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 directory and specific guides to horse camps, STEM camps, bilingual camps, theater camps and more. And of course, don't forget to check your local parks and rec department, YMCA and Boys and Girls Clubs, which also offer a wide range of affordable camps.
Jump ahead by interest:
Sports campsMusic campsTheater and Performance campsOutdoor campsArts and Crafts campsSTEM campsPreschool campsOvernight camps
Northwest Soccer Camps: 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 Edu, a Brazilian legend and teammate of Pele’s, who teaches campers the Brazilian approach to the game of futebol. Overnight camps start at $715 per session, and full-day day camps start at $345 per week. [KENMORE]
Arena Sports, 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.). Drop-in rate is $35 for half day, $53 for full day, with various discounts available for weekly rates and passes. [MULTIPLE LOCATIONS]
Stroum Jewish Community Center (SJCC) runs a variety of popular summer camps at its Mercer Island campus, but is particularly known for its sports camps, which gives kids a chance to learn all kinds of games, techniques and sports (including swimming!), with an emphasis on teamwork and sportsmanship. Camps run from 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. and starts at $283 a week for non-members (discount for members). [MERCER ISLAND]
Skyhawks Sports Camps 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; ages 3 to 6 go from 9 a.m.–noon and cost $159 for five days; older kids' camp runs from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. and costs $175. [MULTIPLE LOCATIONS]
Moss Bay Kids Camp on south Lake Union connects kids with the water through rowing, 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. Camps run $200 per half-day week, and $320 per full-day week. [SEATTLE, SOUTH LAKE UNION]
Safe N Sound Swimming in Seattle 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. The cost is $420 for a 5-day camp. [SEATTLE, LAKE UNION]
Pedalheads Bike Camps aim to get kids moving on two wheels via half-day camps for ages 4 to 12. Parents choose from among eight different camps according the skill level and age of their camper, from "Newbees,” who aim to graduate from training wheels, to “Crankheads," who learn safe practices for riding on the road. Campers provide their own bikes and helmets. Pedalheads offers camps at seven Seattle locations, plus one in Bellevue, and camps start at $199 per week. [MULTIPLE LOCATIONS]
Looking for additional great camps? Visit our camps portal.
Seattle Drum School’s Rock Band Camp allows aspiring musicians of any skill level, ages 10 to 17, to work collaboratively as a band and finish the week with a rockin’ live performance for family and friends. Rock Band Camps start at $345 per week. [NORTH SEATTLE]
Music Works Northwest in Bellevue offers camps in 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. Prices range from $65 to $350 per week, depending on the number of hours, age group, and when you sign up (prices go up after April 1!). [BELLEVUE]
Off the Wall School of Music, which 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 is $397 a week; $325 before April 1. [NORTH SEATTLE]
School of Rock summer camp allows young rockers ages 8–18 to essentially join a band for a week. With themes ranging from grunge to the Beatles, kids learn about live performance and; study with professionals; learn songwriting and more. Week-long camps run all summer; there is also a week for the littlest rockers, kids entering grades 1 and 2. For the older kids, camps run from 9 a.m.–3 p.m., cost between $360–$450 and kids need 6 months of music experience to participate (Rookie Rockers pay less, need no experience, and attend from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.). [NORTH SEATTLE]
Seattle Opera offers several camps in July for budding vocalists. Kids in grades K–2 can take a "Scenes and Songs" one-week camp (July 13–17, 9 a.m.–noon, $150), where kids focus on character exploration and singing fun. Kids in grades 3–6 can take a two-week camp that explores the story of Mozart’s Magic Flute (July 6–13, 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m., $650). Teens can also do a two-week-long camp that explores Midsummer's Night Dream (July 6–13, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., $650), with vocal coaching, stage movement, dance, and diction for singers. No experience necessary! [SEATTLE CENTER]
