With TVs, computers and smartphones, it might be easy to let kids spend the summer indoors on their devices.
Instead, give them a summer experience they won’t stop talking about.
South Florida is home to a variety of unique summer camps, with everything from dance to diving, paleontology to performances, tennis to technology and storybooks to science.
So on the first day of school — when your child’s teacher asks, “What did you do this summer?” — give the class an answer they won’t forget:
THE CHILDREN’S TRUST
In 2015, nearly 13,000 children participated in one of 128 summer programs in Miami-Dade County funded by The Children’s Trust. Every year, the trust publishes a trilingual summer camp guide to help parents pick the ideal camp for their children.
This year, the trust will release a mobile application that parents can download and search for programs nearest to their desired location. The application will be available late April.
For more information about programs funded by The Children’s Trust and its annual summer camp guide, visit www.thechildrenstrust.org.
GO WILD AND EXPLORE NATURE
To excite the adventurous spirit within each kid, Jungle Adventure Camps at Jungle Island, 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, teaches kids about exotic animals, including mammals, birds and reptiles. Campers can also learn firsthand about the life of a zookeeper while making friends.
Camp runs June 15 through Aug. 7, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Camp costs $215 a week for non-annual passholders and $195for annual pass holders. Camp is open to ages 5-12. Early and later care are available at an additional cost. Lunch packages are also available. For more information or to register, call 305-400-7297 or visit www.jungleisland.com/camp.
For kids who want to learn about animals and the environment while having fun, the Miami Seaquarium will offer a summer camp packed with a variety of learning experiences. The themes for this year’s camp include “Ocean Ambassadors,” “Earth Buddies,” “Gills Galore,” “A ‘Sense’ of the Sea” and “Reef Ranger Revolution.” Campers ages 11 and up can also register for a reef encounter and a dolphin interaction program.
Camp will run from June 13 through Aug. 19, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Early and late care is available for an additional charge. Cost for the camp is $175 a week for those who register before June 1. This year, the Miami Seaquarium is offering a five-week special; those who register for a consecutive five-week session pay $850. Special rates are available for annual pass holders. For more information, call 305-361-5705, ext. 298 or 207, or visit www.miamiseaquarium.com/education.
LEARNING AT THE MUSEUMS
For the kid who can’t seem to get enough of the city, the Coral Gables Art Museum (285 Aragon Ave.) offers a City Trekker Summer Camp, where campers can explore cultural destinations and activities in Coral Gables. Each two-week session includes a trip to the Venetian pool. The camp runs in five, two-week sessions with different themes, including “Find Your Park,” “Junior Engineers,” and “KIDnetic Sculptures”
Camp runs from June 13 through Aug. 19, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Before and after care is available at an additional cost. Cost is $450 per two-week session for museum members and $500 for nonmembers. An early bird discount of $25 is available before May 1. Sibling discounts are available. For more information, visit www.coralgablesmuseum.org/learn, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 305-603-8067.
In the Miami Children’s Museum (980 MacArthur Cswy.) Explorer’s Summer Camp, kids discover sports from around the world and learn about the countries where the sports are popular. Campers will work with a coach, an artist and the museum’s team of professional actors to learn about the world while staying fit and having fun.
Camp runs from June 13 to Aug. 26, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Before and after care is available. Cost is $198 a week for museum members and $220 for nonmembers. Sibling discounts are available. Camp is open to children ages 4 to 10. For more information, visit www.miamichildrensmuseum.org. To register, contact 305-373-5437, ext. 112, or email@example.com.
Miami-Dade high school students are invited to apply for Locust Project’s (3852 North Miami Ave.) Locust Art Builders (LAB) exhibition summer program. During the program, students will collaborate and learn about the principles of creating a public exhibition. Students will display a final exhibition at the end of the three-week program.
Camp runs June 15 through July 9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and is open to all current high school students. Camp is free. Lunch is provided and students can request travel stipends to attend. Students must apply to participate by April 18 at www.locustprojects.submittable.com/submit/54762. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 305-576-8570.
Because creativity goes beyond just art and music, Funcamps offers a wide range of specialized camps for kids. There’s MagiCamp, where kids learn magic tricks; Science and Space Camp, JurassiCamp for future paleontologists; Game Tech Institute, where kids make their own video game; Camp Idol; and Robotics Camp. Camps are held at the University of Miami (1330 Miller Dr.) and the Pinecrest Community Center and Gardens (5855 SW 111th St.).
Camps at UM run from June 13 to Aug. 5 and camps in Pinecrest run from June 13 to Aug. 19. Both sites run from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday with extended care available from 7:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Cost ranges from $225 to $295 a week depending on the program. For more information, visit www.funcamps.com or call 305-666-2992.
SONGS OF SUMMER
To help kids master the art of theater, Miami Theatre Center (9806 NE Second Ave.) offers a Musical Theater Summer Camp and a Teen Theater Workshop. No previous acting experience or audition is required to attend. Campers will learn acting, music and dance with experienced teaching artists. Participants in the Teen Theater Workshop will perform Everyman with a professional cast from TC Squared Theatre Company and Miami Theatre Center.
Musical Theater Summer Camp runs in three-week sessions from June 13 through July 1 and July 18 through Aug. 5 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, with aftercare until 5:30 p.m. available at an additional cost. Summer camp is open to children ages 6 to 16. Teen Theater Workshop runs from July 5 through July 23, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Workshop is open to teens ages 13 to 18. Cost for each three-week session of either camp is $650. For more information, contact Judy Litt at email@example.com or 305-751-9550 or visit http://www.mtcmiami.org/.
Children who want their summer filled with songs can attend the The Children’s Voice Summer Choral Camp at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center (10950 SW 211th St.). During the two-week camp, music professionals will teach kids vocal techniques, ear training, music reading and interpersonal skills. Campers will also record a professional quality music video.
Camp runs from July 18 through July 29, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Camp is open to singers from third to ninth grade. Cost is $300 for both weeks and does not include lunch or the $10 camp T-shirt. Financial assistance is available for qualifying families. Extended hours (7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) are available for an extra $50 a week. To register or for more information, visit http://www.childrensvoicechorus.org/ or contact 786-216-7003 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Musicall, a music education nonprofit organization, offers an Around the World Music Camp at South Miami Middle Community School (6750 SW 60th St.) for kids with or without music experience to learn music theory. Campers will participate in chamber music and instrumental ensembles, learn world music, art, dance and musical theater and take field trips to see what they’ve learned in action. Classes are tailored to different ages and experience levels.
Camp runs in a two- or four-week session from June 20 through July 15, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Cost is $350 for a two-week session or $600 for all four weeks. Extended care from 8 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 5 p.m. is available for $5 an hour. Scholarships are available and the deadline to apply is April 15. For more information, visit www.musicall.us.org/ or contact 786-220-0847 or email@example.com.
DANCING THROUGH SUMMER
For the kid who loves to dance, Just Dance It! offers a Summer Dance Camp at 12721 SW 42nd St. No dance experience is necessary. Styles of dance include ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, flamenco, contemporary, lyrical, belly dance and acro. The camp curriculum focuses on technique, but campers will get a chance to choreograph their own dances.
Camp runs in one-week sessions from June 13 through Aug. 19, from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Children ages 3 to 12 are welcome to attend the camp. Cost is $100 a week with a one-time registration fee of $30. For more information, visit www.justdanceit.net or call 305-552-5774.
Florida Superstars offers a Summer Dance Jam Camp at Pembroke Pines Charter High School, 17189 Sheridan St., for girls, featuring a wide range of disciplines and activities. Campers will learn jazz, baton twirling, cheerleading and hip hop. On the last Friday of each two-week session, all campers will receive trophies at a performance.
Dance camp runs from June 13 to July 22, Mondays through Fridays. Registration fee is $50. Daily camper hours are from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and weekly cost is $135 and $110 for siblings. Extended hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekly cost is $170 and $135 for siblings. For more information, visit www.floridasuperstars.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-438-2075.
Girl Scouts Summer Adventure Camps help girls become leaders, develop friendships and improve skills all while having fun. Girl Scouts offers both overnight and day camps at three South Florida locations.
Overnight camps include Camp Choee, 11347 SW 160th St.; Camp Mahanchee, 9950 Old Cutler Rd.; and Camp Wesumkee, 34200 Overseas Hwy. Camp themes include Harry Potter, Explore the Keys and Adventures in Engineering.
Overnight camps are June 20-24, July 5-9 and Aug. 8-12. Fees are $200 or $250, depending on location. Overnight camps are open to girls entering grades four to nine, depending on the location.
Girl Scouts Day Camps are available at Camp Choee and Camp Mahanchee. Weekly themes include Full STEAM Ahead, Secret Agent, Spice Up Your Life, Techno Girls and Game Show Mania.
Day camps are June 13 to Aug. 5 and are open to girls ages 5 to 17. Weekly fee is $125. Camp hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with extended care from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 5:45 p.m. Cost is $125 a week. For both overnight and day camps, girls must be registered members and can register by paying an additional $30 at registration. For more information, visit www.girlscoutsfl.org or contact email@example.com or 305-253-4841.
Friends of Miami Tennis will host a tennis camp at the Ron Ehmann Tennis Center, 10995 SW 97th Ave. The camp focuses on improving tennis skills through drills, games and practice. Camp is open to tennis players of all levels and all equipment is provided.
Camp will run in one-week sessions June 13 through Aug. 12, Monday through Friday. Half-day hours are 9 a.m. to noon and full-day hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost for the half-day camp is $125 a week and cost for the full-day camp is $200. There is a 10 percent siblings discount and a 10 percent discount for registering before June 1.
Carousel Learning Academy will host camps at two locations (470 NW 22nd Ave. and 7100 SW 16th St.) that include field trips, basketball, soccer, themed parties and more.
Camp runs from June 13 through Aug. 20, from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Cost per week is $60 to $90 depending on the location. Camp is open to children ages 5 to 12. For more information, contact Monica Rodriguez at 305-456-0955 or Caridad Valdes at 786-801-0634.
Staying active doesn’t mean staying ashore. Miami Diving, 1306 Stanford Dr., offers a Diving Camp. No previous experience necessary. Campers will learn both in and out of the water with trampolines, mats and diving workouts.
Camp runs June 6 to Aug. 12, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Cost is $250 a week, along with a one-time $40 registration fee. A sibling discount of $40 is available. Camp is open to children ages 6 and up. For more information, visit www.miamidiving.com or call 305-284-3639.
The city of North Miami Beach will host a special sports camp at the Allen Park DeLeonardis Youth Center, 1700 NE 162nd St. The purpose of the sports camp is to improve athletic skills, leadership and team building by focusing on basketball, football, soccer and baseball.
All North Miami Beach camps will run June 13 through Aug. 5, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The regular camp is open to boys and girls from kindergarten to ninth grade. Sport camp is open to boys and girls in fourth to eighth grades. For North Miami Beach residents, cost for all camps is $65 a week for the first child, $63 for each additional child. For nonresidents, the weekly fee is $80 a week for the first child and $78 for each additional child. There is also a $30 field trip fee per child. Early drop off at 8 a.m. and late pick up at 6 p.m. is available. For more information, call 305-948-2957 or visit www.citynmb.com.
For the kid who loves playing outside and exploring nature, TimberNook Miami offers multiple unique camps at the Castellow Hammock Nature Preserve, 22301 SW 162nd Ave.
The Barefoot and Buckets Summer Camp will run June 2024 and will include muddy construction, free play outdoors and a birthday party for the birds in the woods. Storybook Summer Camp will run July 1822; kids will build gingerbread houses after reading The Gingerbread Man along with other storybook-related adventures. The Going Wild “Sensory Adventures” camp will run Aug. 15 and features bridge building, cooking over an open fire and games in the wild.
