The dog days of summer might seem far away now, but they’re coming! Now’s the time to grab a spot for the hottest summer camps in the city! Kids won’t even know how much they’re learning with all the fun they’ll be having and all the friends they’ll make. We’ve found some of the top options for day camps this summer, both week-long and day-by-day for all ages! Whether your little one wants to search for animals, plant a garden, create their own computer game, or build a fort, there’s something for everyone. Read on for more!

photo: Trackers Earth

Trackers Earth

Tracker’s camps offer a fantastic outdoor experience from knowledgeable teachers in a wide range of topics. The youngest explorers, 4-6, will role-play their day in the woods as they discovery friendly dragons, or learn how to be a Forest Ninja. Older kids can choose from a huge variety of fun, like archery, woodworking, wilderness survival, Monster Camp, School of Magic and so much more!

For a shorter experience for kids grades 2-6, choose from a few 1-day camps like Archery, Berry Picking, or an Adventure on the coast.

Day camps are 7:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. with flexible drop-off and pick-up times and extended care available.
$75/ 1-day camps
$225-$375/week, more info online

Trackers Earth Portland
4617 SE Milwaukie Ave.
503-345-3312
Online: trackerspdx.com

Audubon Society

Portland’s favorite place to see a live vulture isn’t only about birds– their summer camp programs are a walk on the wild side for grades 1-8! These week long programs cover a wide range of topics geared toward specific ages, like Gnome Homes for first graders, Archery 101 for fifth graders, and even the ‘Creature from the Balch Lagoon’ for second graders! Reptiles, birds of prey, secret trails, and sketching nature are more options, all adding up the the best summer ever.

Full-day camps are 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Half-day camps are 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
$350-$380/week for full day classes, see website for half-day rates
5151 NW Cornell Rd.
Portland, OR
503-292-6855
Online: audubonportland.org

photo: Oregon Zoo via yelp

Oregon Zoo Discovery Days and Summer Camps

Go on a wild adventure with the Oregon Zoo’s Discovery Days!  These one-day camps are a great way to introduce kids to new friends, new fun, and a wild world. With various days throughout the summer, kids can choose their own adventure. Go on an African Safari, a Rainforest Trek, or Hike the Great Northwest! Each day includes games, special tours, crafts, and touchable animals! For a whole week of fun, choose an extended Summer Camp for Pre-K to 8th grade. Kids will get a special look at the behind-the-scenes of the zoo and will get a whole week to explore, make friends, and meet new animals.

Camps are 8:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. with extended care available from 7:30 a.m.- 6 p.m.

Half-day for ages 4-K 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

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$65/full day, $35/half day for Discovery Days

$155-$295/week for Summer Camps

4001 SW Canyon Rd.

Portland, OR
503-226-1561
Online: oregonzoo.org

 

Catlin Gabel

There’s no need to be a year-long student at this school to take advantage of their fun summer programs! Ages 4-10 will find all sorts of activities and outdoor play throughout the summer. Ages 4-5 can join the Summer Beehive and learn through imaginative outdoor play, songs, crafts, art, and even running through a sprinkler on a hot day! The Honey Hollow Adventure allows kids ages 6-9 to take risks, ask questions, and have fun. And older kids can choose from a wide variety of specific camps like basketball, DJ (for real!), robotics, and woodshop!

Day camp schedules vary by program and extended care is available. Visit their website for program schedules.

$375/week

8825 SW Barnes Rd.
Portland, OR
503-297-1894 Ext. 613
Online: catlin.edu


photo: Scott via yelp


Friends of Tryon Creek Nature Day Camps

The woods and bubbling water of Tryon Creek are a perfect place to spend a summer day. Their Nature Day Camps, aimed at ages 4-12, offer plenty of fun with traditional camp songs, hikes, crafts, and games. Instructors allow kids to test their fort building skills with minimal help from the adults, allowing them to build confidence and use creativity. Racing banana slugs and exploring meadows inspire wonder and magic in a day your child won’t want to miss!

Half-day camps for ages 4-6 are 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Full-day camps for ages 6-12 are 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd.
503-636-4398
Online: tryonfriends.org

Portland Children’s Museum Day Camp

Day camp at the Children’s Museum means a fun-filled creative day! Kids ages 4-9 get a whole week to focus on a specific program like the Art Engineers, Clay Explorers, or Wild Scientists. Their days will include morning and afternoon snacks, active time in the Outdoor Adventure playspace, all the materials they’ll need to create a masterpiece or study science, and lots of fun with new friends.

Day camps are 8:30 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. with extended care available.
$285/week
Portland Children’s Museum
4015 SW Canyon Rd.
503-223-6500
Online: portlandcm.org

Coding with Kids

Too hot to be outside? Skip the sunscreen and sign your kids up for this special summer camp, all about coding! Choose from a wide variety of fun classes, like Minecraft Modeling or App Development, all designed to teach kids coding and computer skills. They’ll use Electrical Engineering know-how and programming languages to control LED lights and sensors, connecting the digital and physical worlds!. Littlest coders ages 5-7 will get a gentle introduction to computational thinking skills as they create their own computer game, as well as lots of “unplugged” activities to keep them active and engaged.

Half-day or full day camps available. Various pricing starting at $219/week, check website for details.
8733 SE Division St, Ste 209
Portland, OR
Online: codingwithkids.com

Zenger Farms Camp

Each day brings a new adventure at Zenger Farms, as kids learn to grow, care for, and prepare their own fresh food! They’ll play in the Nature Playground, explore wetlands, and cook up something yummy. With programs for kids grades K-9, your child will get nice and dirty while learning about Bugs and Slugs, Fruit Feasts, Delicious Dirt, or more! And every Friday is Camp Open House where kids can show parents what they’ve been up to all week! If kids don’t want the full week, check out single day camps the week of July 4th where they’ll prepare a special Farm Chef meal.

8:45 a.m.- 3pm (early drop off and aftercare is available)
$295/week ($65/day during July 2-6)
11741 SE Foster Rd.
Portland, OR
Online: zengerfarm.org/summer

What’s your favorite summer camp? Tell us in the comments below!

—Katrina Emery