If you thought summer camp was all swimming pools and macaroni necklaces, think again. From spy kid-ready to rock-n-roll-inspired, these day camps step way outside the kumbaya circle to give Junior a summer he’ll soon not forget.

arcadia-farm-campFarm Camp
Give your city kid a taste of the great outdoors at this Old McDonald-inspired camp located in Alexandria, Va. In addition to learning about daily farm life (watering, harvesting, and planting), campers will help prepare and taste test sustainable food dishes and run around in the farm’s Groundhog Garden and Natural Playspace. Bonus: Round trip transportation is available from Old Town Alexandria for an additional fee of $100/week.

When: July 7-Aug 1
Ages: 6-11
Cost: $325/week

Arcadia Farm
9000 Richmond Hwy (Alexandria, Va)
571-384-8845
Online: arcadiafood.org

spy-museum-campSpy Camp
Lurking in the shadows preparing for her next mission is…your 10-year-old. In an effort to hone big kids’ critical thinking skills, the International Spy Museum’s spy camp, gives an up close (but disguised!) look at what it’s like to be a top secret agent. They’ll make and break codes, discover escape and evasion techniques, and create spy gadgets.

When: July 28-Aug 8
Ages: 10-13
Cost: $415/week

International Spy Museum
800 F St., NW
Online: spymuseum.org

battle-of-the-bands

Rock n’ Roll Camp
Budding lyricists will see what it feels like to make rock star status at this summer camp with locations throughout the DMV. Students are grouped into their very own band based on their age and skill level. Together–and under the supervision of real life musicians–band members develop original material, perform for the public and record a CD. We’re with the band!

When: June 30-Aug 29
Ages: 7 and up
Cost: $199-$575/week

Various locations through Maryland and Virginia
Online:  b2rmusic.com

steve-and-kate-campAnything-Goes Camp
If kiddo likes to do what he wants, when he wants, this summer camp, which is brand new in the district, is the obvious choice. Instead of a strict schedule (think: 2 hours of swimming, 1 hour of crafting, and 1 hour of making s’mores…repeat), campers spend their days doing any of the camp’s available actiivities–including sewing, foosball, and baking–for as long as they want. Camp directors say giving little ones the option of choice helps to build confidence. Bonus: If Junior just wants to do camp a couple of times a week, super-convenient day passes are available. We’re sold. And a little jealous we didn’t go to this camp as kids.

When: June 16-Aug 15
Ages: 4-12
Cost: $69-$89/day

Georgetown
Georgetown Day School Lower School
4530 MacArthur Blvd. (Georgetown)

Alexandria
Grace Episcopal Church
3601 Russell Rd. (Alexandria, Va)
Online: steveandkate.com

Which of these would your kid want to try? Tell us in the comments section below.

–Ayren Jackson-Cannady

Photos courtesy of Arcadia Farms via Facebook, International Spy Museum, Bach to Rock via Facebook, Steve and Kate’s Camp via Facebook