School Holiday Camps – Fall & Winter 2016

This year, there are so many school breaks that we don’t even have a name for many of them. Your school might be out for 1-5 days in October, plus a whole week of Thanksgiving, and 2-3 weeks for Winter Break.

For Columbus Day (or Indigenous Peoples Day) or October Break, you’ll find camps for basketball, art, programming, martial arts and more!

In November, most schools are off for Veterans Day on November 11. More and more schools now have the full week of school off for Thanksgiving. You’ll find camps that offer 1-4 day sessions.

And to end the year, your child can try out some new activities, like jewelry making, flight simulators, table tennis, cooking, and more over Winter Break.

To easily keep track of when your school is off, you’ll find school calendars for most SF Bay Area schools on the ActivityHero blog.

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San Francisco Summer Camps on Sale

Summer+Camp+SaleSeveral top San Francisco summer camps are offering deep discounts — but only until they fill their last few spots, or until June 30, whichever comes first.

Here’s a sneak preview of some of the deals — to see the whole list, visit the Last-Minute Summer Camp Sale.


Ballet Fantasy Camp

By Shan-Yee Poon Ballet…
Sessions start Jun
Ages 4 – 8
San Francisco, CA
From $350 /week 20% off until 6/30
See Schedule


Design and Build Summer Camp
Sessions start Jul
Ages 8 – 17
San Francisco, CA
From $649 /session 20% off until 6/30
See Schedule 


Nature’s Little Gems
By Art School of SF Bay
Jun 20-24
Ages 6 – 10
San Francisco, CA
From $250 /week 50% off until 6/20
See Schedule


Chocolatier Training Camp
Jun 27 – Jul 1
Ages 6 – 12
Berkeley, CA
From $425 /week up to 20% off until 6/30
See Schedule 


Robotics Camp
Sessions start Jun
Gr 2 – Gr 8
South San Francisco, CA
From $300 /week 50% off until 6/30
See Schedule 


Jewelry Making & Design + Yoga Camp
By Dragonfly Designs…
Sessions start Jun
Ages 5 – 16
South San Francisco, CA
From $425 /week 20% off until 6/30
See Schedule 


See All Camps on Sale

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Long Waitlists at Top Summer Camps

It’s May, and you think summer is still weeks away. But given today’s 80 degree weather, it’s time to get serious about finalizing summer camp plans or your kids will be on THE WAITLIST.


Photo courtesy of Kidizens

In case you’re wondering, these Bay Area camps are at least 90% full as of May 15:

Camps that are filling up very rapidly:

If the camp you want is already full, there’s no cost to be added to the waitlist when you shop on ActivityHero. Joining the waitlist is a good idea because there’s always a chance that the camp will add more sessions when they see how many potential campers they have.

But keep in mind that the camp might not ever be able to open up a spot for waitlisted children. And even if the camp does open a spot, you might not find out until 1 or 2 days before the camp starts.

Our best advice? Register as soon as possible to secure your spot, especially if the camp you want is a popular one. And if your favorite camp is waitlisted, add your name to the list — but start looking for back-up plans right away.

If you’re still feeling iffy about your plans, look for camps that have a cancellation policy that will let you switch weeks or change your mind with a small cancellation fee.

Find camps with their availability on ActivityHero right now >>

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Summer Camp Scholarships and Financial Aid 2016

Looking for scholarships to help make summer camp more affordable?  Without compromising quality, many San Francisco Bay Area camps offer partial and full camper scholarships, including the 12 popular programs listed here.  Be sure to apply soon, for some of these deadlines are coming up quick!

Find more camps offering financial aid on ActivityHero.


uCamps Summer Camp


uCamps is an overnight camp that offers scholarships to families in need, including partial scholarships, or setting up families up with a payment plan. Parents can contact uCamps to request a scholarship.

Destination Science

Destination Science offers financial need scholarships for children entering K – 6th grade.  Destination Science offers to pay a week of camp in full for families with an annual household income less than $40,000, and to reduce the tuition price to $170.00 per week for families with an annual household income less than $55,000.

Camper scholarship application submission begins February 2016, and ends May 27th, 2016. Learn more about Destination Science’s scholarship program.

iD Tech

Each year, iD Tech provides a number of students with full and partial scholarships to their summer programs. This year, iD Tech will be giving over 200 scholarships. Because of iD Tech’s commitment to bridging the gender gap in tech, 100 of these scholarships will be reserved for girls.

Scholarship application submission begins on January 5, 2016 and lasts to March 4, 2016. All applications must be submitted by 11:59pm PT on March 4, 2016. All decisions will be communicated via email by April 2016.

wheel kids

Wheel Kids Bicycle Club

Wheel Kids 

Limited reduced price registration are available for qualified applicants.  Apply here by listing your preferred week of attendance and specify Wheel Kids as the camp you’re interested in.

