Summer Camps for Kids in the Greater Sacramento Area
It may be hard to believe, but summer is right around the corner. Better yet, things are beginning to open up after being shut down for more than a year due to the pandemic. Many kids are back in school and once again able to socialize with their friends and participate in extracurricular activities.
While many parents are thrilled to finally have the kids out of the house, the reality is, school will be out for summer before we know it. But rather than subjecting the kids to three more months of boredom, or trying to figure out how to keep them busy at home, now is the time to start looking for ways to get them out of the house. And what better way than a day camp? Summer camps are back on the docket this year, meaning you can get some peace and quiet while the kiddos have a bit a fun (and maybe learn a new skill). So whether you have a budding artist or sports fanatic, check out these summer camps in the greater Sacramento area. But act fast! Limited space means spots are filling up fast.
Have a kid that climbs all over the furniture? Then you might want to try the real thing. Quarry Park Adventures in Rocklin has rock climbing, aerial challenge courses, rappelling and zip lining for kids as young as eight. They even have a special program for kids 5–7. Granite Arch Climbing Center in Rancho Cordova is offering an indoor rock climbing camp this summer, and Tree Top Sac in West Sacramento has an outdoor summer camp on a ropes course.
Animals & Nature
Your kiddos can learn how to become a junior zookeeper at the summer camps offered by the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary in Folsom. They have programs for kids as young as four and as old as 15, where they can learn all about feeding and training the animals. The city of Davis also holds summer camps for animal lovers, including horseback riding and dog training. The camps at Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Carmichael are also animal-centric, with themes on birds, pollinators, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Gibson Ranch Stables near Elverta offers a 5-day summer camp for horse lovers.
It’s summer, after all, so it’s time for your kids to get wet! There are plenty of water-centric summer camps in the greater Sacramento area that focus not only on swimming but also on water sports. Some options to consider are the Youth Boating Camps at the Sac State Aquatic Center in Gold River, which teach paddleboarding, kayaking, sailing and windsurfing. In Elk Grove, kids can learn to become a junior lifeguard or just spend time improving their swimming skills during Aquatic Summer Camps. Velocity Island Park in Woodland also has aquatic camps, with wakeboarding, kneeboarding and paddleboarding.
Art & Design
Fashionistas can design and sew their own creations during a part-time Fashion Camp held in El Dorado Hills. In Davis, creative kids can learn everything from ceramics to woodworking, sewing to painting at the Craft Camps held at U.C. Davis. Even the littlest artists unleash their creativity at the camps held at the Sacramento Children’s Museum, which focus on arts & crafts, plus hands-on science for ages 4-8. Firefly Art, with locations throughout the Sacramento area, is another great camp to let your kids express themselves. The Crocker Art Camp is another good choice, with art projects, gallery lessons and museum tours. The themes this year are “Animal Adventures,” where campers will learn how to draw and paint animals; and “Art and Nature,” where they can print, draw and paint the world around them, including landscapes and still life.
Both beginner and experienced golfers aged 5–17 can improve their swings at the PGA Junior Golf Camps held at several Sacramento-area golf courses: Haggin Oaks Golf Complex, William Land Golf Course and Bing Maloney Golf Course. First Tee focuses not just on golf, but also on character building and sportsmanship at their summer camps, held at golf courses throughout the greater Sacramento area, including Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove, Folsom and Roseville.
If your children need a bit of discipline and focus alongside their kicks and punches, a martial arts summer camp is the way to go. Tokon Martial Arts in Natomas has camps that not only teach martial arts, but self-defense, yoga and character development. The Studio in Roseville also has a summer camp for kids, which includes cool activities like fight scene choreography and a ninja obstacle course. Dragon Fire Martial Arts in East Sacramento also has a summer camp, where kids can learn confidence and leadership skills.
At U.C. Davis, kids can learn all about musical competition in a special workshop that culminates in a performance for friends and family. There’s also a special version for younger kids. Or, sign up your young thespian for summer camp through the Sacramento Theatre Company, where they can sing, dance and act onstage. Or, check out the dance camps at Fancy Feet in East Sacramento.
Science & Tech
Chemistry, coding, animation and engineering — Camp EdMo has it all, and for kids of all ages. Best of all, they have locations throughout the Sacramento area, including Rocklin, Folsom and Sacramento. Another option for budding scientists is Mad Science, which has camps focusing on inventions, archaeology, survival skills and NASA, with locations in Sacramento, Roseville and Auburn. Honeycode is another popular summer camp, with coding, video game development, stop motion and robotics, and there are various locations throughout Sacramento. A brand-new option this year is Camp Curiosity, a science camp at the SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity near Old Sacramento.
If you’ve got an aspiring athlete, there are tons of camps in the greater Sacramento area where they can hone their skills. Skyhawks Sports Camps are offered in every sport imaginable, from flag football to disc golf to lacrosse, in locations throughout the greater Sacramento area, including Rocklin, Davis and Placerville. Sac Republic FC has summer soccer camps for kids throughout the greater Sacramento area. Or, keep them en garde during fencing camps at Premier Fencing Academy in Carmichael. Have a bowling lover? Try the Bowl and Swim Camp through the Sunrise Recreation & Park District in Citrus Heights.
All of the Above!
Can’t decide between art, sports or swimming? Many day camps throughout the greater Sacramento area let you do all of the above! Some options to consider include Discovery Summer Camp in Auburn, for kids 5–12; Camp Roseville, which also has a day camp for older kids, aged 11–14; and Rainbow Summer Camps through the city of Davis for kids 6–12, plus themed camps like cooking and chess. The City of Sacramento hosts the Summer Oasis Camp at area parks, filled with age-appropriate games and activities, and El Dorado Hills has the Adventure Zone Camp with swimming, games, and arts and crafts. Camp Lakeside in West Sacramento also has a summer camp, filled with drama, sports and STEAM activities.