By TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN
Create a cardboard castle, a cigar box guitar, or a Lego robot. Connect with long-time friends and make new ones while learning how to kayak, juggle or sew. Make a puppet, animated cartoon, stationary, or your own song. There are so many summer camp options in the Twin Cities area your kids will have trouble picking just one!
Browse below for more information on some of the camps offered locally.
Experience outdoor activities including swimming in an outdoor pool, horseback riding, use of a ropes course and climbing tower, group games, or hiking. Enjoy sensory crafts, gross motor activities led by a registered occupational therapist, music groups led by a board-certified music therapist, boating, and sports during a Wahode Day Camp in Eagen where campers arrive each morning and leave each afternoon. Two residential camps where campers stay several days and nights are also offered in northern Minnesota at several locations. AuSM camps are tailored for youth and adults with autism. AuSM camps are available for individuals ages 6 and up who are AuSM members.
BLACKHAWKS OF ST. PAUL
Blackhawks offer several exciting half- and full-day soccer camps for players ages 5-18 that encompass a wide variety of activities and skills. Specialty camps focus on specific skills such as ball control, shooting, and goalkeeping.
Spend some time “Monkeying Around” with your primate pals, go for the gold in “Animal Olympics,” take an “African Adventure” without leaving Como, or try on the hat of a zookeeper or gardener in “Behind-the-Scenes!”. Como’s camps focus on developing children’s appreciation for the natural world through play and exploration, behind-the-scenes experiences, interactions with zookeepers and gardeners, and up-close encounters with plant and animal ambassadors. Five-day, half-day or full-day sessions for preschool to grade eight. Extended care is available.
Free Forest School of the Twin Cities is a free group, open to young children and their parents or caregivers. This is a welcoming and non-judgmental group where parents and caregivers can practice giving children space and autonomy to explore and create in nature. Free Forest School meets every day of the week throughout the year at wilderness areas around the metro. Share a snack, take a hike, play in the woods, and have circle time. Parents get a chance to unplug and step back… Kids and their imaginations take the lead.
Want to make a film just like the professionals? Feel like biking 10 (or 20!) miles a day? Have a secret stash of poems to share? Feel a need to express yourself through paint and paper-folding? Maybe you’d rather argue for the defense in a real courtroom? Friends School will be the place to do that—and more—from June to August for ages 4-14. There are weekdays, half- and full-day options available. Extended daycare in the mornings and afternoons and need-based financial aid available.
GIBBS MUSEUM OF PIONEER AND DAKOTA LIFE CAMPS
Travel back in time and learn about life in the 1800s. Explore seasonal Dakota activities including the maple sugar camp, wild rice village, and learn about life in the tipi, hunting games, methods of travel, language and song. Three-day, half-day camps. One-day Pioneer PeeWees camps offered for ages 4-5.
HAMLINE YOUNG WRITERS
High school students ages 15-18 can explore the craft, prepare for college, and connect with other young writers in the Twin Cities while working closely with Hamline Creative Writing faculty and published authors.
MINNESOTA WALDORF SCHOOL
Join the Minnesota Waldorf School for good, old-fashioned summer fun with outdoor games, natural crafts, water play, gardening, fairy camp, and much more. For children ages 3.5 to (rising) 6th grade.
Summer sessions for ages 6-14 are run by the University of Minnesota’s Rec & Wellness Camps. Camps also offered in partnership with MIA and Richardson Nature Center.
SPIRIT TAE KWON DO
Fun, exciting camps that combine physical fitness and education are offered throughout the summer for school-age kids. Register early for discounts.
ST. PAUL ACADEMY
Make your own games and design circuits. Paint with pizzazz. Search out connections between visual art and creative writing, and explore the life of a story in journalism. Options at SPA cover a wide range of academic, arts, and enrichment activities for grades 2-12.
ST. PAUL BALLET
Summer is a great time to try dance. Programs include workshops and camps for ages 3 and up, weekly drop-in classes for teens and adults, and a “mommy and me” baby class.
ST. PAUL URBAN TENNIS
Located at 30+ sites, with several locations in the Midway Como neighborhoods, St. Paul Urban Tennis offers a summer program for all age groups and skill levels. Tennis lessons combine high-quality instruction with life skills learning. Sampler Camps offer a condensed, 4-day version of the lesson program. Scholarships are available.
Explore the variety of Y Summer Programs at over 60 metro-area locations. Programs include flexible three-, four-, and five-day options for preschool and up, as well as day camps, overnight camps, Teen Wilderness, family camps, and more.
ADVENTURES IN CARDBOARD
Be initiated into an ancient and esteemed House of The Realm, jump into live-action adventure gaming, build your own arms and armor, and more during these five-day, full-day sessions for ages 8-17.
ALEXANDER RAMSEY HOUSE
Solve mysteries of the past in this three-day History Detective Camp for ages 10-13. Or, young ladies ages 9-12 can step back in time in a unique Finishing School for Young Ladies day camp.
ANIMAL HUMANE SOCIETY
Unleashed summer campers entering grades 3-10 spend a full week immersed in animal learning and fun at one of four AHS locations,
A variety of art disciplines and mediums with themes like puppetry, world cultures, If I had a Hammer, animation, art car, public art and activism, printmaking and more offered for ages 4-18. Five-day, half- and full-day sessions available.
BLACKBIRD’S MUSIC STORE
Write your own songs, start your own band, build cigar guitars from the ground up, and learn electric guitar.
