Parents of school-aged children (and younger) have a big job to do this drizzly time of year. It’s summer camp planning time! We're here to help inspire your search with suggestions for some great camps for all types and tastes.
For an even wider range of camps, be sure to check out our camps portal, which is jam-packed with a wide variety of camps, as well our Golden Teddy Award winners for camps and classes, ParentMap's family atlas and specific guides to horse camps, STEM camps, bilingual camps, theater camps, one-of-a-kind camps, camps for kids with special needs and more.
And of course, don't forget to check your local parks and rec department and YMCA and Boys and Girls Clubs, which also offer a wide range of affordable camps.
Note: Explore hundreds of ideas for summer at ParentMap's four regional Camp Fair events. Click here to learn more and register to attend for free!
Jump ahead by interest:
Northwest Soccer Camps, Kenmore
Located at Bastyr University's campus in Kenmore, Northwest Soccer Camps offers a selection of day and overnight camps for players ages 7 to 17. NSC coaches are the real deal, including Paul Barron – longtime English Premier League Goalkeeper, trainer and curriculum expert and Marcus Hahnemann longtime EPL and Seattle Sounders FC professional goalkeeper.
Cost: Overnight camps start at $725, and full-day day camps start at $280 per week.
Arena Sports, multiple locations
with locations in Redmond, Issaquah and Seattle's Magnuson Park, offers popular summer camps with one-day options that parents especially like (you can sign up at the last minute) and a combo of activities that focus on games, skills and bouncy-house time (for the indoor camps). Kids from ages 3–6 can attend for half day (8 a.m.–noon); kids ages 6–12 can attend for full day (until 4 p.m.).
Cost: Drop-in rate is $35 for half day, $59 for full day, with various discounts available for weekly rates and passes.
Stroum Jewish Community Center , Mercer Island
SJCC runs a variety of popular summer camps at its Mercer Island campus, but is particularly known for its sports camp, which gives kids a chance to learn all kinds of games, techniques and sports (including swimming!), with an emphasis on teamwork and sportsmanship. Also check out Camp Kef (Fun), Performing Arts Camp, Teva Camp (Nature) and 40 additional specialty camps.
Cost: Camps run from 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. and starts at $311 a week for non-members (discount for members).
Skyhawks Sports Camps, multiple locations
offers 12 different sports camps and clinics for kids ages 3 to 12 in locations all around the Sound. Some camps specialize in a single sport (eg, lacrosse); others offer a mix of sports (eg, baseball, basketball, soccer). Times covered and prices vary; use the website search engine to find classes near you.
Cost: $139 and up for half-day camps
Moss Bay Kids Camp, Seattle
On South Lake Union, Moss Bay connects kids with the water through kayaking, sailing and paddle-boarding instruction. Week-long camps (full- or half-day) run all summer on Lake Union for kids ages 6 to 12, and no prior experience is required.
Cost: Camps run $340 per full-day week.
Safe N Sound Swimming, Seattle
Safe N Sound offers up a whole summer of fun camps for young water lovers. Week-long day camps for ages 6 to 10 include daily private swim lessons for each camper, plus play time in the water, crafts, field trips and more.
Cost: The cost is $450 for a five-day camp.
Pedalheads Bike Camps, multiple locations
This camp aims to get kids moving on two wheels via half- and full-day camps for ages 4-12 (plus a preschool program for kids ages 2.5-3.5). Parents choose camps according the skill level and age of their camper to learn safe practices for riding on the road. Campers provide their own bikes and helmets. Pedalheads offers camps at a number of Seattle and Eastside locations.
Cost: Camps cost $219/week for the half-day program, and $409/week for the full-day program.
i9 Sports, various locations
This youth sports program aims to keep the focus on fun and skill building for kids, rather than on competition. Check a specific location for information on camps and costs.
Seattle Drum School’s Rock Band Camp, North Seattle
Drum School camps allow aspiring musicians of any skill level, ages 7 to 17, to work collaboratively as a band and finish the week with a rockin’ live performance for family and friends.
Cost: Check the website for the latest information on summer camps.
Illumination Learning Studio in North Seattle offers a variety of arts-focused programs, including piano and guitar instruction, performing and fine arts classes, and themed summer camps.
