Before you know it, summer will be here and we have the news you’ve been waiting for….camps. Are. OPEN! But hurry, these spaces will fill fast! Keep your kids active and engaged with action-packed days filled with everything from horseback riding to kayaking, robotic engineering to theatre, soccer to baseball and more  We haven’t ditched COVID yet, but the following camps are working hard to make sure your little ones (and teens!) have fun while staying safe! Scroll down for the best summer camps near Washington, DC.

Pedalheads Bike Camp

One of the more unique summer camps that you will find – this week-long day camp specializes in helping kids as young as 3 get-off-training wheels and ride on their own – often times in as short as one week. Helping even the most tentative of kids, they focus on safety, fun, and skills and more than anything want to build confidence and a love of biking for the campers in their program. For those with kids who can ride already, Pedalheads also offers road preparation levels. 

When: Late June-Late Aug. 
Cost: Starting at $189/week 
Where: Capitol Hill, Western DC, Bethesda 


Summer Camp with The Magic After-School Bus

If you live in NOVA with littles, this is the camp for you! The Magic After-School Bus, located in Loudoun County, will be launching a series of weekly Adventure Camps for the months of July and August. Based out of the idyllic Shiloh Manor Farm in Purcellville, VA, young elementary-aged "explorers" will get their hands dirty (literally) in fully immersive learning experiences designed around weekly themes. Each week, explorers will focus on authentic project-based learning, like working in a real greenhouse, journaling on a picnic blanket under a tree, or spinning wool from the sheep next door. In addition, each weekly program will feature trips in Harold the Bus (a decommissioned school bus turned magical, mobile makerspace) for explorers to take their investigations out into the community as they meet real experts in the real world.

When: July-Aug.
Cost: Varies by week
Where: Shiloh Manor Farm, Purcellville, VA (Exact location is provided after booking)

Residential Summer Theatre Program

For 18 years, Traveling Players Ensemble, a professional theatre company based in Great Falls, VA, has been sharing their craft with rising fourth graders to twelfth graders over summer break. The company has performed at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, Colonial Williamsburg, the International Children's Festival at Wolf Trap, as well as numerous parks and summer camps throughout Fairfax County. Their mission is to enhance problem-solving skills, self-reliance, self-expression, and a heightened appreciation of both challenges and beauty by bringing great theatre into the great outdoors. At the end of each session, campers produce a professionally staged and designed performance. Sessions run two-six weeks. New this year: Camp sessions are now a sleepover experience! 

When: June 27 – August 16 
Cost: starting at $3050 (scholarships are available) 
Where: Camp Highroad, 21164 Steptoe Hill Rd, Middleburg, VA 20117

Calleva Summer Camp

A definite DC favorite, Calleva Summer Camp runs from June to Aug. for ages 5 to 16 in both Maryland and Virginia. Transportation is provided at no additional cost, and buses pick up Walt Whitman High School, Glen Echo Parking Lot, Chevy Chase Elementary School and Eastern Middle School in MD and at Arlington Planetarium, Guy Mason Rec Center and the Madeira School in VA. Camp days are filled with rock climbing, fishing, boating, mountain biking, horseback riding and more. 

Editor's Note: Hurry, a few camps have slots still open! Is your favorite camp filled? Calleva is accepting names on both MD and VA waitlists. 

When: June 7-Aug. 27
Cost: $590/week 
Where: Various locations 

Sidewell Friends Summer Camps

Sidwell Friends is once again offering in-person day camps in both DC and Bethesda. Children 3-18 can enroll in camps that cover the arts, fashion, robotics, business tennis  and more. Let your kids play all day, or opt for half-day sessions to fill their mornings with fun. 

Cost: $1050/all day; $750/morning sessions
Where: DC Campus, 3825 Wisconsin Ave NW; Bethesda Campus, 5100 Edgemoor Ln., Bethesda, MD 20814
When: June 4-Aug. 6

DC Way's Summer Soccer Camp

Spend summer on the fields with this soccer camp geared towards kids 5-13. Daily mini sessions (3 hrs.) are dedicated to learning a new skill designed to turn your little player into a pro. Want to send your kid off for the day? Fill their afternoon with scrimmages, fun competitions and free play at this outdoor-only camp. Campers must bring their own water bottles and must wear a mask at all times. 

When: June 28-July 2, July 12-16, July 19-23, July 26-30, Aug. 2-6, Aug. 9-13, Aug. 16-20, Aug. 23-27
Cost: $200/3 hr. mini sessions for 5 days; $330/full day for 5 days; $450/extended full day for 5 days
Where: Tyler Elementary School (ages 5-13), 1001 G St. SE, Capitol Hill; The RFK Fields (ages 7 & up) 401 Oklahoma Ave NE, RFK Campus

photo: iStock

DPR Summer Camps

Held at recreation centers in each of DC's wards, these camps run by DC"s Department of Parks and Recreation Kids are geared towards kids 3-16. There are various camp offerings, like Sports Camps and Aqua Camps that fill each day sports, games and arts and crafts with lessons highlighting personal growth and environmental stewardship. DPR also offers a Camp-at-Home activity packet for kids 3-13 for free. 

When: June 28-July 9, July 12-23, July 26-Aug. 6, Aug. 9-20
Cost: $110/week for most sessions; $160/aqua camps
Where: DPR Recreation Centers; varies by ward 

Home Run Baseball Camp

Girls and boys ages 4-12 will knock it out of the park at this baseball-themed camp. This day camp is designed to get your little slugger improving their batting average FAST! Coaches here believe in repetition to build technical skills, so expect your camper to get 150 ground balls a day and over a 100 swings in batting practice! 

When: Sessions run June 7- Sept. 3
Cost: $450/session (50% off sibling discount)
Where: Friendship Recreation Center, 4500 Van Ness St. NW, Friendship Heights 


All Sports & Games Summer Camps

This outdoor-only camp offers boys and girls in grades 1-8 an opportunity to build on their b-ball skills with the experts from HoopED. In addition to dribbling and dunking their way through these 2 hr. clinic, they will get time to play other games on the courts (and the playground). Let your kid run off some energy while making new friends during spring break! When: Cost: $225-295 Where: Various locations Online:

—Meghan Yudes Meyers


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