For kids, summer time is about slip and slides, pool parties, beach days, and just having fun. For working parents, however, this time of year can be a struggle to entertain kids in a safe environment all week while still meeting their work obligations. There are many ways for parents to give kids the opportunity to create fantastic summer memories and learn a thing or two in the process. Enter Pensacola’s local summer camps, which offer a middle ground for parents and children with diverse projects that stimulate young brains and bodies with plenty of fun activities while giving the parents the time to work.
Each camp offers an array of themes per week-long session that aim to get students involved in various topics including art, education, physical activities and more.
However, if students are attracted to a more specific subject in the arts, academic or active categories, there are specialty camps designed for each child’s individual interests and skills.
If your child has a knack for creating, or enjoys any of the performing arts, then you’ll want to check out programs and camps with Ballet Pensacola, First City Arts Center, Pensacola Little Theatre, Pensacola Opera, and Pensacola Museum of Art. On the other hand, if math and science are among your child’s fortes, then you might consider Pensacola MESS Hall, UWF Explore, and National Flight Academy’s Ambition or Flight Adventure Deck summer programs. More recreational choices for camps outdoors include those at Play Pensacola, YMCA, and UWF Argo Kids Adventure Camp. If you’re looking for more mixed activities from which your child can sample in sessions, then look no further than Episcopal Day School, Montessori School of Pensacola, and PSC Kids’ College.
First City Arts Center “Creatisphere”
Dates: June 20-14; June 27- July 1
Times: 9 am – 4 pm
Where: First City Arts Center, 1060 N. Guillemard St.
Cost: $225/nonmember session, $200/member session
First City Arts Center has expanded its “Creatisphere” summer art program for children, and now offers week-long sessions for students who are grouped by age—one session for ages 8–11, and another for ages 11–14. Children will learn about pottery, sculpture, photography, glassblowing, STEM projects, bookmaking, 3-D mixed media, painting, printmaking, and drawing, as well as other creative outlets. Creatisphere is open to students of all skill levels and encourages children to make art that’s “out of the box” in order to promote creative development, critical thinking and innovation. To showcase what the children have learned, Creatisphere will end with an art party and student art show, which parents and friends are invited to attend. Supply and material costs are included with the price of each session, but students are responsible for bringing snacks and lunch each day.
Dates: June 6-9; June 13-16; June 20-23; Aug. 1-4
Times: 9 am – noon for 3-4 year olds/ 1 pm – 4 pm for 5-6 year olds
Where: Pensacola Cultural Center, 400 S. Jefferson St.
Cost: $125/one-week, $325/three-week, $450/four-week session
Ballet Pensacola is offering a summer children’s program with two sessions per day with students grouped together according to age—there will be one session for three-and four-year-olds, and another session for five-and six-year-olds. Young performers will learn instruction in indi-vidual and group dances, character acting, as well as in crafts and mime work. There is a Beginning Session for students who have already completed one year of Pre-Ballet, as well as a Children’s Session for students just starting ballet. This year, students enrolled in the Children’s Session will learn dance in their choice of one of the following productions: The Little Mermaid, Alice in Wonderland, Angelina Ballerina, Anna and Elsa. Classes are Monday through Thursday, but sessions run from 9 am to noon for three and four-year-olds, and from 1 to 4 pm for five and six-year-olds. Students are asked to bring a healthy snack for each day, and to wear uniforms of solid black leotards, pale pink-footed tights, as well as full-soled, pink ballet slippers.
Pensacola Little Theatre
Dates: June 6-10; June 13-24; June 27- July 8; July 11-29
Times: 9 am – 5 pm
Where: Pensacola Cultural Center, 400 S. Jefferson St.
Cost: Varies by session from $155 to $525
Pensacola Little Theatre’s Education Department has a wide selection of summer camps and classes lined up this year including Creative Drama, Puppet Camp, Break a Leg, Musical Masters, Movie Magic, and Summer Stars. Students will learn the fundamentals of puppetry, and how to use their voice and body movements to create a character. Young actors will also learn how to design props, sets and costumes, as well as other backstage duties, and how to perform singing and dancing numbers. Students learn through hands-on experiences in a non-competitive atmosphere, the primary purpose of which is to help our local youths by providing the opportunity to develop, practice and hone the skills needed in all aspects of the theatre arts and theatrical production.
