Summer camp discounts for SF Bay Area

Summer Camp Kids There’s still time to find a great summer camp for your child, before they overdose on TV!  Even better, get $50 or more off any of these camps listed below.  You’ll find summer camps in San Francisco, East Bay, Peninsula, Marin and South Bay. ActivityHero July Deals

Visit our July Deals page to register and make the summer a fun one! Space is limited so book your spot soon.

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Financial Aid for Summer Camp

Summer camps can put a pinch in your budget, but some camps are offering free or reduced fee scholarships for families who need financial assistance. Families can apply for financial assistance by filling out an application form.  Camps will review your application and you will be contacted if space is available.

If you are a camp that can offer financial assistance, please fill out this form.

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Meet our Parent Hero!

parent hero

Meet Elaine, a parent and an entrepreneur from Palo Alto. Elaine is very familiar with summer camp planning and starts the process early January each year. She has been researching summer camps even before her kids, now 8 and 5, were ready for it. Elaine has relatives visiting from Asia every summer and for the last ten years, she has been helping them find and enroll in summer camps. These visiting families like to enroll their children into different summer programs to help them learn new skills, enhance their English language, and get better at various sports. Elaine helps about 10 families from Asia every year to find camps of varied interests and age groups. Until about 3 years ago, she used to spend countless hours scouring through newspapers, magazines, parent group forums, and asking friends for camp recommendations. She used to create a mini database listing of all the classes and sort them by different categories, prices, and locations. It was a long and tedious process! But Elaine did it every year so that her nieces and nephews had a wonderful learning experience.

happy campersIn 2011, Elaine found ActivityHero and her life got significantly easier since then! She loves ActivityHero’s easy user interface that makes her camp search a breeze compared to her previous experience. She no longer has to go hunting for camp related information in several different places and is able to find everything she needs in one central place. Through ActivityHero she gets information of the various sports camps, English writing, science, and arts for kids ranging from ages of 3 to 13 years all in one place. Most importantly, she can register for all these camps through ActivityHero and does not have to contact the various camps individually or login to various sites. ActivityHero is Elaine’s one stop shop for all her research, planning, and enrollments. It has helped her save at least 30 hours of planning time and given her access to new and unique summer camps that she might not have found otherwise. She can instead spend that valuable time doing what she loves. Elaine is extremely excited for all the time and effort ActivityHero saves her each year.

Elaine, we are glad to hear your story and happy to be of help to you! We look forward to continue assisting parents like you!


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Summer Camps for Girls – Only!

An all-girl summer camp might offer a unique experience for your daughter.  We asked some camps why are all-girls camps so great and different and here’s what Aby Ryan, CEO and Founder of Athena Camps, told us:

  • They teach girls to learn from and respect each other’s differences
  • Offer an opportunity for girls to encourage and be encouraged by other girls and women
  • Girls are more willing to try new things and be themselves in an all girls environment
  • Girls develop new, diverse, and lasting friendships beyond school
  • Girls learn from and bond with strong role models
  • The entire camp experience is tailored to girls preferences and learning styles.

Tennis.We_RockAthena Camps-Sports, Creativity & Girl Power: Athena Camps are designed to empower and build confidence in girls, ages 6 to 11, through self-expression and personal connections. Sports are really important at Athena Camps in order to emphasize skill development, and character building. These sports teach goal setting, perseverance, and teamwork. Some of the main sports are: Tennis, volleyball, basketball, soccer, yoga, and running. Creativity is also an essential part of Athena Camps. Girls are encouraged to use their unique creativity on different art projects every single day. Some examples are: Journal making, Hope Boxes, Dream Catchers, Friendship bracelets, and much more! Daily, girls receive positive affirmations from coaches and new found friends. When girls attend Athena Camps, they are happy, confident, courageous, and extremely eager to return!

See Athena Camps’ locations and schedules!

SpyGabbyWalkTalkieCamp is offering a couple of weeks exclusively for girls! All-day Squads of 12 kids maximum are led by educator Matt Martin, founder of BrainBounce.  Spy Camp training includes: Gadget & Gizmo making, Rock Climbing (at Mission Cliffs), Martial Arts training, Indoor Ski & Snowboard training (on Endless Slope), Surveillance, Code breaking & Map design, Team Capture Games, and Outdoor Field Missions.

We had a chance to talk to founder Sarah Cooper recently about why she created the Girl-Only weeks and whats so special about them.  Read the interview.

Ice_Skating_3Girls on the Go: Girls on the Go Camp gives girls the opportunity to explore, imagine, and connect with one another and the beautiful BayArea.  Girls on the Go campers receive coaching on how to safely navigate the public transit system.   Weekly interactive workshops with women with special knowledge and talent in the arts, science, movement, and environment provide for extra fun and expose girls to opportunities for their lives.  Girls have summer days filled with spontaneous and planned adventure and chances to try out new and familiar activities. Different outings include: Ice-skating, bowling, mini-golfing, baseball games, boating at Lake Merritt, and more! Campers range in age from 9-13.

