Northwest Summer Camps for Creative Kids

Fort Nisqually Living History Museum via Facebook

Fort Nisqually Living History Museum via Facebook

You don’t need tents or fire pits to spark kids’ imaginations this summer. Camp takes all kinds of forms, and there are many options throughout the region. From camps centered around building with LEGOS to battles with Nerf guns to studying exotic animals, parents should have no trouble finding a camp to fit their child’s interests.

Puyallup Children’s Theater
The Puyallup Children’s Theater has various camps for ages 4–16. Day of Dance Camps let kids age 4-9 spend the day dancing to music from movies like Star WarsFrozenThe Little Mermaid, and more. Several options for weeklong camps will have kids ages 8 and up performing in a full musical production by the end of the week. There also is a camp for students with special needs. Sign up or read more about all the options here.

Olympia Hands On Children’s Museum
The Hands On Children’s Museum in Olympia has lots of choices for kids and parents looking for creative, themed activities. Games, arts and crafts, and more offer learning and fun for a variety of age groups. Camps times vary. Check out the full list here.

Bricks 4 Kidz
With locations in Tacoma, Federal Way, University Place, Graham, and Thurston County, Bricks for Kids is a camp perfect for those ages 5 to 14 who like to play with LEGO bricks. Instructors show how to build Bricks 4 Kidz models and use special LEGO Technic pieces like motors, gears, and axels. Free-play periods let children get creative with designs of their own. Each camp is built around a theme, like Angry Birds, for example, and a full list can be found here.

Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium
Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium hosts a plethora of zoo-related camps for youngsters of all ages. These camps are perfect for the junior scientists and animal lovers out there! Depending on the camp, kids can become a marine biologist, zookeeper, wildlife photographer, or forensic scientist for a week. Kids can have a blast learning firsthand about science and zoo animals. Learn more.

Ted Brown Music
Ted Brown Music has several music camps available, including Ted Brown Music Outreach’s “Live It Out Loud” – an eight-week program for 12- to 18-year-old aspiring musicians. Students are evaluated, grouped into bands, and assigned mentors to work toward professional level performances. The camp ends with a final concert, and you can read more here.

Fort Nisqually Living History Museum
Three different camps give kids 6-14 a taste of the life and experiences of historical Fort Nisqually. Settler life and the fur trade are just two of the many cultures to be explored. Activities related to the mid-19th century, including crafts, music, and games take campers on a journey of learning and fun. Register or read more here.

Kick It 
Here’s a camp perfect for 5 to 13 year-olds interested in martial artist. Kick It, held by the U.S. Martial Arts Center in Olympia, is a week of fitness, demonstrations, games, movies, learning, and fun. It also features a Nerf gun battle and a large focus on bully awareness. Sign up or read more by visiting the school’s website or Facebook page.

Youth Fisheries Academy Day Camps
In Olympia and Lacey, there will be two single day camps held by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in July. The fishy activities include radio telemetry hide and seek, which teaches kids about the ways scientists track salmon in the wild. Campers also complete fish dissections, stream sampling, games and more.  Read all about it here.

Gig Harbor Academy
If you’re looking for educational fun for your tots in Gig Harbor, try camps at Gig Harbor Academy. Summer sessions include Adventures in Outer Space, Fairy and Leprechaun Lore, Baking, International Cooking, Digital Photography, Movie Making, Robotics, Video Game Design and more. To see the full list of offerings for kids entering preschool through 6th grade, click here.

iD Tech Camps
For the tech savvy kids, iD Tech has camps at various locations, including University of Puget Sound. There are a number of sessions for kids ages 7-17 who like to work with computers and video games. Campers get the chance to study programming, engineering, game design, and more. View all the listings here.

Whisk Cooking Camps
Young chefs and bakers rejoice! Whisk in Bellevue is hosting three types of weeklong cooking camps for kids ages 8-18. Each class type is offered multiple times throughout the summer. Classes are fun and teach life-long cooking skills and baking essentials. The choices are Baking From Scratch, World Traveler, and Fend for Yourself. All levels are encouraged to join, from beginners to those with a little more kitchen seasoning! Read more about the class offerings and dates here.

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is a staff writer at South Sound magazine.
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