In spite of what we’re facing now with the COVID-19 crisis, as parents we still must look forward, and we know summer is coming. For many of us, summer camps and childcare is a necessity. We are doing our best to monitor any changes, and encourage you to double-check the individual camp refund/cancellation policies. We also want to continue to support our local businesses including these beloved summer camps.
Summer is just around the corner and we’d normally be counting down the days until camp. With LA County gradually moving through the reopening process, your go-to day camp may not be an option yet. We’ve checked in with a bunch of popular camps across the LA area to see how they’re handling COVID-19, whether that means canceling, moving to online-only sessions or hoping for a delayed start. Keep reading to get the scoop.
Annenberg PetSpace Kids Camp
If your kiddo’s Paw Patrol or My Little Pony craze was any indication, they’re fast growing up to be animal-obsessed. Whether you need to cover spring break (it’s around the corner!) or are ready to get your summer booked, Annenberg PetSpace Kids Camp has an ideal one-week experience at the ready. Little animal lovers between the ages of 8 and 11 will adore the line-up of daily themes, educational games and activities and, of course, animal encounters.
Dates: July 6-31
COVID-19 Update: It's all happening at home! This year, camp will be held online with fun activities, interactive games and virtual meet-and-greets with adoptable animals.
Camp Cosmo is one-of-a-kind summer camp offering Los Angeles kids personalized and connection-based creative experiences designed to turn on their imaginations. This year, the camp is taking its six-year history of inspiring kids online.
Cost: $20 per class for non-members; from $12 per class for Cosmo Club Members with monthly fee
Location: Santa Monica/online
COVID-19 Update: Camp Cosmo is entirely online this summer, making it available to families everywhere. With small groups run by experienced counselors, the camp helps create a sense of connection and community for kids. There's a range of activities to choose, like a TikTok dance class, Harry Potter trivia challenge, drawing games and more. (Check out the current class schedule here.) Added bonus? The program emphasizes healthy screen habits, with each session ending by stepping away from computers and stretching out. First-timers can try out their first class for $1.
We are wild for this modern twist on traditional day camp that provides the freedom & spirit of a sleepaway camp in an affordable, convenient day camp program. The camp day consists of daily rotations in “Four Spheres of Fun”: Creativity & Expression, Innovation & Exploration, Movement & Teambuilding, and Group Projects. They also work on long term group projects, just like you used to at summer long sleepaway camp. They even have camp-ins, when campers can stay overnight for real. Every Wednesday is beach day (and you don’t have to brave beach traffic!). Camp is from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. daily, with extended care available and optional early pick up at 1:30 p.m. for 4 year-olds for a reduced weekly rate.
Dates: Jun. 15-Aug. 14
Location: West Hollywood
COVID-19 Update: This year, Camp Wildfolk is becoming Camp Wildhome! They're offering a virtual program running from June 15 through August 14. You can choose between 3-day and 5-day options, and the sessions run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Campers will get to choose from activities like yoga, robotics, lip sync battles and more. Programs and prices are subject to change, so check their website for updated info and to register.
Take a walk on the wild side and get up close and personal with the world’s most unusual creatures. Kids join the fight to save the planet at this internationally recognized environmental science museum and exotic wildlife rescue center. Party with parrots, live it up with alligators, and get down and dirty with the dragons (that’s right, dragons!), all while discovering new and exciting ways to protect our planet’s delicate ecosystem. You can choose from weeks that focus on mammals, reptiles winged creatures and more. (Note: because of the close contact with animals and their foods, this camp is not recommended for kids with severe animal or nut allergies.) Camp is in session from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. daily with extended hours available.
Dates: Jun. 15-Aug. 14
Location: Culver City
COVID-19 Update: At the time of publication, they're planning to go ahead with in-person Eco Camp on a limited basis. Check their FAQ page to see their plans and procedures for keeping everyone safe. If you're not comfortable with an in-person program, they're also offering online options. Visit the Constellation Camps page for all the details.
Tinkering Camps at ReDiscover Center
If you’ve ever spent a Sunday at the ReDiscover Center and thought, “I never need to leave,” then Tinkering School is for you (or rather, your kids). Young builders acquire the skills they need to work confidently in wood, plastic, and metal to build robust structures as wild as their imaginations. There’s an adult present to help every 4 kids and the fully stocked workshop ensure that kids are safe and can construct anything their imaginations can dream up. Each session offers five days of tinkering from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Ages: 5-8 for Tinkering Juniors or 9-12 for bigger Tinkerers
Dates: Jun. 8-Aug. 21
Locations: Mar Vista and Pasadena
COVID-19 Update: This summer, the ReDiscover Center is offering three programs (with more to come, so check back!): At Home Tinkering Together for ages 5-8, Online Tinkering Camp for ages 9-12, and an in-person camp for ages 7-12 running June 8-August 21. You can make reservations online; if they aren't able to hold the in-person camp as planned, you can opt to receive a full refund, make a donation to the nonprofit, or save the credit for future use. Your registration fee also includes a free Tinkering Tool Kit to help get you started.