Digital Media Academy

Digital Media Academy is dedicated to making world-class digital media education more accessible. Applications are taken and evaluated on a first come, first served basis to qualifying individuals.

Applications for camper scholarships will be available starting February 15, 2016

Athena Camps

Athena Camps is proud to offer partial scholarships based on financial need. Scholarships are limited to available resources.

Community School of Music and Art (CSMA)

CSMA offers 50% tuition assistance based on family size and income, merit scholarships for students who show outstanding talent and commitment, and Program Subsidies for off-site preschool classes, weekly in-school art and music classes at local elementary schools, and other programs.

Camp Chrysallis

Camp Chrysallis offers camper scholarships on a first-come, first-serve basis, but also reserves the right to make admissions decisions on other bases, such as maintaining an even gender balance in the sessions. A deposit of $200 is due at the time of sign-up, and the tuition balance is due by April 1.


To ensure that ALL girls have the opportunity to participate in summer programs, GirlVentures offers financial aid to two-thirds of all participants. Full and partial scholarships are available. Financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

San Francisco Maritime

It is part of our San Francisco Maritime’s mission to be accessible to campers of all financial backgrounds. Applying for financial aid will neither increase nor decrease the chances of getting into a program. We encourage you to ask for assistance if you need it and pay what you can. Details about financial aid can be found here.

Marin GreenPlay Camp

During the Summer of 2016, GreenPlay will host 80 children from socio-economically disadvantaged and underserved communities in Marin County across all of our camp offerings and age groups.  To learn more go to Greenplay Foundation.

Camp Galileo

Every year, Camp Galileo awards hundreds of weeks of specially priced camp through their financial assistance program.

Financial aid applications can be submitted January 7, 2016 to March 31, 2016. Learn more about Camp Galileo’s financial aid program.

Final note:  Many camps accept donations to help fund their scholarship program.  Find more camps offering financial aid on ActivityHero.

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Awaken Kids’ Creative Forces with Star Wars Crafts

Your arts-and-crafts Jedi will love these clever tutorials, instructions, and project ideas we’ve gathered from across the galaxy … er, internet.

By Laura Quaglio

A short time ago in a living room not so far, far away, some very excited children – and, yes, more than a few adults — were breathlessly awaiting the upcoming release of the new Star Wars movie: The Force Awakens.

Let’s face it: Even if you’re not normally huge into Hollywood hype or movie premieres, it’s tough not to be more than a little excited about this latest addition to one of the favorite movie series of all time. While you’re waiting patiently (or not) to see the film, keep your young Jedi Knights, Princesses, and little Ewoks busy with these terrific themed craft projects that we found on the Web.


Visit Matters of Grey:

DIY Star Wars Snowflakes

Whether you’re in PA or CA, there’s no snow right now — so why not create a little of your own? We bring you the “largest collection of [Star Wars] designs and templates on the internet.” offers downloadable instructions for snipping out an impressive 33 Star Wars snowflake designs, including recent additions such as the BB-8 and Kylo Ren that were inspired by the new movie, The Force Awakens. Admittedly, they might be a tad tricky for tiny fingers. That’s why we’re also offering you the next kid-friendlier craft …


Visit Kids Activities Blog:

Star Wars Toilet Roll Characters

Who doesn’t love a good toilet-paper-roll art project?! It’s always a bonus when you can use items you have on hand to help kids craft clever creations like these. offers some easy instructions for creating Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and R2D2 using some acrylics, a glue gun, and those ever-available toilet paper cores! Bonus: After crafting these characters, your kids will have a great time acting out scenes with them, too.

Pool Noodle Lightsabers

Visit MuddyBoots:

Pool Noodle Lightsabers

On the Muddyboots blog, you’ll find complete instructions on how to transform colorful swimming pool noodles into soft, gentle light sabers! This project does require a little help from an adult — namely to slash the pool noodles in half at the project’s start. (You’ll get two sabers out of one noodle.) But older kids will love creating their own handle designs with duct tape and black electrical tape almost as much as they’ll love staging mock battles with them once they’re complete. Spoiler alert: This blog ALSO offers fantastic Star Wars party ideas, including a Death Star piñata and complete instructions for a masterfully executed Commander Fox cake.


Visit Origami Yoda:

Origami Yoda

Fans of Tom Angleberger’s bestselling Origami Yoda series will love checking out the complete instructions for folding their own Origami Yoda, Darth Paper, and other favorite characters. Complete instructions are available on Angleberger’s website, along with an invitation for origami “Superfolders” to submit their own Star Wars origami creations for all to see. Additional ideas and instructions are available in the Origami Yoda companion book, Art2D2’s Guide to Folding and Doodling. Who knows? These projects just might awaken your child’s inner bookworm, too …


Visit U-Create:

Perler Bead Star Wars Patterns

Does your child have an abundance of both plastic Perler Beads … and a colorful imagination? has collected a handful of fun patterns to help just such children craft perfect Perler creations of C3PO, R2D2, Princess Leia, and even the Star Wars logo. Once your kiddo completes these classics, you can search Pinterest for additional Perler Bead Star Wars character ideas, or encourage your child to find some photo reference and craft their own original designs.

