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10 Great Choices for Summer Camp Around Central Florida

Lauren Garcia
Feb. 15, 2018

This summer, your child could learn to surf or how to cook a culinary masterpiece!

Image via Facebook/United States Tennis Association - USTA (Official)

Summertime is quickly approaching! You’re either in the throes of planning for vacation… or you’re trying to figure out what to do with the kids -- because most adults don’t get a “summer break.” Well, you’re in luck! Here in Central Florida, families have access to every type of camp you can think of.

Whether your kids want to go to a day camp or somewhere they can spend a long weekend or more, we’ve got you covered. The camps we’ve found below range from traditional to innovative -- like camps where they’ll learn about emerging technology or where they’ll learn clean cooking and sustainable gardening. No need to find a babysitter or nanny with any of these camps! (But they would come in handy if you need help with transportation.) Check out these great options and take your pick!

 

Animals: Central Florida Zoo Camp

Address & Phone: 3755 NW Highway 17-92, Sanford, FL 32771 | P: 407-323-4450 ext. 123
Dates & Fees: Details on half- and full-day camps will be posted here.

Kids ages 5-12 can participate in the Central Florida Zoo’s half- and full-day camps this summer. Campers can choose from camp topics including Pirates of the ZOOribbean, Jr. Zoo Keeper, or Jungle to Jungle, among others. It’s hands-on and educational! Campers can bring their own lunch or purchase one at the zoo, and they even get two free T-shirts!

 

Cooking & Gardening: Summer Camp at the Edible Education Experience

Address & Contact: 26 E. King St., Orlando, FL 32804 | Info@EdibleEd.org
Dates & Fees: Click here for details on weeklong summer camps at the EEE, July 17 - Aug. 4.

Parsley and mint in the garden = Tabbouleh in the kitchen.

A post shared by Edible Education Experience (@edibleedexp) on

Instructors will teach the fundamentals of cooking and gardening at this new hidden gem in College Park. The Emeril Lagasse Foundation Kitchen and Culinary Garden welcomes campers in July and August. Kids will prepare their own lunch each day, while learning about what math, science, and history have to do with the food they put on their plate. This is a great, unique experience for any kid… and a bonus for parents hoping to get some help in the kitchen!

 

Florida History: Adventures in History Summer Camp at the Orange County Regional History Center

Address & Phone: 65 E. Central Blvd., Orlando, FL 32801 | P: 407-836-8500
Dates & Fees: Click here for details on these weeklong camps, running June 4 - Aug. 10.

Do you love this state as much as I do? The Orange County Regional History Center is a great place to learn, centrally located in downtown Orlando. Campers will learn about topics like Florida Folk Art, Tacky Tourists, and Explorer Life. The latter, for example, teaches about voyaging people in Florida’s history, like Native Americans, Spanish conquistadors, pirates, and astronauts. Campers will go on at least one field trip per week, including to places like the Orlando Public Library, City Arts Factory, and Lake Eola Park.

 

Performing Arts: Orlando Shakespeare Theater Camp, Wekiva River Players Camp, The Rep Camps & Classes, & Grow & Sing Studios Summer Classes

Address & Phone:

  • Shakespeare: 812 E. Rollins St., Orlando, FL 32803 | P: 407-447-1700 ext. 254

  • Wekiva: Rehearsals held at Nativity Catholic Church, 3255 N. Ronald Reagan Blvd., Longwood, FL 32750 | P: 407-262-1801

  • The Rep: 1001 E. Princeton St., Orlando, FL 32803 | P: 407-896-7365

  • Grow & Sing: Click here for locations. | P: 407-970-2774

Dates & Fees: Click here for details on weeklong summer camps at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater Camp, June 4 - Aug. 3. | Click here for details on the Wekiva River Players summer camp, June. 4 - 15. | Click here for weeklong summer classes at the Rep from June 4 - Aug. 10. | Click here for details on weeklong summer classes at Grow & Sing from June 4 - July 20.

Children of all experience levels will have a blast at these theater and performance camps. There’s opportunities for stage design for those who aren’t as outgoing as your little starlet may be. The Wekiva River Players spend their camp putting together a production, which they then perform for parents at the end of the summer. The Shakespeare and Rep camps do much of the same, with classes of varying age ranges to accommodate all campers. Grow & Sing actually offers classes from newborn that parents can also join in on.

 

Science & Space: Orlando Science Center Camp, Mad Science Camp, Camp Kennedy Space Center

Address & Phone:

  • OSC: 777 E. Princeton St., Orlando, FL 32803 | P: 407-514-2112

  • Mad Science: 1700 Oviedo Mall Blvd., Oviedo, FL 32765 (in the mall) | P: 386-898-4570

  • KSC: S.R. 405, Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899 | P: 855-433-4210

Dates & Fees: Click here to register for OSC summer camps. | Click here to register for week-long camps at Mad Science, from June 4 - Aug. 10. | Click here to register for week-long camps at KSC, from June 4 - Aug. 3.

Aspiring chemists, paleontologists, and rocket scientists will be overjoyed at the summer camp options across Central Florida. STEM is an important part of learning, and if you have a kid who wants to continue to learn through his or her summer break, take full advantage and provide them with the best of the best opportunities. That includes Kennedy Space Center, which we are so lucky to live near. The Orlando Science Center is offering camps of various topics, including biology, weather, and learning about the body, among others. And at Mad Science, your son or daughter may just come home looking like Doc Brown. And that is in no way a bad thing!

