16 Winter Break Camps in Seattle, the Eastside and the South Sound
From circus arts to animal tracking to fun and games
Kids delight in a winter break from school, but it can be a very inconvenient time for working parents. Fortunately, our regional camp providers have come through. Here are more than a dozen day camps to engage, entertain and exercise your youngsters.
And a few tips from us: Note the dates for each camp, as some are operating Monday–Wednesday plus Friday, some for partial weeks, while others offer single-day enrollments. Also, check your local community center; many also offer winter break camps.
Pacific Science Center Camps
Where: Pacific Science Center, Seattle (Lower Queen Anne)
Dates: Dec. 28–31, 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m. (extended care available)
Ages: Grades K–6
Pacific Science Center offers a variety of specialized, age-appropriate camps with themes ranging from the solar system (grades K–1) to robotics (grades 2–4) to an investigation of duct tape (grades 4–6). PSC's offerings also include several camps held at the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center in Bellevue, including a two-day geocaching trek for older kids (grades 6–8).
SANCA Circus Camp
Where: School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts, Seattle (Georgetown)
Dates: Dec. 21–23 and Dec. 28–30, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
Ages: Ages 6–17
Price: $275/three-day session (plus a $50 annual registration for new customers)
Do your kids dream of running away to the circus? Seattle's premier circus arts school is the place for them. SANCA’s day camp activities include lots of work on physical skills such as tumbling and trampoline. No prior experience is needed.
Watts Basketball Camp
Where: Villa Academy, Seattle (Laurelhurst)
Dates: Dec. 21–23 and Dec. 28–30, 9 a.m.–noon (grades 2–5) or 1–4 p.m. (grades 6–8)
Ages: Grades 2–8
Price: $155 for three half-days
Local hoops legends Slick Watts and Donald Watts offer three-day clinics for two separate age groups in "Skills and Drills" and "Slick's Skills". Coaches emphasizes ball handling, shooting and defensive movement, plus teamwork and keeping a positive attitude, because Watts Basketball’s mission is to help kids be the best they can be, in basketball and in life. Camp is appropriate for kids new to the game, as well as experienced players.
Where: The Moonpaper Tent, northeast Seattle (Maple Leaf)
Dates: Dec. 21–23 and Dec. 28–31, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Ages: 4 and up; grades pre-K–5
Price: $215/3-day; $285/4-day
The Moonpaper Tent, a beloved art and theater center in Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood, knows how to feed kids’ imaginations so they grow and grow. This year's camp themes are "Winter Magic" (Dec. 21–23) and "The New News of Knew-Town" (Dec. 28–31)
Seattle Children's Theatre
Where: Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle (Lower Queen Anne)
Dates: Dec. 21–23 and Dec. 28–31, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. (extended care available)
Ages: Grades 1–5
Price: $215/3-day; $245/4-day
With camps focused on themes from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to musical theater, to winterfest, SCT will be a great venue for your budding actor. There are also a variety of one-day drama seminars on topics such as stage make-up, physical comedy and stage combat for grades 6–12. One-day workshops cost $85–$105.
Seattle Children's Museum: Discovery Days
Where: Seattle Center
Dates: One-day camps: Dec. 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. (with a half day option)
Price: $35–$80 for partial to full day
The Children's Museum has a bevy of cool-themed activities planned for each day of camp, from exploring the Festival of Lights, to learning about nocturnal creatures, to winter games like "sledding" and "snowman-building", indoors, of course. Sibling and 5-day discounts available.
Seattle Gymnastics Academy Winter Camp
Where: Ballard and Columbia City Gyms, Seattle
Dates: Ballard, Dec. 21–23 and Dec. 28–30, 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.; Columbia City, Dec. 21–23, 10 a.m.–6:30 p.m.
Price: Ballard, $60–$100/day; Columbia City, $69–$113/day (discounts available for multiple days)
Seattle Gymnastics promises campers plenty of action with games, tumbling, the ever-popular foam pit and more. Parents can look forward to plenty of energy expended. No prior gymnastics experience is needed ; ages 3–5 may register for half-day only and must be self-sufficient in the bathroom. The Columbia City Gym also offers a Dec. 20 Sunday camp from 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Woodland Park Zoo
Where: Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle (Phinney Ridge)
Dates: Dec. 21–23 and Dec. 28–31, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. (half day and extended care available)
Ages: 4–9 (full day option available only 5 and up)
Price: $135–$215/3-day; $165–$265/4-day
Campers sharpen their observation skills while learning about how to find, follow and identify animals in the wild, using the same techniques real scientists employ. Themes for the two camps will focus on various types of airborne animals (3-day session) and the origins of mythological creatures and their relationship to actual animals (4-day session).
