Photograph by Dan Norman
A Circus Juventas camper tries a cartwheel on the German Wheel.
Adventures in Cardboard | Mpls., 612-532-6764, julianmcfaul.com
- Full-day mythic and epic imaginary play in parks and forests in and around the Twin Cities. With cardboard. See above.
Angelica Cantati Youth Choir Camps | Bloomington, 952-563-8572, angelicacantati.org
- For boys and girls in second through 12th grade who love to sing.
The Bakken Museum | Mpls., 612-926-3878, thebakken.org
- The fun side of science, electricity, and magnetism, plus great camps for enthusiastic science nerds.
Big Thrill Factory | Minnetonka, 952-698-7700, bigthrillfactory.com
- There’s bowling, laser tag, and 18 holes of outdoor miniature golf.
Camp Buckskin | Mpls., 763-432-9177, campbuckskin.com
- An overnight program in Ely specifically for kids ages 6–18 with learning needs.
Camp Chippewa for Boys | Cass Lake, 218-335-8807, campchippewa.com
- For boys ages 8–17, focused on growth, confidence, and friendship in the woods.
Camp Tanadoona | Excelsior, 952-474-8085, campfiremn.org/tanadoona
- Day, overnight, and Northwoods adventure camps focused on leadership and getting outside at the camp’s 103 acres. Ages 5–14.
Chanhassen Dinner Theatres | Chanhassen, 952-934-1545, chanhassendt.com
- Taught by professional design teams and actors, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres’ Musical Theatre Camp offers half-day and full-day sessions geared toward kids ages 5–18. Content varies to cater to kids at every level, from beginners to kids looking to audition regularly or make their career in theater. Check out the Build-a-Musical camp, based on a different theme each year. For more, see above.
Children’s Theatre Company | Mpls., 612-874-0500, childrenstheatre.org
- One of the best theaters for children’s shows in the country and some of the most fun summer camps. Camps for ages 4–18, plus extended care options.
Circus Juventas |St. Paul, 651-699-8229, circusjuventas.org
- Trapeze dreams? This circus school is a great counterbalance to classic sports camps. See above.
Computer Explorers | Multiple locations, 651-730-9910, computerexplorersmn.com
- This national chain helps kids get a grasp on technology throughout the metro.
Concordia Language Villages | Several locations, 800-222-4750, concordialanguagevillages.org
- Summer camp sessions for kids and families to shape us into global citizens.
FootHolde Soccer Camps | 612-578-1919, footholde.com
- Fun and engaging soccer camps across the metro. See above.
Gleason’s Gymnastic School | Eagan, 651-454-6203 Maple Grove, 763-493-2526, gleasons.com
- Founded by a U of M gymnast, this is great mind-body strengthening, especially for your wiggliest ones.
Hopkins Public Schools | Hopkins, 952-988-4070, hopkinsschools.org
- Hopkins Public Schools’ Camp Royal offers half-day and full-day camps for grades K through 12 on topics ranging from cooking to science to art to sports. Geared toward 3- to 6-year-olds, Hop-Kids uses interactive play to introduce sport fundamentals, play adventures, and STEM skills in a fun environment.
Impact Hockey | Multiple locations, 952-545-7825, impacthockey.com
- Kids can excel at the state’s (un)official sport, with camps for all ages and skills. See above.
The International School of Minnesota | Eden Prairie, 952-918-1828, internationalschoolmn.com
- With half-day and full-day options for ages 3½ to 14, Summer Adventure Camp at The International School of Minnesota is a series of customizable camps. Campers take daily language classes in Spanish or American Sign Language, and participate in programs accommodating a wide range of interests. Practice your dribbling at former NBA and Gophers player Kevin Lynch’s Basketball Camp, or take to the stage in the Music and Theater Workshop.
Johnny Tauer’s Championship Basketball Camp | Multiple locations, 651-962-5953, johnnytauerbasketball.com
- Kids gain basketball and life skills from University of St. Thomas’ head men’s basketball coach. See above.
Kid Yoga Minnesota | Mpls., 612-202-5164, kidyogamn.com
- Yoga for kids, kid yoga training for teachers, and drop-in daycare, too.
Leonardo’s Basement | Mpls., 612-824-4394, leonardosbasement.org
- A mecca for builders, including LEGO robotics and all-day open workshop.
Life Time Fitness | Multiple locations, 612-752-7000, lifetimefitness.com
- Complimentary childcare, active summer and spring break camps, swim lessons, fitness classes, and more.