 

Sea Life: SeaWorld Day & Sleepover Camps & Summer Adventure Camp at the Marine Discovery Center

Address & Phone:

  • SeaWorld: 7007 Sea World Drive, Orlando, FL 32821 | P: 407-545-5550

  • MDC: 520 Barracuda Blvd., New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169 | P: 386-428-4828

Dates & Fees: Click here to learn more about SeaWorld’s day & sleepover camps. | Click here for details on the MDC’s half-day, two-day, & weeklong summer camps, May 31 - Aug. 17.

When I was a little girl growing up in Orlando, all I wanted to do was sleep with the sharks in Terrors of the Deep at a SeaWorld summer camp. Rightfully so, my parents never sent me there, because I would’ve called them to come home in the middle of the night. But if you have a brave camper on your hands, check out SeaWorld’s sleepover camps. They’re hands-on and highly educational, not to mention a whole lot of fun. Or check out the Marine Discovery Center’s camps in New Smyrna Beach. Each camp focuses on a different topic, like SCUBA, Loggerheads, and even archery!

 

Sports: USTA Tennis Camp, Bishops Gate Golf Camp, Orlando Magic Youth Basketball Camp, & Orlando City Soccer & Pride Summer Camps

Address & Phone:

  • USTA: 10000 USTA Blvd., Orlando, FL 32827 | P: 844-872-8667

  • Bishops Gate: 26945 Bella Vista Drive, Howey-in-the-Hills, FL 34737 | P: 855-378-8177

  • Magic: Various locations across Central Florida

  • OCS: Various locations across Central Florida

Dates & Fees: Click here for the USTA’s dates & fees for weekly camps, June - August. | Click here to enroll in week-long camps at Bishops Gate, June 10 - Aug. 18. | Click here for details on Youth Basketball week-long summer camps, June - August. | Click here for details on OCS youth summer camps in June & July.

There’s a sports camp for most any child prodigy. You might have a young Serena Williams, Jordan Spieth, or Kaka on your hands. Or maybe you’re raising the Orlando Magic’s next superstar! (Please, Magic, don’t make us wait that long for a championship.) Orlando is a great place to nurture natural talent and sports skills. With the addition of our new soccer stadium, we’re becoming more and more involved in our local sports teams, and they all offer some great options for kids this summer.

 

Surfing: Ron Jon Kids Summer Camp & Pure Life Surf School Summer Camp

Address & Phone:

  • Ron Jon: 150 E. Columbia Lane, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | P: 321-868-1980

  • Pure Life: 2705 South Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach Shores, FL 32127 (Frank Rendon Park) | P: 386-492-7873

Dates & Fees: Click here for details on Ron Jon’s kids’ weeklong summer camps, running May - August. | Click here for details on Pure Life’s day and weeklong camps, May 28 - Aug. 17.

All instructors at Ron Jon and Pure Life are CPR- and First Aid-certified, so your campers will be as safe as can be. They also take into account experience level and make sure not to take the kids into rough water or bigger waves than they can handle. Ron Jon’s day starts off with a quick classroom lesson, and then the kids head out to surf! Check the website to be sure you’re equipping your kids with all the necessities to properly shred. Pure Life welcomes campers ages 7-16 to Frank Rendon Park in Daytona Beach. There’s a 4:1 student to teacher ratio, ensuring the safest surfing conditions.

 

Tech & Production: Apple Camp, Florida Film Academy Camp, & Tech Me Camp

Address & Phone:

  • Apple: Click here to find a participating location near you.

  • FFA: HQ at 1261 Winter Garden Vineland Road, Winter Garden, FL 34787, but camps held at multiple locations. | P: 407-654-8400

  • Tech Me: 13000 Avalon Lake Drive, Ste. 305, Orlando, FL 32828 | P: 407-900-9171

Dates & Fees: Click here to be notified when details are posted on the three-day Apple Camps. | Click here for details on all FFA summer programs. | Tech Me programs will be listed here when announced.

Find out if your local Apple store is offering summer camps this year! Their camps consist of three 90-minute sessions, where kids work with Apple experts on hands-on projects. Or head over to the Florida Film Academy, where campers ages 7-18 will learn all aspects of film production, even including instruction for YouTube vloggers. At Tech Me, campers will learn about programming and app development, among other techy things.

 

Traditional: Camp Wewa & Camp Winona

Address & Phone:

  • Camp Wewa: 221 S. Binion Road, Apopka, FL 32703 | P: 407-886-1240

  • Camp Winona: 898 Camp Winona Road, DeLeon Springs, FL 32130 | P: 386-985-4544

Dates & Fees: Click here for Camp Wewa’s day & two-week camps, June 3 - July 27 | Click here for Camp Winona’s mini/weekend & one-week camps, June 4 - July 14

Anyone who has ever watched ‘80s or ‘90s teen movies and TV shows knows all about the traditional summer camp. Shows like Nickelodeon’s “Salute Your Shorts” or “Bug Juice” (an underrated classic) have made kids yearn for the warm, sunny days they’re free from schools and parents to roam and play and learn with their peers. Camp Wewa and Camp Winona are right in line with those concepts. Campers can choose to stay for a day or longer, and they can participate in a variety of activities, like sports and arts & crafts.

 

Did we list all the best summer camps around Central Florida? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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