A Mom’s Guide to Denver Summer Camps 2016


Summer Camp Guide 2016 | Denver Metro Moms Blog

Does summer both excite and terrify you? You’ve spent the last 9-months mastering the art of getting your kids to school “on time” (nothing happens in the first 10 minutes anyway!) and now the year is winding down and you’re about to embark on 3-months of seemingly endless down time. Cue the ominous music. I’m a SAHM and let’s be honest, having your children home all day every day for around 10-weeks is a bit daunting {read: horrifying}. So I’ve been doing some research and have put together a list of summer camp resources. This list is not, I repeat, NOT all inclusive. I’ve been asking around, gathering intel on things moms really need to know when signing your kids up for a camp this summer. Because, if you’re anything like me you’d like to a) not break the bank b) ensure your kids have a fun experience, but also maybe learn something and c) have it not be a terrible experience to get them to and from said camp. So here you go!


These are great options for kiddos who have a specific interest or who prefer to spend time playing/exploring in a certain genre.

Children’s Museum of Denver:

The 3-day camp themes for this summer are already sold out. Wah. Wah. MOM INSIDE SCOOP: There are still lots of opportunities for your kids to explore this museum in a more structured atmosphere. Having recently completed an amazing renovation, the Children’s Museum now offers a fabulous kids kitchen, which means teaching workshops! Check their website here for a list of classroom opportunities. There are other workshops in the works for summer!

Museum of Nature and Science:

Offering both half-day and full-day programs, this is a great way to introduce your younger children to half-day camps, while providing your older kiddos with a full-day experience. With a wide variety of weekly themes, there’s no shortage of variety offered at the museum this summer! MOM INSIDE SCOOP: This camp is busy {read: crowded}. Prepare for busy drop offs/pick ups, but your kids will be yammering on about how much fun they had, so the chaos of pick up will be worth it!

Denver Art Museum:

Summer camp weeks are filling up fast, but there are still lots of opportunities for your children to join in on the fun. Offering half-day and full-day camps for 4-11-year-olds, with discounts for members. There is even an opportunity for parents to get involved. There’s a week long camp for 4-5-year-olds where you create art with the grown-ups! There are weeks that focus on exploring the actual museum, as well as weeks where you dig deep into a particular medium, like painting or recycling materials to make new art. Lots of opportunities for your child to explore his/her creative side! MOM INSIDE SCOOP: Quiet and solitude alert! This museum is so lovely. After drop off, grab a coffee, enjoy the exhibits, and maybe most importantly the enveloping quiet of this beautiful place.

Denver Zoo:

Do you have an animal lover on your hands? This may be the perfect place for your child to spend her summer. With both classroom experiences, as well as frequent tours of the zoo grounds, week long camps are offered in the AM/PM and full-day, with discounts for members. MOM INSIDE SCOOP: You can totally spy on your kid as they explore the zoo with their class, just in case you’re curious about how said child behaves when you’re not around.

Parks & Recreation, Community Centers, and YMCA Camps

Check out your local rec center for great summer opportunities. Here are a few links to centers in the metro area, to get you started. MOMS INSIDE SCOOP: Rec center camps tend to be more affordable than other camps in the Denver area and they’re a great way to introduce your child to a new sport or activity without breaking the bank.

Denver Parks and Rec

South Suburban Parks and Rec

YMCA – with several locations in Denver and surrounding areas

Jewish Community Center


Your child’s preschool may or may not offer summer camp. Ours does not. So I have enlisted the help of my mom friends to let me in on opportunities available at their children’s preschools. And let me tell you, they are endless! From week long camps with specific themes to vacation bible schools, to hand writing camps. Ask around! MOM INSIDE SCOOP: If you have a toddler you’d like to provide a learning opportunity for {read: unload} this summer, look for preschool programs that take young kiddos. Those schools often have summer programs for children who are not yet potty trained!

The Great Outdoors

Summer is the time to get outside and get moving. Denver has plenty of camp opportunities that allow your child to experience summer outside.

