Here Are Some of the Best Summer Camps in Austin in 2018

On the last-minute hunt for a good camp or two to break up the long weeks of vacation? Well, you’re in luck! Here’s a list of local camps that we love, including several camps that are actually free!

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Photo via US Air Force, Creative Commons licensed.

Free and Low-Cost Camps

APD Youth Summer Camp
Contact Info Below for Dates, Times and Location 
Youth Summer Camp is partnership with Kealing Middle School. School aged children enjoy four weeks of free summer camp. Participants experience activities, such as bowling, swimming, volleyball and dodge ball and immerse themselves in the study of subjects such as art, history, social justice, the environment, leadership, decision making, and time and money management. Learn how to participate in this program by calling Eric Oakmon by phone 512-974-5519 or email. Cost: Free.

Austin Summer Playgrounds Program
June 11 through August 3  | Various Times | Multiple Locations
Summer Playgrounds is a free drop-in program for children to participate in supervised activities throughout the day. Summer Playgrounds staff provide quality recreational experiences that promote creativity, teamwork and healthy lifestyles. Activities include organized sports, arts and crafts, games, team building and nutrition lessons. Cost: Free.

Camp Grace
July 14 | from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. | Austin Oaks Church, 4220 Monterey Oaks Blvd.
Austin Oaks Church hosts Camp Grace, a free day camp for kids with special needs and their siblings. Join their group on Facebook to stay connected.

Cycle the City Camp 
June 11 through 15 and June 18 through 22 | from 1 to 4 p.m. | Westenfield Park, 2008 Enfield Rd.
Cycle the City Camp will start with a review of all bicycle safety procedures as well as ways for bikers to maintain their bikes. From Westenfield Park, we will head on our bikes down the Johnson Creek Trail and other bike lanes to popular destinations around Austin.  We will visit Zilker Park, Barton Springs, Austin Pets Alive, Pease Park, Austin Nature Center, and other great destinations like these.  Bikers will not be on their bikes for the entire time, but will also get a chance to hike around, swim, get tours, and have lots of fun! Open to upcoming 1st to 5th grade students (6th, 7th & 8th graders can attend as junior coaches at half the rate).  Cost: $22/ week or $50/ day.

Family Clean Creek Camp
June 18 through 21 and July 9 through 11  | from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. | Multiple Locations
Do your kids need more stream time this summer?  Parents, guardians, and youth leaders, join your 9-14 year old children in exploring and beautifying Austin creeks, springs and caves. We’ll hike, paddle, wade, and spelunk all while learning about the plants and critters that inhabit these areas. Cost: Free.

The Fellowship Church of Hutto iGlorify Sports Camp (Hutto)
July 23 through 26 | from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. | 6655 Hwy 79, Hutto
All elementary entering 3rd – 6th grade are welcome to join at the Hutto Campus as we explore the joys of sports and how we can Glorify God through our talents. Cost: $25.

The Fellowship Church of Round Rock iWorship Arts Camp (Round Rock)
July 30 through Aug 2 | from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., July 30 1 Aug 1, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Aug 2  | 3379 Gattis School Rd., Round Rock
All elementary entering 1st – 6th grade are welcome to join us at the Round Rock Campus to explore the joys of creative arts and how to Worship God through our talents.  Pizza lunch will be included on Thursday August 2. Cost: $20 – 35.

Fit & Fun Summer Camps 
June 11 through 15 and June 18 through 22 | from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. | WAYA, 1314 Exposition Blvd.
Austin Youth Fitness camps are all about being active, having fun, learning running forms with drills, and playing active games. Fit & Fun Summer Camp typically starts with a fun workout that may take us on a distance run to Westenfield Park, practice pacing, and work on running fundamentals. After our workout, campers will get a healthy snack that will be a hands-on creation.  The last part of camp will be geared toward having fun! Campers will participate in games such as capture the flag, kickball, knockout, and dodgeball.  Open to current pre-kinder to 5th grade (6th to 8th grade students can attend as junior coaches at half the rate). Cost: $22/ week or $50/ day.

