The final school bell of the year can creep up on you, so it's never a bad time to start planning for summer. Sure, there are plenty of indoor activities and playgrounds for kids to entertain themselves with, but the following summer camps for kids allow them to tap into their creative side, get physical, keep flexing those brain muscles and make it a summer in Los Angeles they will never forget.
Best summer camps for kids in L.A.
This surf camp has been coaching kids ages 5 through 17 since 2004. Catching waves is the main focus, but CPR- and first-aid–certified instructors also teach campers of all skill levels how to spot the perfect wave, plus surf etiquette and ocean safety. Kids can also partake in beach activities such as Frisbee, bodyboarding and volleyball. Foam surfboards are provided, as well as full-length wet suits, water, snacks, sunblock and shade canopies. The camp has locations in Venice and Manhattan Beach.
Check website for location (310-663-2479, learntosurfla.com). June 12–Sept 1: Mon–Fri 9:30am–3:30pm (half-days, after-hours care available); $325–$425/week.
This girls-only camp features a STEM curriculum aimed at budding scientists ages 4 through 12, and includes hands-on experiments and field trips. Each week of the six-week camp (which takes place on USC’s campus) has a different theme, from space exploration to sports medicine.
University Park campus (704-363-6411, projectscientist.org). June 12–July 21: Mon–Fri 9am–5pm; $725/week, week of July 4 $600.
LEGO and Minecraft aficionados will enjoy the abundance of summer camps that Rolling Robots offers. Choose from courses on coding, engineering, LEGO-robot building, video-game programming and more. Each weeklong session has a different age requirement and can be taken in the morning (9am to noon) or evening (1 to 4pm) at the West L.A., Palos Verdes or Glendale locations.
10955 W Pico Blvd (310-474-0198) • 700 Silver Spur Rd #101, Rolling Hills Estates (424-206-9466) • 1800 S Brand Blvd, Glendale (818-241-2308) • rollingrobots.com. June 12–Aug 11: Mon–Fri, various times and prices.
Consider sending teens who dream of being stars to SOCAPA, which offers intensives in filmmaking, acting, dance, photography, screenwriting and music—each of which has a project that culminates at camp’s end. Weekend trips to attractions like the Walk of Fame and Universal Studios are included for both overnight and day campers. SOCAPA takes place on the Occidental College campus and kids can enroll as a day or overnight camper for one to three weeks.
1600 Campus Rd (800-718-2787, socapa.org). June 18–Aug 12. Various days, times and prices.
This camp is great for kids who want to flex their funny bones. Though the famous venue hosts improv classes for children and teens year-round, the weeklong summer-camp sessions rotate each day between improv, sketch-comedy writing and musical improv. Campers are grouped by ages (8 to 10, 11 to 13 and 14 to 18), and each session wraps up with a sidesplitting student show.
6560 Hollywood Blvd (323-464-8542, secondcity.com). June 12–Aug 18: Mon–Fri 9am–3:30pm; $350/week.