Denver Botanic Gardens:

Do you have a 6-12 year old interested in gardening or farming? Both the Denver and Chatfield locations are offering full-day camps exploring the world of plants through art, cooking, gardening, science, and outdoor exploration! MOM INSIDE SCOOP: Looking for a family camp experience? There are parent/tot classes offered for families with younger kiddos, as well as family workshops throughout the summer.

Sunflower Farms:

Located in Longmont, this beautiful farm would make for an amazing camp experience. Intended for 5-9-year-olds, this camp gives your child an opportunity to learn about rural farm life. Your child will feed/care for the animals, ride horses, zip line, garden, climb hay bales, and farm equipment. You know, all those opportunities our city slicker kids rarely get to experience! MOM INSIDE SCOOP: Is Longmont too far to drive every day for a week? Fear not, Sunflower farms is open to the public and has great opportunities for the whole family. Spend a day experiencing life on the farm and pack a picnic lunch. Just don’t forget to register online before you go!Summer Camp Guide 2016 | Denver Metro Moms Blog


Are your older kids ready to fly the coop and explore our great state or a few weeks without you? Check out this amazing overnight camp just a short drive from Denver.

Specialty Camp

Engineering for Kids:

Summer Camp Guide 2016 | Denver Metro Moms BlogThe future is here, and the future is programming. Get your kids involved early! This camp is all about getting kids comfortable with programming. {I don’t even know what the means, but I know my kid should.} Your kids will be using computers to program LEGOS to move, learning about gears, motors, and mechanisms, and will be utilizing those problem solving skills they conveniently forget they have when Mom is around. Wink wink. MOM INSIDE SCOOP: Watching your kiddo build a robot out of LEGOS and program it on the computer so that it moves and makes you think your kid is a genius and you are an idiot. That’s ok. We all feel the same way. It also means that they’ll grow up to have a successful career and will have the means to support you. Mom win!


Art, Dancing, Music, & Drama:

The Arvada Center offers a ton of summer camps specific to arts, ceramics, ballet, photography, music, theater, etc., as well as age based packages that cover a range of arts related topics. MOM INSIDE SCOOP: And Dad scoop, and grandparent’s scoop – Many of week long classes have reception on Friday where you can see your kiddo’s art or watch their performances.

Bookworms, Math & Movie-lovers:

Some of the most unique summer camp offerings I found were through exl Learning. They’re offering classes on math, with a Star Wars twist, Mindcraft and coding, Lego stop-motion animation, and the coolest Harry Potter themed camp, that I wish I could even go! MOM INSIDE SCOOP: Combat summer break “brain drain!” These camps are so fun, they won’t even notice how much they’re learning!.

Have other great summer camp ideas? Let us know what we’re missing!


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Mom to a 3 ½ year old boy and 16 month old girl/boy twins, Liz Fendell is a recovering perfectionist hailing from St. Louis. Her current aspirations are showering three times a week and keeping all three of her precious munchkins alive. She survives on her ability to laugh at herself and with her nearest and dearest. Her new mantra is, “I am enough” and believes a healthy dose of humility and grace can get her through anything. And if that doesn’t work there’s always Plan B: witness protection. She exercises when she can and has recently pondered strapping her Fitbit to her 3 ½ year old son. Surely that kid is reaching 10,000 steps per day! A full time stay-at-home mom and talented lifestyle photographer {at Liz Fendell Photography}; she is passionate about capturing both the ordinary and the extraordinary moments in her clients’ lives.


  1. We gave Avid4 Adventure’s Colorado Mtn. Camp a try last year and our son loved it! He got a full sleep away camp experience and also enjoyed activities such as white water rafting, rock climbing, paddle boarding, etc. This year he was able to choose between a one week camp session or two and after such a wonderful experience last year, he selected to go for two weeks! Avid4 also offers several day camps around the Denver area for a wide variety of age groups. I can’t speak highly enough about this camp! It’s awesome!


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