Winter Break has kids jumping up and down with excitement, but sometimes you need a break from the “break.” Keep your kids happy in a winter camp while you get back to work or just grab a few quiet hours to yourself where the kiddos aren’t bouncing off the walls at home. From dance to horseback riding, we have 10 awesome camps to help you keep your cool when there’s no school.
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For Your Tiny Dancer
If your “Frozen” fan didn’t get her fix dressing as Elsa for Halloween, let her dance her heart out in this Frozen/Winter Wonderland themed dance camp. It’s a full week of dancing fun, and each week ends in a performance for family and friends.
Bonus We Love: Healthy lunches and snacks are provided daily from The Corner Bakery, so your little ballerina has healthy food to fuel those twirls.
For the Animal Obsessed
Who hasn’t wanted to live at the Zoo at one time or another? If you’ve got a kid who loves all creatures great and small, send them to Zoo Camp, where they will go ape over meeting the Zoo’s hundreds of animals behind the scenes. It’s as close as you can get to moving into the Zoo, without admitting you belong in the monkey house.
Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens
5333 Zoo Dr., Griffith Park, Los Angeles
Ages: 4-5 & 6-12
Cost: $65/day for non-members and $60/day for members. Extended care available for an additional fee.
When: December 29-January 2 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
photo credit: Tumbleweed Camp’s website
For Your Little Naturalist
Summer camp goes winter. Set against the stunning background of the Santa Monica Mountains, Tumbleweed offers campers horseback riding, archery, ropes courses, and more all while communing with nature.
Bonus We Love: If you’re a tad traffic phobic (and what Angeleno isn’t?), no problem. Tumbleweed offers transportation to and from the site, at meeting places conveniently located throughout Los Angeles.
photo credit: School of Rock’s website
For Kids Who Love to Rock
Tiny rock stars will love this week-long camp, which provides hands on individual and small group instruction in how to rock out. Your kiddo will take part in drum, guitar and/or vocal workshops, with a performance at the end of the week. It’s all about learning music, playing music, and band bonding.
Bonus We Love: Get the iphones ready to record that end of the week rock star performance. It’s an extra gift for the grandparents.
photo credit: Page Museum’s website
For Kids Who Love Prehistoric Rocks
Is your kiddo interested in learning about creatures that used to roam the Earth? Kids will learn about saber tooth cats, dire wolves, woolly mammoths, giant sloths and more through hands-on activities that mix science, dirt and art.
Bonus We Love: Your kids have always loved getting dirty at the pits. Now they can go behind the scenes and see what really happens behind the gates where the scientists are at work, pulling bones out of the tar.
Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits
5801 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile LA
Ages: K through 4th Grade
Cost: $270 a week for museum members, $300 a week for non members
Dates: January 5-9 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (with extended care available)
photo credit: Studio LOL
For The Short Stuff Stand-Up
Does your mini comic love making everyone laugh? Campers here will learn short and long form improv, sketch comedy, comedic character work, and more. The week ends with a performance for family and friends. No arts and crafts here, just good old fashioned LOLs. (And perhaps the first step toward the sit com deal that will pay for college.)
Bonus We Love: This gets them ready for the school talent show in the spring.
photo credit: LACMA
For the Budding Basquiat
Spend an exciting week with paint, clay, found objects and more at LACMA’s Winter Art Camp. Campers have adventurous experiences looking at, talking about, and making art with a team of fun and creative museum educators and artists.
Bonus We Love: You’re at LACMA; after pickup, you can wander the galleries with your kids.
5900 Wilshire Blvd, Miracle Mile LA
Ages: 6-8 and 9-11
Cost: $350 (Or $325 with your NexGen membership, which you have right? Because it’s free!)
Dates: 2 sessions begin on Dec 22 or Dec 29 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
photo credit: Got Game Camp
For Your Mini All-Star
Sitting all day at school is not for your lil’ athlete. So treat them to camp that lets them move – with sports like basketball, soccer, hockey, flag football, baseball, volleyball and lacrosse, while mixing in some arts arts ranging from dance, theatre, music, arts & crafts and computer technology. Throw in karate, chess, dodgeball, kickball and there’s literally something for every active little one.
Bonus We Love: The extended hours go from 8 a.m.-6 p.m., so if you’re not getting much of a work vacation, they’ve got you covered. The kids are so active and having so much fun, they won’t mind the long day.
For Those Who Can Make It Work
Fashion Design Camp gives kids the full experience that will ready them for the style biz. They start by generating a vision board, designing a collection, picking designer fabrics, sewing and finishing a series of clothes. Kids will learn how to use a sewing machine, cut fabric from patterns, and construct hand-made garments from scratch. Then they can sew the buttons back on their own clothes.
Bonus We Love: Camp culminates in a fashion show that friends and family are invited to.
photo credit: Santa Monica Playhouse’s website
And Finally, The Pint-Sized Drama Queen
Hey kids, let’s put on a play! No, seriously, in one week kids at the Santa Monica Playhouse Camp will use text, music, movement, costumes and make-up to have fun making new friends and creating and performing a new and original play – all in just five days.
Bonus We Love: If you have different vacation dates, just round up a group of 5 friends and they’ll custom create a class for you.
Santa Monica Playhouse Theatre
1211 4th St, Santa Monica
Ages: 6 to 12 & 13 to 17
Cost: $395 per session
Dates: Session 1starts Dec 26, Session 2 starts Jan 5 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. daily
Got any other hot tips on great winter break camps? Let us know in the comments!
-Christina Fiedler & Elena Fenegan