From kayaking in the Santa Cruz Harbor to performing in a play in the woods, there are many choices for kids in Santa Cruz to stay busy—and entertained—this summer.
We asked our readers this week for your suggestions on local camps, and the following are what you wanted us to include in our guide. If you see a favorite camp that's not included, let us know! Email Associate Local Editor Rachel Stern at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave us a comment, and we'll put it in the guide.
Santa Cruz SPCA Through guest speakers and time spent with cats, dogs and rabbits, elementary and middle school children learn about caring for, and appreciating, animals.
Horse-n-Around Children receive daily horseback riding lessons at the Mitchell Ranch in Watsonville.
Corralitos Cultural Center Art Camp Children will learn the art of tye-dye and watercolor, and create jungle animals out of clay to glaze.
Mountain Art Center Camp From creating characters with clay to assembling an animation movie set, children can enroll in several programs to tap into their creativity at this camp in Ben Lomond.
Academy at WEST Performing Arts provides youth and families a creative outlet and training ground cultivates and treasures the imaginative process.
Watsonville Buddhist Temple Numerous guest artists and specialists teach children in special sessions focused on Japanese arts and crafts.
Peaceful Valley Farm Camp Kids can get their hands dirty planting crops, learning about recycling and composting, and tending to farm animals in rural Watsonville.
Wilderness and Nature Camps Set in the Santa Cruz Mountains, children learn about science-based natural history, animal tracking and other outdoor crafts.
Aux 3 Pommes Children visit virtual countries where their language of choice—from Spanish to Farsi—is spoken, and enact activities particular to that place.
ESL Summer Language Institute Children ages 12-18 receive help building their English skills while engaging in a variety of fun activities such as horseback riding, swimming and field trips, such as to the San Jose Tech Museum. The camp is in Watsonville.
Let’s Play in Spanish / Juguemos en Español Children three to eight years old are fully immersed in the Spanish language through a variety of activities with the theme of "Animales del Mar" in Santa Cruz.
Celtic Music Day Camp Kids learn to perform folk tunes from places like Wales, Ireland, Celtic Spain and across the U.S. at this Santa Cruz camp.
Redwood Glen’s Children’s Music and Drama Camp Nestled in the Santa Cruz Mountains, children have the opportunity to practice and perform in a scenic setting.
Kennolyn Camps With both day and overnight camps, children pursue a variety of outdoor rec activities at this camp in the Soquel hills.
Watsonville Family YMCA This offers several activities from arts and crafts to sports for children to partake in during varying sessions throughout the summer.
Watsonville Parks and Community Services The city has a variety of summer programs for kids of all ages.
Frontier Ranch Junior Camp From flying down a 300-plus foot zip line to playing with farm animals, children have many activities to keep them occupied at this Scotts Valley camp.
Montessori Scotts Valley Through two summer sessions, kids learn about organic gardening, and also receive instruction in math, reading, science and cooking.
Koinonia This week-long Christian-camp set in the Santa Cruz redwoods allows kids to engage in various team building activities.
Pali Adventures Set in the San Bernadino Mountains for one or two week sessions, this camp offers several fun themes from ‘Flying Trapeze’ to ‘Movie Make-Up Camp.
Camp Opportunity A residential camp in Santa Cruz for children ages eight to 13 who are at risk of neglect or abuse.
MakersCAMP As a group, kids ages 9-13 design a self-powered walking robot at this Santa Cruz camp.
Outdoor Science Exploration Students age 7-14 years old do physics and chemistry experiments at parks and beaches in Santa Cruz and Capitola.
2012 World Cup Soccer Camp Catalyst Soccer provides instructions on the sport to kids in a variety of outdoor settings, with sessions in various locations across Santa Cruz County such as Scotts Valley and Soquel.
Billabong Surf Camps This three-day camp in Santa Cruz teaches kids how to surf with the help of expert guides.
Camp SeaScape Everyday kids practice a variety of sports, ranging from sand volleyball to basketball at this Aptos camp.
Kung-Fu Kids Summer Camp Kids practice martial arts in Santa Cruz’s forests and beaches, with field trips to places like Great America included.
Kids Kayak Camp Set in the Santa Cruz Habor, kids receive practice in kayaking, boogie boarding and stand-up paddeling.
LightSpeed Martial Arts Academy This popular program is not only packed with Martial Arts, hiking, swimming, bowling, beach days, nutrition seminars, movies, and padded weapons classes, but also includes field trips to places such as the Boardwalk and museums.
Monte Vista Christian School Children practice sports such as basketball, football and volleyball in full and half-day sessions in Watsonville.
Santa Cruz Soccer Camp Children Children ages 5-15 receive coaching for experts in DeLaveaga Park in Santa Cruz.
Valley Sports Camp Kids in kindergarten through 9th-grade will spend the entire day at this camp at San Lorenzo Valley High School being active by participating in a number of different sports activities, including basketball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, swimming and dodgeball.
Didn't find what you're looking for? Peruse this guide from Parenthood.com for summer camps across the region.