School’s . . . out . . .for . . . winter vacation! OK, Alice Cooper’s classic anthem doesn’t have quite the same ring when you take out the “summer,” but our kids are headed home for a couple of weeks while we celebrate the holidays and usher in a new year. If you’re looking for some good local camps to keep them occupied, here are a few places to start—you can also check in with your local park board, YMCA branch, and kids’ sports teams for even more winter break camps and clinics.
- The Zoo!: What little kid doesn’t love learning about wolves, primates, cats, and bugs? Send your kiddos (kindergarten through third grade) to one of Como Park Zoo & Conservatory’s fun three-day camps: December 21-23 or December 28-30, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Minnesota Zoo has its own winter break classes as well, and these are for preschoolers through sixth grade, with age-appropriate classes offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., December 28-31. The older kids can even try dog sledding! Before and after care is available at both zoos. $160 for a three-day camp at Como Zoo; prices at the MN Zoo vary based on membership and age.
- Vertical Endeavors: Let your kids unleash their inner monkeys (and gain confidence and stamina) at this high-tech, indoor climbing gym, which offers half-day rock-climbing camps over the holiday break. Classes are for kids ages 6-12 and run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. $50 for nonmembers, $40 for members
- The Works: Your budding engineer will lose herself in the intricacies of designing a mini-golf course (on Monday, December 28), making miniature food and toys (on Tuesday, December 29), engineering roller coasters for balls and marbles (on Wednesday, December 30), and designing ingenious devices that make things fly (on Thursday, December 31). All camps last from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. $65 for nonmembers and $58.50 for members (including a pizza lunch)
- Augsburg College: Get your kids onto the soccer field this winter break at Augsburg College’s holiday soccer camp, located at Edor Nelson Field and staffed by the school’s soccer coaches and players. Classes are for kids ages 6-12 and run from 9 a.m. to noon on December 28, 29, and 30. $35 for one day, $60 for two days, $85 for three days
- Articulture: Stoke your children’s creative fires at full- or half-day art classes at this Minneapolis studio. Kids in kindergarten through fifth grade will work on two- and three-dimensional projects during the four-day camp, which runs from December 28-31. $240 for full-day classes ($204 for members), $130 for half-day classes ($111 for members)