Cost: Check website for details.
Music Works Northwest, Bellevue
These camps include voice, jazz, piano, composition and even a Musical Trip to the Zoo. Camps cater to various skill levels and several camps are designed for kids with special needs. Offerings accommodate campers as young as 3 (with caregiver) and up to age 18.
Cost: Prices range from $72 to $320 per week, depending on the number of hours, age group, and when you sign up (prices go up after March 25!).
Off the Wall School of Music, North Seattle
Off the Wall is all about making music fun, hosts rock band camp weeks throughout the summer where kids, among other things, get to name their band, get private lessons, plan the performance, record music and more. Camp is for ages 7 to 16; and runs from 9 a.m.–2 p.m. during camp weeks.
Cost: $397 a week; $325 before March 15
School of Rock summer camp, north Seattle, Lynnwood, West Seattle
With a new location in Lynnwood, School of Rock allows young rockers ages 6–18 to essentially join a band for a week. With themes ranging from grunge to the Beatles, kids ages 8-18 learn about live performance and; study with professionals; learn songwriting and more. Week-long camps run all summer; there is also a "Rookie Rockers" week for the littlest rockers, kids entering grades 1 and 2 (ages 6-8).
Cost: Five-day and three- day camps range from $299 to $450.
Seattle Opera, Seattle Center
Seattle Opera offers several camps in July for budding vocalists. Registration is not yet open, so check their website for updates.
Cost: Registration is not yet open, but previous camps ranged from $150 to $650, depending on time and length.
Northwest Girlchoir's Summer Sing camp, north Seattle
Offered for kids in grades 2–7, Northwest Girlchoir's camp is held in late July, and includes choral singing, voice classes, instrument exploration, as well as music video production and dance.
Cost: $325 (if you register before March 1, $350 after) and runs from 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. (before- and after-care available).
Theater and performance camps
Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Center
Kids at SCT camps work with professional artists and can take a wide range of classes, from “Magic Doorway” for little kids, to Acting, Physical Comedy, Backstage and Improv for bigger kids.
Cost: Day camps range from $90–$385 and are available to kids ages 3.5 to 21.
Studio East, Kirkland
Studio East offers a range of one- and two-week camps for ages 4 on through high school. Camps for younger children focus on creative dramatics and script creation; older campers rehearse a theatrical production or focus on specific theater skills.
Cost: Camp times and price vary depending on age. Camps for grades 1 to 2, for example, start at $250 per week and meet from 9:15 a.m.–2:15 p.m. Extended care is available for selected camps. Save 10 percent on the cost if you register before March 31.
Broadway Bound, University District, Seattle
In Seattle's U-District, young thespians ages 5 to 17 explore acting, singing, and dancing in camps offered by Broadway Bound. Campers get to “break a leg” rehearsing and performing hits such as Cinderella, Moana, The Little Mermaid and, oh yeah, Hamilton!
Cost: One-week camps start at $400; two-week camps (for older kids) are around $800.
SANCA, South Seattle
From flying trapeze to unicycle, the circus arts activities in SANCA's summer camps engages each child's joyous creativity in physical movement in a fun, safe, and progressive learning environment. No prior experience is needed, and every week-long camp culminates in a showcase for families and friends. New for 2016: half-day specialty camps for ages 9 and up: acrobatics; balance & object manipulation; aerial; clowning; and flying trapeze.
Cost: Prices vary by camp type and length; check their website for details. There are discounts for early enrollment and options to pay in two installments.
Cost: Tuition is specific to each camp; check the website for details.
Wedgwood Drama Studio, northeast Seattle
Wedgwood Drama Studio offers a number of popular, outdoor theater camps in northeast Seattle, ranging from a summer lab theater camp for grades 6 to 12; theater-in-the-park camps for kindergarden through sixth grade; and drama camp for preschoolers.
Cost: Camps for kids kindergarten age and above run from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. and costs $265; preschoolers attend from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. and pay $144.
Seattle's Littlest Performers, multiple Seattle locations
Seattle's Littlest Performers also offers camps in several locations in northeast Seattle (including one park) for separate age groups ranging from kindergarten through eighth grade. Each week is a different theme.