Pensacola Opera Camp
Dates: July 11-15 for Youth Camp; July 25-29 for Teen Camp
Times: 9 am – 2 pm for ages 8 – 12/ 9 am – 4 pm for ages 13-16
Where: Pensacola Opera, 75 S. Tarragona St.
Cost: $150 for ages 8-12, $175 for ages 13-16
Each year Pensacola Opera holds summer Opera Camps in which sessions focus on vocal and dramatic coaching, audition techniques, as well as set and costume design. At the end of each session, which will be on July 15 and July 29, campers will star in a final performance for parents and friends. Campers are asked to bring a lunch each day. Snacks and drinks will be provided.
Pensacola Museum of Art
Dates: May 31-August 5
Times: 8 am – 5 pm
Ages: 6-9 (Mini Masters), 10-13 (Junior Artists)
Where: Pensacola Museum of Art, 407 S. Jefferson St.
Cost: $200/member session, $250/nonmember session/ Individual Class- one class per week $75/nonmember, $60/ member
Pensacola Museum of Art is offering up to ten weeks of creative fun in its annual Summer Art Camp in which students are shown a variety of mediums with which to create unique works of art. Some of the camp themes include Animal Adaptations, Ocean Commotion, Meet the Masters, 20,000 Leagues, The World of Dreams, Sea Monster Mania, Scultpurepalooza, eARTh Art Adventures, Emerald Coast Explorers, and Blast Through the Past. Have your children dressed in clothing they can get messy, and make sure they wear closed-toe shoes for safety.
Southeastern Teen Shakespeare Company
Dates: June 13 – 17
Times: 9 am – 4:30 pm
Where: 1010 N 12th Ave.
It’s a mystery of Shakespearean proportions as this year’s campers create a whodunit from the ground up using Shakespearean characters, plots, intrigue, dialogue, and combat. Each camper will get to choose a Shakespearean character to play, agree on a Shakespearean murder victim, and help write and perform an original play using Shakespearean themes. Campers will learn about the plays, acting, and stage combat in this week-long experience that culminates in a live performance! SETSCO will provide everything except underwear, shoes, and lunch.
Tuition is $235. The first five people to register receive a 10 percent discount!
Pensacola Yacht Club
Dates: June 6-10; June 13-17; June 20-24; June 27- July 1; July 4-8; July 11-15; July 18-22; July 25-29; August 1-5
Times: 8:30 am – 4 pm
Where: 1897 Cypress St.
Cost: $200 members/ $250 non-members
Pensacola Yacht Club is having its annual summer sailing program stating in June. Students will learn to sail with confidence. All sessions offer lessons for beginner to advanced students. Students will learn boat rigging, boat handling, basic knots, sailing fundamentals, sportsmanship, and boat responsibility. Students are asked to bring personal floatation device, safety whistle, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, dry change of clothes, clothes to get wet in, closed toed shoes, water bottle, sack lunch, and snack.
PSC Kids College
Dates: June 6- August 5
Times: Varies by session
Where: PSC Main Campus, 1000 College Blvd., Bldg. 96
Cost: Varies by session from $29-$175
Pensacola State College is offering specialty camp sessions, as well as summer courses you can pick and choose for children in the 2015 PSC Kids’ College Summer Program. The options for enrollment are practically endless and parents have the choice to register children for individual courses, or week-long sessions that run daily from 8 am to 4:45 pm. A few of the themes for Kids’ College courses include sports, book clubs, jewelry making, learning about local and foreign cultures, computers, photography, movie making, newspaper reporting, zoology, art, ecosystems and so much more. Students must bring or purchase a lunch, and lunches are available for purchase at the on-campus Subway restaurant, for each full day of classes. Students are also encouraged to bring snacks and water, too. For a successful first day at PSC Kids’ College, make sure your child wears comfortable clothing and give your child a written list of their classes.
Episcopal Day School
Dates: June 6-July 22
Times: Full and half day options available
Where: The Hilton-Green Campus, 601 N. Palafox St.
