No doubt, your kids are counting down the days ’til summer! If you’re looking for ways to fill all those unstructured days with meaningful and fun activities that stretch kids to learn something new and build confidence, we’ve got your guide to summer camps that offer unique experiences. From yoga or ninja warrior training to sewing, photography and science, read on for where to set up camp.

photo: DeLeon Dynamics

DeLeon Dynamics
If you’ve found yourself saying one too many times that the living room is not a trapeze area, then it’s time to book a camp that cashes in on your kids’ dynamic energy and teaches them some fun new skills. DeLeon Dynamics in Rancho Bernardo offers camps that feature instruction in aerial skills, tumbling, PARKOUR! and Ninja Warrior training. They’ll literally climb the walls using the gym’s silks, hoops and ropes with friendly, patient instructors to support them. Parents can rest assured that while kids are having a blast rolling, vaulting and flipping, their safety is always stressed and protected. “Safety is our number one concern. Our programs teach skills in safe progressions to increase confidence and strength – especially upper body and core,” states owner Nicole Flores. Camps consist of instruction, team-building activities, games, open gym time and craft time.

Dates: Week long camps from June 25 to Aug 10, except the week of July 4.
See website for day camp options the week of July 4.
Times: Full day 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; late pickup available at hourly rate.
Cost: $200/week, 10% sibling discount.

12335 World Trade Dr.
San Diego, Ca 92128

photo: Challenge Island 

Challenge Island at Rockin’ Jump
Challenge Island’s action-packed summer camps are focused around pop culture themes kids love. This year’s offerings include Super Hero, Slime Squad, Maui and Moana and Super Sleuth Camps. Parents love the activities grounded in STEAM concepts and the excellent teachers who build the all-important aspect of teamwork into each activity. Kids tackle science challenges with problem-solving, creativity and collaboration. Then, they blow off steam with new friends and get some exciting exercise on trampolines. Camps are located at Rockin’ Jump and offer kids an hour of jump time after two hours of science fun.

Dates: Week long camps starting the week of June 18 through the week of Aug. 13.
Times: Morning sessions: 9 a.m.-12 p.m. or afternoons 1-4 p.m.
Cost: $179/week

8190 Miralani Dr.
San Diego, Ca 92126
Email Director Rebecca Tanag:

photo: Paintbox Studio

Paintbox Studio
Got a budding fashionista who wants to sharpen her sewing skills or a newbie who wants to try sewing for the first time? Paintbox Studio in Mission Hills offers camps that are sure to make them shine. In a small group setting (they only enroll between 7 and 15 kids each session) kids learn basic machine skills, machine threading and problem-solving. In the morning they work on a structured project: a duffle bag, a stuffed animal, or a piece of clothing. Afternoons are dedicated to “free sew” where kids can make whatever their hearts desire! Teacher Jaimee, a local mom and UC San Diego grad, has a background in clothing and swimwear design and has taught children’s art classes, sewing and needle-craft for 15 years to kids of all ages.

Dates: One week sessions beginning June 11 through Sept. 7.
Times: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost : $415/ week, 10% sibling discount, See website for extended day and early drop-off options.
Or, drop in for a day $85, or even a half day $43 to try it.

Paint Box Washington Place Studio
1101 Washington Pl.
San Diego, Ca 92103

photo: Yoga Rascals

Yoga Rascals
Do your kids thrive in a calm environment or need to practice self calming? Yoga Rascals’ campers embark on exciting yoga adventures each day in their week long camp. Students ages 5-10 learn about yoga throughout the world, practice numerous yoga poses, sun salutations, relaxation, breathing and mindfulness techniques. On the beautiful terrace and adjacent lawn, they take time for outdoor play, nature exploration, arts & crafts, yoga songs and even creating a summer camp journal.

Dates: Two weeks available: June 25-29, half day or full day; July 9-13, half day only
Times: Half day 9 a.m.-1p.m., full day 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: Half day/$185; Full day/$310

La Mesa Community Center
4975 Memorial Dr.
La Mesa, Ca 91942

 photo: San Diego Art Camp Facebook

San Diego Art Camp
Got a little Renaissance kiddo who thrives in a small group setting? San Diego Art Camp, sponsored by House of Czech and Slovak Republics at the International Cottages offers a full range of the arts in beautiful Balboa Park. Enrolling only 15 students per session, budding artists are sure to bloom as they receive the full attention of well-trained instructors.

During the week, campers discover a wide variety of art forms including photography, digital media, ceramics, music and dance. They’ll use the park as their muse taking great photos while learning about lighting and composition. Later, they’ll head to the computer lab and learn to retouch photos and create an online portfolio of their work. In addition, artists will try their hand at shaping and painting clay and they’ll enjoy world music and dance to exercise their mind and body.

Dates: 5 day camps offered the weeks of July 18, June 25, July 6 and August 13.
Times: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (Call to ask about before/after care rates)
Cost: $260/week

San Diego Art Camp
2170 Pan American Plaza
San Diego, Ca 92101-4792

Do you know of a unique summer camp for kids? Share in the comments!

––Cherie Gough


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