This popular camp taking place at Hancock Park Elementary lets kids fully customize their day, based on what interests them the most. The camp offers traditional sports, both art and science projects, water play, special on-site surprises and so much more!
Dates: Jun. 15-Aug. 14
Covid-19 Update: Got Game has gone online with morning (10am-12:00pm) or afternoon (1pm-3pm) programs, available Mon. thru Fri. Kiddos get personalized one-on-one attention, plus a chance to interact with peers and make new friends. Visit them online for more details.
Web Design, Computer Building, Drone Programming: these sounds like skills you need to put on your resume. But they’re actually camps your little genius (and one who will care for you in your retirement) can take. Engineer-minded young mavens will be in heaven with these challenging and skill-building camps.
Ages: 6 & up (varies by camp type)
Dates: Vary by location, camps are available from June 15-August 7
Cost: $299/week per half day camp (3 hours per day)
Locations: Hermosa Beach,Torrance and La Canada
Covid-19 Update: All of Ucode's camps have moved online for summer 2020. Visit their website to register.
Kallpachay means “to inspire” in the ancient Incan language and this summer camp inspires a sense of playfulness and ease while learning a new language. That’s right: this camp is full immersion and taught by all native Spanish speakers. But it’s not just for kids who speak Spanish, the play aspect ensures that kids of all levels of the language (even beginners) have a great time and can understand what’s happening. Kids open their day with a group circle, “ice-breaker” activities and chants and move onto group activities. Language is learned through arts, crafting and gardening and even daily cooking classes to introduce Latin flavors—so kids learn through practice that language emerges from culture. Camp is from 9-11 a.m. or 12-2 p.m.
Dates: June 22-July 31
Locations: Pasadena, Venice, Agoura Hills, Tarzana, Santa Monica
Covid-19 update: Kallpachay is moving fully online for the summer. Kids will be split into groups of 3 to 5 campers based on their age and Spanish-speaking ability. Each session will be filled with songs, skits and active learning activities. You can register for all six weeks or any combination of 1 to 5 weeks. As the guidelines for gathering are adjusted, they're also looking into small group options for in-person sessions—check their website for the latest details.
Galileo Innovation Camp, a beloved Bay Area summer camp, arrived in LA just last summer. The imaginative curriculum and nurturing environment instills confidence alongside the learning, and it’s so much fun kids beg for an extra week. Each week, at Camp Galileo (for PreK-5th Grade) explore one of four themes that combine art, science and outdoor activities into a narrative that keeps kids engaged. This summer, kids are split into age groups to study Circus Arts & Rides, Science of Motion, Medieval Adventures and Safari. Bigger kids are also welcome, at Galileo Summer Quest, which provides more challenging seminars. Camp is from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. daily and Pre-K & K campers also have a half day option, where you can save $40/week. Extended care is available.
Covid-19 Update: In-person camp is canceled for summer 2020, but Galileo will be launching live online summer camp classes for kids entering kindergarten through 8th grade. Subscribe to their email list for updates. In the meantime, they're also offering Camp Galileo Anywhere, with free activity ideas and videos centered around a different theme each week.
Performing Arts Workshops
This summer, Performing Arts Workshops are going online! Kids ages 5 to 14 will have the chance to grow their singing, dancing and acting skills while socializing and having a blast. Workshops include theater games, improv, guitar and sleight of hand, and each week is themed around a favorite musical, from Cats to The Sound of Music to High School Musical. They're offering eight 1-week sessions, and you can choose from a partial day, a half day, or a full day.
Dates: June 15-August 7
Aloha Beach Camp
If your child loves the beach, Aloha Beach Camp provides the perfect setting for enjoying sand, surf and sun. The goal of the program is to help young children feel comfortable and safe in the ocean. Here, campers will take surf lessons and boogie board lessons, participate in group sand games and enjoy many other aquatic activities. Your little one will not want to say aloha to this camp when summer comes to a close.
Dates: July 6-August 21
Covid-19 Update: Aloha Beach Camp hopes to open this summer, pending approval from LA County officials. Their tentative start date is July 6, but this is subject to change. Enrollment is closed for the time being, but you can join the interest list to be notified if/when registration opens up again.
Fashion Design Camp
Darling, let loose your inner Coco! Kids start at the very beginning by creating a vision board, then learn fashion sketching, fabric picking, and finally they create a collection. At the end of the week, the kids are transformed into fledgling fashion designers and debut their line at a fashion show that friends and families can attend (front row seats, of course). Kids as young as 6 can get in the fashion game, and go back to school wearing their own creations.
Dates: June 1-September 4
Covid-19 Update: They hope to resume in-person camps as soon as it's safe, and will be operating at 30% capacity. Kids can also participate in an online version of camp, where they'll get to work with a professional fashion designer and graphic designer to create a unique garment and brand. The designer will then sew up their ideas and consult with the students on the process of their garment all the while teaching them different aspects of designs. At the end of the week, they'll out their finished garment(s), ready for your budding designers to unbox and rock at home.