Northwest Girlchoir's Summer Sing camp, for kids in grades 2–7, is held from July 13–17, and includes choral singing, voice classes, instrument exploration, as well as plenty of arts and crafts, games and movement. Camp costs $295 (if you register befre March 31, $325 after) and runs from 9:30am–3:30pm (before- and after-care available). [NORTH SEATTLE]
Seattle Children’s Theatre: 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. Day camps start at $90 and are available to kids ages 4 to 18. [SEATTLE, LOWER QUEEN ANE]
Broadway Bound: 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 Grease, Annie, The Lion King, The Sound of Music and, oh yeah, Frozen! Week-long day camps cost $350; special intensives and classes are offered for teens as well. [NE SEATTLE]
Studio East in Kirkland 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. 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. [KIRKLAND]
SANCA: If climbing the walls appeals to your youngster, try the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts’ circus camps (full- or half-day) for kids ages 6 to 17. No prior experience is needed, and SANCA, as it’s known, promises that families will be amazed at the skills showcased by campers at the end of each week. Camps cost $250/week for half day and $450 for full day. [SOUTH SEATTLE]
Village Theatre's KIDSTAGE summer camps in Everett and Issaquah welcome pre-K through grade 12 kids with their show-based camp themes. Spring and summer camp registration details will be posted on February 13! [ISSAQUAH, EVERETT]
Wedgwood Drama Studio offers a number of popular 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. Camps for kids kindergarten age and above run from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. and costs $250; preschoolers attend from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. and pay $180 (siblings are $130). [NE SEATTLE]
Seattle's Littlest Performers also offers camps in several locations in northeast Seattle (including one park) for ages kindergarten through seventh grade. Each week is a different theme (Harry Potter! Glee! Dr. Seuss!). Camp runs from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. and costs costs $225 a week; earlybird discount if you sign up by April 1. [NE SEATTLE]
Olympia Family Theater Camps. Registration opens in March for 11 weeks of summer camps at OFT, with themes ranging from Dr. Seuss to Lowly the Worm. Check the website.
Woodland Park Zoo offers a wide range of very 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 (Mystery Animal or My Ultimate Zoo); 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 opportuity to study more advanced subjects. Younger kids' camps start at $180 per week for 9 a.m.–noon; $290 for 9 a.m.–4 p.m.; Zoo U is $320 for 9 a.m.–4 p.m. [NORTH SEATTLE]
Terra-Forma Education day camps: Kids ages 6 to 10 join an adventurous quest, searching for the magical myths of nature, such as merpeople, treetalkers and hidden realms. Terra-Forma offers other week-long day camps with various adventure themes, both in north and south Seattle. Camps cost $395. [NORTH SEATTLE, SEWARD PARK]
Wilderness Awareness School (a 4-time winner of ParentMap's Golden Teddy award!) offers a range of 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 teens. Camps take place in Seattle, Bellevue and several surrounding locales. Day camps cost $245 for half-day weeks and $345 full-day weeks. Overnight camps start at $695 per session. [MULTIPLE LOCATIONS]
Wolf Camp’s day and overnight 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. If you register by February 15, day camps for ages 5 to 13 cost $280 per week (with transportation from a selection of cities available) and overnight camps for ages 8 to 17 are $585. [MULTIPLE LOCATIONS IN SOUTH SOUND AND EASTSIDE]
Oxbow Farm, a beloved organic farm and education center in Carnation, offers several themed farm camps for kids as young as preschooolers on up to volunteer opportunities for teens. Kids ages 4–6 spend the week 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. Costs start at $185 for half-day camp for ages 4-6 and go to $295 for full-day camp (9 a.m.–3 p.m.) for older kids. [CARNATION]
Seattle Tilth’s "UFF! – Urban Farmers of the Future" camps 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. UFF week-long camps are $275. [SOUTH SEATTLE]
