It’s time to start signing your little ones up for camps!
To make things easier for you, we have put together our top picks of
this year’s summer programs available to the San Francisco Bay Area, along with insider tips and camp must-haves from our team of fellow SF Bay Area Mamas.
Scroll on and happy camping!
Camp Half-Blood San Francisco
Myths come to life, monsters attack, and heroes must rise! Welcome to Camp Half-Blood, where every day is a new adventure. From swordplay to potion-making, campers build the courage and learn the skills needed to become the champion of their own story. They’ll need those skills when they embark on their very own Quest and battle against the forces of evil, every week this summer.
Join the adventure!
DATE | July 5 – August 5, 2022
LOCATION | John McLaren Park – 599 Yale St Parking
PHONE | 929.397.9393
Seabird Preschool Summer Camp
Seabird Preschool summer camp for children ages 2 to 6. Weekly changing themes will let children explore nature, arts & crafts, science, outdoor physical activities, and so much more. Play-based philosophy, full-day and half-day attendance available. Seabird Preschool has a private outdoor playground with an organic garden where kids can safely and freely play. It is adjacent to the SF Financial District.
DATE | June 1 – August 11, 2022
LOCATION | 9 Pelton Pl San Francisco, CA 94133 (entrance from the alley next to 750 Pacific Ave)
PHONE | 415.932.6023
EDMO is back with some incredible summer programming to help kids learn something new, all while having fun! Join us for a summer filled with science, technology, maker, and art with a social-emotional learning twist – online or in-person! Our camps are for kids entering Pre-K through 8th grades and run from June 6th – August 19, 2022. With 30+ locations and 25+ STEAM themes to choose from, there are plenty of options for campers to learn, explore, and grow all summer long.
DATE | Varies by location; starts June 6, 2022
LOCATION | Multiple locations in the Bay Area (San Francisco, Penninsula, East Bay, North Bay, South Bay)
PHONE | 415.282.6673
A.C.T.’s Young Conservatory Actor Training Program
A.C.T.’s Young Conservatory is actor training in the heart of a regional theater company. In training at the YC, students gain the creative and communication skills to succeed in just about anything—learning how to incorporate the craft of theater into their everyday lives, developing concentration, imagination, professionalism, character, and self-confidence along the way. Many students go on to study theater and performance in college, and our alumni are often seen gracing stages and screens in the Bay Area and across the country.
DATE | June 6–August 5
LOCATION | 30 Grant Ave, San Francisco
PHONE | 415.749.2228
Mathnasium of Pacific Heights
At Mathnasium of Pacific Heights, we make math make sense! Our half and full-day summer camps engage K-8th graders in a blend of expert math instruction, math learning games, and hands-on STEAM-based projects. We reward effort and progress, showing kids that they can succeed in math. Enroll by March 15th to save $50/week and make this the summer your kids realize they love math!
E-MAIL | pacificheightssf@mathnasium.
LOCATION | 3301 Fillmore St, San Francisco CA 94123
PHONE | (415) 968-6778
Mathnasium of Newark
At Mathnasium of Newark, we make math make sense! Our half and full-day summer camps engage K-8th graders in a blend of expert math instruction, math learning games, and hands-on STEAM-based projects. We reward effort and progress, showing kids that they can succeed in math. Enroll by March 15th to save $50/week and make this the summer your kids realize they love math!
E-MAIL | firstname.lastname@example.org
LOCATION | 5837 Jarvis Ave, Newark, CA 94560
PHONE | (510) 996-4260
JCCSF Summer Camp
May 31 – August 19 | 3200 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94118 | 415.292.1200
KidzToPros STEM, Sports & Arts Summer Camps
June to August | Save $50 with code SFM-50!
iD Tech Camps for Kids & Teens
Held at San Francisco State University | Check website for weekly sessions
Steve & Kate’s Camp
Dianne Feinstein Elementary School 2550 25th Ave. San Francisco, CA, 94116 | Jun 6 – Aug 5
Also located in Potrero Hill & 11 other Bay Area spots!
