It may still be chilly outside, but summer is just around the corner. Here are all the best summer camps near Washington, DC with a huge variety of adventures. If your kids love outdoor exploration, check out bicycling, horseback riding, kayaking, and rock climbing-themed camps. To enrich creative minds, try arts, crafts, and theater camps. We haven’t ditched COVID yet, but the following camps are working hard to make sure your little ones (and teens) have fun while staying safe. Scroll down to find the best match for your camper.
In the City
Mr. Tony's Adventure Camp
Let's face it: as much as D.C. has to offer, finding affordable summer camps that are also educational and fun is a big challenge. At Mr. Tony's Adventure Camp, kids get out into the city to experience all that the city has to offer. Boasting an 8-to-1 ratio of staff to campers which keeps kids engaged and safe while exploring the city. Mr. Tony's is a great place to let your camper have some hands-on fun: spend the day in natural areas like Kingman Island, RFK Fields, or Langdon Park or visit one of the Smithsonians, taking a simple short city bus path to museums.
When: June 27 - Aug. 12
Rock Creek Park Horse Center Camp
Have your campers always dreamed of owning their own horse? This summer is the perfect opportunity for them to spend a week learning all the different aspects of horse ownership. Campers will bond with their horses as they take on the role of rider, but also groomer, a feeder, a waterer, and even a stall mucker.
When: June 13 - Aug. 12
Cost: $570 half day; $850 full day
Where: 5100 Glover Road, NW, Washington, DC
DC Way's Summer Soccer Camp
Spend summer on the fields with this soccer camp geared towards kids 5-13. Daily mini sessions (3 hrs.) are dedicated to learning a new skill designed to turn your little player into a pro. Want to send your kid off for the day? Fill their afternoon with scrimmages, fun competitions and free play at this outdoor-only camp. Campers must bring their own water bottles and must wear a mask at all times.
When: June 27-July 1, July 5-8, July 11-15, July 18-22, Aug. 1-5, Aug. 8-12, Aug. 15-19, Aug. 22-26
Cost: $220/3 hr. mini sessions for 5 days; $375/full day for 5 days; $510/extended full day for 5 days
Where: Tyler Elementary School (ages 5-13), 1001 G St. SE, Capitol Hill; The RFK Fields (ages 7 & up) 401 Oklahoma Ave NE, RFK Campus
Pedalheads Bike Camp
One of the more unique summer camps that you will find – this week-long day camp specializes in helping kids as young as 3 get-off-training wheels and ride on their own – often times in as short as one week. Helping even the most tentative of kids, they focus on safety, fun, and skills and more than anything want to build confidence and a love of biking for the campers in their program. For those with kids who can ride already, Pedalheads also offers road preparation levels.
Editor's Note: At the time of publishing, summer camp dates had not yet been released.
Cost: Starting at $239/week
Where: Capitol Hill, Western DC, Bethesda
DPR Summer Camps
Held at recreation centers in each of DC's wards, these camps run by DC"s Department of Parks and Recreation Kids are geared towards kids 3-16. There are various camp offerings, like Sports Camps and Aqua Camps that fill each day sports, games and arts and crafts with lessons highlighting personal growth and environmental stewardship. DPR also offers a Camp-at-Home activity packet for kids 3-13 for free.
When: June 27-July 8, July 11-22, July 25-Aug. 5, Aug. 8-19
Cost: $135/week for most sessions; $185/aqua camps
Where: DPR Recreation Centers; varies by ward
Home Run Baseball Camp
Girls and boys ages 4-12 will knock it out of the park at this baseball-themed camp. This day camp is designed to get your little slugger improving their batting average FAST! Coaches here believe in repetition to build technical skills, so expect your camper to get 150 ground balls a day and over a 100 swings in batting practice!
When: Sessions run June 6- Sept. 1
Cost: $475/session (50% off sibling discount)
Where: Capitol Hill & AU Park
All Sports & Games Summer Camps
This outdoor-only camp offers boys and girls in grades 1-8 an opportunity to build on their b-ball skills with the experts from HoopED. In addition to dribbling and dunking their way through these 2 hr. clinic, they will get time to play other games on the courts (and the playground). Let your kid run off some energy while making new friends during spring break!
When: June 13 - Aug. 26
Where: Various locations
Virginia Outside Camps
Does your camper love to be outdoors exploring nature and wild places? Look no further than Virginia Outside. Each camp explores a different aspect of the great outdoors: fishing camp teaches campers to fish from baiting a hook to eating their catch. Campers cap off the week on a charter boat in the Chesapeake. Kids that want to learn outdoor survival skills can try a week-long session that teaches campers to build a shelter, build a fire, and put their skills to the test on an overnight adventure.
