Kids are out of school. To summer camp or not?

Kids are out of school. To summer camp or not?

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Casey, 6, plays Minecraft at a summer camp dedicated to teaching kids how to play and modify the popular computer game. ; Credit: Jed Kim

June is soon upon us and you know what that means… Summer is almost here!

It’s of course a time to get out and have fun, and if you’re a parent, it’s also time to figure out what the heck to do with your kids while school is out of session.

In L.A., there are lots of summer camp options out there, but some are pretty pricey and others are filling up fast. 

Sarah Auerswald and Yvonne Condes with MomsLA stopped by to offer some tips:

What kids of summer camps are out there? Are they all listed in one place?

There are lots of options: tech camps, coding camps, Minecraft camp, surfing camps, sailing camps, culinary camps, and preschool camps. They’ve gotten really really specialized. UCLA offers different types of day camps, the zoo and the California Science Center also have camps. 

MomsLA has an extensive roundup of camps here. And the site Red Tricycle has one here.

When should I sign up? Is it already too late?

Some camps start to fill up as early as February, but in general, most parents are just now starting to sign up. You can still get a spot, but you really need to sign up quickly. Looking ahead to next year, getting started looking in March or April is a good idea.

How much do these camps cost?

They can run anywhere from $150/week for a day camp at the city park to around $900 to $1,000 for some of the tech camps.

Are there any free or almost free options?

L.A. KIDS, through the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks offers a free sports camp. For teenagers, the YMCA is offering a free program for July and August. 

How do I pick the right camp for my kid? And manage their expectations?

Think about what your kid likes to do and also about what new things you might want to expose them to. If your child is older, you can get them more involved in the process, but still set some limits on what their options are depending on your budget and what works with your schedule.

To listen to the full interview, click the blue player above.