Dizzy’s Winter Wonderland Camp
Where: Dizzy’s Tumblebus & Bus Stop, Bellevue
Dates: One-day camps: Dec. 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. (half day and extended day options)
Price: $65/day ($45/half day); sibling discounts available
In addition to tumbling and active play, campers at Dizzy’s will celebrate the cold, snow, ice and wind with projects and crafts around magical winter weather.
Samena Winter Break Camp
Where: Samena Swim & Recreation Club, Bellevue
Dates: One-day camps: Dec. 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. (extended care available)
Swimming might not spring to mind when you think of winter recreation, but swimming is Samena’s specialty and kids never tire of pool time here. Campers will also enjoy dry land activities, like sports, games and arts and crafts. Note: Children age 5 must be in kindergarten to attend.
SJCC Winter Break Camp
Where: Stroum Jewish Community Center, Mercer Island
Dates: One-day camps: Dec. 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30 and 31, 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. (half day and extended care options available)
Ages: Grades Pre-K–5
Price: $65–$70/day (4-day package rate offered)
The "J" delivers its usual action-packed camp days this winter break, with widely varying themes each day, from arctic exploration to a winter luau, plus lots of fun field trips to places like the Pacific Science Center and Pump It Up. Choose any or all days to suit your needs.
Arena Sports School's Out Camp
Where: Arena Sports, Redmond, Issaquah and Seattle
Dates: One-day camps: Dec. 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30 and 31, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. (half day options; extended care available for ages 6 and up)
Ages: Ages 3–12, $35/half day, $59/full day
A sampling of activities at this super-active camp includes dodgeball, soccer, the ultra-popular Inflatable Fun Zone, Capture the Flag and much more. If you’re exhausted just thinking about it, that’s the point. Arena Sports offers camps all days listed at all three of its locations; children ages 3–5 may enroll in half day camps only.
Magical Journey Camp
Where: Olympia Family Theater, Olympia
Dates: Two three-day camp sessions: Dec. 21–23 and Dec. 28–30, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
Olympia Family Theater makes fast-paced fun the focus of its camps, with participants creating their own fantasy worlds as they explore character development and participate in creative drama and storytelling activities. OFT also offers two three-day fairy-tale themed half-day camps for ages 5-6.
YMCA Winter Break Camp
Where: Morgan Family YMCA, Tacoma
Dates: One-day camps: Dec. 22, 23, 26, 29, 30, 31 and Jan. 2, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. (extended care available)
Ages: Ages 5–12
Price: $35–$45/day or $210–$240/all seven days
YMCA camps have it all — a wide range of activities to include all kids, an affordable price, and extended care which accommodates grown-ups’ packed work schedules. The YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties offers its winter break camp at the Morgan Family YMCA branch.
HOCM Winter Camps
Where: Hands On Children’s Museum, Olympia
Dates: Three-day camps: Dec. 21–23; Dec. 28–30, 9 a.m.–noon or 1–4 p.m. (full day and extended care available for grades 1–4)
Ages: Age 3–grade 4
Price: $85–$95/three-day session
Younger campers (age 3 through kindergarten) explore themes such as the ocean, cooking and art. Campers in grades 1 to 4 have the chance to design wearable art pieces, play with chemistry and engineer exciting Lego creations.
My Gym Holiday Break Camps
Where: My Gym Kent/Covington, Kent
Dates: One-day camps: Dec. 21, 22 and 23 and Jan. 1, 12:30–3:30 p.m.
Ages: Age 3 and up
Price: $30–$35/day (sibling discounts available)
Sometimes during school breaks kids have been known to utter that dreaded phrase, “I’m bored.” Fear not, this junior ennui can be quickly addressed at My Gym’s half-day camp. Just deliver your youngsters for three hours of tumbling, climbing, games, circle time, stories and art projects. Special camp on January 1 is all about Legos.Google+