Gone are the days when parents fell short of options to entertain their kids in the summer.
Whether it’s at a park, zoo, museum, performing arts center or even at sea, South Florida children can spend the summer active and with their minds engaged with dozens of themes, games and activities.
Picking a camp to cater to your child’s hobbies and interests is easy, and there’s plenty to do this summer without breaking the bank:
Get in touch with nature
Boys and Girls can explore the South Florida outdoors with Miami-Dade County Parks’ EcoAdventures Nature Adventure Camps. Kids and teens will take part in nature hikes, canoeing, kayaking and swimming. Camps also include nature games, arts and crafts and field trips to Zoo Miami, Monkey Jungle, Shark Valley in Everglades National Park and more.
Camp runs from June 8 to Aug. 21, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, with the option of 7:30 a.m. early drop-off and 6:00 p.m. late pick-up options. Campers ages 6-14 can sign up at either A.D. Barnes Park EcoAdventure Center, 3401 SW 72nd Ave or at Greynolds Park Boathouse, 17530 W Dixie Highway. The camp costs $115 per week plus $12 registration fee. For more information, call A.D. Barnes Park at 305-662-4124 or Greynolds Park at 305-948-2891. Registration begins March 23.
At Deering Estate at Cutler, 16701 SW 72nd Ave., campers can become Eco Explorers or join Expedition Deering and take part in weekly field trips and nature-based learning through hiking, biking, art projects and water activities. Eleven, five-day camp sessions are available.
Camp runs from June 8 to Aug. 21, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, with pick-up from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Late pick-up is available from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m for an additional $10 a day. Eco Explorers (Ages 6-8) costs $165 per week, plus a $12 registration fee. Expedition Deering (Ages 9-14) costs $190 per week. For more information, call the Deering Estate Ticket Office at (305) 235-1668 ext. 233 or visit www.deeringestate.org. Registration begins March 23.
Also at the Deering Estate at Cutler, teens between ages 15 and 17 can take the five-day Junior Naturalist Program to take an active role in environmental stewardship and education during the summer. The course includes certifications in American Red Cross First Aid and Adult/Child CPR.
There are two sessions: one from June 8 to June 12 and another from June 15 to June 19. Program hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Late pick-up is available from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m for an additional $10 a day. Each five-day session is $190, with a one-time $12 annual program registration fee. For more information, call the Deering Estate Ticket Office at (305) 235-1668 ext. 233 or visit www.deeringestate.org. Registration begins March 23.
Explore marine life
In this six-week camp, kids will learn about South Florida ecology and marine life through aquatic-themed adventures at Camp on the Sea. In the program, kids ages 12-17 will meet at A.D. Barnes Park EcoAdventure Center, 3401 SW 72nd Ave., and go offshore to explore through snorkeling, kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding activities. Participants must pass a mandatory swim test.
The camp runs June 8 to July 17. Camp hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday, with the option of 7:30 a.m. early drop-off and 6:00 p.m. late pick-up options. The cost is $175 per week, plus a one-time annual registration fee of $12. For more information, call (305) 662-4124. Registration begins March 23.
This summer, kids and teens can learn all there is to know about fishing throughout different Miami-Dade County parks locations. Kids ages 9-15 can join the Fishing Camp, a program developed in partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. The camp focuses on freshwater fishing and kids will learn about fish biology, get fishing tips and learn safe boating skills.
From June 8 to June 19, the camp will be held at the farming village in Amelia Earhart Park, 410 E. 65th St., Hialeah.
From June 22 to July 3, the camp will be held in the Waterslide Concession building of Larry and Penny Thompson Park, 12451 SW 184th St.
From July 6 to July 24, the camp will be held at the Lake-side Pavilion in Tropical Park, 7900 SW 40th St.
From July 27 to Aug. 14, the camp will shift focus from freshwater fishing to saltwater fishing at the Crandon Park Marina, 4000 Crandon Blvd.
Camp hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday, and offer 7:30 a.m. early drop-offs and 6:00 p.m. late pick-up options. The cost is $145 per week for any of the freshwater camps; the saltwater fishing camp is $225 per week, plus a one-time annual registration fee of $12. For more information, call 305-662-4124. Registration begins March 23.
Go Wild with animals
Kids can discover their wild side in the Zoofari Summer Camp at Zoo Miami, 12400 SW 152nd St. With a different theme each week, campers can participate in daily activities, including live animal encounters, craft projects, zookeeper talks and games this summer.
The camp runs June 15 to Aug. 7, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with extended care available for additional cost until 5:30 p.m for an additional $10 per day. Age groups vary depending on the week, between ages 4-13.
Camp costs $190 per week for Zoological Society of Florida members and $210 for nonmembers. The camp costs does not include lunch. Pre-registration is required. For more information visit www.zoomiami.org or contact email@example.com or 305-255-5551.