Cost: Camps range from $150 to $500.
Olympia Family Theater Camps. Registration opens soon! Check the website for more details.
Woodland Park Zoo, north Seattle
Woodland Park Zoo offers a wide range of popular summer camps for ages 3 to 14. Kinder campers (ages 3–5) explore the zoo with a different theme focus such as colors, numbers, families and more; Zooper Campers (ages 4–9) explore one of two different themes (Animal Olympics or Kingdom of Animals); Discovery Days (ages 5–7 years) is offered in partnership with Seattle Children's Theatre; and Zoo U (ages 10–14) offers older kids the opportunity to study more advanced subjects.
Cost: Younger kids' camps start at $200 per week for 9 a.m.–noon; $320 for 9 a.m.–4 p.m.; Zoo U is $340 for 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Terra-Forma Education day camps, North Seattle, South Seattle
Kids ages 6 to 10 join an adventurous quest, searching for the mythical creatures of many cultures, such as merpeople, treetalkers and hidden realms, using these quests to explore and observe nature through hands-on activities. Terra-Forma offers other week-long day camps with various adventure themes, both in north and south Seattle.
Cost: Registration is not yet open; check the website later in February for details.
Wilderness Awareness School, multiple locations
Wildnerness Awareness School offers a range of very popular summer camps that teach kids experiential knowledge of plants, mammals, tracking, birds and survival skills, including day camps for ages 4 to 12 and overnight camps for 11-18. Camps take place in Seattle, Bellevue and several surrounding locales.
Cost: Day camps cost $285 for half-day weeks and $375 full-day weeks. Overnight camps start at $765 per session.
Wolf Camp, multiple locations
Wolf Camps teach kids to survive and thrive in the wild outdoors, from learning to use fire safely, identifying important edible and medicinal plants, and cooking in nature. Overnight camps take older campers on adventures farther afield.
Cost: Day camps start at $275 and overnight camps start at $685. Discounts available for early registration, registering for multiple camps, and for siblings and referrals.
Oxbow Farm, Carnation
A beloved organic farm and education center in Carnation, Oxbow offers several themed farm camps for kids as young as 4 on up to volunteer opportunities for teens. Kids ages 4–6 spend a week of full- or half-days learning about gardening, harvesting and eating produce; kids ages 7–12 can do a “philanthro-pea”-based summer camp or be an apprentice farmer for a week.
Cost: Camps start at $300.
Tilth Alliance, North and South Seattle
Tilth Alliance (formerly Seattle Tilth) offers camps that get kids ages 3 to 14 working and playing in the garden. Campers explore the Rainier Beach Urban Farm in south Seattle, plant seeds and learn about animal husbandry. Plus, they’ll eat tasty snacks straight from the source. Other hands-on Tilth camps feature topics such as seeds, bugs, worms, dirt — all the essentials of a good garden.
Cost: If you're a member, week-long camps start at $265.
IslandWood, Bainbridge Island and Woodinville
With locations in Bainbridge Island (255 acres of forest rails and wetlands) and at Woodinville's Brightwater Center, IslandWood offers summer camps run by experienced environmental educations. Each week is a different theme.
Cost: Pre-K and kindergarten camps (Bainbridge location) run three hours (9 a.m.–noon or 1–4 p.m.) and cost $195; camps for grade-school kids (through ninth grade) run from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. and start at $310.
Arts and crafts camps
SAM Camp, downtown Seattle and Capitol Hill
Seattle Art Museum offers three weeks of camp for kids in grades 1 through 5, two at the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park and one at Olympic Sculpture Park. Each week has its own theme to guide activities and exploration of SAM indoor and outdoor spaces. Art exploration may include time capsules, mixed media projects, sculptures, costume-making and more. Each camp includes a field trip to SAM downtown.
Cost: Pricing starts at $325 per week if you're a member, with an after-care option available.
Paint Away Summer art camps, Redmond
Paint Away gives campers plenty of time for kids ages 6-13 to practice painting on ceramics, as well as the opportunity to delve into other artistic pursuits such as glass-fusing and canvas painting.
Cost: 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. week-long camps are $240.
