Once again I publish the annual summer camp guide and there is snow in the forecast. But alas, it’s time to start thinking about your summer plans…in January, as registration has started for some. We’ve highlighted some camps with detailed information and included links to other notable camps at the bottom of the post. As always, add to this post by commenting with your own suggestion– first or second hand. Here’s to a fun and busy summer!
(Photo: Headfirst Summer Camp)
Smithsonian Summer Camps
(S. Dillon Ripley Center at 1100 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington, D.C.)
There’s no more exciting place to spend the summer than at Summer Camp at the Smithsonian, where all kinds of dreams can come true. Where else can campers blast into space or take center stage, create a masterpiece or invent a fantasy world, relive history, or learn to shape the future of the planet? The rich and exciting world of the Smithsonian Summer Camp program, now in its 48th year, is all theirs to discover in these one-of-a-kind learning experiences that spark the imagination and offer plenty of great fun! Grades K-9.
Summer Safari Zoo Camp at The National Zoo
(3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008)
Each of the Summer Safari programs explores the lives, habitats, and conservation of animals around the world. Week-long sessions include exciting hands-on activities, lessons, craft projects, science experiments, and walks through the Zoo (but no direct contact with animals). Camp sessions are grouped into four grade levels: K-1, 2-3, 4-5, and 6-7.
Spy Camp at the Spy Museum
(800 F Street, NW Washington, DC 20004)
Another sneaky camp that sounds like so much fun and full of thrills! Somewhere deep inside the Museum an elite group of recruits is lurking in the shadows preparing to take on top secret missions. No one really knows who they are, or for that matter, what they’re really up to. Now it’s your children’s turn to join their ranks. Each day is filled with top secret briefings and activities that will put spy skills and street smarts to the test. Aspiring Spy recruits will hone their tradecraft, learn from real spies, and hit the streets to run training missions. Develop a disguise for cover, make and break codes, discover escape and evasion techniques, create and use spy gadgets, uncover the science behind spying—all of this and more awaits young recruits! Ages 10-13.
National Building Museum Summer Camp
(401 F Street NW Washington, D.C. 20001)
One and two week sessions for campers entering 3rd-6th grade. Experience the world we build for ourselves in new ways and with hands-on activities and projects in one of our favorite buildings in DC! Attend one, two, or all six of the unique sessions of, full-day summer camp at the National Building Museum. Campers will enjoy design challenges, exploring the Museum, and more!
Steve and Kates Camp
(Alexandria Country Day School)
(Van Ness Elementary School)
This camp gives campers a choice where they step into a world packed with possibilities. One camper dives deep into stop-motion animation. Another discovers a passion for dance. Or chess. A camper becomes engrossed in making the perfect bread. Grades K thru 7th grade.
Lowell School Camp
(1640 Kalmia Rd NW., Washington, DC. 20012)
Their respectful and caring atmosphere encourages campers, ages 2.75 to 15, to grow in self-awareness and confidence, while strengthening their cooperation and consideration for others. They have an expansive campus with fields, surrounded by towering trees, provides generous space for games, sports, exercise, and water play. Campers explore and investigate plant and animal life in a spring-fed stream, a tributary of nearby Rock Creek. The four-lane indoor pool, fully equipped technology center, three art workshops, library, and large gymnasium are also available to campers.
(3825 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016)
(5100 Edgemoor Lane Bethesda, MD 20814)
With an array of programs for campers and students Age 3 – Grade 12 throughout June, July, and August, they have something for everyone. This camp has two locations to choose from with a variety of camps; day camp, sports camp and academic camp.
(1130 6th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001)
Camp kicks off the morning session by grouping up the kiddos by age (two age groups: 4-6 year olds and 7-12 year olds) then the fun begins. “Campers” work in pairs and build projects through Bricks 4 Kidz lesson plans and make creations of their own during super fun free play periods. The afternoon gets “challenging” as the campers enter “Challenge Island”, that provides unique challenge-based programs designed to foster critical and creative thinking skills, problem solving methodology, and core STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) principles in children.
The Creative Difference
(St. Michael’s Episcopal Church – 1132 N Ivanhoe St Arlington, VA 22205)
The Creative Difference offers weeklong summer camps in LEGO, Drama, Robotics, STEaM, and Art. The camp is imaginative and activities are minds-on, hands-on, and child-driven. Depending on the camp, ages range from 6-12.