Stay active, improve skills
Miami-Dade County Parks offers General “Fit2Play” Camps, based on their fitness after-school program, in about 30 parks across the county. Campers will take part in fitness activities, sports, arts and crafts, nature encounters, quiet games and field trips. The Fit2Play program gives an emphasis on kids’ fitness and nutrition in partnership with the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.
Camp runs from June 8 to Aug. 14, Monday to Friday for kids ages 6-14. The cost for these camps is $40 to $90 per week, depending on the program, plus a one-time annual registration fee of $12. The camp offers financial assistance, through a partnership with The Children’s Trust, and scholarships to those who qualify. Early registration starts March 23. To register, visit http://bit.ly/sumrcamp15. Families in need of financial assistance must register and apply for assistance in person at their selected park. For more information, visit www.miamidade.gov/parks.
Kids ages 6 to 14 can learn jumps, chants and modern and jazz dance techniques this summer at the Cheerleading/Dance Camp in Tamiami Park, 10901 SW 24 St.,
Also at Tamiami Park, kids ages 8 to 14 can join the BasketBall Camp and learn defensive and offensive drills to improve skills.
Each camp costs $100 per week, plus a one-time annual registration fee of $12. Camp hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, with 7:30 a.m. early drop-off and 6 p.m. late pick-up options. For more information, call 786-315-5295.
Kids can try their hand at golf and more-experienced golfers can hone their skills in one of the many golf summer camps offer in Miami-Dade County parks.
In the Junior Golf Camp at the Country Club Miami, 6801 NW 168th St., campers can learn from instructor and PGA professional Larry Levow. Campers ages 8-15 can choose try out the half-day camp, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or take on a full-day session, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Camp runs from June 9 to Aug. 28, Tuesday to Friday. The cost is $235 per week for full-day sessions and $155 per week for half-day sessions, including golf clubs, practice balls and short course play. Lunch is not included. For more information call 305-828-8456, ext. 249 or 561-702-9202, or visit www.floridagolflessons.com.
In the Crandon Golf Academy Summer Camp at Crandon Golf Course, 6700 Crandon Blvd., campers ages 4-15 will learn from PGA professional Alex Fernandez and his staff at the golf academy. Campers can choose between half-day, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., or a full-day, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., sessions.
Camp runs from June 8 to Aug. 21, Monday to Friday. The cost is $500 per week for full-day sessions, with lunch included, and $250 per week for half-day sessions. The second child is half off per family. For information call 786-253-2548 or visit www.golfcrandon.com.
Also at Crandon Golf Course this summer, kids can try out golf and more in the Multi-Sport Camp. Campers ages 4-15 can alternate between golf, tennis, kayaking, soccer, and fishing.
Camp runs from June 8 to Aug. 21, Monday to Friday. The full-day camp costs $500 per week with lunch included. For information call 786-253-2548 or visit www.golfcrandon.com.
More experienced junior golfers this summer can learn and compete in the Elite Star Golf Camp at Crandon Golf Course, 6700 Crandon Blvd. Kids ages 10 and up can train and compete in tournaments during full-day sessions, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m..
Camp runs from June 8 to Aug. 21, Monday to Friday. Camp costs $600 per week with lunch included. For information, call 786-253-2548 or visit www.golfcrandon.com.
Further south, kids can sign up for the Palmetto Golf Academy Summer Camp at Palmetto Golf Course, 9300 SW 152nd St. with PGA professional Scott Jones. Campers ages 8-15 can sign up for half-day, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., or full-day, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., sessions. The curriculum includes full swing with video analysis, short game, putting, mini golf, golf course orientation, rules and etiquette.
Camp runs from June 15 to Aug. 14, Monday to Friday. The cost is $425 per week for full-day sessions and $225 per week for half-day sessions. For information call 305-528-4817 or visit www.golfpalmetto.com.
Girls will become leaders at the Girls Empowerment & Mentoring Summer Arts Camp at The Women’s Park, 10251 West Flagler St., and at Miller Drive Park, 5510 SW 94th Ct. The two camps, split into different groups between ages 6 and 16, focuses on the role of women in the development of community, arts and science. Campers will participate in classes and workshops in the visual and performing arts, journalism, science, and women’s history.
The GEM summer camps will run June 8 to Aug. 7, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with 7:30 a.m. early drop-off and 6 p.m. late pick-up available. The GEM Arts Camp for Girls, ages 11-16, is at the Women’s Park and the GEM ‘Little Sisters’ Arts Camp for Girls, ages 6-10, is at Miller Drive Park. Cost is $100 per week, plus a one-time annual registration fee of $12. For more information, call 305-480-1717.
At Girl Scout Camps, girls can gain confidence, learn about teamwork and meet lifelong friends.
The Girl Scout Adventure Camp 2015 (ages 5-17), runs June 8 to Aug. 7 at Camp Choee, 11347 SW 160th St.; Camp Mahachee, 9950 Old Cutler Rd.; and Camp Little House, 6609 SW 60th St. Camp hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with early care available at 7:30 a.m. and after care available until 5:45 p.m. Campers must be registered Girl Scouts. Membership fee is $30 and weekly fee is $110.