Cost: $195/one-week session; $125/half-day one week session
Episcopal Day School is planning for eight weeks of summer fun with its annual summer camp session, stretching Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4 pm. For rising Pre-K3 through Kindergarten students,all camps will have a STEaM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) emphasis and themes will include space, oceans, fairy tales, gardens, cooking and robots. Rising 1st through 8th graders will have the opportunity to pick a morning and after-noon session to complete their schedule. Options will vary each week, and many camps will have a STEaM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) emphasis. Choices will include TV broadcasting, ceramics, wearable technology, basketball, perform-ing arts/musical theater, A Not So “Simple Inventions” Rube Goldberg Lab, themed reading camps, flag football, ballet and many more. Students should bring a snack, drink and lunch each day. Although supplies are covered by the camp fee, additional items may be needed for certain activities, such as goggles and coats for the science-themed camps. Full and half day options are available for both sections of camps. Morning and after care is provided from 7 am to 8:30 am and from 4 pm to 5:30 pm. The morning and after care is complimentary with registration.
Pensacola MESS Hall Summer Camps
Dates: May31-June 3, June 6-10, June 13-17, June 20-24, June 27- July 1, July 6-8, July 11-15, July 18-22, July 25-29, August 1-5
Times: Morning sessions 9 am – noon/ afternoon sessions 1 pm- 4 pm
Where: Pensacola MESS Hall, 116 N. Tarragona St.
Cost: $100/member session, $125/nonmember session
This summer, the camps offered at Pensacola MESS Hall focus on building math, engineering and science skills, and students are organized according to grade levels. Themes at MESS Hall include Tinker – Explore – Create Studio, Inventor’s Workshop, Code Academy, MESSlandia, Light it up!, Rockin’ Out, Discover Architecture, Nature Ramble, Space Explorers, Robot, Set, Code. Students will learn about the basic elements of architecture, anatomy, DNA, sailing and Lego robotics, as well as space, earth and ocean sciences. Camp days are half-days with either morning sessions from 9 am to noon, or afternoon sessions from 1 pm to 4 pm. Students should bring snacks for all sessions.
National Flight Academy Ambition & Flight Adventure Deck Summer Programs
Dates: May 22 – Aug 19
Ages: 10-12 (Flight Adventure Deck), 12-18 (Ambition)
Where: NAS Pensacola, 1 Fetterman Way
Cost: $165/one-week session for Flight Adventure Deck, $1,250/six-day session for Ambition
The National Flight Academy and Flight Adventure Deck Summer Camp are now launching programs for summer enrollment. The Flight Adventure Deck Summer Camp is open to rising fifth and sixth graders, who will learn how to launch their own rockets and build gliders. Other activities include watching the Blue Angels practice, experiencing Giant Screen Theater films, or using the museum’s exciting flight simulators during a week-long session. At the conclusion of the camp, students will receive their own “Flight Adventure Deck” t-shirt. The National Flight Academy focuses on building science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills, along with critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork and communication skills. Rising seventh through twelve graders participating in the National Flight Academy’s program live aboard a multi-story facility, AMBITION CVT-11, the world’s only virtual land-locked aircraft carrier for six days. Participants eat on the mess deck, sleep in staterooms and plan missions with their squadrons in an immersive, theme-park like environment to provide a “best-in-the-world” learning environment.
Pensacola Cooks Kids Summer Camp
Dates: June 13-17; June 20-24; June 27- July 1; July 11-15; July 18-22; July 25-29; August 1-5
Times: ages 5 – 9/ 9 am – noon; ages 10 – 14/ 1 pm – 4 pm
Where: Pensacola Cooks, 3660 Barrancas Ave.
Cost: $175/one-week session
Pensacola Cooks is having its annual Youth Summer Cooking Camp starting in June. This year, the weekly themes range from Baking Basics, Baking Bootcamp, Taste of TV, Olympic Tribute to Global Foods, Foodie Movie Fun. Students will get to create dishes from cooking shows and learn to create dishes from countries that are participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics. Stu-dents are asked to wear closed toed shoes and pull any long hair back in a ponytail. Food and drinks are included in class fee.
UWF Explore Summer Camps
Dates: June 8-12; June 15-19; June 22-27; June 29-July 2; July 6-10; July 13-17; July 20-25; July 27-31; Aug. 3-7
Times: Varies by session
Where: UWF Main campus (11000 University Pkwy.), Historic Pensacola campus, Gulf Breeze Elementary School, Arcadia Mill
Cost: Varies by session from $25 to $370
UWF Explore Summer Camps will be offering STEM, language and writing, art, and social studies camps for campers between ages 6-17. Kindergarteners will have their own summer camp in which they will become ocean explorers, dinosaur experts, and adventurers who journey through the galaxy. Each STEM camp is a week-long session that encourages students to discover the world of science, technology, engineering, and math through hands-on activities. Art and writing camps will teach students how to express themselves in new, creative ways. Social studies camps will teach students about archeology and local history, and will include trips to the Arcadia Mill in Milton.
