For working parents of school-aged children, spring break (Mar 23-27 for PPS) can present a logistical challenge. Even though school’s out, you still have work, and your kids still need to be cared for and engaged in meaningful activities. That’s where this long list of awesome spring break camps in Portland comes in! We’ve scouted out the best offerings. Read on to take your pick, and enroll early, as camps fill quickly.

Portland Parks & Recreation

Some of the most affordable and high-quality camps are offered through community centers throughout the city, run by Portland Parks & Recreation. These camps combine a mix of active play, games, and crafts, sometimes with a specific art or sport focus. Browse the online catalog and register in advance. Scholarships are available. Most camps are half-day, with select locations offering full-day camps. Aftercare availability varies by location.

Locations vary
Age: preschool-5th grade
Online: portlandparks.org

Trackers Earth

Another popular option, Trackers Earth leads kids on full-day excursions to natural areas and studios, where they learn hands-on practical skills in archery, parkour, woodworking, and even blacksmithing. Younger children can enjoy themed outdoor play: fairies, elves, and baby dragons anyone? Camps are full-day, and aftercare is available.

4617 SE Milwaukie Ave., Portland (HQ)
503-345-3312
Age: pre-K-12th grade
Online: trackerspdx.com

Oregon Zoo

Let your kids connect with animals during half-day and full-day experiences at the zoo. Each camp provides age-appropriate themed games, tours, stories, songs, animal visitors and take-home art projects. Combining active outdoor play with hands-on indoor exploration of scientific technologies in the zoo’s conservation centers, campers will have fun while learning to care for the natural world.

4001 SW Canyon Rd., Portland
503-226-1561
Age: 4-Grade 6
Online: Oregonzoo.org

Mr. David’s School of Film

Have a budding movie-maker in your family? Immerse them in the world of animation and movie-making! Kids as young as five can choose from Stop Motion, Lego Animation, and Movie Maker, with multiple attendance options. Sign up for mornings only, single full-dar, or attend full days all week!

Hosted by Waverly UCC
3300 SE Woodward St
mrdavidfilm@gmail.com
Age: 5-14
Online: mrdavidfilm.com

Portland Children’s Museum

Let your curious kiddo loose! At the Portland Children’s Museum’s full-day spring break camp, children get the chance to explore the hands-on exhibits, enjoy outdoor play and organized games, and express themselves with creative materials. Campers can enjoy drawing, painting, printmaking, clay, and exploring natural materials.

4015 SW Canyon Rd., Portland
503 223-6500
Age: 5-7
Online: portlandcm.org

Zenger Farm Camp

Welcome spring amidst the quiet beauty of outer East Portland’s beloved Zenger Farm. Campers get to explore wetlands, tend chickens and other farm animals, prepare garden beds for first crops, hunt for bugs, and take part in making a meal from farm-fresh food! Sign up for one or multiple full days, with extended care available. Each day has its own theme. A sliding scale is available to make this camp affordable to all families.

11741 SE Foster Rd., Portland
503-282-4245
Age: K-6th Grade
Online: zengerfarm.org

Photo: David Owen via flickr

NW Children’s Theater

The play’s the thing! Let your little thespians take center stage with the NW Children’s Theater spring break programming, designed to introduce even the littlest actor to stage arts. Younger campers gain confidence and engage narrative skills with a Pete the Cat themed half-day First Stage camp. Full day camps allow older campers to put together shows like The Paper Bag Bandit, The BFG, and Sleeping Beauty in the City. Plan to attend the final performance on the last day of camp! Before and after care available.

1819 NW Everett St.
503-222-2190
Age: 6-11
Online: nwcts.org

Nature Day Camps at Tryon Creek

Hit the trails with skilled naturalists and educators, and discover the magic of the forest at Tryon Creek! Short hikes, crafts, games, and songs help campers engage with the forest using all of their senses. Half-day camps are available for younger children, with full-day experiences for kids up to age 12.

11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd., Portland
(503) 636-4398
Age: 5-12
Online: tryonfriends.org

Audubon Society

This full-day camp introduces children to the Audubon Society’s learning center in Forest Park, as well as excursions to other wild areas. Younger campers will enjoy a different theme each day, learning about animals through games, art projects, and searching for animals in the wildlife sanctuary. Older campers can explore the natural world through nature photography, learning from wildlife veterinarians, and birding. Aftercare available.

5151 NW Cornell Rd
503-292-6855
Age: Grades 1-8
Online: audubonportland.org

Photo: Playground Gym via yelp

The Playground Gym

This dynamic gymnastics facility has created an action-packed spring break camp curriculum that includes open-gym time, organized games, skill-building activities, crafts, and more. Introduce your child to a range of skills drawn from martial arts, parkour, creative athletics, and gymnastics. Their unique padded play area offers equipment designed for open-ended play. Tucker them out with active fun! Half days and full days available in both single- and multiple-day packages.

505 NE Grand Ave., Portland
503-235-7529

5215 N. Lombard, Portland
503-894-8503

Age: 5-13
Online: theplaygroundgym.com

-Melissa Poulin

photo: Trackers via facebook

Trackers Earth

Trackers Earth operates under the assumption that kids are bright, clever, and able to handle a lot more than we give them credit for. Letting them get outside to get messy while exploring nature and their own abilities makes for one heck of a spring break. They can learns the arts of stealth and archery, or romp through meadows pretending to be wizards and ninjas. They day camps are open to kids as young as 4, and each one is perfectly tailored to a specific age group. The camps are always a hit with kids!

4617 SE Milwaukie Ave., Portland (HQ)
503-345-3312
Online: trackerspdx.com

Portland Children’s Museum

Give your child a chance to explore and get messy for a whole week at the Portland Children’s Museum! Their spring break camp is full of imagination, offering kids the chance to become artists, inventors, and scientists with all the supplies they need to create masterpieces. And you don’t have to clean up anything! They’ll get the chance to play in the exhibits, explore outside, and use paint, clay, and more to create.

4015 SW Canyon Road
503 223-6500
Online: portlandcm.org

photo: NW Children’s Theater

NW Children’s Theater

The NW Children’s Theater is open to all kids ages 6-11, with plenty of options for the littlest to the oldest. Every child can shine in the way they do best with a range of camp options. Fun stories and wacky adventures are only the beginning as your child gains the confidence to get out on stage and wow the audience–or themselves!

1819 NW Everett St.
503-222-2190
Online: nwcts.org

Audubon Society

Join the Audubon Society for a variety of nature-based camps aimed for grades 1-8. Your kids will find something to interest them in the options of classes, from Gorgeous Geology to Hidden Superheroes of the forest. Some classes are onsite at their beautiful learning center in Forest Park, while others head out into the wild for on-location scouting. Day and weeklong camps are available.

5151 NW Cornell Rd
503-292-6855
Online: audubonportland.org

photo: via the children’s gym

The Children’s Gym

The Children’s Gym offers everything your child needs to feel strong and adventurous! They’ve got bars, rings, beams, tumbling equipment and even a vaulting table, and their coaches and instructors are fantastic. Your child can focus on gymnastics in a supportive environment, or take a class on bouldering, dance acrobatics, and more! Spring Break offers a whole week of strengthening skills through group games, open gym time, and one on one instruction.

1625 NE Sandy Blvd.
503-249-5867
Online: childrensgym.com

—Katrina Emery

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