 7 to 13. With themes like Vicious Villains and Superheroes, Modern Marvels, and Conquering Egypt, the museum strives to put history in a modern context and incorporates activities like creating a comic book, designing period costumes, and listening to tales from a Ugandan storyteller. Kids also get gallery tours, scavenger hunts, and art activities to boot.
In session: June 20-August 12
What it costs: $220 per week; $200 per week if you register before May 1