“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Go ahead, ask your little one. Chances are they have some amazing, and very fixed ideas. Princess, tightrope walker, Jedi knight, Harry Potter, surfer, fashion designer, baseball player, rock star, farmer… all fanciful, fantastical things. Things that make us smile, but we know they probably won’t really ever be a princess or Jedi. Or will they? What if you could let them live out their dreams this summer? These summer camps provide endless fun and fuel big dreams in little people. (You just may want to sign up for them yourself!)

685790529_abd83859af_zphoto: Jon Rawlinson via Creative Commons

My Lady, Your Tiara: Mermaid and Snow Queen Camp
Your little princess will spend mornings or afternoons  learning the princess basics: dance, music, drama, crafts and curtsying, all while wearing a camp shirt and princess tutu. The week ends with a visit from a surprise Princess Rapunzel who will coronate the princess boot camp graduates.

Ballet with Miss Aimee
41 E. Montecito Ave.
Sierra Madre
Online: littleprincessacademy.com


Wave Your Wand: Magic Camp
Bypass platform 9 ¾ and go straight to summer school – kids who want to learn amazing feats of magic and illusion can now experience an interactive hands-on magic program. Kids learn learning about sleight of hand, redirection, hand and finger exercises, flourishes, magic theory and the magical the mainstays of the magician’s repertoire, such as card tricks, the classic cups and balls, coin tricks, juggling, rings and strings, rope tricks, math magic, linking rings and more.  Wands a the ready!

Magic Matrix Camp
There are 8 locations from the Westside to Pasadena, the South Bay and the Valley
Online: performingartsworkshops.com/MagicMatrixCamp

4653365347_2abeb8c8f9_ophoto: Nicki Dugan Pogue via Creative Commons

Feel the Force: Jedi Academy Camp
If your kid loves anything and everything Star Wars, plays with lightsabers and dresses up as Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia or Darth Vader, then this camp is for your little Jedi. Kids will create their own Jedi character, develop their balance and coordination through Jedi training games, practice flight simulation, study the astronomy of our own galaxy and learn to use their lightsabers. The camp closes with a choreographed fight that the kids perform at the end of the week when they complete their training and receive their Jedi certificate. (Swordplay also offers Harry Potter Wizard Camp, Super Hero Camp, Dragon Training and Ninjago Ninja Camp.)

416 S. Victory Blvd.
Online: swordplayla.com


Beachy Babes Get Sun Kissed: 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.

Aloha Beach Camp
Paradise Cove
28128 Pacific Coast Highway
Online: alohabeachcamp.com

You, your family and friends are all invited to a fun-filled day at the Brandeis-Bardin Campus in Simi Valley! Join us THIS SUNDAY, November 23 from 12-4pm and explore the nature center, take a ring ride on a horse, play gaga, climb the rock wall, make a craft, enjoy archery, and cook over a campfire! Only $5 per person, kids 3 and under are FREE! No RSVP required, just come and have fun! Only 25 minutes from the Valley and 40 from the Westside. Let me know if you have any questions. I hope to see you there!photo: Brandeis-Bardin


Hop in the Saddle: Callie Bell Horse Camp
Little horse lovers can spend the day learning about, riding and caring for horses at the stables. There’s plenty of time for fun and games, with each session revolving around four-legged friends. Each student will receive a workbook containing important information on horse safety, horse anatomy, tack, as well as coloring pages, puzzles and other fun games. For “little riders” (kids 3-6) there are specific camp sessions reserved to accommodate their needs.

Portuguese Bend Riding Club
40 Narcissa Dr.
Rancho Palos Verdes
Online: calliebell.com


Fly Through the Air: Circus Camp
Your little clowns can spend their summer days learning acrobatics, aerial arts, clowning, juggling, stilt-walking, and even put on their own circus show at the end of each week. Camp sessions stays small so each kiddo gets individual attention and learns in a safe and creative environment (they need lots of help and attention learning to tightrope walk – we’ve tried it and it’s tough!).

Kinetic Theory
3604 Holdrege Ave.
Los Angeles 90016
Online: kinetictheorytheatre.com

6943102493_838a362ce8_zphoto: Mark S. Lewis via Creative Commons

Hanging Ten this Summer: Surf Camp
Bro, your kids (5 and up) will spend the day playing and relaxing while learning how to handle themselves competently in the surf. The professional instructors pride themselves on teaching a top notch technique that has every kid going down the line by the end of the week. And fear not: safety is their top priority and every child uses top quality foam surfboards, bodyboards and full length wetsuits.

Learn to Surf LA
Locations in Santa Monica/Venice and Manhattan Beach
Online: learntosurfla.com


Make It Work: 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.

Unincorporated Life
1150 N Western Ave.
Los Angeles
Online: theunincorporatedlife.com

ASBBS kids 4photo: All-Star Baseball School

Batter Up: Baseball Camp
Former MLB pros run this school that teaches kids the fundamentals of baseball, like hitting, pitching, fielding, throwing, base-running & situational defense as well as sportsmanship, teamwork and just how to have fun and love the all American game. Sluggers get instructional time in the morning and then head out to the field in the afternoon for scrimmage games.

All-Star Baseball School
660 Stoney Dr.
South Pasadena, California.
Phone: (626) 441-4454
Online: allstarbaseballschool.com

rolling robotsphoto: Rolling Robots

Head for the 22nd Century: Robotics Camp
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.

Rolling Robots
Camp takes places in Glendale, West LA or Palos Verdes
Online: rollingrobots.com


E-I-E-I-O: Farm Camp
If your tot loves animals, nature, plants and farming, this is the dream summer spot for them. Underwood Farms (the place you get your pumpkins) has a summer camp where your little rancher will interact with a wide variety of farm animals and bring home their very own fruits and vegetables picked straight from the fields. Here they’ll learn what it takes to grow the perfect strawberry and how to sheer a sheep. The highlight of the week is an Animal Show put on by the kids to educate and entertain their family and friends.

Underwood Farms
3370 Sunset Valley Rd.
Online: underwoodfamilyfarms.com

5340133724_bb11ef5803_zphoto: Joe Mabel via Creative Commons

Twist and Shout: Rock and Roll Camp
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.

School of Rock
7801 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles 90036
Phone: (323) 999-1919
Online: fairfax.schoolofrock.com

If you’re still looking for more camp options, you clearly haven’t visited our Summer Camp Central, where you can find a camp for any kid, of any age, with any interest!

What does your little camper dream of? And have you found the perfectly perfect off-the-beaten path camp for them?

—Meghan Rose