Spring is here and that means that summer camp is right around the corner. If that statement sends you into a mild panic, fear not! We’ve gathered up a bunch of camps that will teach the kids all sorts of awesome skills like cooking, kayaking and coding. Best news of all—we checked and they have openings and are just waiting for your little one to sign up. So get on it and start filling up that summer calendar!
Does your little one insist on being called Harry (even though her name is Genevieve?). Then this is her summer camp. There are a few spots left at Hogwarts Americana, the fantastical school in Tiburon where little wizards learn the ropes. This week-long summer camp will be a dream come true for Harry Potter fans, who will get schooled in everything from potion making to quidditch skills, and even compete in the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Campers will be sorted into one of the four Hogwarts Americana houses: Embredor, Firesong, Grizzlestorm or Paladorn and then attend classes such as Muggle Magic, Defense Against the Dark Arts and Care of Magical Creatures. Getting dressed in the morning will be its own adventure, as costumes are encouraged!
Dates: June 19-23, 26-30 and July 3-7
600 Neds Way
Photo: Coastal Camp
Coastal Camp at NatureBridge
Connect with nature in the Marin Headlands with weekly themes like marine biology, coastal ecology, conservation and cultural history. Campers get up close with tidepool creatures in the intertidal marine lab, create field sketches while overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, sail the Bay on an 82 foot schooner and hike along coastal trails to the historic Point Bonita Lighthouse. They even offer a shuttle service from San Francisco, Sausalito and Mill Valley.
Dates: June 12 – August 18
1033 Fort Cronkhite
Photo: 888 Monkeys
888 Monkeys Circus Camp
If you kid has always wanted to run off and join the circus, this is the camp for you. Campers learn skills like trapeze, juggling, acrobatics, tight wire, stilts, unicycle and clowning. The week ends with a performance on the last day.
Dates: weekly sessions held June 12 – August 4
Locations: Los Gatos, Palo Alto, Redwood City and San Carlos
Photo: Cooking Round the World
Cooking Round the World
This delicious option is perfect for foodies in training, and offers numerous campuses throughout Oakland and Lafayette. Each day your little chef will get to experience a different country though their culinary dishes and traditions as they cook and eat 5-7 dishes each day. In additional to all the edible education, campers will also dabble in foreign language skills, play international games and learn folktales from other parts of the world. The mini chefs will close out the week with a rousing game of “Chopped,” and hopefully, graduates will take over dinner duty for a while!
Dates: Weeklong camps offered June 12–Aug. 25
See all locations and sign up here: cookingroundtheworld.com
Simple. Unplugged. Fun. That’s the game at Abundant Summers where kids ages 4 to 10 are encouraged to explore and just be kids. Campers shape their own camp day. Meal times are communal but other than that, kids can choose to engage in structured activities like mask-making and kickball, or they can choose unstructured time to build, climb and make art. Little ones 2 and older can be junior campers and big sibs can join the Future Facilitators program.
Dates/Locations: Week-long camps held at Lake Temescal (June 12-August 18) and Tilden Park (August 21-September 1)
Avid 4 Adventure
If you believe kids should come home from summer camp dirty, exhausted and maybe even with a skinned knee or two, then this camp is for you. From biking, climbing, hiking and even paddle boarding and kayaking, the experienced instructors will lead campers in a variety of never-boring adventures, all while taking advantage of the area’s bountiful parks, mountains, lakes and rivers. These camps are perfect for kids with extra energy to burn, and the stimulating experiences will build confidence and ensure they know how to find their way through a forest when Google Maps isn’t available.
Dates: June 5-August 18
Photo: The Coder School
The Coder School
At our summer camps we mastered Cat’s Cradle, but today’s campers will come home with the ability to build websites, design games, even create their own social media platforms. The Coder School is a wildly popular South Bay institution, training the next generation of techies. This camp has gotten so popular that it has expanded its locations to seven spots from Berkeley to San Jose. Check your location to see if they are offering an early bird discount!
Dates: Week-long camps at their 7 locations offered June 12-August 4
Photo: Steve and Kate’s
Steve and Kate’s Camp
A total procrastinator’s dream, Steve and Kate’s Camp offers drop-in camps for kids as young as 4 at their sixteen Bay Area locations. Camps run Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and you can drop off your camper any time during that period with no advance notice needed. Camp days are totally led by each kid – they choose from activities relating to film, bread-making, coding, fashion and film. There’s no worry about kids getting bored as they can literally move to another activity whenever they choose. You can purchase any number of day passes you wish and use them at any of their locations. Plus, you are automatically refunded for any passes that you buy and don’t use by the end of the summer.
Dates: Daily, drop-in camp from June 12 – August 11 (exact dates vary by location)
Editor’s Note: At the time of publication, all of the above camps had open spaces available.
Where will your camper be heading this summer? Tell us in the comments below!
—Kate Loweth & Erin Feher