Montessori School of Pensacola
Dates: June 13-17; June 20-24; June 27- July 1; July 5-8; July 11-15; July 18-22; July 25-29; Aug. 1-5
Times: 8 am – noon
Where: MSP Campus, 1010 N. 12th Ave.
Cost: $150/one-week session
Montessori School of Pensacola has two summer camp sessions lined up this year—one camp for preschoolers between the ages of 2–5, and the other for children between the ages of 6–12. In addition to recreational summer fun outdoors, preschoolers will learn about different world cultures, theatre terms and production, jewelry-making, cooking safely and hygienically, science experiments and discoveries, music styles and instruments, as well as different artistic styles and mediums. Elementary-level students will transport themselves into the wizardly world of Harry Potter, bring their favorite stuffed animals into the stuffed animal vet clinic, create and play Pokemon, work on drama exercises like pantomime and improvisation, engage in woodworking, puppet-making, crafting with fabrics. Camps run weekdays from 8 am to noon.
Creative Learning Academy
Dates: June 8 – July 31
Times: Full day 8 am – 3 pm/ half day 8 am – noon
Ages: 3 – 14
Where: Creative Learning Academy, 3151 Hyde Park Rd.
Cost: Varies by session, $175/full-day week and $100/half-day week sessions
Creative Learning Academy is providing the following summer camps this year: Junior Camp, Classic Camp, and Enrichment Camp. Students between the ages of 3 and 7 may enroll in Junior Camp, while those between the ages of 8 and 14 may sign up for either Classic or Enrichment camps. Junior Camp sessions have weekly activities with exploration, mad scientists, pirates and art, as well as under the sea and true outdoors camping themes. Classic Camp sessions are packed with arts and crafts, sports, and science activities, as well as team-building exercises, free play outdoors each day, and weekly water activities. Enrichment Camp sessions feature robotics, creative writing, photography, music, ceramics, and sports, as well as Lego, Harry Potter and Shakespeare themes. All classes in Enrichment camps run from 8 am to noon but, for an additional $75, you can register your child for Classic Camp from noon to 3 pm. Although healthy snacks are provided, all campers are asked to bring lunches Monday through Thursday. Every Friday is pizza day!
Innerlight Skate Camp
Dates: July 17; July 24; August 7; August 14
Times: 9 am – 1 pm
Where: 6307 N 9th Ave
Cost: $10 a session
Innerlight Surf Shop is hosting a summer skate camp for from 6–12 years of age. The students will receive instruction on skating, basic knowledge of skating, a T-shirt, coupons, and other goodies. The students are asked to bring a skateboard, helmet, closed toed shoes, snack, lunch, and a drink. Camp is from 9 am to 1 pm.
PlayPensacola Summer Day Camp
Dates: June 5 – Aug. 5
Times: camp times varies by session
Ages: 6 – 14
Where: Cobb Resource Center (601 East Mallory St.), Fricker Resource Center (900 North F St.), Gull Point Resource Center (7000 Spanish Trail), Woodland Heights Resource Center (111 Berkley Dr.)
Cost: Varies by session from $45 to $130
PlayPensacola will host nine weeks of summer camps at each of these four resource center locations: E.S. Cobb, Fricker, Gull Point, and Woodland Heights. Field trips, swimming, arts and crafts, plus games and sports are just a few of the activities students can enjoy this summer with PlayPensacola summer camps. PlayPensacola is also offering specialty camps this year, which will include beginning and advanced fishing camps, as well as SUP, adventure, dance, teen, playground, British soccer, basketball, volleyball, tennis and junior tennis camps. Outdoor spe-cialty camps are located at Community Maritime Park, Roger Scott Athletic Complex and Tennis Center, Malcolm Yonge Gym, and Gull Point. Camps run Monday through Friday from 7 am to 6 pm.