Find a Star Wars Themed Activity Near You!

Want to channel your child’s forces toward good, not evil? Enroll them in a Star Wars themed camp or activity! Search ActivityHero to find lots of options that aren’t light years away.


Start your search by checking out:

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Make Wintertime Memories with Your Child

Bay Area: December/January spots are going fast. Don’t wait to grab your spot! Here are some great Winter Break Workshops to check out this year:


Laser Holiday Ornaments
by TechShop San Jose
Spend the evening with your child creating beautiful holiday ornaments using laser technology. These amazing decorations will warm your hearts and home!

Ages 8 and up
Sessions on December 8th & 18th, 5:30 – 7 pm
Starting at $45/class

CSEd Family Festival
by Embark Labs
Fun for the whole family! This FREE one day event. Kids can play games and puzzles that will teach basic concepts of Computer Science. Awaken the inner computer genius in you and your kids!

Ages 5 and up
Held December 13th, 2015, 11 am – 5 pm
Cost: FREE



Winter Workshops
by Color Me Mine San Jose
Kick start your kids’ imaginations with super fun art workshops! Using various art mediums, your child will spend the evening sharpening their creativity, and will come home with certain masterpieces!

Ages 5-13
Held December 11th, 6:15 – 8:15 pm



Holiday Cookie Workshop
by Cooking Camp for Tweens & Teens
Come join our long standing tradition! Spend a few hours with your child whipping up gingerbread men, sugar cookies, and more!  Take home the delicious treats and share them with the rest of your family. They will surely be impressed!

Ages 10 and up
Held December 22nd, 10 am – 1 pm


Mother and child playing with colored paper

Family Origami Night
by The Art Beat
Explore the age-old art of paper folding!  In this 2 hour workshop, you will learn the basics of Origami. Take home hand-made gifts for the family, or decorate your home for the holiday.

Ages 7 and up
Held December 17th, 6 – 8 pm



Holiday Crafting Camp
by Ms. Marian’s Dance Garden
Bring your little elves to Ms. Marian’s for some holiday excitement while you do that last minute holiday shopping! They will make ornaments and gifts, and cards, as well as receive quality dance instruction. This is a god-send to the super busy parent!

Ages 5 to 13
Sessions starting December 22nd
From $50/class


New Year’s Eve Sleepover
by East Bay Dance Center
Why should grown ups have all the fun on NYE? Your child can bring in the New Year with friends while experiencing many forms of dance, drama, music and art. All the while, parents can enjoy themselves knowing their child is also having a blast!

Ages 5-16
Held December 31st at 7:30 until January 1st at 10 am.
From $135





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Winter Break Camps for the Unique Child

San Francisco: Are you searching for an extraordinary camp for an exceptional child?

This winter break, treat your kids to a remarkable, one of a kind camp that they will never forget. Act now, these camps are filling up fast!


Wintertime Rock Out!
By Rock Band Land
Your little musician can jam like a rock star! During this 4 day camp, they will form a band, write their own song, AND produce and record their music. Foster their musical creativity with this thrilling camp!

Ages 5-13
Dec 28
From $400 /session



Winter Camp – ENERGIZE!
by Bricks 4 Kidz
This 4 day camp will teach your child about the technologies for renewable energy that could keep their future safe, clean and healthy. Your child will explore the possibilities of sustainable energy that could one day save the world!

Sessions starting December 21
Ages 5-10
From $96 / day



Surgery Camp
by Celsius and Beyond
Calling all future doctors and nurses! This intense 3 day camp introduces kids to the world of repairing the human body, from sutures to surgery. At the end of the week, the kids will open their own ER and showcase the life-saving skills they have learned!

December 21-24
Grades 4-6
$380 / session



Winter Imagination Camp
by The Rabbit Hole Theater Company
This 3 day camp will tap into the magical imagination that is in every child. They will breath life into their very own creative character and go on an adventure that they will remember for years to come!

Ages 4-8
Dec 21
From $250 /session



Jewelry Making Camp
by Dragonfly Designs
Each day begins with an hour of yoga to align the body and focus the mind to open the creative abilities within each child. Then Campers will jump into the world of art & jewelry making, learning the process with which each unique and beautiful piece is created, from beading to copper etching. Each camper can create the perfect holiday gift for their loved ones!

Sessions starting December 21
Ages 5-18
From $85 / day



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