Spring break for Portland will be here before you know it, March 23-27. If you’re staying in town, check out these seven unique camps for kids featuring plenty of dirt, lots of drama and brushes with soccer stars. Bring on spring!

Zenger Farm

photo: Zenger Farm by David Owen via flickr

Celebrate Spring
Are your kids ready and willing to get their hands dirty – literally? Zenger Farm, an urban farm in Southeast Portland, welcomes 2nd-4th grade kids to “Celebrate Spring” by digging in garden beds, making nature-based crafts, and cooking fresh from the garden. Friends and family can get in touch with their green thumbs right along with them at the open house on Friday afternoon. $280/week.

Zenger Farm
11741 SE Foster Rd.
Online: zengerfarm.org

Get Dramatic 
Save the universe, take a journey to the bottom of the sea, or help break the curse of a malevolent fairy at the NW Children’s Theater and School. Daylong camps explore drama for ages 6-11 through play, art, games, and creative writing. Naturally, the final class includes a performance for your little thespians. $270 for full day.

NW Children’s Theater
1819 NW Everett St.
Online: nwcts.org

 Oregon Zoo lions

Lions and Tigers and Bears (and Elephants and Bats and Porcupines…)
Do your little ones love getting up close and personal with critters? Each day of Spring Break offers a different camp for kids K-4, so your future zoo keeps can do one day, several, or all five. Each day campers will explore “animal mysteries” in a different way, and bring home fun projects. $38/day members, $45/day non-members.

Oregon Zoo
4001 SW Canyon Rd.
Online: oregonzoo.org

Irish Dance Camp
For a very active week that will keep kids on their toes, try this Irish dance camp at the Children’s Gym for kids 4-14. In addition to Irish dance instruction, little tumblers will have access to The Circuit Gym for bouldering, and the tumbling rumbling fun of the rest of the gym equipment. $65/day, $240/week members, $80/day $255/week non-members

The Children’s Gym
1625 NE Sandy Blvd.
Online: childrensgym.com

 Portland Timbers vs FC Dallas

photo: Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Timbers

Portland Timbers and Thorns Soccer Camps
Dribble, pass, shoot! Soccer lovers, ages 5-13, can get an extra dose of skill development and fun at Timbers or Thorns camp. Days are structured the same at both, but campers at the Timbers camp get a visit from a member of that team, and the same with the Thorns. Programs are available at Providence Park, Tualatin Hills Rec Center, Sherwood, Salem, and other Portland locations. Sign up now. The spots fill up fast. $120-150.

Various locations
Online: timbers.com

LEGO Mania
Is your little builder an “extreme” LEGO fan? Kids at this camp will try to build the tallest structure, create works of block-based art, and make new friends at the same time. 2nd-3rd graders will get moving with simple motorized trains and rides. $275 members, $325 non-members.

1945 SE Water Ave.
Online: programs.omsi.edu

Kaleidoscope Camp
Would you say your kid has a colorful personality? Grades K-5 can celebrate and experiment with bursts of color at Sparks Arts’ Kaleidoscope Camp. They’ll play with tie dye, landscape, and explore the rainbow on the page in different mediums. This camp runs Mon.-Thurs., 12:30-4:30 p.m., for four days of fractured fun.  $175.

Sparks Arts
1805 NE 39th Ave.
Portland, Or
Online: sparkartscenter.com

What’s your family’s favorite unique Spring Break camp? Let us know in the comments!

—Kelley Gardiner