See Girls on the Go’s locations and schedules.

Alexa_Slider01Alexa Café: Alexa Café was designed with girls ages 10-14 in mind. Alexa Café acknowledges the  pervasive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) gender gap, and seek to remedy it with a chic, collaborative learning environment focused on girls. The Café emphasizes leadership, entrepreneurship, brand identity, and philanthropy. All students get a personalized 1- on- 1 instruction. Girls work with industry-standard hardware and software, kick-start their own 1-for-1 social movements, and bring their new skills and ideas into the real world.

Take a look at Alexa Café’s locations and schedules. 

More All-Girl Camps:

Go Girls! Camp is where girls make and perform their own plays that allow them to learn and practice the essential social/emotional skills. Campers range from 1st graders to 6th graders!

Girl Scouts has exciting and fun activities that build self-esteem, enhance teamwork, develop skills and increase awareness towards our environment! Each camp is unique and offers a place for self-discovery, laughter, and personal growth. Campers range from ages 5-17!

Girls Inc. encourages girls to learn, explore, make friends, and most of all have fun! The camp inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. Campers range from 6-12 years old!

Camp H’s summer and after-school programs include hands-on activities like cutting plywood with a jigsaw, fusing metal with a welder, and creating projects of personal and social relevance. The camp inspires creativity and curiosity through hands-on building, and problem solving. Campers range from ages 9-12.

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Math Camps – San Francisco Bay Area

Math camp can help your child maintain or improve math skills over the summer.  Most students lose about two months of mathematical computation skills over the summer months (Cooper, 1996).  Take a look at these math camps in the SF Bay Area:

Math Brain Academy offers Math Summer Campfun camps for elementary and middle school students. Elementary math, pre-algebra, algebra 1, algebra 2, and computer programming are among the topics at this camp in Belmont, CA.

The mission at Brain-O-Magic Academy is to provide children with the right tools to boost their brain power. The campers will not only expand in math, but in other areas as well, such as business and computer programming.  Locations in Sunnyvale, Pleasanton and Fremont.

Math Discovery Summer Camp engages kids in games such as Fractal Forts, Number Dodgeball, and Fractions War as well as hands-on activities.  Take home activities and kits are also available to keep math in the house all summer.  Held in Menlo Park.

Other camps mix math and other academic and enrichment topics, such as Stratford School Summer Programs  and College for Kids in San Mateo and San Bruno.

Find more math and academic camps or classes near San Francisco.



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Creative Art Camps – San Francisco

Summer is the perfect time for kids to immerse themselves deeply in art, design and construction. It’s a less structured season and a great opportunity to embrace their creativity. We’ve found an incredible variety camps offering everything from photography, drawing and painting to welding. Pretty impressive!

Dragonfly Designs Jewelry Making Camps

DragonFlyDesignsJewelry making combined with yoga, outdoor exploration and ecology + language options in Mandarin and Spanish!

Full day and part-day options in San Francisco, South San Francisco, Burlingame, Gather 7 friends and they’ll even create a camp for you! Seem more about Dragonfly Designs Camps here.

Children’s Creativity Museum (formerly Zeum)

At Creativity Camps, kids will explore a variety of the most popular activities and exhibit spaces, including the Innovation Lab, Music Studio, Animation Studio, and Messy with Art.

Kids age 3-8

Full day

Rayko Summer Photography Camps

raykoWeeklong camps for 8-10 year olds with a passion for taking pictures! Kids will have the opportunity to explore their own personal vision and create a portfolio of original photographs. They will investigate a variety of photographic processes, techniques and styles.

Sessions: July 21-25, July 28-Aug 1. See more information about photography camps here.

 Sketch Collective

In addition to their year round art classes, the Sketch collective is offering Core Drawing and Cartooning Summer Camps for 8-14 year olds.

Core Drawing: Jun 16-Jun 20 and Jun 23-Jun 27, 2014

Cartooning: Jul 21-Jul 25 and Jul 28-Aug 01, 2014

See more information here.

ArtWorks Fine Art Studio

artworksSummer is a great opportunity to experience this well -loved and often wait-listed Art Studio! Each summer they offer exciting Summer Workshops and Art Camps. Four unique Art Camps for ages 5 to 10 introduce a variety of materials and art-making processes, encourage and nurture creativity, enhance art skills and inspire young artists. Students work in drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpting all in one week.