Camp and canoe while learning leadership and teamwork skills in a free, seven-day resident camp for youths age 13-18 who live within the city limits of Minneapolis or St. Paul. Held on the St. Croix River in Rush City and organized by YouthCARE.
Explore international circus arts at Circus Juventas. Five-day, full-day sessions and one-day sampler camps offered for ages 6-15. New this year is Teen High-Flying Adventure Camp for ages 13-18.
CONCORDIA LANGUAGE VILLAGES
Experience cultural and language immersion; 15 languages to choose from. Resident camp for ages 6-18 and family camps.
DODGE NATURE CENTER
Campers have fun while gaining an appreciation for nature by meeting live animals, building forts, and getting their hands dirty during full- and half-day, four-day camps offered for students entering 1-8 grades. Shorter sessions are available for ages 3-6.
ENGINEERING FOR KIDS
Day camps exploring science, technology, and engineering are offered in partnership with local community education programs. Sessions, length and price are varied per location and type of camp for ages 4-14.
FARM TO TABLE
Make butter, ice cream and bread while learning about science, agriculture and history at the Bruentrup Heritage Farm in Maplewood. Plus, students will play old-time games like townball and do arts and crafts during three four-day sessions.
FIDDLE PAL CAMP
Fiddle Pal Camp Minnesota is four days to discover, learn and play for children, adults and families at three locations.
FOCI MN CENTER FOR GLASS
From fusing to casting to glass blowing, ages 9-18 are introduced to the mesmerizing medium of glass through immersive half-day, five-day experiences.
Experience the outdoors, or the lives of the engineers and grenadiers who called Fort Snelling home. Go back to the past and explore the stories of children who lived in Fort Snelling at Bdote area. Camps range from one to four days.
GERMAN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE CAMPS
Speak, hear, sing, and create in German while exploring subjects ranging from history and art to science and music during five-day, half-, full- and extended-day sessions for grades K-13 at the Germanic American Institute.
Summer camps allow time for more in-depth projects, such as Wild & Wooly, Fairies, Critters, and Sea Creatures, for kindergarten and up.
INNER CITY TENNIS
Enjoy Summer Tennis in Minneapolis parks for ages 6-17. Free and reduced programs available.
Professional Irish Dance training by director Cormac O’Se, an original member of Riverdance.
JUGHEADS JUGGLING CAMP
Half-day, five-day sessions and single day sessions for beginners through experts ages 8-18 enhance hand-eye coordination, boost concentration and build self-confidence.
Yoga infused throughout the day via story, dance and games for campers age 5-12. Located on the Greenway with daily field adventures.
Girls and boys ages 6 to 17 can design and build their creative ideas, mixing art, science and technology during partial-day, weekday camps. There are more than 120 classes available over ten weeks, including a Harry Potter Theme Week with giant Hogwarts Castle build.
LOFT LITERARY CENTER
There’s something for everyone—from the youngster just learning to put pen to paper to the seasoned high school senior with a novel already under her belt. Sessions run in week-long blocks July and August, full and half-day options available for ages 6-17.
LOPPET ADVENTURE CAMPS
Roller ski, mountain bike, canoe and more during adventure camps for ages 9-13 at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis. Equipment provided during the full-day, five-day sessions.
A variety of athletic, academic and enrichment programs are offered, including baking basics, woodcarving, viola and cello, Ev3 robots, Hispanic Culture Camp, fencing, stop motion, sewing, painting, rocket science, drumming, and more. Half- and full-day, one- to three-week weekday sessions. Camp Minnehaha, a full day camp for pre-k to grade 8, includes daily devotions, games, indoor and outdoor activities, daily swimming lessons, and weekly off-campus activity.
612-728-7745, ext. 1
MILL CITY MUSEUM
Play music, get creative, bake bread and construct books while exploring the rich culture along the Minneapolis riverfront district. Campers aged 9-11 will explore a new experience each day at four arts centers.
NORTHERN CLAY CENTER
Work with sculpture, tiles, or wheel-thrown pottery in half or full-day sessions for ages 6 and up.
With camps happening at the new Discovery Center in Minneapolis Uptown every week of the summer, as well as at various schools and educational partners around the Twin Cities, Snapology has got you covered for kiddos as young as 3 and as old as 14—Robotics, Coding, Science, Technology, Drones, Pre-K, Engineering, Architecture and more.
STEPPING STONE THEATER
Learn about devised theater, music and other performance art forms during these one- to two-week, half- and full-day sessions for those preK to grade 12. Two theater classes offered in collaboration with the Science Museum and Minnesota Zoo.
Learn about track, motors, and controls and how the crew does their jobs at the Minnesota Streetcar Museum in Minneapolis. Each child ages 6-11 will have the chance to climb into the Motorman’s seat and run the car down the line.
TEXTILE CENTER CAMPS
Sew, knit, felt, dye and more. Take home completed fiber items from three- and five-day, half-, full- and extended-day sessions for ages 6-16.
TRAPEZE CENTER CIRCUS CAMP
Students ages 8-17 enrolled in the week-long, half-day camps will experience a variety of circus disciplines—including Trampoline, Static Trapeze, Acrobatics, Circus Bike, and of course Flying Trapeze.
TAMARACK NATURE CENTER
Animal encounters, canoeing, hiking, swimming, pond-dipping, mud-mucking, and gardening adventures await for ages 3-13.
WHITE BEAR CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Painting, drawing, clay, theatre, writing, glass and much more for ages 6-14.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is not a comprehensive list of every camp in the Twin Cities. If you would like to be included in next year’s guide, please send us detailed information on the camp.
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