If your child likes variety or if you just need to fill an occasional hole in your summer child-care schedule, a single-day camp may be for you. They’re hard to find, though, so we’ve done the homework. All of these camps around Puget Sound offer both flexible options; some even allow last-minute drop-ins.
Camps with single-day options in Seattle or on the Eastside
1. Steve and Kate Camps, Seattle
Steve and Kate camps are the ultimate child-centered day camp, where kids dig into a subject they adore by participating in workshops in subjects such as film, music, breadmaking, fashion and much more. (They can choose whatever they want.) Fees include lunch and snacks, there is coffee for parents at drop-off and hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Camps run from late June to late August.
Ages: 4 years and up, must be completely potty trained
Cost: You can buy day passes, and show up without notice. You can also get a refund on unused passes at end of summer. Cost is $100/day, with five or more passes $90/day, 20 passes are $80/day.
2. Arena Sports, Redmond, Seattle, Issaquah, SODO
At Arena Sports' fun day camps, kids play a variety of sports, play in the inflatable fun zone, watch movies and more.
Ages: 6 and up for afternoon or full-day camps. Any age for morning camps, but must be fully toilet trained
Cost: Half day/$35, full day/$59. Or purchase a flex pass: Ten-day all-day pass is $49/day; and 20-day all-day is $45/day. You must purchase a yearly membership to Arena Sports to get a flex pass ($57).
3. Phinney Neighborhood Preschool, Seattle
Need just a few hours of coverage? Several of the summer camps offered at this co-op preschool are available on a single-day basis, including "Mini Camps for Mini People," "Classic Summer Camp," and "MiniCon," a Comicon-like camp for mini campers. Check the schedule for weeks and hours (tends to be just morning coverage).
Ages: 2.5 and older
Cost: $30/day includes all daily craft supplies and simple snack of fruit and carb. Preregistration recommended.
4. Little Explorers: Latona Art Camps, north Seattle
This Green Lake-area preschool and after-school program offers day camps all summer, with single-day options. Camp typically includes a different craft project daily, nature walks, lots of outdoor time, singing and even cooking. Drop-ins for both Little Explorers camps are welcome if space is available. Register online the night before.
Cost: 9 a.m.–1 p.m. is $45/day; 9 a.m.–3 p.m., $60/day
5. Little Explorers: Woodlawn Adventure Camps, north Seattle
This other Little Explorers camp, based at a different campus and aimed at older kids, includes sports, lake and park adventures, lots of outdoor time, crafts and cooking. Drop-ins for both Little Explorers camps are welcome if space is available. Register online the night before.
Cost: 8 a.m.–3 p.m., $60/day; 8 a.m.
–6 p.m., $75/day
6. Vertical World, Seattle
At Seattle's rock-climbing gym, camps teach basic climbing skills, games and climbing! One-day camps are available with 48 hours notice/registration, providing a great way to check out the sport of climbing.
Ages: Three different single-day camps are available, for ages 3-6, 6-9, and 10–14
7. Made Sewing Studio, Seattle
Sew a messenger bag, hoodie, sweatshirt and other fun projects at these two- and three-day camps at this Greenwood studio. Register soon; some camps are already full.
Ages: 7 and up
–$250 depending on the project
Offered most of the summer, these fun, creative day camps have a theme each day with activities to match; and kids also get to explore parts of the museum. Weather permitting, kids eat lunch outside near the International Fountain, along with other outdoor activities.
Cost: $40/half day, $80/full day
9. Pedalheads Bike Camps, Seattle, Redmond, Bellevue
Kids go from training wheels to trails with small-group instruction in biking, at many levels and at many parks around Puget Sound. Summer camps run weekly, but one-day camp registration is available. (Note: This option isn’t listed on the website but if you call the site they will tell you what is available; find the site numbers listed under "locations" on the website.)
Cost: Half day $50.37, full day $94.07
These active day camps focus on gymnastics and other fun activities.
Cost: $30–$50 per half day depending on location
This art studio offers fun Friday pottery camps, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., which can be added to a four-day camp or be taken by themselves.
South Sound single-day camps
12. Rollin’ 253 Skate and Community Center, Tacoma
This Tacoma rink plans camps with arts, crafts, games, classes, field trips and, of course, roller skating!
Cost: $40/day, with lunch, snack and activities included in the price, and great coverage for hours (7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.). Register the day before for single day.
13. Discovery Playtown, Maple Valley
Maple Valley's indoor "play town" offers camps with supervised play, art, stories and snacks. Tip: Buy a punch card that doesn’t expire and can be shared among siblings.
Cost: Half-day camps, $35/day
Summer camps run throughout the summer with a different theme each week. Children engage in creative outdoor play, with songs, games, crafts and free play. Drop-in, single-day camps available with at least 24 hours notice and registration, if space is available.
Ages: 2.5–12, with various half-day and full-day options available