11 Houston-area summer camps you can’t believe exist

Children playing
Children playing (Pixabay)

Many local museums offer summer camps, as do some universities, churches, theaters, libraries, school districts, organizations, businesses, etc. The sheer number of summer camps offered in the area is overwhelming and these days, these camps seem to offer every activity under the sun, from computer programming to sword fighting. It’s far from easy to sift through it all so we put together this list to help you find the one-of-a-kind camps your kids will love.

Opera Camp

Houston | Coed | Grades K-12 | $300/week; one or two-weeks sessions

The Houston Grand Opera offers three distinct camps designed for specific age groups, ranging from kindergartners to rising seniors.

At the opera camps, students sing, play instruments, act, dance, design sets and costumes, and rehearse a show. Each session concludes with a special, staged performance.

All camps are held at Houston Grand Opera 510 Preston Street located in the Wortham Theater Center.

Sherwood Forest Summer Camp

McDade | Coed | Ages 7-16 | $895/week; multiple sessions available

During its off season, Sherwood Forest Faire offers a medieval-themed, overnight summer camp for children and teens. Offering a good mix of structure and free time, attendees attend courses in sword fighting, archery, blacksmithing, puppetry, chainmaille making, leatherworking, theatre, and woodworking, to name a few.

Campers have the option to sleep in Sherwood Castle or in a military-grade tent at one of the Merry Folks’ Pavilions.

Located in McDade, Texas, some 35 miles East of Austin, Sherwood Forest Summer Camp is a good ways away from Houston. If the program were a day camp, the two and a half hour drive to McDade would make this program an unthinkable option for Houston area children, but as an overnight camp the distance isn’t so bad.

Space Center Houston Explorer Camps

Houston | Coed | Ages 4-11

Campers spend the week exploring engaged in activities exploring several subjects including science, technology, engineering and math.

Ohana Surf and Skate Camp

Galveston | Coed | Ages 6-17 | $59-225; multiple sessions available

This summer, learn to surf or improve your surfing skills at Ohana Surf and Skate Camp. Campers can participate in sessions ranging from a single day to 5 days and select whether they’s like to focus solely on surfing or split their time between surfing and skating.

Crafting America History Camp

Houston | Coed | Ages 9-12 | $350-375/week; multiple sessions available

Bayou Bend’s Summer History Camp offers campers a step back in time. Kiddos will forge metal, mold candles, write with quill pens, play colonial-era games, and work with experts in art and history.

History Camp is a five-day program: Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.The day camp is held at Bayou Bend 1001 Bissonnet located in the Museum District.

Camp Zoofari

Houston | Coed | Ages 4-14 | $240-1,000/week | Multiple sessions available

The Houston Zoo offers a multitude of distinct programs, some day camps and others overnight, for kids ages 4 through 14. Camp Zoofari is offered as week-long sessions built around different themes. Activities and interactions are tailored to your camper’s age. Each topic will offer different experiences and opportunities.

Campers will spend the week exploring the Houston Zoo. They’ll meet zoo animals and employees along the way.

Houston Humane Society Summer Companion Camp

Houston | Coed | Ages 7-15 | $275-300/week | Multiple sessions available

For the children who love animals, Houston Humane Society offers campers the chance to play with adoptable animals, sit in on veterinary surgeries, meet animal experts and learn about the humane society.

During each session, camp begins at 9:00 AM and ends at 3:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Early drop off is between 8:00 and 9:00 AM and is available for an additional $10 per day.

Discovery Camps

Houston | Coed | Ages 5-13 | $335-460/week; multiple sessions available

The Health Museum’s STEM summer camps for children 5 through 13 offer programs concentrating in veterinary sciences, chemistry, medicine, marine biology, forensic science and robotics.

In one program, campers will dissect real animal organs. In another, children will simulate a surgery on a patient simulator. And in yet another, attendees will design and program robots, then pit them against each other in a robot olympics. There are too many different sessions to list here so head to thehealthmuseum.org for a complete listing.

Building Brains Lego Engineering Camp

Houston | Coed | Ages 3-12 | $230-380/week; multiple sessions available

The Lego engineering summer camp offers three distinct camps designed for specific age groups. Campers will build their science and math skills while building simple machines made with Lego bricks.

Most camp sessions run from 9 a.m. to noon for half day camps or 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for full day camps.

Handwriting & Yoga Camp

Houston | Coed | Ages 5-10 | $400/week; two sessions available

Youngsters at this day camp will improve their handwriting in this structured camp led by an experienced pediatric Occupational Therapist and certified Yoga teacher. Writing activities are book ended with yoga practice, which helps the campers relax while improving fine motor and visual motor skills.

Texas A&M Sea Camp

Galveston | Coed | Ages 10-18 | $940-995/week; multiple sessions available

Sea Camp is a week-long overnight camp where campers age 10 to 18 will learn about marine and estuarine environments with hands-on activities. Sea Camp offers several distinct programs designed for specific age groups. Campers will have access to research vessels, oceanographic equipment and laboratory facilities.

Sea Campers will be housed in dormitories at the Texas A&M University at Galveston Mitchell campus on Pelican Island.

Aerial Circus Endeavor Summer Camp

Houston | Coed | Ages 5-15 | $275/week | multiple sessions available

This day camp is perfect for the children who’ve always wanted to run away and join the circus. Aerialists will teach campers trapeze, hammock, fabric and lyra aerial technique.

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