Camp hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost of weeklong camps is $225. Camps are open to children ages 5 to 12. To register, visit www.timbernook.com/register-miami. For more information, contact 786-266-4992 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more exploration, the Deering Estate at Cutler (16701 SW 72nd Ave.) offers the Eco Explorers and Expedition Deering summer camps. Both camps give kids a chance to explore the Florida wilderness through hiking, biking, excavating, planting, kayaking, canoeing, snorkeling and swimming. Ten five-day sessions with different themes are offered.
Both the Eco Explorers and Expedition Deering camps run June 13 through Aug. 19, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Late pick-up from 5 to 6 p.m. is available for an additional $10 a day. Eco Explorers is open to children ages 6 to 8 and Expedition Deering is open to children ages 9 to 14. Cost per week is $165, with the exception of Week 4 ($132), which is a four-day session because of the Fourth of July. For more information, visit www.deeringestate.org.
The Deering Estate also offers two one-week sessions of the Junior Naturalist Program for older students who want to learn about the environment, while earning community service hours and becoming stronger leaders. The course includes an introduction to canoeing, South Florida ecosystems and certification in American Red Cross First Aid and Adult/Child CPR.
The program runs June 1317 and June 2024. Camp hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with late pick-up from 5 to 6 p.m. available for an additional $10 a day. Cost is $200 per session and the program is open to students ages 15 to 18. For more information, visit www.deeringestate.org.
Miami-Dade Parks offers camps at multiple locations from June 13 through Aug. 19. Online registration will begin May 1 at www.miamidade.gov/parks. Parents can also register on-site starting May 2. General camp programs cost $40 to $90 a week, depending on location, along with a $12 fee per child. A sibling discount of 10 percent is available. Programs are for children ages 6 to 14.
IN THE SCHOOLS
Miami Dade College’s School of Continuing Education and Professional Development offers a wide range of summer camps in just about every field possible throughout the summer. Camp themes include creative arts, Lego robotics, volleyball, jazz, dance, tennis, Chinese, American Sign Language and animation.
Camps are offered at Homestead Campus, 500 College Ter.; Kendall Campus, 11011 SW 104th St.; West Campus, 3800 NW 115th Ave.; North Campus, 11380 NW 27th Ave.; and Wolfson Campus, 300 NW Second Ave. Course fees range from $50 to $395. Most camps run from June 20 to July 1 and July 11-22. Camp hours vary depending on the program. Ages 5 to 17 are welcome, depending on the program. For more information, visit www.mdc.edu or call 305-237-0651. A complete list of camps and prices is available at www.mdc.edu/ce/summer_camps.
For fun in the sun, arts and crafts, sports and computer activities, Somerset Academy Bay at Pinewood Acres (9500 SW 97th Ave.) will host seven one-week camp sessions. Campers will go on weekly field trips to Miami destinations, including the movies, Artists at the Falls, a Marlins game and C.B. Smith Water Park. Every Friday, campers will enjoy a water fun day and pizza party.
Camp runs from June 20 to Aug. 5 in one-week sessions. Camp hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, with extended hours from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. available at an additional cost. Registration fee is $50 per child and include one camp T-shirt for field trip days. Cost per week is $160 and $144 for each additional child. Discounts are available if parents enroll their kids for more than one week. For more information, visit somersetacademybay.com or contact 305-274-0682, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 52 summer camp locations is available at www.dadecommunityschools.net.
Miami-Dade Public Schools camps start as early as June 13 and end as late as Aug. 19. Hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday for full-day camps and 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 calling 305-646-7220. Reduced tuition is also available to students who qualify for free or reduced lunch.
FOR THE TODDLERS
For the little ones who want a summer of adventure, the city of Miami Beach offers a special half-day camp for children ages 3 to 4. Children must be potty trained and birth certificate and immunization records are required for registration. Camp for Tots is offered at North Shore Park Youth Center, 501 72nd St., 305-861-3616; Flamingo Park, 999 11th St., 305-673-7779; South Pointe Park, 1 Washington Ave., 305-673-7779; and Normandy Isle Park, 7030 Trouville Esplanade, 305-993-2021.
The eight-week camp runs from June 20 through Aug. 12, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Cost for the entire summer is $375 for Miami Beach residents and $650 for nonresidents. For more information, visit www.miamibeachfl.gov.