Kids at camp

It’s summertime in San Diego! Fun activities for all ages and budgets can be found throughout the county. Community centers and schools offer a huge range of activities.

Surf camps and horse camps abound, but if you look around, you’ll find a camp to match any child’s interests. Here are my top 10 picks for this summer.

The Salvation Army’s Ray and Joan Kroc Center offers fun activities all year round for participants of all ages. Day camps are offered for children toddler-aged and older. Fees start at $150 per session, and discounts are available for members. They also offer scholarships, based on financial need. Activities include pee wee camp, various sports, ice skating, rock climbing, skateboarding and more.

Magic Bug Summer Day Camps offer activities like magic, fashion, toy making, circus performing, Jedi training and more. Camps are held at a variety of locations, including the Kroc Center (above), YMCA facilities around town (below) and other locations. Prices vary by activity and location, so click around their schedule to see what’s available.

The La Jolla YMCA offers an extensive selection of camps for kids aged 3-17. Activities include sports, science, music, water, ancient Egypt, cooking, mountaineering, fishing, magic and more. Discounts are offered to members and people who register early. Prices range from $185 to $425.

The Mission Valley YMCA offers camps ranging in price from $96 to $375 per session. The highest price is for equestrian camp, but most of the other camps are $100-$150. Financial aid is available – you’ll find an application on their website. Younger children, starting with toddlers, will enjoy camps such as Arts & Crafts and Gymventures. Older kids can participate in camps with titles like Adventure, Explorers, Challengers, Friendship, Funtastic, Splash, Tavelers, and Essentials. Or your child might like to attend auto, archery, inventions, junkyard drumming, fishing, surfing or paintball camp! Early morning extended hours drop off is available at no extra charge.

SeaWorld Adventure Camp is a blast for kids aged 3-18. Prices start at $100 per session for half-day camps for one parent and one preschooler, and go up to about $1100 for high-school aged sleepover camps that include multiple off-site excursions. For some camps, SeaWorld is offering a discount for registration prior to June 11, 2010. Camps for elementary aged children are priced reasonably. For example, the Shamu camp for 1st graders is $175 per session for half-day camp and $315 for full day camp. Take a few moments to explore the many camp choices on the SeaWorld website!

If you are the parent of a potential rock star, or of a kid who just loves to make music, the DayJams Rock Music Day Camp might be right up your alley. DayJams offers camps nationwide for 8-15 year olds who love making music, no matter what their skill level is. Tuition for the San Diego location starts at $620 for one session. Scholarships are available based on financial need, desire to attend, and/or musical ability. Your child may or may not need to bring an instrument, so check the schedule to find out the requirements. In addition to learning more about making music, your child will make a recording, design a CD cover, and design a band t-shirt and backstage pass. DayJams is hosting an open house on June 13th and will provide more information about all aspects of the program and a discount on registration.

Camp Gan Israel is a Jewish summer day camp for children from families of all levels of religious observance. Kiddie Kamp is available for the little ones – aged 2 to 5. Regular camp is offered for children up to 12 years old. Activities include crafts, sports, swimming, field trips and more. Campers enjoy a shared Jewish spirit through songs and projects. Prices start at $675 for a 19-day session. That’s only about $35 a day! Discounts are offered for multiple children, multiple sessions, and early registration.

Gymventures offers a variety of gymnastics activities in its day camps for kids 3 and up. Half day camps are offered to potty-trained 3-year olds, and tuition starts at $215 per week, $165 for members. Full day camps for older children are $325 per week, $285 for members. Weekly themes include Star Wars, Western, Disco Dance parties, Fifties, Summer Luau party, and much more.

The Christian Youth Theater camp is a Christian-oriented theater program that is not affiliated with any particular church or denomination. All children aged 4-18 are welcome to participate in this overall theater program that includes team-based dance, drama and voice activities. Week-long sessions range from $150 to $225 if you register before the first day of the session. Overnight camp is offered to middle school and high school students for $400 per session.

Horseback riding is a longtime American favorite. At the Sweetwater Horse Camp right here in Bonita, your child aged 7-15 can attend a Day Horse Camp or Advanced Day Horse camp and learn about riding, grooming, feeding and bathing horses, as well as safety, etiquette, and general horsemanship. Children aged 5-6 can attend Pony Time camp. Rates are $275 to $500 per session. Discounts are available for multiple children. Do you have a group of 2 to 16 kids, between 7 and 15 years old, who would like to camp together? A weekend camp can be arranged just for your group! The price is $400 for the first two campers, and $160 for each additional camper. That comes out to just $208 per child for a group of 10 campers! Only $190 each for a group of 16.

The list of things for your child to do this summer in San Diego is nearly endless. Today’s camps don’t just go on nature hikes – you can find camps geared toward surfing, sports, fencing, technology, religion, art, music and more. To explore even more possibilities, check out these websites.

Nickelodeon Parents Connect

Summer Day Camps.com

And if you live in North County, check out School’s Out Now.com

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