A guide to summer camps for kids
Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on June 8, 2020 at 7:31 p.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on OnMilwaukee.com, but it's possible some details, specials and offers may have changed. As always, we recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the businesses mentioned in the guide.
With COVID-19 still affecting businesses around the world, it is no surprise that summer activities have suffered a significant impact. But this doesn't mean summer is entirely canceled – especially for parents looking forward to activities to keep their kids busy. Here are several options for summer camps, both virtual and in-person, that will be sure to keep your kids busy (and safe) even during an outbreak.
Though the YMCAs in the area were originally planning on 14 camps this summer, their options have been pared down to seven for the time being. Regardless of this, there are still plenty of choices. Prices average about $200 a week for day-long camps, for ages between 4 to 13. Campers can look forward to various outdoor activities, sports, team-building exercises, arts and crafts, and more depending on the camp. Registration is open, with the first camp already started as of Monday, June 1.
ID Tech normally offers in-person camps that teach software and programming around the world and locally at institutions like Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This summer, they are offering a large variety of online courses teaching kids and young adults from ages 7 to 19. The courses, taught by industry-leading professionals, cover everything from game development to teaching campers how to use software like Adobe Premier. Classes average out at $399 per week for four to five hours per day.
Beginning on July 20, the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts will host its Arts Camp: The Art of Nature. On their website, they describe the experience as a "comprehensive arts camp (that) allows students to experience dance, theatre and visual art through an environmental scope." The camps are offered for 6 to 12-year-olds for $329 per week at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, found at 3270 Mitchell Park Dr. in Brookfield.
Although First Stage will not host its usual in-person summer classes and camps in June, it will have virtual camps and classes starting at only $15, with prices going up to $80-160 for week-long courses. Some virtual camps will cover the fundamentals of acting, while others will explore advanced elements of craft. The workshops are offered for all youth age groups. As for in-person camps and classes, those will not take place until July 3, starting at $300 for two weeks at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, 325 W. Walnut St.
The Wisconsin Humane Society will host virtual classes and camps for a name-your-price fee for kids from 8 to 15. These classes will "offer two hours of live interaction each day, as well as activities for campers to do on their own ... campers will have a chance to virtually meet our staff members' animals, as well as animal guests." Week-long in-person camps will be held in July at Humane Society campuses around Wisconsin, including the Milwaukee campus at 4500 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Elite has not announced whether all of their summer camps will eventually be running later in the summer. But for now, they are still offering their SCAMP summer camp and their tennis lessons and camps. These are for children ages 3 to 10, focused on offering kids opportunities for indoor and outdoor activities like arts and crafts, sports and board games. Campers can be enrolled for as low as $35 for a day to $655 for members for full-day three-week sessions. Elite also offers its camps to non-members. They have a variety of locations across Wisconsin, including in the North Shore area at 5750 N. Glen Park Rd. in Glendale.
Schools are mostly out for the summer while MPS schools and offices are closed due to COVID-19, but there are still options to keep kids engaged, educated and entertained throughout the sunny season thanks to various camps offered through Milwaukee Recreation. Though more limited in number than usual due to the current health conditions, there are still several locations for their Child Care Camps, which offer help on homework, creative and artistic outlets, and physical activity for kids. There are also Milwaukee Recreation's numerous Childhood Learning Centers and Safe Places, which provide educational activities during this school off-time along with safe environments to play. Most camps begin on July 6; for more information on locations and registering this summer, visit either the Child Care Camps website or the Childhood Learning Centers guide.
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