The crocuses are in bloom and spring is ahead, which clearly means it’s time to claim your spots in the hottest summer camps in town. We picked a variety of camps that will please your little artists, adventurers, outdoor lovers, mathematicians, and yogis. This summer your child will have the opportunity to explore nature, discover friendly dragons, practice soccer skills, learn deep breathing techniques, or bird watch! Read on to pick from our top 10 Portland Summer Camps, and don’t forget to visit our Summer Camp Guide for even more ideas.
Photo: Happy Mindful People
Avid4 is an adventure camp that believes in empowering kids through outdoor activities.This summer camp introduces kids to the power of the outdoors through outdoor sports such as climbing, mountain biking, hiking and paddling. Avid4 has previously run camps in the Colorado, Wyoming and the San Francisco Bay Area, and will offer two day camps in Portland this summer, including the Explorer Summer Camp for kids in kindergarten and 1st grade; and the Adventure Camp for kids in grades 2nd through 7th. The Explorer Summer Camp is a five-day, midweek camp running from mid-June through mid-August, and activities will include: kayaking, biking, hiking, paddle boarding, yoga and art. Prices start at $399 per kid and financial assistance and payment plans are available.
The Adventure Camp is also a five-day, midweek camp scheduled from mid-June through mid-August. Designed for older kids, the Adventure Camp takes activities up a notch from the Explorer Camp, giving kids the opportunity to rock climb, mountain bike, kayak, paddle board and hike. Prices also start at $399 per kid and financial assistance and payment plans are available.
At the Audubon Society kids can spend the week traveling to spots like Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge and Sauvie Island with binoculars on hand as the learn the techniques of bird identification! If you have a younger camper they might search the ponds for tadpoles and frogs and learn everything you need to know about their natural habitats. Older campers will use their orienteering ability to read the landscape with maps and compasses and discover secret, secluded, and spectacular trails and lakes around the Portland Metro area. At the Audubon Society kids will learn to walk on the wild side.
Half-day camps run from 8:45 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Full-day camps are 8:45/9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
$350-$380/week for full day classes, see website for half-day rates.
5151 NW Cornell Rd.
Photo: Mark Harrington via flickr
Trackers Earth offers award-winning summer camps. They are known to have fun and engaging camps that will tap into a variety of interests. Camps introduce kids to adventure, fantastic storytelling, new friends, forest fishing, apothecary, and so much more. Kids will experience the great outdoors with trained guides or unleash their inner designer by learning how to sew, craft, and design. Trackers Earth Camp offers different options and curriculum for all the age groups. Head to their website to find the camp that is best for your little!
Day camps are 7:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. with flexible drop-off and pick-up times and extended care until 6pm available.
$225-$375/week, more info online
Trackers Earth Portland
4617 SE Milwaukie Ave.
MetroArts Inc. Kids Camp
MetroArts Inc. Kids is celebrating their 27th anniversary! This camp gives kids ages 7-12 a chance to learn visual arts, music, and theatre. They are offering 3 weeks to choose from at Portland’5’s Newmark Theatre building. Each week has a unique and immersive multicultural experience. Kids spend the week creating original works in visual arts, music, and theater. They’ll get to learn from special guest teachers and take a field trip to the Portland Art Museum. Kids co-create a camp-wide performance for parents to enjoy at the end of the week. If your family is receiving support in the Free and Reduced Lunch Program, SNAP, or WIC, you can access the Scholarship Application Form here.
Full-day camps are 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
$224-$275/ week for full day classes, see website for pricing options.
Coding with Kids
Coding with Kids camps are a place for coders to unleash their creativity and take the next step on the Coder’s Ladder. Tech-savvy instructors will guide small groups of campers as they build games, interactive stories, websites, programmable circuits, and more. Campers will receive personalized instruction and collaborate with new friends. After camp, kids will be able to share projects with family and friends and continue development through online access. The camp structure remains the same however each week offers new projects and activities for kids to dive into! Prices vary by camp and location.
Half-day/ $279; Full day/ $479
8733 SE Division St, Ste 209
Photo: Happy Mindful People
Happy Mindful People
At Happy Mindful People kids are introduced to a social emotional curriculum through movement and mindfulness. Teachers incorporate strategies for emotional regulation and deep breathing in their cooperative learning games, arts & crafts, and daily yoga. The curriculum is designed to inspire personal and social change while invigorating your child’s body and nourishing their soul! Kids go on a daily nature exploration where they collect materials for art projects, stop to practice deep breathing, and enjoy observing nature. Each day they will learn a new cooperative learning game and sportsmanship skill. The arts and craft portion of camp is designed to help kids with focus and concentration while simultaneously igniting their creativity. Every camp day ends with a guided relaxation and a whole group read aloud where kids have the opportunity to rest their bodies and their busy minds.
Full day camps are from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
$65 per day; $310 per week
5145 SE Lincoln Street
Portland Children’s Museum Day Camp
Get ready to explore, experiment, and get messy! At the Portland Children’s Museum you have options for your budding gardeners, adventurous artists, engineers, scientists, builders, makers, and shakers! Each week campers will combine art materials with science and nature explorations to spark their imaginations. All camps include visits to indoor and outdoor Museum exhibits. Every week offers a new theme and adventure. Camps are appropriate for kids ages 4-6 and 7-9.
Day camps are 8:30 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. with extended care available for an additional cost.
Portland Children’s Museum
4015 SW Canyon Rd.
Oregon Zoo Discovery Days and Summer Camps
At the Oregon Zoo Summer camps kids get the chance to have up close encounters with animals, hands on experiences, and all sorts of wild adventure. Kids as young as 4 years old up to 8th grade can sign up for one of the week experiences. Campers go on Zoo tours, investigate animal movements, discover the secrets behind animals’ colors and patterns, learn about animal habitats, engage in interactive play, uncover the reasons behind animal behaviors, and so much more! Choose from a one day adventure or stay for a week long session. There are two week-long camp options for each age group plus five single day Discovery Day camps. If you are Interested in camp but not sure you’re little one is ready for a full week you are in luck. They also offer Discovery Days at the zoo which give campers the chance to dip their toes in the water.
Camps are 8:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. with extended care available from 7:30 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Half-day for ages 4-K 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Members: $60/full day, $30/half day; nonmembers: $65/full day, $35/half day
Members: $155-$370; nonmembers: $170-$410
4001 SW Canyon Rd.
Photo: j_arlecchino via Flickr
Zenger Farms Camp
At Zenger Farms everyone has a chance to get their hands dirty. Kids have hands on experience practicing how to plant seeds, harvest fruits and veggies, and then prepare meals from their bounty! They learn to cook and prepare delicious snacks, explore the bugs, birds, and bees that live on the farm, and make healing herbal remedies! Head to their website to find your child’s age group and then select your desired camp theme! Camp Zenger offers a sliding scale that is open to anyone.
8:45 a.m.- 3pm (early drop off and aftercare is available)
11741 SE Foster Rd.
At Catlin Gabel’s summer programming your child will be a part of their structured learning activities and outdoor play. Camps are divided into groups with options for kids ages 4-10, 11-13, and 14-18. All of the camps are age appropriate and range from the Summer Beehive program where kids learn through imaginative play and stories to on-site digital photography classes. The camp schedules vary by program so be sure to browse the website for more information. Extended care is available for an additional charge.
$225-$380 for the week
8825 SW Barnes Rd.
503-297-1894 Ext. 613