Now that we’ve survived Snowmaggedon, it’s time to turn our attention to the matter of Summer Vacation. Read on to get the dirt on seven summer camps where your wild things can get sweaty, suntanned and smile in the great Georgia outdoors. But don’t wait until June to register! These hotspots will fill up faster than GDOT can clear ice from an interstate.


Chattahoochee Nature Center
Canoeing? Check. Arts and Crafts? Check. Nature treks? Check. If you’re looking for a day camp for school-aged kids (rising K through 7th grade) where they’ll get a taste of traditional, old school camp activities, head to the CNC. Particularly interesting for budding conservationists or enthusiastic nature lovers, Camp Kingfisher at the CNC will make the summer sing for your kiddos like tree frogs during mating season. We think.

Details: Camp Kingfisher, Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell, GA 30075, 770-992-2055 extension 222, Click here to see a schedule of prices.


Blue Heron Nature Preserve
Who needs a playground? The BHNP has a creek, materials to build forts, and two half-and partial-day sessions in June that will re-release your wild ones back into nature. Perfect for kiddos who know exactly what to do with a couple of sticks and a sheet (build a fort) and where to look for critters in the creek (under a rock), the BHNP summer camps in June are early enough in the day to beat the heat and still guarantee a solid round of naps in the afternoon.

Details: Blue Heron Nature Preserve Summer Camps, 4055 Roswell Road, Atlanta, GA 30342, 404-345-1008, $175 per session


Haverty Hollow
This Buckhead camp staple offers two summer camp options for children ages 3 to 5 (HH Preschool Camp) and 5-10 (Frog Hollow Camp). The preschool camp is broken down into one week sessions, while the school-aged camp is offered in two week increments. Both camps are designed to keep your kiddos busy in the outdoors, with tumbling, nature walks, swim lessons (school-aged kids), and even carpentry. If an outdoor intensive camp is more aspirational than realistic for your kiddo, then HH, with its offerings of drama, cooking, and creative writing activities in addition to the outdoor options, might be just what you need.

Details: Haverty Hollow Summer Camps, 404-233-1691, Frog Hollow Camp ($440/ 2 week session, ages 5-10, M-F from 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.), 1225 E. Beechwood Drive NW, Atlanta GA 30327, Preschool Camp ($185/ 1 week session, ages 3-5, M-F, from 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.), Garden Hills Recreation Center, 335 Pine Tree Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30305


Piedmont Park
Drop the kids off for an EnviroVenture this summer at Piedmont Park, where they’ll enjoy pool time, outdoor sports, and even learn a little about organic gardening! Crafted as a full-day option for kids ages 5-10, EnviroVentures run in weekly sessions with rotating themes. Be sure to check out what each week’s focus is before registering to make sure that your little will be as pumped about going to camp as you are.

Details: EnviroVentures Day Camps, Piedmont Park, $239/ week from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Ask for member discounts


Atlanta Botanical Garden
Whether your short stack is more interested in digging in the dirt or eating what comes out of it (food, that is… but sometimes it’s hard to say for sure), the summer camp options at the Atlanta Botanical Garden has something right up his or her alley. Each sensory exploration camp encourages kids to see the Garden in a new way, with activities planned in every nook and cranny, while another set of camps focuses on cooking in the Garden.

Details: Summer Camps at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Habitat Explorers (ages 4-6 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., $209 per session), Adventures in the Garden (ages 7-10 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., $269 per session), Sprouting Chefs (ages 4-6 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., $259 per session), and Junior Garden Chefs (ages 7-10 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., $319 per session), Ask for member discounts


The Atlanta Zoo
Potty trained 4-year olds through rising 8th graders, hold onto your hats! The Safari Day Camp at the Zoo will get you up-close and personal with critters of all kinds as you learn about their habitats, feeding habits, and special skills. The animals are outside, so the kiddos will be, too, and you have the option of registering for a either full day or half day session. 

Details: Summer Safari Day Camps at the Zoo, 800 Cherokee Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30315, 404-624-WILD, $295 per full-day week, $175 per half-day week (members receive additional discounts)


Atlanta History Center
Calling all history buffs! This weekly camp at the AHC is filled with outdoor activities at both the Swan House and the Smith Family Farm, and your little’s weeks will be filled with learning opportunities from Southeastern Indians to the Civil War. Weekly themes vary dramatically, so be sure to check out the website for the line-up. The best news? Each camper can choose to have boxed lunches from Chick-fil-A, or bring their own.

Details: Summer Camp at the Atlanta History Center, Preschool Camp (July 7-11, ages 4-5, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) and Elementary School Camp (June and July, ages 6-11, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.), $275 per week, Ask for member discounts


How will you survive the summer? Share your summer sanity savers with us below!

—Shelley Massey

Photos courtesy of Chattahoochee Nature Center via Facebook, Blue Heron Nature Preserve via Facebook, Zoo Atlanta via Facebook, Atlanta History Center via Facebook, Atlanta Botanical Garden via Facebook and Haverty Hollow via Facebook