Colorado Summer Camps: Hiking, Biking, and Cooking?

February 24, 2016

Photo credit: Highwaystarz-Photography-iStock-Thinkstock

Summer is fast approaching and this year, I’m going to be prepared. Last year I told you about some last minute ideas for your kiddos for those of us who tend to procrastinate. This year, it’s all about getting in and getting in early.

The YMCA is a great state wide option that offers full-day, half-day, and sleep-away summer camps. Every week of the full day camps has a different theme and includes a field trip. Considering this will average to about $30/day for care (with the ability to drop off/pick up anytime between 7:30am and 5:30pm), it’s a great option. Get your schedules sorted out soon. Registration started mid-February.

The Denver Zoo and Colorado Springs’ Cheyenne Mountain Zoo both offer great summer programs for your kids to partake in. It’s a great opportunity for them to be outside and learn about animals. Some of the programs also offer before and after camp care to help you. Budding zoologists will love the opportunity to spend the week with the animals and the variety of programs that they offer over the summer.

Recreation Centers
Your local rec center has a lot of the same benefits as the YMCA and you might get discounted pricing for living in the city the centers are based. These camps fill up really fast and are generally highly specialized. You may have to pay more than going to the Y, but you will potentially have the longer hours that you need to work. Clearly, there are too many recreation centers to list here. Check out your city or county’s government page to locate the closest rec center to you and the options they have.

Mad Science
My son has taken so many afterschool Mad Science courses, he could probably teach them at this point. He comes home excited and tells me about an abundance of things that I don’t know or understand. Mad Science camps are a week long and although their days are from 9-4, but they offer extended care to help with your work schedule. Check out Living Social for a deal on one week of camp for your little ones.

Avid 4 Adventure
This camp insists on bringing kids into the outdoors. They have day and overnight camps available for kids from first to 12th grade. These camps cost a little more than others, however when you read what they have to offer, it will be worth the cost. I’m a huge fan of throwing my kids outside to get away from their screen-time. They can learn to bike or go on adventures with kids in their age groups to meet some new friends they will have for ages.

Does your child have an affinity for science and robots? Robotics-4-U teaches kids how to build and program robots. There really isn’t much to say about that. It’s just awesome. Normally the half-day classes for a week are $399; however Living Social has a deal for five days of the half-day program. For an extra $99 you can keep them there the whole day, which makes it a 9-3 day. With the deal, that makes it $218. It’s a great deal for a really unique program.

Cooking Schools
You probably never thought about sending your kids to a cooking school for a week but they do exist. My son currently takes part in a cooking program after school and he loves it. The benefit of these classes is even with the pickiest eaters, they will generally try something if they are involved in the preparation. Sticky Fingers offers camps all over the state so you aren’t limited to the Denver metro area. The down-side is they are generally only a half day at the most. If you can work a half-day program into your schedule, this would be a good one. If you live in the Boulder area, Stir It Up offers half-day AND full-day summer camps.

Of course, these are only a few different camps out there. Point being, there is something for a variety of hobbies as well as your budget. Do some research and find out how to make the summer fun and easy for all of you.