Summer is quickly approaching. We’re here to help get your boredom-busting game plan together with our insider’s guide to the coolest camps Central Florida has to offer this year. So, bring on the summer – we’re ready!
Written by Cris Phillips-Georg
THAT’S A WRAP
Give your resident Spielberg-in-training the experience of a lifetime at Enzian Theatre’s Young Filmmakers’ Summer Camp (Grades 5 – 8). Youth will experience the art of filmmaking by studying cinematic techniques and actually shooting their own independent film. (See ya’ at Sundance!) Family and friends are then invited to live out their red-carpet fantasies at a special screening of the final film projects. Students also receive free admission to all Kidsfest films. www.enzian.org
MAKE A DISCOVERY
Science rules this summer, thanks to Orlando Science Center’s something-for-everyone lineup of weeklong camps. Young scientists (Grades K – 6) can go on an astro-adventure, fiddle with fossils, create chemistry concoctions, study backyard bugs and do some serious sleuthing. Registration includes science-themed workshops, live science programs and hands-on exploration of the exhibits. www.osc.org
A record 20 basketball camps are being offered at the Orlando Magic’s Youth Basketball Camps for girls and boys ages 7 – 16 (placed in groups according to age, skill level, and experience). New this year: A first-ever overnight camp hosted by Magic guard Keyon Dooling. In addition to basketball skill training, campers also receive awards, giveaways, a camp T-shirt, their own full-size Magic basketball, and a ticket to a Magic home game. SCORE! www.nba.com/magic
After a hectic school year, kids need to find healthy outlets for social, creative and physical energy. SPARK! Family Enrichment Center’s Mind, Body, Spirit Camp puts a fun spin on getting Zen. Camp activities cover etiquette, the culinary arts, knitting/sewing, nutrition, yoga and hip-hop dance. Plus SPARK! offers a trendy, relaxing parent lounge (with Wi-Fi) where grown-ups can chill out and get “centered,” too. www.sparkec.net
UNDER THE SEA
An ocean odyssey awaits your mini-Marine Biologist this summer at SeaWorld’s Day Camps. Take a “Seafari,” discover how animals play hide and seek, see how human senses compare to a shark or stingray’s, and find out “what’s for lunch” in the ocean’s cafeteria. Camp registration includes up-close animal encounters, fun activities, take-home crafts, lunch, snacks, complimentary parking during the program, and a camp t-shirt and water bottle. www.seaworld.org
History just got a whole lot more exciting thanks to the Orange County Regional History Center’s “Adventures in History” summer camp series. Youth (age 5 – 11) will travel the world as art anthropologists, sail the high seas on a swashbuckling pirate ship, and travel back in time to experience life in a bygone era. Each camp series includes cool crafts, interactive activities, and tours of relevant exhibits in the museum. www.thehistorycenter.org
The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is offering a “zoopendous” lineup of 18 cleverly themed half-day and full-day Summer Adventure Camps. Options include: Alien Invaders, Build-a-Zoo Workshop, Ickyology, I Dig Bones, Pirates of the ZOOribbean, Predator Prowl, ZOOper Heroes, and ZSI – Zoo Sleuths. A t-shirt and snack is provided at each camp. Need before- or after-care for your little monkeys? They offer that, too.
HIT A HIGH NOTE
Want to be a pop star? Then give Opera Camp a try! It turns out that opera is a merge of all the critical elements essential to pop/rock performance: Dance, theatre, voice, costume, set design and music. The Orlando Opera Center offers multiple fantastic summer camps (Grades K – 12) that teach the fundamentals of group singing, music, rhythm, dance/movement, voice-pampering and tips on successful auditioning. www.orlandoopera.org
DESIGN YOUR OWN CAMP
The Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando (JCC) is offering youth (Grades 3 – 9) the chance to “Design Your Own Camp.” Campers customize their experience by selecting from an imaginative list of enrichment courses including: Gymnastics, cheerleading, arts & crafts, magic, robotics, digital media, forensic science, puppetry, culinary arts, yoga, journalism, sports & fitness, dance, inventors’ closet and much more. Fieldtrip options are also available. www.orlandojcc.org
TAKE A HIKE
It’s all about fresh air and green thumbs at Leu Garden’s Garden Camp (Grades K – 6). Outdoor explorers will take daily hikes, participate in plant activities, learn about bugs and animals, and enjoy nature-themed games and crafts. Registration includes a healthy snack for each camper. Sounds like a great cure for Nature Deficit Disorder. Sign us up! www.leugardens.org
BE A SPACE CADET
“Reach for the stars” this summer at Camp Kennedy Space Center. Junior Astronauts (age 8 – 12) will experience cool space shuttle mission simulations, design space exploration vehicles and habitats, tour the Kennedy Space Center and hobnob with real-life astronauts during this unique five day experience. Registration includes lunch, snacks, t-shirt, an out-of-this-world ride on the Shuttle Launch Experience and a Kennedy Space Center season pass. www.kennedyspacecenter.com
COLOR YOUR WORLD
Let your child’s inner-artist out to play. OMArt’s colorful array of youth art programs (Grades 1 – 8) are just the muse your mini-Matisse needs to get the creativity flowing. Classes focus on self-expression, but also provide age-appropriate instruction in varied art media and techniques. Exploration of the museum’s galleries is also included. www.omart.org
Put your budding author on the path to a Pulitzer at Page 15 Young Writer’s Camp (hosted at Urban Think! Bookstore). This creative weeklong camp, for youth in Grades 1 – 8, helps kids discover their own voices through storytelling, bookmaking, songwriting, illustration, graphic novel design and screenplay writing. Camp registration includes age-appropriate writing activities, all supplies, a museum or park visit, Page 15 t-shirt, yummy lunch from Infusion Tea, and a book-of-choice from Urban Think. www.page15.org
Interested in Orange County Arts Camps?
Click here to view the digital edition of the O.C.A.E.’s Arts Summer Camp Guide.