Ashley McCuen/Studio East
It's nearly February and mid-winter break is poised for another sneak attack on the schedules of local parents. Do you have a plan?
This modern school year counterpart to spring break typically centers around the Presidents Day holiday — Monday, Feb. 19 this year.
Days off school vary by school district. Some take the entire week following Presidents day off; some take the Thursday and Friday off beforehand, plus the holiday Monday. If you need to send the kids somewhere, here's a sampling of camps happening in the Puget Sound area. Camp dates vary and align with nearby school districts' break dates but check carefully to make sure the camp you're considering matches the days you need.
Thrive Mid-Winter Break Camp, Thrive Art School, Seattle (Ravenna and Madison locations)
Dates: Feb. 19–22, 9:30 a.m.– 12:30 p.m. or 1:30–4:30 p.m.
Ages: Ages 5–10
This year's theme is amazing ancient beasts! Campers discover a range of prehistoric animals and use them to inform their own artistic creations.
Sounders FC Mid-Winter Break Camp, Starfire Sports, Tukwila; Everett Soccer Arena, Everett; Lower Woodland fields, Seattle
Dates: Multiple date options Feb. 19–23; full- and half-day
Ages: Ages 3–16
Winter is great time to work on soccer skills at local indoor arenas or in Seattle's Woodland Park. Campers work on technical skills and practice them in scrimmages. Older campers will also study the tactics of the game.
Girls Rock Math Mid-Winter Break Camp, MLK Fame Center, Seattle
Dates: Feb. 19–23, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.; free extended care available until 5 p.m.
Ages: Girls in grades K–5
Cost: $400 or $100/day
Design a robotic hand, develop a musical instrument and more. Campers get busy with awesome engineering projects during this camp.
Arena Sports School's Out Camp, Arena Sports locations in Seattle, Redmond, Issaquah and Mill Creek
Dates: Days, dates and times vary by location; after-care available
Ages: Ages 3–12
A sampling of activities at this super-active camp includes Dodge ball, 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. Note: Ages 3–5 may only enroll in half-day sessions, morning or afternoon.
Shoreline School's Out Camp, Spartan Recreation Center, Shoreline
Dates: Feb. 29–23, 8 a.m.–6 p.m.
Ages: Ages 4–12
This camp packs in lots of activity with games, crafts, plenty of gym time and swimming for ages 7 and up. Select needed days or enroll for the whole week.
Studio East theater camps, Studio East Training for the Performing Arts, Kirkland
Dates: Feb. 15, 16 and 19 or Feb. 19–23, 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m.; extended care available
Ages: Grades 1–6
Campers delve into drama topics such as comedy or themed weeks such as Magic Treehouse. Activities include acting, improv, musical theater, scene study and more. Each camp session culminates in a performance showcase for families.
Cartooniversity Camp at Kelsey Creek Farm Park, Bellevue
Dates: Feb. 20–23, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Ages: Ages 9–14
Explore cartooning as an art form with a local professional cartoonist and illustrator, including character development, action poses, perspective and lettering. All supplies provided.
Samena Mid-Winter Break Camp, Samena Swim & Recreation Club, Bellevue
Dates: Feb. 19–23, 8 a.m.–4 p.m.; extended after-care available
Ages: Ages 5–12
Swimming is Samena's specialty and kids never tire of pool time there. Campers will also enjoy dry land activities, like sports, games and arts and crafts. This camps offers single day enrollment which can help families needing a flexible schedule. Note: Children who are age 5 must be in kindergarten to attend.
SJCC School's Out Camp, Stroum Jewish Community Center, Mercer Island
Dates: Feb. 15–16 and 19–20, 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Ages: Grades preK–5
Mid-winter Break Camp at the "J" takes campers on adventures modeled (roughly) after popular TV shows such as "The Amazing Race" and "America's Got Talent." The J offers day-by-day enrollment for flexibility.
Camps at Mercer Slough, Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center, Bellevue
Dates: Feb. 19–23, 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Ages: Grades K–5
Learn strategies to survive the wilds of winter in the outdoors. Campers in different age groups study the survival of flora and fauna that inhabit the fascinating Mercer Slough.
Mid-Winter Break Camp at Hands On Children’s Museum, Olympia
Dates: Feb. 19–20, full- or half-day sessions
Ages: Age 3–grade 4
Cost: $45/half day, $110/full day
Hands On offers playful school break camps on topics that kids will enjoy delving into. Mix and match STEAM-themed morning and afternoon camps; lunchtime and afternoon extended care available for campers in grades 1–4.
Mini Makers Camp, Auburn Parks, Arts & Recreation, Auburn
Dates: Feb. 20–23, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Ages: Ages 6–12
Campers dig into STEAM-inspired projects and arts and crafts-focused projects in this fun camp that includes in a couple of field trips. Auburn Parks offers additional mid-winter break camps for different ages groups on different themes.
Presidents Week Camp at My Gym Kent/Covington, Kent
Dates: Feb. 20–23, 1–4 p.m.
Ages: Ages 2.5–9
Junior ennui can be quickly addressed at My Gym’s active, half-day camp. Just deliver your youngsters for three hours of tumbling, climbing, games, circle time, stories and art projects.
It's not too early to start thinking summer camps. Come to one of ParentMap's regional Camp Fairs for oodles of terrific camp ideas that you can explore all under one roof, for free!
Editor's note: This article was originally published in 2015 and updated for 2018.