Yay, summer! But, yikes, summer! Though you booked several camps back in January, there are a few days here and there where you thought you’d be fine, but now work desperately needs you back early from vacation. Or the kids hate that expensive camp. Or you just need a day to get some laundry and grocery shopping done! Whatever the reason, you need a camp and you need it tomorrow. Luckily, these camps all let you sign up for just a day. Whew. Life fixed, summer saved.
Steve and Kate’s Camp
This fabulous option we call Camp Flexible. It has a zillion locations and you can simply purchase as many day passes as you want and use them whenever. Don’t use them? No sweat. They’ll give you a full refund for unused passes. And they’re not just flexible for parents, they give kids choices, too. They can make real denim jeans, custom web apps, or a fully choreographed music video or they can play games, sports, and get wet when it’s hot. Lunch is included and they’re open from 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m., so you can drop off and pick up whenever you like, too. ($80-$100 a day; Altadena, Westside, Westwood, Manhattan Beach, Valley Village & Hancock Park.)
Anderson Adventure Camp H2O
This is the camp that takes place at the Rosebowl Aquatic Center. The amazing old-school camp has different schedules for kids of every age (they group kids by grades) and within that allows for choice of activity, and activities changing so fast kids will never get bored. Choose from swimming, water polo and diving plus board games, laser tag, playground games, sports, ultimate Frisbee, art and much more. Extended days and field trips are available. ($65 a day; Pasadena)
The Klub Gymnastics
This newly renovated huge space is perfect for those days when you realize your bundle of energy has some serious bouncing to get out of their systems. Daily schedules include gym classes, arts and crafts, movies, story time and more. The former furniture warehouse that has been converted into an almost 40,000 square foot roaming ground for mini gymnasts of all levels with balance beams, larger trampolines and block pits for the kids to dive into. Run them ragged, pick them up tired! You can pick a short day (ends at 2:30 p.m.) or a long day (ends at 5:30 p.m.) ($85-$125 a day, Glassell Park)
For kids that miss their sports teams, this is the perfect day of non-stop activity. Kids can participate in field games, court games, arts & crafts and theater arts. Pick a day, any day, or string together a few to fill in those days when you’re freshly back from summer vacation. ($75 a day, Mid-City LA).
World City Center
If you’ve got an intrepid explorer who wants to explore the world, this is the place. And they’ll become even better world citizens as they learn in both Spanish and English. Every day, kids are exposed to foreign languages, technology, music, dramatic play, art, science, math, history, sports, literature and global cuisine. It’s a trip around the world without leaving LA. Camp is daily from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and before and after care options are available. No prior Spanish experience is necessary. ($75 a day, Downtown LA)
Summer of Surf
Makes your life easy, peasy. For land locked San Gabrielites, all you have to do is send ‘em in their bathing suits with lunch, water and sunscreen. The camp will pick them up, drive all the way to the beach, provide surfboards, wetsuits, bodyboards, shade tents, beach games, snacks and will return them in the evening, leaving you free for the day, and your kids get a day at the beach learning to surf. Fear not sending them to the sea without you! They have a 3-1 student teacher ratio and very experienced instructors. (That convenience comes with a price tag: $155 a day; serving Pasadena and surrounding area)
You got them to the beach, park, summer concerts and zoo, but crafting and drawing aren’t your strong suits. Sign them up for a session or two of drawing, painting, mixed media, printmaking, transfers, cyanotypes and more. Each 3 hour workshop is unique and will focus on art projects tailored to your child’s age. You can sign up for one workshop or two, depending of how long a day you need. If you want your young Picassos to stay for a full day, just pack a lunch. ($55 for a half day, $110 for a full day; Santa Monica)
There’s so much on offer at this creative space designed for artists to learn, collaborate and inspire, that even kids that you think can’t possibly be inside all day without going stir crazy will amaze you. When you pick them up you’ll find that they spent a full day exploring art, being creative and playing—and that they’re not ready to go home. Perfect for a periodic day here and there of intense exploration and creation. Camp runs from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. ($75 a day, Silverlake)
Kids of all ages will enjoy climbing the walls (of the rock and play structure) at AdventurePlex Camp, so it’s perfect if you have a range of kids who need camp for a day; you can drop them all in one place and know they’re thoroughly engaged. Little guys (4 & 5 year-olds) have specially structured activities just for them. Pick any day from 9 a.m.–4 p.m.; extended care from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. is available for $6 an hour and lunch can be provided for an additional fee. (The price can’t be beat at $50 a day, Manhattan Beach)
This is a great option for those parents looking for an all-inclusive camp where everything is included in the price (lunch, fruit and frozen treats). Kids will be given the chance to create everything from clay figures to finger paintings to messy science with instructors. And getting a little messy part of the fun. Each day has a different topic, so see which grabs your kiddo. Camp runs from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. or 2:30-5:30 p.m. ($64-$68 a day, West LA & Hermosa Beach)
In addition to tons of rock climbing, kids will learn bouldering, knot tying , youth yoga, obstacle course running, slacklining, ziplining and more. They won’t want to come home at the end of the day and they’ll love it here so much they’ll beg you to book their birthday party now, allowing you to check off multiple accomplishments in one fell swoop. Camp runs from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Afternoon Camp is from 12:30-4:30 p.m. This camp you have to sign up for 1 week in advance, so it’s not a last minute decision… ($75 a day for morning or afternoon session; Westchester)
This recreational gymnastics facility near the Marina boasts Olympics-themed camp fun for little Gumbies. Broadway also hosts a program for special-ed kids aged 5 & older. The camp for the little guys (must be potty trained) runs from 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m., and for the bigger kids from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. You can check out daily themes and field trip schedule online, before picking which days this summer hold the most appeal for your tots. Before and after care is also available for an additional fee for the big kids. ($75-$92 a day; Marina Del Rey)
Parkour & Ariel Arts at Aerial Warehouse
Do your kids like to run, jump, play, climb and maybe even fly? At Aerial Warehouse campers try a little bit of parkour, aerial arts, trampoline, tumbling obstacle courses and more. Working on physical skills, teamwork, self-expression and performance, kids get a whole range of experiences in one camp in one day. The hours are from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., and you can sign up for single days, but this popular camp is small and quickly books up, so the further in advance you know you’ll need a day, the better. ($105 a day; Culver City)
Fitness By the Sea
Swimming, surfing, boogie boarding and skim boarding—your little fish can learn it all even if they start the summer waterphobic! But that’s not all they offer, with over 80 other activities that range from team sports in the sand to individual sports as varied as fencing and cheerleading, and creative activities like yoga, puppet shows and magic. For this camp, you can definitely schedule individual days, but you need to book a minimum of 5. From there, add as many days as you like, and change your schedule as often as you need to, with only 24 hours notice. Camp is from 9:15 a.m.–3:15 p.m., and extended care is available. ($58-$72/day, Santa Monica & Pacific Palisades)
Do you have a camp standby for those one-off desperate days? Let us know in the comment section!