MacPhail Center for Music | Multiple locations, 612-321-0100, macphail.org
- One-on-one lessons, group classes, and summer camps, plus a free music series.
MCAD Art and Design Classes | Mpls., 612-874-3700, mcad.edu/continuing-education
- Half- and full-day classes for ages 5–18, everything from sculpture to fashion to mapmaking to painting pet portraits.
Minneapolis Institute of Art | Mpls., 612-870-3000, artsmia.org
- Great art, great family events, and free admission every day.
Minnehaha Academy | Mpls., 612-728-7722, minnehahaacademy.net
- Minnehaha Summer Academy classes let students pursue a particular interest, from sports and musical instruments to LEGO robotics, geocaching, cooking, and natural science. For kids in preschool through eighth grade, Minnehaha Academy’s Camp Minnehaha offers a mix of art, science, music, and sports, as well as swimming lessons, prayer, and Friday field trips.
Minnesota Children’s Museum | Bloomington, Rochester, St. Paul, mcm.org
- Exciting, stimulating, hands-on activities for kids, especially those ages 1 to 10.
Minnesota History Center | St. Paul, 651-259-3000, minnesotahistorycenter.org
- Get in touch with the history of our state through hands-on activities. Great for grandparents or a family day out!
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum | Chaska, 952-443-1400, arboretum.umn.edu
- Explore the diversity of nature. Plus: spring and summer camps for all ages.
Minnesota Zoo | Apple Valley, 952-431-9200, mnzoo.org
- With 539 species and more than 4,000 animals, there’s more than enough to satisfy your children’s curiosity. Plus: zoo camps for all ages.
Minnetonka Center for the Arts | Wayzata, 952-473-7361 ext. 16, minnetonkaarts.org
- Stoke creative fires with exhibits, events, and visual arts classes.
St. George’s Dressage Academy | Stillwater, 651-795-8427, stgeorgesdressage.com
- The history and tradition of classical horsemanship through the art of dressage. For ages 5 and older.
The Saint Paul Conservatory of Music | St. Paul, 651-224-2205, thespcm.org
- A 10-day Children’s Music Workshop culminates in two days of public concerts. See above.
Science Museum of Minnesota | St. Paul, 651-221-4511, smm.org
- The Science Museum of Minnesota offers nearly 200 half-day and full-day camps for ages 3 to 16, with theater, art, and science camps in the mix. Check out Wonka Week, where kids can invent their own candy and live out their Roald Dahl fantasies.
She Rock She Rock | Mpls., 844-743-7625, sherocksherock.com
- Rock ’n’ roll retreats (both after school and summer camps) for girls ages 9 to 16. There are also programs for women!
Sky Zone Trampoline Park | Plymouth, 763-331-3511, Oakdale, 651-200-3383, skyzone.com
- What kid (or adult) doesn’t enjoy bouncing around in trampoline bliss?
Studio Seven | Mpls., 612-376-0381, studio7artmn.com
- Weeklong sessions develop drawing skills in a studio environment. See above.
Valleyfair | Shakopee, 952-445-7600, valleyfair.com
- Opening day is May 13 (Soak City waterpark opens later). We’re especially looking forward to new attraction Flying Eagles, and the newly renovated amphitheater.
Vertical Endeavors | Mpls., 612-436-1470, St. Paul, 651-776-1430, verticalendeavors.com
- Some of the best climbing in the Midwest, indoors and out. A great family fun day.
Water Park of America | Bloomington, 952-854-8700, waterparkofamerica.com
- Believe it or not, this giant indoor water park is open all year round.
The Works Museum | Bloomington, 952-888-4262, theworks.org
- A kid focus on engineering and science. Everyone will love the Toy Design Labs.
YMCA Summer Camps | Twin Cities locations, 612-230-9622, ymcatwincities.org/camps
- YMCA summer camps bring kids outdoors for a series of activities geared toward positive character development. With 10 local day camps for kids ages 4–14, four local overnight camps for kids ages 7–17, three teen wilderness camps for kids ages 11–18, and even a family camp, options abound. Overnight and day campers complete ropes courses, swim, kayak, and ride horses, while teen wilderness campers set out on backpacking and canoe trips.
Zenon Dance Company | Mpls., 612-338-1101, zenondance.org
- From jazz and ballet to hip-hop, kids dance.
Zero Gravity Trampoline Park | Mounds View, 763-219-4010, zerogravitymn.com
- Like Sky Zone, but in the north suburb of Mounds View. We love the tween nights!