Summer will be here before we know it. For most families, that means sunshine and playtime. But it also means no school and some pretty unstructured days. Not sure what to do with the kiddos all summer? We’ve got your guide to summer camps all over North County, from Bonsall to La Jolla. Whether you have a bookworm or a beach babe, your options are limitless.
Photo credit: Perrin W. via Yelp
Getting Artsy, Crafty and Musical
Want something crafty? Try Carlsbad Art Farm in Carlsbad, MonArt in Solana Beach, or Glitter and Glue Studio with locations in Escondido and Rancho Penasquitos. Budding musicians can rock out at Rockademy in Solana Beach. Of course, there are musical theater and Shakespeare camps at Intrepid Shakespeare in Encinitas.
City Camps and Day Camps
Want to stay local? Most cities offer great half- and full-day camps through their Parks and Recreation Centers. A few standouts that offer multiple options and include lots of ages are Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista and Encinitas.
If your kids like lots of variety and you need the better part of the day covered, there are spectacular day camps to choose from. Camp Village View in Carlsbad only lasts two weeks in July, but is jam-packed with everything from art to Muay Thai. Magdalena Ecke YMCA in Encinitas is well-loved by parents and kids alike, as is the YMCA La Jolla. The Boys & Girls Club camps are everywhere from Escondido to Solana Beach and further south, while Camp Jaycee hosts tons of fun in La Jolla.
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EduCamps and Animal Schools
Sure playtime is fun, but if you want your kids to learn more than papier mache, try one of these educational camps. Lingua Natal and Mis Casitas (both in Encinitas) offer Spanish camps, some to kids who are only 2-years-old. Your 7-16-year-olds can learn all about marine life at Zuba Diving in Sorrento Valley and La Jolla. Want to learn about taking care of animals? The Rancho Coastal Humane Society (Encinitas) serves up exciting camp weeks of hands-on games, activities, arts and crafts, guest speakers, and of course live dogs, cats and bunnies.
There’s the ever-popular San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido, which offers all kinds of areas of animal-related study and activities and also takes kids as young as two. Birch Aquarium at Scripps offers Summer Learning Adventure Camp from June 22 – August 21 for kids as young as 4-years-old. From the classroom to the seashore, campers investigate marine habitats, create ocean art projects, learn about careers in oceanography, and combine the science and sports of surfing and snorkeling.
Photo credit: Oceanside Gymnastics Facebook page
Gymnastics, Dance and Horseback Riding
For the physically agile kiddo over 4-years-old, there are great gymnastics camps at Oceanside Gymnastics; TRC with locations in Solana Beach and Sorrento Mesa; Gyminy Kids in Rancho Bernardo; and Pacific Coast Gymnastics in San Marcos. Your tiny dancer can get her groove on at the Academy of Dance, which has multiple North County locations and All Star Dance in Solana Beach.
Equestrians can ride to their heart’s content at Raw Hide Ranch in Bonsall or eat, sleep and breathe horses at Raintree Ranch in Julian. Don’t want to drive that far? Concord Equestrian Center in Del Mar offers camps, as does The Horsemanship Academy in Rancho Santa Fe, and the Riding Academy in San Marcos.
Photo Credit: Brookeh S. via Yelp
Surf and Sports
Sportsmen and women can play volleyball in San Marcos, tennis in Encinitas, and learn to skate in Encinitas. Kids can learn to play soccer with Little Rascalz almost anywhere in North County or get zen at NRK Karate in San Marcos. Most of the aforementioned day camps, city camps, and the Boys & Girls Club all offer specific sports camps. Are your kids’ looking to hang ten or get tubed? Surf Camp USA in Oceanside, Maui Surf Academy, Fulcrum Surf, Eli Howard, Leucadia Surf School in Leucadia and Del Mar, and Dawn Patrol (Encinitas) are all da kine.
Did we miss any cool North County summer camps? Tell us in the comments so we can all check it out.
— Allison Stabile