If you’ve got an engineer, a tinker, a robot-building thinker, these camps are for them. They offer two types of camps at Rolling Robots – Robot Inventor Camps (Robots Rock, Lego Mindstorms or Arduino Bots programming) and Video Game Creator Camps (from Scratch code for the youngest all the way up to Minecraft and Unity programming or 3D design and printing for big kids). So they really can spend the summer playing video games or playing with robots and you won’t object because they’ll be exercising their minds, not wasting them.
Dates: June 15-August 21
Covid-19 Update: Rolling Robots will hold both online and onsite, in-person (3 locations) camps for the summer; register now for a week-long camp. You can choose from the morning session (9 a.m.-12 p.m.) or the afternoon session (1 p.m.-4 p.m.). For onsite camps, they will be held at reduced capacity with abundant precaution measures in place. More details can be found on their website.
School of Rock
So you’ve got a little rock superstar? At this rock camp, kids learn music, performance techniques, and bond with their band. Throughout the week kids go from zero to a full set of songs and performance. The week includes group rehearsal, music trivia, song casting, one-on-one attention from all-star instructors, gear education, and band-related activities all aimed at helping kids learn a set of songs to be totally ready to rock them by the end of the week. Your kiddos can pick from playing drums, singing, shredding guitar, playing bass or keyboards. They’re all in the band. And you’ll be the biggest groupie.
Dates: June 1-August 28
Location: Pasadena, Fairfax, Burbank, Venice
Covid-19 Update: Depending on local regulations, some schools will be offering online camps, some physical, and some will have a blend of both. Online camps will include workshops, activities and group-based learning, and by the end of the week your mini musicians will learn how to record their own music remotely.
Perfect Day Beach and Surf Camp
The name of the game here is “convenient,” which as busy parents, we adore. It’s convenient if you’ve got little ones of multiple ages, since they have Beach Camp for the 4-8 crowd, and Surf Camp for big kids (8-17) right at the same drop off location. It’s convenient because of the flex scheduling, which lets you pick individual days or weeks, and lets you change those dates anytime (up until a week before the day of class). And mostly it’s convenient because you don’t spend any time convincing kids to go—they’re begging to hop out of the car and build sand castles, body surf, wave jump and boogie board. Even the 4-year-olds start to learn about the waves and how to catch them, and big kids spend most of their time in the water, but take breaks for volleyball, prisoner, soccer, capture the flag, dodge-ball and ocean safety. Choose from morning (9 a.m.-noon), afternoon (noon-3 p.m.) and all day, with optional extended hours.
Location: Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach, Torrance, Redondo
Covid-19 Update: They hope to get started for the summer during Phase 3 of LA County's reopening—check back on their website for updates. They'll be taking safety precautions including daily sanitizing of equipment, social distancing for campers and no sharing of wetsuits.
Arboretum Summer Nature Camp
Nature-minded parents will love sending their kids to the Arboretum Summer Nature Camp. Explorers from ages 5-10 will dig in the dirt, plant seedlings, test their cooking skills and play plenty of games. There are nine one-week sessions throughout the summer with a different theme for each one. Prices are quoted for non-members but will go down if you join the Arboretum.
Dates: June 8-August 14
Covid-19 Update: They're hoping to run their in-person camps as scheduled with reduced attendance (no more than 10 campers), but are awaiting approval from LA County officials. Check back on their website for updates. You can register in the meantime; if your dates are canceled, you'll get a full refund.
Tom Sawyer Camp
The great outdoors beckon at Hahamonga Watershed Park, above Devil’s Gate Dam in the Arroyo Seco of Altadena. While Tom Sawyer had the Mississippi River, young campers here have horses to ride (and paint), mud balls to make and circus tricks to learn, all in a safe and nurturing environment en plein air, with no video game in sight. The four Tom Sawyer summer camps on offer are divided by age groups, starting at 3 years old and going up to 9th grade.
Dates: June 15-August 14
Cost: $825+/two days
Covid-19 Update: They are hoping to run camp this summer while following guidelines from state and local authorities. They won't be offering door-to-door transportation or extended hours. Check back on their website for the latest updates.
Santa Monica Playhouse Early Stages Workshop
The Early Stages workshop at Santa Monica Playhouse for 4-to-6-year-olds focuses on the delights of creativity, self-expression, and imagination, instilling a true love of sharing, caring, and performance. Structured creative activities such as story-telling, crafts, songs, movement, make-up, and costumes culminate in a live performance. The workshop stimulates cognitive, language, social, emotional and physical skills in the early stages of a child’s development in a fun, comfortable, and supportive atmosphere. The Early Stages Workshop has one session, July 13-17 and meets Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-noon.
Dates: July 13-17
Covid-19 Update: The Early Stages Workshop will be online this summer, unless the social distancing mandate is lifted before then. In the meantime, the Santa Monica Playhouse is also offering Zoom classes for the month of June for kids ages 7 to 12. It's $100 for 4 classes (offered Thursdays or Saturdays) and will include a playlet at the end. Space is limited; register on their website.
featured image: Annenberg Pet Space