When: June 27 - Aug. 15
Cost: $495 - $595
Summer Camp with The Magic After-School Bus
Back by popular demand, the Learning Adventure Bus will once again be transporting little learners on adventures throughout Loudoun County in the form of weekly summer camps. Meeting every morning at the Foxridge Park “bus hub,” elementary-aged learners will be whisked away to ice cream tastings (to experience the tasty scientific benefits of different states of matter firsthand), historic gardens (to collect inspiration and supplies for planting personalized miniature gardens), hiking trails (to practice practical and fun outdoor survival skills), and many more exciting destinations. Planned around weekly themes, camps will keep little ones grounded in K-5 Virginia Standards of Learning while ensuring they are happily engaged through authentic, hands-on projects and exciting meetings with local experts and community helpers. Save your seat soon, because Harold the magic school-bus-turned-makerspace only has spots for 12 little explorers each week. Happy adventuring!
Cost: $595/week (Book before April 1 and receive $100 off)
Where: Fox Ridge Park, 525 Catoctin Circle SW, Leesburg, VA
Traveling Players Ensemble Camp
For 18 years, Traveling Players Ensemble, a professional theatre company based in Great Falls, VA, has been sharing their craft with rising fourth graders to twelfth graders over summer break. The company has performed at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, Colonial Williamsburg, the International Children's Festival at Wolf Trap, as well as numerous parks and summer camps throughout Fairfax County. Their mission is to enhance problem-solving skills, self-reliance, self-expression, and a heightened appreciation of both challenges and beauty by bringing great theatre into the great outdoors. At the end of each session, campers produce a professionally staged and designed performance. Sessions run two-six weeks. New this year: Camp sessions are now a sleepover experience!
When: June – August
Cost: $435/week Day Camp
Where: Day Camp: Tysons Corner Center (Tysons-1 Mall); Residential: 13951 Freedom Center Dr, Leesburg, VA 20176
Sportrock Climbing Summer Camp
Does your camper love to climb? Give them a day or a week of climbing adventure with Sport Rock. Their Indoor Base Camp (IBC) introduces kids to rock climbing at indoor facilities. From climb time to large-scale obstacle courses, the week is jam-packed with activities. If your climber is already belay-certified with Sport Rock and looking to put their skills to the test, consider Outdoor Adventure Camp. Campers will spend three days inside and weather permitting, two days climbing out side. Outdoor Climbing days will be spent at Great Falls, VA or Carderock, MD.
When: June 13 - Aug. 19
Cost: $90/day - $475/week
Where: 5308 Eisenhower Ave. Alexandria; 45935 Maries Rd. Sterling, VA
Art House Seven Summer Camps
At Art House Seven, campers can engage their artistic side in a variety of themed, week-long classes. Come trot across the globe learning about the fine arts and crafts of new countries featuring art activities of all sorts! Or unearth a variety of art materials in an archeology-focused exploration making arts and crafts inspired by dinosaurs, whales, elephants and other truly gigantic animals. Perhaps you have a fiber artist in your midst? Children will have a week of creative exploration of weaving, wet felting, tie-dying, and more!
When: June 21 - July 22
Cost: Starting at $300
Where: 5537 Langston Blvd, Arlington, VA
KID Museum Summer Camps
The KID Museum in Bethesda is opening again to offer kids hands-on maker fun all summer long! Campers will be a KID and invent, explore, and make their way through the summer! Designed and led by professional maker educators, these camps develop real-world skills through fun, hands-on projects. Wizardry, Arcade Games, and Transformers are just a sampling of the weekly themes campers may explore at the KID Museum summer camps.
When: June 20 - Aug. 26
Where: Davis Library 6400 Democracy Blvd. Bethesda; 3 Bethesda Metro Center Suite 140, Bethesda
Calleva Summer Camp
A definite DC favorite, Calleva Summer Camp runs from June to Aug. for ages 5 to 16 in both Maryland and Virginia. Transportation is provided at no additional cost, and buses pick up Walt Whitman High School, Glen Echo Parking Lot, Chevy Chase Elementary School and Eastern Middle School in MD and at Arlington Planetarium, Guy Mason Rec Center and the Madeira School in VA. Camp days are filled with rock climbing, fishing, boating, mountain biking, horseback riding and more.
When: June - August
Cost: Starting at $600/week
Where: Various locations
Sidewell Friends Summer Camps
Children 3-18 can enroll in camps that cover the arts, fashion, robotics, business tennis and more. Let your kids play all day, or opt for half-day sessions to fill their mornings with fun.
Editor's Note: At the time of publishing, Sidwell Friend's camp line up was not yet released. This story will be updated when we receive additional information.
Where: DC Campus, 3825 Wisconsin Ave NW; Bethesda Campus, 5100 Edgemoor Ln., Bethesda, MD 20814
When: June - August
—Mary Martha Aubry and Meghan Yudes Meyers
featured photo: Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels