For parents trying to keep their brood busy amidst the holiday hullabaloo, winter camps can be a saving grace. With options from jewelry making to art camp to animal themes, there is something to suit every little one in your household. Read on for our picks for winter camps this season.

San Francisco

Winter Zoo Camp
Your little monkeys will swing for joy at the SF Zoo’s Winter Camp, which offers two week-long sessions for kids ages 4 through 5th grade. Kids will learn about hibernation, migration, camouflage, and other animal adaptations, go on Zoo tours, do themed crafts and games and have playtime on the newly re-opened playground.

Dates: Dec. 23 – 27 and Dec. 30 – Jan. 3 (no camp on Christmas or New Years Day)
Time: 9 a.m. -12 p.m. (PreK) & 9 a.m. -4 p.m. (Grades 1-5)
Ages: 4 years – 5th grade
Cost:PreK/K: $188/child. Grades 1-5, cost is $256/child with discounts available for members.



SF Gymnastics
Kids hyped up for the holidays? Let them burn off some of that energy at the SF Gymnastics Winter camp. Tumbling, hopping, jumping, and dancing—SF Gymnastics puts the active back in activity. (Almost) guaranteed to have your kids sleeping through the night, so you can get some late-night wrapping done.

When: Week 1, Dec. 26 & 27; Week 2, Dec. 30 & 31 and Jan. 2 & 3
Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Ages:4 ½ and up
Cost: $75/day; Week 1: $130; Week 2: $260 with discounts available for members.


East Bay

Habitot Children’s Museum Winter Camp
For the smallest of Santa’s Little Helpers, the Habitot Children’s Museum in Berkeley offers an array of adorable activities to keep them busy all on a winter’s day. Make snow, build sugar snow castles, bake gingerbread cookies, and more.

Dates: Dec. 26, 27, 30, 31, & Jan. 2 & 3
Time: 9 a.m. – 1p.m.
Cost:$39/day, $225 for all 6 days.



Berkeley Playhouse’s Winter Camps
School may be out, at The Berkeley Playhouse, it’s on and it rocks! This year’s winter camp is based on the musical School House Rocks so don’t be surprised when the kids start belting out Conjunction Junction during bath time. There is also a non-musical option for classes based on Arabian Nights. Great fun for kids ages 4 and up.

Dates: Dec. 23- 27; Dec. 30- Jan. 3 (no classes Christmas or New Years Day)
Times: PreK, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., K-2nd , 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., 2nd – 6th, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Ages: 4 years – 6 grade. Classes offered for kids 2-4 but require an adult attending.


South Bay/Peninsula

CuriOdyysey Winter Camp
Kids will go wild for this camp which includes science experiments, animal encounter, and  outdoor adventures. Each day has a different Science-based theme, including CSI (CuriOdyssey Science Investigators) and Coyote Point Explorers. Sign the kids up for one day or all four. Extended care available.

Dates: Dec. 23, 26, 27 & 30
Time: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. with extended care beginning at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m.
Ages: 1st – 3rd grade
Cost: $129/day; members, $99/day.


December 23, 26, 27 & 30 8:30 am-5:00 pm Grades: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Keep the kids entertained and engaged during their winter break! Explore CSI science, sling shots, live animal encounters, surprising solids and liquids, and more this winter with CuriOdyssey’s single day camps. Each day features an engaging science theme, and you can sign up for just one day or all four. To register, please visit our Winter Camp webpage to learn more and sign up.  

Jewelry Making Camp at Dragonfly Design
Want your kids to leave camp with some mad skillz? Dragonfly Designs offers a winter camp for kids ages 5 and up where kids learn the fine are of jewelry craft, including crimping, resin, stamping and dapping, glass fusing and copper etching. Lunch time includes exploring nearby ecology and then incorporating nature into design. And major bonus: kids will leave this camp with enough jewelry to fill a jewelry box! Winter camp classes are held at the South San Francisco Studio.

Dates: Dec. 9- 13& Dec. 16-20.
Time: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., half-days are 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. or 12 – 3 p.m. Extended care hours from 8-9 a.m. and 3- 5 p.m.
Ages: 5 and up
Cost: Full week, $425/week; 4 day, $340/week; 3 day, $255/week. Single day: $85. Half day camps for $270/wk. See website for extended care pricing.


Marin County

Osher Marin JCC
Pack the swimsuits and the winter boots, for the Osher Marin JCC’s winter camp! With seven days of activities like arts and crafts, swimming, sports, and music, it’s like summer camp in the middle of winter.  Bonus: Affordable extended care options.

Dates: December 23-24, 26-27, 30 and January 2-3
Time: 9 a.m. -4 p.m.
Ages: K-6th grades
Cost:$90/day (members, $80/day). Morning aftercare $10/day; Evening aftercare, $15/day.


Osher Marin JCC Winter Camp

Bay Area Discovery Museum’s Art Camp
Send your little Van-Gough-Go’s to the Bay Area Discovery Museum’s Art Attack camp and let them get messy making art! This is the cure for cabin fever, without having to mop up after them.

Dates: Dec. 26 & 27; Jan. 2 & 3
Time: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Ages: 4-7
Cost: $225/per two-day session. Discounts for members.


Where you will sign up your kids for winter break camp? Tell us below!

— Amber Guetebier & Lauren Dupuis

Photo credit: SF Zoo; CuriOdyssey; Stephanie Pool Photography courtesy Osher Marin JCC