Thrive Art School camps, Northeast and central Seattle
Thrive's camps are three hours each day, Monday through Thursday. Campers learn different drawing and painting techniques and engage in skillful craft projects centered on a specific theme.
Cost: Camp costs $230 a week.
Roaring Mouse Creative Arts Studio, northeast Seattle
Located in a storefront in Seattle's Ravenna neighborhood, Roaring Mouse offers "mini-palette camps" for kids ages 4-8 over the summer.
Cost: Check the website for more details (camps are not yet posted).
Made Sewing Studio, north Seattle
Located in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood, Made's homey studio offers fun two- and three- day sewing-project camps, where budding fashion designers can cut their chops on gardening aprons and PJs, develop skills through fabric design and doll clothes, or go for straight for grown-up fashion design camp.
Cost: Camps cost $150-$250.
Arts Aloft, Madrona
Arts Aloft was started by a mom-and-daughter duo and moved from the family home to a cute studio in Seattle's Madrona in 2009. Summer camps, for kids age 4.5-10, offer access to as many media as possible so young artists will find a medium that works best for them.
Cost: Week long camps cost $325.
Black Horse Art School and Studio combines art... and horses! Kids start the day creating beautiful artwork in a variety of media, then finish the day spending time learning to care for art-inspiring equine friends.
Cost: Camp sessions are $525/week with a discounted short week for fourth of July.
DigiPen ProjectFUN Summer Workshops, Redmond
This Redmond camp lets campers entering grades 5 to 12 dive into gaming and engineering topics like game design, animation, robotics and more. Other workshops for grades 1 to 4 explore gaming topics and robotics.
Cost: Camp tuition is $699 for one-week sessions, $1,349–$1,549 for two-week sessions, and up to $2,699 for the pre-college program for high school juniors and seniors.
Girls Rock Math camps, multiple locations
Girls Rock offers nine locations all over the Puget Sound for campers entering grades 1 to 6 explore math in fun and creative ways. Through art activities, games and songs, kids learn about cool math concepts (π! Sierpinski Triangles!). Each location has a unique approach, and each camp session has its own theme.
Cost: The full-day camps cost $295-$320 if you register before March 1. Some camps offer extended camp hours.
ID Tech Camps, multiple locations
These day and overnight camps are offered for ages 6 to 17 give future computer students experience on a university or independent school campus. Technology camp topics include web design, coding, Minecraft modding, and more.
Cost: Camp prices vary by location and duration. For instance, camps held at the University of Washington range from $899 to $1199.
Pacific Science Center, Seattle Center
Pacific Science Center has more than 60 programs planned for this summer. Camps for pre-K through 12th grade kids are held at multiple locations, including Seattle and the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center, as well as locations in West Seattle, Shoreline and Mountlake Terrace. Camp topics range from preschool science experiments to a robot workshop to spy science, one of the most popular camps at PSC.
Cost: Prices vary by grade level, time and location. Check the website for cost and registration details. Registration opens for members Feb. 22.
Kid Science Labs, North Seattle
This new STEM educational center, which opened in the summer of 2016, offers a range of camps and classes for kids ages 4-12 that are designed to give kids fun, hands-on, inquiry-based experiences in science. It offers week-long camps all summer with themes ranging from "Jedis vs. Spies" to "Mixing Madness: Chemistry for Kids."
Cost: Ranges from $275-$375, with discounts for siblings and for signing up for multiple weeks.
KidsQuest Children’s Museum, Bellevue
KidsQuest hosts STEAM camps at Bear Creek School Valley Campus, where kids age 4 years up to third grade can do full- or half-day camps exploring everything from glow-in-the-dark phosphorus to nanotechnology to hydraulics and circuits.
Cost: Check website for more details.
The Seattle Children’s Museum, Seattle Center
SCM offers non-stop summer fun with its “Discovery Days” single-day camps for kids as young as age 4. Days can be combined to fit any schedule; a week, a day at a time, the whole summer or half-days, which might suit preschoolers new to camp.
Cost: Summer camp details are coming soon. Previous camps have cost $35–$45 per half-day or $80 per full-day.