One Tribe Martial Arts School
5100 Clayton Road Suite A-10 | 925.288.0900
$399 for a 3 month membership with unlimited classes which includes, One Tribe t-shirt and kung fu pants. Also offering virtual classes!
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Summer Camp Tips From Our Writers:
- Keep up to date and compile with health guidelines for a safe camping experience!
- Don’t over-schedule your children, especially if they are super young and this is their first time at camp/ away from you. It’s summertime, and you don’t want your kids exhausted from too many things. Let them be kids and have downtime too.
- If your child is starting preschool in the fall, do a “little” camp. This will help with the preschool transition and may help with school separation anxiety. That way, if your child freaks out and doesn’t really make it to camp that much, you didn’t waste money on a whole semester.
- Try something new. This is a great chance to try something before registering for it for an entire semester. Does your child like dance, basketball, or computers? Who knows? Summer allows you to give it a try. Exposure to different activities allows children to really find what they are interested in.
- Take advantage of the area we live in. Maybe your child will want to do coding or circus acrobats? These camps aren’t offered other places in the country like they are here. If you have an older child, camps like these stand out on college applications because they are unique.
- If your are trying to get into a particular school, register for their camp. It doesn’t hurt to get your family’s name out there and let the school get to know your child. It can only help!
- Don’t just do what your friends are doing. Do what’s best for your child. Use this guide to find something special for your child.
- Plan your camps around your vacations. It’s hard to plan in advance, but try to plan what you might be doing this summer from little day trips to maybe some bigger vacations (woo hoo!). You don’t want to pay for camp and then realize your child is going to miss a whole week for your cousin’s wedding on the East Coast.
- Location, location, location. Don’t sign up for a camp too far away. Just because this isn’t your child’s every day school, don’t forget you still might find it super inconvenient to drive a long distance every day over the summer to a camp.
- Dress your child in T-shirts that can be conversation starters. It’s hard to make new friends in a new environment. Maybe a SF Giants shirt, 49ers shirt, or an Elsa Frozen shirt (you get the idea) will help the kids realize they might like something in common and help them begin to chat.
- Don’t panic to sign up. Take your time to find the right camp. There are plenty of camps out there. It will all work out.
- Let your child take some ownership in their camp. Give them choices, ask them what they want to do, and then use this information to make a good decision.
- Remember to apply sunscreen and pack sunscreen for outdoor camps. Note whether your camp is allowed to re-apply or not and discuss this with your child.
- If you have a child that is just too young for camp make sure and carve out some “summer experiences” just for them so they don’t feel left out seeing their older siblings go to camp.
- If your child is independent, don’t be afraid of sleep-away camps. The goal is to raise children who will one day be capable of leaving us, right?
- Label EVERYTHING! Here are some of our favorite labels.
- Don’t let your child bring their “favorite” anything (water bottle, hat, whatever), even if it’s labeled. Items tend to go to home with the wrong camper and sometimes never make their way back. All kids have different schedules, and you may not see the same kids every day like you do in regular preschool.
How do you choose which camps to send your kids to?
I talk to my kids. I asked them what they want to learn about. Sports, legos, airplanes, the arts, etc. Then, I give them options my husband and I are already cool with to pick from. I let them have some ownership in their camps. I don’t worry about what their friends are doing. If they have friends will similar interests, great! If not, no big deal. I don’t want my kids to do a camp just because their friends are there. I want them to be interested in and excited about the camp!
Also, don’t just look at the type of camp, look at the location! A camp that is 20 minutes away may not sound far, but driving to and from camp (especially if it’s a half-day camp) adds up quickly and will take up a lot of your time!
Finally, you also need to consider half-day versus whole-day. You really need to think about the age of your child. If they are young, maybe a half-day is enough. Older kids have more stamina for longer days. Don’t over-schedule your kid just because the camp sounds cool. They will not learn if they are super exhausted.
And just a side note–a lot of preschools have camps, so if you’re unsure what your child may like because they are still young, try one of the school camps.