Camping isn’t just a summertime activity. Not the kind of camp you send your kids off to, anyway! If you’re looking to fill their days with a little bit of structure this spring break, these courses—which feature everything from craft projects to science experiments—are educational and entertaining!

national-zoo=crdtPhoto: lisa via Flickr

Mammals, Birds and Reptiles, Oh My
Your favorite animal lover is going to adore spending his or her days learning about different animal kingdoms and the creatures that inhabit them at the National Zoo’s Spring Safari Day Camp. Lessons include craft projects, hands-on activities, science experiments and walks through the zoo. Weeklong sessions are held from 9 am-3 pm. (before and after camp care is available for an additional fee). Registration is currently open.

Ages: K-5th grade
Cost: $500 for the first session; $400 for the second session (20% off for members)
When: March 21-25 and March 29-April 1
3001 Connecticut Ave., NW (Woodley Park)
Online: nationalzoo.si.edu

Girl-Powered Time Travelers
The All-American Girl Dolls Camp takes place at the scenic historic site, Sully Plantation. Young girls are encouraged to bring along their favorite doll companion for a daily 3 hour adventure that will transport them back to an interesting era in American history. Activities include period costumes, crafts and themed games. Registration is currently open.

Age: 5 to 10
Cost: $205 ($190 for Fairfax county residents)
When: March 21-March 25
3650 Historic Sully Way (Chantilly, Va)
Online: parktakes.fairfaxcountry.gov

horseback-riding-crdtPhoto: Carol Ann Short via Flickr

Giddy Up, Horse Lovers
If your wee ones are begging to ride a pony, this intro to horseback riding camp is the perfect way to spend a week in March.  Each morning, campers visit four stations—grooming, riding, horse chores and craft activities—to get a better understanding of what goes into horse care. Classes run from 9 am to 11 am daily; campers can sign up for “Lunch with Horses” for an additional fee. Registration is currently open.

Ages: 5-12
Cost: $199
When: March 21-25
40788 Red Hill (Leesburg, Va)
Online: twinoaksriding.com

The Call of the Wild
There may not be a campfire onsite, but otherwise this camp experience will have your kids feeling like it’s summer! From 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, your little campers will participate in hikes, nature activities, games, crafts and more.  Registration is open now.

Ages: 6-12
Cost: $150
When: March 28- April 1
1000 Lakeside Drive (Baltimore, Md)
Online: baltimore.org

spy-camp-crdtPhoto: eylchanin via Flickr

The Secret World of Spies
Your pint-sized Sherlock Holmes will sleuth his way through suspects and clues to solve a fictional crime in the Secret Agents Lab camp, hosted at Springfield’s South Run Recreation Center. Campers will learn about the science involved in crime solving while testing real spy equipment and analyzing fingerprints! Camp runs for seven hours daily. Registration is currently open.

Ages: 6 to 11
Cost: $329 ($344 for non-Fairfax county residents)
When: March 21-25
7550 Reservation Dr, (Springfield, Va)

Online: parktakes.fairfaix.gov
Oh, La, La
Pack the bags and grab the passport; your kiddo is going to France this spring break (well, Dupont Circle, actually). The Alliance Française lets kids unleash their inner jet-setter with a weeklong of days filled with all things French—cooking, songs, games, books…and of course, the beautiful French language. Registration is open now.
Ages: 5 to 11
Cost: $445
When: March 28-April 1
2142 Wyoming Ave., NW (Dupont Circle)
Online: francedc.org

What are your kids’ plans for spring break? Share the details in the comments below. 

—Meghan Meyers