“Summer afternoon, summer afternoon: to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” Those are the sentiments of author Henry James.
Have you come up with any ideas yet about what you and, more importantly, your kids will do with the approximately 70 summer afternoons that are around the corner?
Fear not parents! The two words that will save you: summer camp! Growing up, my summers were spent swimming, doing gymnastics at the Y, taking tennis lessons, academic enrichment/summer school classes and traveling with the family. I began going to Armenian church sleep-over camp when I was around 12, and made some of my best childhood memories there.
Today, there is an amazing array of day camp choices available here in Los Angeles.For example, since I work part-time I don’t need an all-day, every-day camp for my kids so day camps with a flexible schedule are great. We enjoy our summers with a balance between free time to take spontaneous trips to the beach or museum and scheduled activities. My girls have gone to some great day camps including Children’s Arts Institute and Rainbow Camp.
Here is a list of some local day camp favorites compiled by myself and some local moms (you can search them out online for more information.)
Aloha Beach Camp: classic beach camp in Malibu; California Science Center: the museum near downtown has a wonderful program; Children’s Arts Institute in West L.A. and Studio City: terrific art program; Campbell Hall Sports Camp, Studio City: wide range of sports activities;
Fitness By The Sea, Santa Monica: beach camp filled with adventures and activitiesSuper Duper Art Camp: super creative art camp; LACMA: popular summer classes that fill up quickly; Los Angeles Zoo Camp: wonderful day programs for animal lovers; Rainbow Camp, Brentwood: is loaded with fun activities; Smart Space, Culver West Alexander Park: fun park program; Natural History Museum: classic science camp
Here’s what some moms suggest:
Terrell says: “I don’t want to be locked down with any major commitments in summer. But I don’t want my kids bored and playing video games all day either. My son has done the Campbell Hall sports camp and loved it. All my kids have done Fitness by the Sea in Santa Monica and really enjoyed it— the people were so all so nice.”
Rachel says: “My girls love Girl Scout Camp, El Ranchito Camp in Long Beach and their favorite, Grandparents Camp!”
Julia: “Every summer my kids have done the program at the California Science Center, and they say it’s awesome!”
Megan: “My 8-year-old has done Tocaloma the past three summers and she doesn’t want to try anything else—she loves it!”
Enjoy the summer with your young ones, it will be here and gone before we know it.