Youth Theatre Northwest, Mercer Island
Camps include "Frozen in July" and "Wee Beauty and the Beast."
Cost: Camps are $235 or less.
Pedalheads Bike Camps, multiple locations
Pedalheads offer a Trikes 'N' Trainers program, as well as a balance-bike program for kids that turn three during the calendar year. These week-long programs focus on fun and building confidence, for an hour each day.
Cost: Cost is $109/week. Kids turning 4 or 5 in the calendar year can also enroll in the first three skill levels of the pedalhead camps, which start with complete beginners on up to those fully independent and ready to learn road safety rules.
Wedgwood Drama Studio, northeast Seattle
Wedgwood offers a number of popular theater camps in northeast Seattle, including drama-camp sessions for preschoolers. Kids will have a blast playing dramatic group games, making outdoor art, going on scavenger hunts, and singing songs.
Cost: Camps run from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. and cost $144–$180.
Hands On Children’s Museum , Olympia.
HOCM gives preschoolers and older kids lots of opportunities to tinker with STEM concepts, including build, touch, tinker, dig, play, stack, drop, mix, craft and investigate with their hands, minds and bodies.
Cost: Check website for details.
They offer one preschool half-day camp with a Disney theme.
Cost: Camp runs from 9 a.m.–12 p.m. and costs $150 for the week; discount available for early registration.
Tilth Alliance, Seattle
Tilth Alliance (formerly Seattle Tilth) has summer parent-child programs for kids as young as 1 year old. Check out "Fun with Flowers" where you and your 1-2-year-old can taste and then paint with edible flowers. For 3-5 year olds, "Tools are Cool" is a fun option.
Cost: $20-$50 for non members.
IslandWood, Bainbridge Island
Bainbridge Island location (255 acres of forest rails and wetlands) offers summer camps for kids age Pre-K through Kindergarten run by experienced environmental educations. Each week has a different theme, from "Super Critters" to "The Enchanted Forest."
Cost: Pre-K and kindergarten camps run three hours (9 a.m.–noon or 1–4 p.m.) and cost $195.
KidsQuest Children’s Museum, Bellevue
KidsQuest lets little campers discover scientific principles cleverly disguised as fun at KidsQuest's “Science Explorers” half-day camp for kids ages 3 to 5.
Cost: Check the website for camp details.
The Seattle area has many options for sleep-away camp are plentiful at popular Northwest institutions, including Camp Sealth, YMCA Camp Seymour, Girl Scout Camp St. Albans, Canoe Island French Camp, and Camp Solomon Schechter.
Wilderness Awareness School offers popular day camps as well as several week-long overnight camps for ages 11-18. Themes include Scouting, Survival, Wolf Tracking, and newly added Bow Crafting.
Camp Gallagher, located near Lakebay in South Puget Sound, offers confidence-building overnight camps for middle school and high school kids with plenty of typical typical summer camp activities as well as the chance to plan their own group excursions.
Camp Orkila, a YMCA camp, welcomes campers entering grades 3–12 to its scenic spot on gorgeous Orcas Island, with traditional camps as well as specialty weeks, with themes ranging from horseback riding to digital media to skateboarding.
Camp River Ranch, in Carnation, is a Girl Scout camp in the foothills of the Cascades, on 435 acres, with plenty of room to stretch those muscles and those leadership skills.
Camp Robbinswold is another well-loved overnight Girl Scout camp for girls, located on Hood Canal, with saltwater beaches and wooded hills perfect for hiking.
Hidden Valley Camp, a small camp in the North Cascades, is another popular camp for kids ages 7-16, with horseback riding and many traditional camp activities.
YMCA Outdoor Leadership Development program is a wonderful option for teens, with a boys’ program (called BOLD) that invites high school-aged boys to a camp called “The Lyrical Chef: Backpacking, Cooking, and Music”. The girls’ program (GOLD) offers a camp called “Rock Smith Rock! A Climbing Adventure to Smith Rock, Oregon” for grades 9 to 12. YMCA Leadership coordinates other camps for grades 6 and up, some co-ed, each with activities around mountains, hiking, backpacking, fishing, art, rafting, or just goofing off. Camp prices vary.
Editor's note: This article has been updated for 2017.