Innerlight Surf Camp
Dates: June 1-3; June 6-10; June 13-15; June 17; June 20, 22, 24; June 27 and 29; July 1; July 6-8; July 11-13; July 18, 20, 22, 25, 27, 29; August 1-3; August 8-10
Times: 9 am – 1 pm
Ages: 8 and older
Where: Pensacola Beach
Cost: $160 per session
Innerlight surf shop is hosting their surf summer camp starting in June. Students will learn to surf, surfing etiquette, culture, techniques, wave knowledge, and tides and marine biology. Even if the surf is flat, the students will still have fun games and activities. Each student will receive a Surf Camp T-shirt, stickers, coupons, and other goodies. The students are asked to bring board-shorts or swimsuit, a towel, a lot of sunscreen, a rash guard, a snack and lunch, and something to drink.
Waterboyz Surf and Skate Camp
Dates: May 30-June 2; June 6-9; June 13-16; June 20-23; June 27-30; July 4-7; July 11-14; July 18-21; July 25-28; August 1-4
Times: 9 am – noon
Ages: 6 and up
Where: Pensacola Beach and Waterboyz
Cost: $170 per session for Surf camp/ $120 per session for Skate camp
Waterboyz is offering Surf camp and Skate camp this summer. Both camps offer lessons for beginners to advanced students. The students attending the surf camp are asked to bring sandals, sunscreen, rash guard, lunch, snack, and a towel. The students will learn surfing, paddle board-ing, ocean awareness and safety, and wave knowledge and etiquette. In the skate camp, the students will set their own goals each week and work to achieve each trick. The students attending the skate camp are asked to bring a skateboard, and sack lunch. Both camps run from 9 am to noon.
Northeast Pensacola’s YMCA Summer Day Camp
Dates: June 6-10; June 13-17; June 20-24; June 27-July1; July 4-8; July 11-15; July 18-22; July 25-29; Aug. 1-5; Aug. 8-12
Times: 8:30 am – 4 pm/ early drop off 6 am and late pick up no later than 6 pm
Where: Pensacola’s Northeast Branch, 3215 Langley Ave.
Cost: $60/member session, $120/nonmember session
YMCA Summer Day Camp is hosting summer camp sessions at its Northeast Pensacola location this year. Activities include arts and crafts, sports, indoor and outdoor games, swimming, skits, singing, field trips, as well as other themed sessions. In addition to offering swimming lessons for an extra $20 per session, YMCA Northeast is offering Leader in Training Programs for youths between the ages of 13 and 15. Field trip opportunities this summer for YMCA Northeast include excursions to Dreamland Skating Center, Waterville USA, Pensacola MESS Hall, Sam’s Fun City, Gulfarium Adventure Park, Bounce House Pensacola, Mobile Exploreum, and Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. Sessions will include projects, games and events built around weekly themes such as the 80s, great outdoors, water adventures, Olympic Games, space camp, and much more. Campers should bring a bag packed with a swimsuit, towel, sunscreen and a water bottle, as well as a lunch that does not require special heat or refrigeration.
Cordova Lanes Pins and Pals Summer Camp
Dates: June 6-10; June 13-17; June 20-24; June 27- July 1; July 11-15; July 18-22; July 25-29; August 1-5
Times: 10 am – 1 pm
Where: 2111 Airport Blvd
Cost: $125 weekly- includes own bowling ball and lunch/ $85 weekly- Without bowling ball
Students will begin with bowling basics and end with a greater appreciation for bowling and a comfort level that will let them enjoy bowling more; all with your very own bowling ball. Coaches are available to help you develop a killer shot, or to just show you enough to allow you to enjoy the sport. Lunch is provided each day. Camp runs Monday thru Friday from 9 am to 12 pm.
UWF Argo Kids Adventure Camp
Dates: May 31-June 3; June 6-10; June 13-17; June 20-24; June 27-July 1; July 11-15; July 18-July 22; July 25-29; Aug. 1-5
Times: 7:30 am – 5: 30 pm
Where: UWF Campus, 11000 University Pkwy., Bldg. 72 Rm. 278
Cost: $35- $160
UWF Argo Kids Adventure Camp will be using the following themes for its summer camps this year: Underwater Adventure, Around the World, Wizarding Week, American Heroes, Dino Week, Sports Week, Toontown Week, and Best of the Best. Outdoor time will be spent on natural trails, hiking and doing rope courses, while indoor activities will include dance, swimming and rock climbing. Safety activities will also be offered to give students instruction on knot tying and self-defense, and sports activities will allow students to play softball, kickball, tennis, and much more. Every day students should bring a backpack or gym bag with sunblock, extra clothes and shoes, swimming gear, and a water bottle labeled with your child’s name.