Summer Workshops for ages 9 to 16 in Cartooning, Drawing Exploration, Mixed Media Sculpting and Portfolio Preparation offer a rich exploration into specialized disciplines and are designed for students of all skill levels. See more here.

 Asian Arts Studio

Asian_art_studio_group2Mandarin and Art Summer Camp is designed for children entering Kindergarten through 5th grade. This program will give them a unique opportunity to learn and improve their language skills in Mandarin while deepening their knowledge of Chinese culture and art through age-appropriate play-based classes and activities.

Weekly themes, June 2nd -July 25th, see details and more information here

Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts Program

missionculturalcenter_latino_artsThis Summer program will introduce children and youth, ages 6-16, to various artistic disciplines taught by local artist in a dynamic and entertaining summer camp. Participants will develop hands-on experience with the use of tools and materials related to the chosen artistic discipline, and will collaborate in a final exhibition/performance, entertaining participants’ families and the local community. Participants will be pre-assigned to classes according to their area of interest and availability. The classes that we are offering this year include: Yoga, Hip Hop, Ballroom Dancing, Art Studio (Printmaking), Arts & Crafts, Theater, Capoeira, Percussion, Latin Grooves, Fashion Design, Mexican Folk Dance, Latin Rhythms & Movement, Digital Photography, and Caribbean Moves. Lunch included. See more information.

 Pixie Hall, Americana Camp

pixiehallJoin Pixie Hall as they gear up for the 4th of July with a fun filled week celebrating the culture and history that makes our country so great! Children will get the chance to explore the story of our Independence as they cook, create, and celebrate in All-American form. We will discuss what it means to be an American and learn about “Americana” music, art, and cuisine. So come on down to our studio to get a little messy, have fun, and let the creative fireworks begin!

2nd-6th Graders June 30-July 3rd.

See more info here.

The Crucible, Oakland

Hosting some of  the Bay Area’s most unique industrial arts opportunities is Oakland’s The Crucible where students of all ages can come to learn metal fabrication, blacksmithing, glass blowing, ceramics, welding and kinetics. Spring and summer camps here are fun, exciting places for youth to explore art, creativity, and real-world applications of science, technology, engineering and math. See their upcoming schedules.

Search more Creative Arts Camps in San Francisco.



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SpyCamp – For Girls Only!

SpyCamp is offering a couple of weeks exclusively for girls this year. We got a chance to catch up with founder Sarah Cooper of Adventurous Sports to find out why she created these exclusive weeks and what’s so special!

Q: What made you decide to create some special Girl-Only Weeks?binoculars-Maeve_Angelica-crop

A: We saw the vast majority of Spy stories had male heroes and were told from the male perspective. Not just adult media like James Bond, Jack Ryan, Jack Bauer, etc,  but also the kids Spy movies, like Cody Banks and StormBreaker.  Thankfully, there are starting to be stronger girl storylines, from adult TV series Covert Affairs and the brother-sister team of Spy Kids movies.

We wanted to personalize that – giving girls their own hero-identity with stories, images and of course skills they could apply to their own sense of confidence.

We’d like to create an experience and a space where girls feel comfortable expressing themselves, taking risks in brainstorming mission challenges, and making friendship bonds that aren’t be overshadowed by boy energy.

Plus it’s a great opportunity for us to do more strategy & team-oriented missions.  It’s just a reality that at this age (6-11), girls are better collaborators and planners.  (That said, our SpyCamps do tend to attract the empathetic “lets-help-them!”, science-thinker boys.)

And it’s a perfect fit with our own philosophy of Brain over Brawn.  We say, “A Spy’s best weapon is her brain” and in teaching self-defense moves as part of self-confidence we always emphasize addressing an opponent with diplomacy and mental strength, using physical contact as an absolute last resort.   For both genders, we teach this in a very playful way, but that “I can do this” mentality sticks with the kids.

 Q: What are the big differences in the weeks that are just for girls?

A: We’ll be telling the stories of female heroes, both fictional and real, and sharing images of women & girls as leaders and saviors.  Our missions will have a greater reliance on teamwork, and we’ll have more female Instructors (for skiing, snowboarding, fencing, soccer, etc)  and female Operatives (both good & bad guys!).

Q: Tell us some of the things girls tell you (or you overhear) about their week as a spy.

A: We overhear a great deal of compliments between the girls and an eagerness to try new things. The Operative Role (“friendly” or “enemy”) is one that girls gravitate to and grasp. It’s really inspiring.

But the girl spy cadets don’t know their own strengths yet.  We hear the boys talking about their own accomplishments, but the girls tend to talk about the group’s success.  We’d like to give the girls some more to boast about in their talking points :).

 Thanks for talking with us Sarah! We know some sneaky, smart girls who are going to LOVE this! Have a look at the current Spy Camp schedule here.

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