IslandWood, with locations in Bainbridge Island (255 acres of forest rails and wetlands) and at Woodinville's Brightwater Center, offers summer camps run by experienced environmental educations. Each week is a different theme, from make-a-mess art camp for preschoolers to "Soil 2 Snack" or "Wild Science" for grade-school kids. Pre-K and kindergarten camps run three hours (9 a.m.–noon or 1–4 p.m.) and cost $190; camps for grade-school kids (through ninth grade) run from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. and cost $300. [BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, WOODINVILLE]
KidsQuest Children’s Museum in Bellevue lets little campers discover scientific principles cleverly disguised as fun at KidsQuest's “Engineering Explorers” half-day camp for kids ages 3 to 5. “Chemical Concoctions” and other camps let kids ages 6 to 8 dig deeper into science. Camps cost $225 per week. [BELLEVUE]
SAM Camp: Seattle Art Museum offers three weeks of camp, two at the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park and one at Olympic Sculpture Park. Kids in grades 1 through 5 journey through art past and present in a camp called “Time Travelers”. Art exploration includes time capsules, dressing up, comics and more. Each camp includes a field trip to SAM downtown. Camp costs $340 per week, with an after-care option available for $12 per day. [SEATTLE]
Paint Away Summer art camps in Redmond give campers plenty of time to practice painting on ceramics, as well as the opportunity to delve into other artistic pursuits such as glass-fusing and tie-dying. Half-day camps (Monday-Thursday) cater to kids ages 6-13 and cost $200. Paint Away also offers a selection of single-day camps starting at $75. [REDMOND]
Thrive Art School camps in northeast and central Seattle are three hours each day, Monday through Thursday. Campers learn different drawing and painting techniques; engage in skillful craft projects centered on a specific theme. Camp costs $205 a week. [SEATTLE]
Roaring Mouse Creative Arts Studio, located in a storefront in Seattle's Ravenna neighborhood, offers "mini-palette camps" over the summer. Check their website for more details (camps are not yet posted). (NE SEATTLE]
DigiPen ProjectFUN Summer Workshops: 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. Two-week camp sessions cost $1250. [REDMOND]
Girls Rock Math camps for campers entering grades 1 to 6 explore math in fun and creative ways, including exercises in writing and art. Many GRM camps also get attendees outdoors in the warm summer sunshine to find patterns and symmetry in nature. The full-day camps cost $295 when registering after March 1. [SEATTLE, SHORELINE AND REDMOND]
iD Tech Camps (day camps and overnight) for ages 7 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. Day camps cost $888–$949, and overnight camps are $1,488. [BELLEVUE, SEATTLE AND BOTHELL]
Pacific Science Center has more than 60 programs planned for this summer. Camps for pre-K through 12th grade kids are held at six locations, including Seattle and the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center. Camp topics range from preschool science experiments to a robot workshop to spy science, one of the most popular camps at PSC. Camp prices start at $150 and PSC offers discounts for members. [SEATTLE, BELLEVUE]
Find more STEM camps in this article. and for additional great camps on our camps portal.
The Seattle Children’s Museum 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. Daily themes range from Unicorn Day to Storytellers Day to Food Science Day. Camp runs $35 per half day or $80 per full day. [SEATTLE, LOWER QUEEN ANNE]
Boys and Girls Club of Bellevue: Expect loads of fun at this preschool camp which prepares little ones for bigger camp adventures ahead. Half-day camps for ages 3 to 5 engage wee minds and bodies in learning and physical activities. When campers get a little older, they’ll be primed and ready for BGC Bellevue’s wide range of specialty, sports and all-field-trip camps. Half-day preschool camp costs $180 per week. [BELLEVUE]
Youth Theatre Northwest’s camps: The Mercer Island theater group hasn't yet posted its camps for 2015; check back. Last year half-day camps cost $220 per week. [MERCER ISLAND]
“Cooking Course by Course” camp at the Children’s Museum of Tacoma will hopefully train some capable dinner helpers. This and other camps for kids ages 3 to 5 run a half-day and cost $130–$200. [TACOMA]
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.
Other intriguing overnight camps include those of the YMCA Outdoor Leadership Development program. The boys’ program (called BOLD) 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 was originally written in 2012 and updated for 2015.