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Exciting Camps and Activities for Summer 2023

Published on: January 27, 2023

Exciting Camps and Activities for Summer 2023

Girl ridding on a horse
Credit: Sunset Lake

Camps for Critter-Loving Kiddos

Loving animals and actually taking care of them every day are very different things. Whether your kid is a future farmer or struggles to remember to feed the goldfish, summer camp is a great opportunity to learn more about the natural world and even get some hands-on experience with critters that they can’t keep at home.

Little Towhees (Tacoma) 

The Tahoma Audubon Society’s preschool programs focus on guiding young learners in self-awareness and self-regulation, growing their confidence and independence, and fostering an appreciation for the interconnection of the world around them. It offers three-day camps for 4- to 5-year-olds, with morning or afternoon sessions.

Ages: Preschool

Cost: $95–$105

Sunset Lake (Mount Rainier) 

Sunset Lake is a nonprofit summer camp and retreat center owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Set on 400 acres in the foothills of Mount Rainier, the center offers a classic summer camp experience with a horsemanship add-on. There is also a family camp over Labor Day weekend.

Ages: 8–17

Cost: $595 with horsemanship option

Camp Sealth (Vashon Island) 

Camp Sealth’s 350-acre property on Vashon Island hosts a wide variety of overnight and day camp opportunities. But for critter-loving kids, the obvious draw is Horse Camp. Sessions are offered for beginner, intermediate and advanced riders.

Grades: 3–11

Cost: $725–$2,400

Wildwood Ranch (Fall City) 

On the 20 acres of Wildwood Ranch, kids disconnect from tech and spend time outdoors just getting to be themselves. In the classic ranch camp, they learn how to ride horses, cook over a campfire, tend a garden and make crafts. Specialized camps focus on hiking in the Cascades or, for kids who like sheep, all things wool.

Ages: 5–12

Cost: $285–$650

Red Gate Farm (Sammamish) 

Summer programs that offer horseback riding are usually weeklong sleepaway camps. But Red Gate Farm offers a rare horseback-riding day camp. Professional instructors provide unique and unforgettable summer camp experiences during the day, and campers get to sleep in their own beds at night.

Ages: 6–12

Cost: $750

Woodland Park Zoo (Seattle)

You don’t have to leave the city to learn about nature and animals. Woodland Park Zoo camps inspire children to become conservationists through standards-based STEAM skills, building connections to nature and discovering the world’s wildlife. Each themed day camp lasts either four or five days. Note: Camps are full, but potential campers can put their name on the waiting list.

Ages: 4–13

Cost: $380–$465

Seattle Humane (Bellevue) 

Seattle Humane summer day camp sessions run Monday–Thursday. Campers learn about care and kindness for cats, dogs and other critters through games, crafts and animal visits. This year, veterinary-themed camps have been added to the offerings. Single- and half-day programming will be available.

Ages: 7–13

Cost: TBA  (check their website for summer 2023 info)

Animal Compassion Camp (Sultan) 

Campers complete projects such as making treats and toys while meeting and learning about the care of the more than 200 animals residing at Pasado’s Safe Haven, a 85-acre rescue animal sanctuary. Each day will be spent outside and around animals, so campers are encouraged to wear good shoes, dress for the weather and bring plant-based lunches.

Ages: 7–16

Cost: $150–$200

Up next: Active Camps for Sports Fans  

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