Arts on the Horizon Summer Camps
(1100 Wythe Street, #26093 Alexandria, VA)
From superhero to construction, this arts inspired camp has a session that is sure to appeal to your child. They offer one week, half day sessions. Ages 3-6.
(Photo: Spy Camp at the Spy Museum)
Theatre & Arts Camps:
Adventure Theatre Camps
(7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo, MD. 20812)
Your child will work alongside accomplished D.C. area theater professionals and teaching artists during daily rehearsals in dancing, singing, and acting. With props and costumes, singing and scene-work, your child’s experience will culminate in a performance of a full-scale, youth-appropriate main stage show for friends and family. Grades 1-12.
Fillmore Arts Camp
(1819 35th St NW, Washington, DC. 20007)
Ceramics, guitar, fabric art and musical improvisation are some of the classes your budding artist could take. Swimming is also included in each campers experience in the two, three-week sessions. Ages 6-15.
(820 Meadowbrook Lane Chevy Chase, MD 20815 )
Meadowbrook Stables offers fun and educational summer riding camps for children age 6 and up! Riders of all levels have daily mounted instruction, as well plenty of time for hands-on interaction with the horses and ponies to learn grooming, leading, tacking up, and other aspects of horse care. More advanced riders can also take part in horse shows throughout the summer. Riders can sign up for one or more week-long sessions. Both full- and half-day camps are available, as well as extended day options.
(7007 Carroll Ave., Takoma Park, MD 20912)
Join us for summer camp – an immersive art experience! Weekly summer sessions and small groups offer a haven for creative kids. Each theme repeats twice during the summer. You’re welcome to repeat – though the projects materials are the same, your child’s work will never be! Grades K-3.
The Theatre Lab School of the Dramatic Arts
(733 8th Street NWWashington, DC 20001)
The Theatre Lab’s summer camps are fun, high-energy programs that allow young people to fully engage their imaginations as they experience the thrill of creating live theatre. Acting Camp for children ages 6-10 and Summer Acting and Musical Theatre for children ages 11-13. Campers participate in a wide variety of theatre activities—including improvisation, scene study, storytelling, creative writing, group singing, and mime.
(Photo: Capitol Language Services)
Capitol Language Services
This language camp lets children ages 2.5-6 enjoy traditional summer fun in a language-immersion setting. They have two locations that offer full- and half-day programs in Spanish (DC & VA), French, Chinese and Arabic (VA only). They also have extended care.
Language Stars This language camp offers play-based summer immersion programs in Spanish, French, Mandarin and German. Taught by native-speaking teachers from around the world, your child will be immersed in language, culture and summer fun. 7 DC Area Locations: Alexandria, Bethesda, Fairfax, Falls Church, Gaithersburg, N. Arlington/McLean, Reston. Ages 3 -10. They also offer a parent/child tots camp for children ages 1-3.
(Photo: Camp Olympia)
Other camps around the Washington, DC area:
- Breathing Space
- Circle Yoga
- Rock Creek Park Horse Center
- Edlavitch DCJCC Camp
- Urban Adventure Squad
- Potomac School
- Headfirst Summer Camp
- Beauvoir Summer Camp
- CASA at Sheridan School
- Montgomery County Parks & Recreation Summer Camps
- Washington, DC Parks & Recreation Summer Camps
- Arlington County Summer Camps
- Fairfax County Park Authority Summer Camps
- Summer at Norwood
- Budding Yogis’
- Landon Summer
- YMCA Camps
- Valley Mill Camp
- Calleva Outdoor Adventure Camp
- Ballet Petite
- Home Run Baseball Camp
- Baseball Camp at Bethesda Big Train
- Clara Barton Center for Children
- Berrend Summer Dance
- Camp Aristotle at The Auburn School
- Camp Olympia
Need to sign-up for just one week of camp? Thanks to some locals parents, here’s a great list:
Bethesda YMCA tennis camp
Calleva has buses that pick up and drop off close-in and offer a variety of camp experiences
Bethesda Soccer Club has tons of soccer camps
Sidwell Friends School