For more information on Adventure Camp and other summer options, including residential programs, with Girl Scouts, visit www.girlscoutsfl.org.
This summer, about 100 middle schoolers will dance their way onstage at the Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd, during AileyCamp Miami. The six-week program allows kids to learn about different genres of dance, including West African, jazz, modern and ballet, while learning about nutrition, conflict resolution, drug prevention, critical thinking and other life skills in personal development and creative communication classes. The camp is free and includes camp uniforms, dance attire, field trips, transportation, breakfast and lunches.
AileyCamp Miami runs June 22 to July 31, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, with a final performance on August 1st. AileyCamp is open to middle school students who are currently enrolled at a Miami-Dade County Public School.
Application period ends March 20 and applicants must be available for an interview on April 11. Campers who are accepted must be available for a parent orientation on May 19. For more information, contact 786-469-2270 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the Coral Gables Museum, kids ages 5 to 10 can see all of The City Beautiful and more during the City Trekker Summer Camp. With bi-weekly themes relating to the civic arts, kids take walking tours as well as trolley and bus excursions around the city. Each two-week session includes a field trip to the Venetian Pool. The kids also take part in craft projects and become architects themselves.
The camp runs for 10 weeks, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. The camp costs $450 per two-week session for museum members and $500 per session for nonmembers. Field trip fees and Friday pizza lunch are included in the registration fee. Early drop-off and late pick-up is available for an additional fee. Early bird and sibling discounts available. For more information, visit http://coralgablesmuseum.org/ or call 305-603-8067.
The PAMM Summer Art Camp offers an opportunity to explore weekly themes through arts-based activities and access to the museum galleries. Campers ages 6–12 can eat lunch by the bay, play in recess at Museum Park and take short excursions around downtown Miami. All art activities will take place in Perez Art Museum Miami, 1103 Biscayne Blvd.
Camp runs from June 8 to July 24, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday. The early bird special, available in mid-March and April, is $240 per week for museum members are $260 per week for nonmembers. Regular rates apply in May, $300 per week for members and $325 per week for nonmembers. Late pick-up options are available for an additional $90 per week. For more information visit http://www.pamm.org/ or call 305-375-3000.
The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, 3280 S. Miami Ave., is hosting its annual Summer Camp 2015, where kids can explore the world of science. In a new offering this year for middle schoolers, campers will have the opportunity to created their own planetarium show using light objects they built throughout the week.
Camp runs from June 15 to Aug.7, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday to Friday for kids in kindergarten to 8th grade. The camp costs $180 per week for museum members and $210 per week for non-members. There is a 15 percent sibling discount. Before care, starting at 7:45 costs $6 a day, $25 per week for members and $30 for nonmembers. After care from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. costs $12 a day, $50 per week for members and $60 per week for nonmembers. For more information, visit www.miamisci.org/summercamp.
In the schools
The Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep Summer Knights Day Camps offers both a sports camp and an arts camp at the high school, 4949 NE Second Ave.
The Visual and Performing Arts Camp includes field trips to the Perez Art Museum Miami, the Design District, Wynwood and the Museum of Contemporary Art. The drama portion of the camp includes instruction in monologue, improvisation and music theory and art classes will develop skills in drawing, painting, and pop art.
The Summer Knights Athletic Camp teaches the fundamentals of sports and competition with each week focusing on basketball, football, volleyball, tennis, soccer, softball, baseball and wrestling. Each week, students can meet sports professionals who will provide guidance in athletics and life.
Both camps run June 15 to July 17, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday. Camp costs $100 per week, with multiple week discounts are available. The registration fee, for camp bookings made online, will be waived until May 15. For more information or to register online, visit www.acnd.net/SummerKnights or call (305) 751-8367 ext. 22.
SoMi Summer Camp at Somerset Academy South Miami, 5876 SW 68th St., includes two field trips each week, weekly swimming, board games, sports, arts and crafts, talent shows, and movies.
Camp is open to students from pre-kindergarten to seventh grade. Camp hours are from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Registration fee is $50 per family and the weekly fee is $150, including before and after care. For more information, call 305-510-4248.
Miami-Dade Public Schools will host a variety of summer camps at elementary, K-8 and middle schools throughout the county. A complete list of over 100 summer camps will be available in April at http://www.dadecommunityschools.net.
M-DCPS camps start as early as June 8 and end as late as Aug. 21. Hours are from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday for full-day camps and from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday for half-day camps. Breakfast and lunch are free for all campers. Weekly fees are $100 for full-day camps and $60 for half-day camps. For more information, call 305-817-0014.
Reduced fees are available through the Early Learning Coalition by visiting www.ELCmdm.org or by caling 305-646-7220. Reduced tuition is also available to students who qualify for free or reduced lunch.