We love our kids. We plaster it on our cars with cute family bumper stickers, advertise that they’re proud graduates (of 5th grade), and half our Facebook friends have unfollowed us because of the inundation of baby photos. (Hey, it’s not our fault our kids are adorable!) But something strange happens. Somewhere between schlepping three cubic tons of sand toys to the beach and hearing the 75th “Moooooooom, I’m booooored” before 11 am… you snap.
You find yourself envisioning laying out in the sun, Long Island iced tea in hand, in silence. Or walking through your living room without stepping on a Lego. Maybe taking a conference call without hiding in a closet. Or maybe your big dream is just going to target ALONE.
Don’t worry! You’re not crazy; you just need a little break, and your kids probably do too. The South Bay is filled to the brim with well-reviewed summer camps, giving you a chance to recharge while your kids burn off some energy. Covering everything from the performing arts to STEM, these top summer camp contenders have something for everyone.
For active play and outdoor exploration
South Bay Eco Kids- If you have a nature lover on your hands, South Bay Eco Camp offers hands-on activities and guided outdoor play to foster appreciation and respect for nature. The award-winning camp aims to teach 6-8-year olds why nature is important, and how we can do our part to protect it. Eco Camp is held at Redondo Beach’s scenic, 11-acre Wilderness Park and runs for several weeks from late June through early August.
Pricing ranges from $175/week for half-day to $250/week for full-day and registration is available at www.southbayecokids.org
Champ Camp- Living on the coast opens doors to summer fun most kids can only dream of. Founded in 2012, this beach camp encourages independence and confidence through movement and play. Activities include boogie boarding, face painting, volleyball, arts and crafts, tie-dyeing, dance parties, and more. So far, Champ Camp has nothing but 5-star Yelp reviews and has been praised by parents and kids alike and serves kids aged 4-12. Champ Camp has locations in Redondo, Manhattan, and Playa del Rey. Availability varies by location, but the pricing is steady- half-day comes to $249/week while the full day option runs at $369/week. For older “champs” between 13 and 15, a leadership camp is available as well.
Camp Surf- Is your little fish begging for surfing lessons? Camp Surf teaches boys and girls ages 7+ how to surf with fun, age appropriate lessons and a safe 4:1 student-teacher ratio. The camp takes place on 38th St. in Manhattan Beach and includes use of a surfboard and wetsuit. Several scheduling options are available, starting at $385/week for a three-hour daily class. Full-day options and single-day drop-ins are also available. More info available at www.campsurf.com
Fit Kids Gymnastics Camp- Few South Bay parents have not heard of Fit Kids. The Redondo Beach gymnastics studio offers year-round classes and 7 different summer camps, varying week-to-week. Running from July 9th through August 24th, themes include cheerleading, ninja stunts, aerial arts, and dance. Camps are offered for ages 5-12 and start at $345/week. Program details and pricing can be found at http://www.fitkidsgym.com/programs/summer-camps
For the creatives among us
South Bay Art Department- At South Bay Art Dept, imagination and artistic growth are encouraged. Their Hermosa beach summer camp offers lessons for ages 5+ and covers multiple topics and medium. Materials and lunch are included. Camp runs daily from 6/18-8/24, 8:30 am-3 pm at $85/day or $400/week. See more info at http://sbartdept.com/camps-and-workshops-programs/
The Young Americans Camp- For one week only from July 18th-22nd, the Young Americans Performing Arts Camp will be coming to El Segundo High. The high-energy camp serves students from 3rd grade through college. Divided into groups by age, kids take part in workshops led by industry pros and put together a show in a single week. The camp costs $230, not including tickets to the performance. Detailed info available at https://reg.youngamericans.org/Registration/Event/04FDC7BBD2E74E8683434E3C95D20447#schedule
Performing Arts Workshops- If you’re looking for an arts camp with more scheduling options, this is the camp for you. Voted the best summer camp by LA Parent Magazine, Performing Arts Workshops offers flexible camps teaching musical theater, guitar, filmmaking, and photography, just to name a few. The El Segundo camp meets at Richmond Street Elementary and runs from 8:45 am – 3 pm. Pricing varies depending on theme. Read more at http://www.performingartsworkshops.com/home.nxg
For educational fun
Destination Science- For aspiring physicists, look no further than Main Street. With different weekly themes, Destination Science lets kids try their hands at robotics, amusement park design, and invention. Full day price is $359/week for ages 5-11 with additional extended care options available. See https://destinationscience.org/ for full program description and schedule.
Da Vinci Summer Camp- While similar to destination science, Da Vinci offers a broader range of camp options including robotics, graphic design, coding, debate, art, and board games. Camp only runs the last two weeks of June and costs $160 per session. Registration and details available here: http://www.davincischools.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/summer-camp-2018.pdf
Spanish in Action- Learning a second language has been proven to help brain development, memory, and decision-making skills. The earlier kids start learning a second language, the easier it is! Spanish in Action offers language learning camps for kids from ages 3.5-10, depending on skill level. Camp is held at the school’s Manhattan Beach location and costs $340 per session. Current schedule and description of classes available at http://spanishinaction.com/summer/
These 10 camps are some of the South Bay’s best, but this list is far from exhaustive. For additional summer classes and camps, you can view El Segundo Parks and Recreation’s summer camp brochure at http://www.elsegundo.org/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=8435