Ranger ACE Construction Camp
June 11 through 15 & June 18 through 23 | from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. | Driveway Austin, 8400 Delwau Rd.
This fun and educational construction camp is free (with a refundable $50 application fee) to qualified young adults between the ages of 13 to 15. The camp features two five-day sessions this year: June 11 — June 15; and June 18 – June 23. Lunch and snacks will be provided daily. In addition, transportation from specific middle schools to Driveway Austin will be provided for students in need.

YMBL Austin Sunshine Camps
June 5 through Aug 3 | Times Vary | Multiple Locations
Through the generous support of the Young Men’s Business League, Austin Sunshine Camps has provided free fun-filled overnight summer camp programs for the children of the greater Austin area since 1928. All summer camp programs are provided free of charge for all campers who meet the 2017-2018 free or reduced school meals income eligibility guidelines. Each camp session brings campers together for five days and four nights of exciting outdoor activities including canoeing, hiking, swimming, science, nature, cooking, arts & crafts, ropes course, and team building activities. Transportation to camp is available on the first day only. However, transportation is limited and is first come, first served. In addition, campers are provided three meals and two snacks a day.

Other Fee Based Camps

American Robotics Academy
Various Dates | Full Day: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or Half Day: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. / 1 to 4 p.m. | Multiple Locations
What does it take to create a remote controlled robot that can walk, drive and turn in any direction? Reach out for, grab, throw or release objects on? Move and act as you design and build them to do? A little bit of learning and lots of fun! American Robotics Academy aims to excite, inspire and motivate children about the importance of robotics technology. Hands on classes offer an introduction to the fundamentals of engineering design, helping children understand “how things work.” Held in a friendly, sports like atmosphere, students work in age appropriate teams and learn how to design, build and test remote controlled miniature robots. Cost: Full day: $325/week (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) Half Day: $175/week (9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.)

ATX Kids Club
Various Dates | Various Times | Various Locations
At ATX Kids Club the mission is to inspire youth to fearlessly explore and become independent, self-confident individuals through year-round educational and health-minded field trip adventures. Kids gain self confidence by learning how to explore their own city through urban adventures with community partner, CapMetro. Through these adventures, ATX Kids Club shows kids that Austin is truly accessible to all. Kids will also explore the history and beauty of the Texas Hill Country with guided van excursions.Through these experiences, ATX Kids Club provides campers with a sense of self, sense of place and sense of adventure. Cost: $325

Austin Artery
Various Dates | Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. | Various Locations
The Austin Artery is a unique arts camp that uses art as a tool to enhance math, writing skills and emotional well-being. They help students develop the courage to paint, (or sculpt, or illustrate, or write…)  by focusing on the creative PROCESS rather than the product. Your child’s love of learning, critical thinking skills, and ability to collaborate will blossom in their programs. Camps are hosted at four locations: Austin International School (North), Whole Life Learning Center (South), and Austin Home Base Academy (central) and Good Shepherd School (Cedar Park). Cost: $250/ week.

Baylor Scott & White Healthcare Colt McCoy Pro Football Camp (Pflugerville)
June 26 to 27 | from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | Pflugerville Stadium – The Pfield, 1440 W. Pecan St., Pflugerville
Throughout his two-day camp, Colt McCoy and our coaches will offer tips and hands-on instruction, including lectures, fundamental football skills stations, contests, and non-contact games in a high-energy, fun, and positive environment. Campers will be placed in small groups by age to ensure that each child gets maximum instruction. The camp will be staffed by some the area’s top high school and college coaches. Cost: $149

Coldtowne Theater Summer Camp
Various Dates | Various Times | ColdTowne Theater, 4803 Airport Blvd.
Excused Absence and Move Your Tale’s Summer  Camps provide kids and teens with opportunites to create, collaborate and explore through performance. Taught by some of Austin’s best comedic minds, these camps are a seriously fun way to spend those school free days. Each week explores a new theme or skill set. All levels of experience welcome. Cost: $175 – 295

Creative Action Summer Camp 
Various Dates | Various Times | Multiple Locations
Creative Action offers fun, engaging, and exciting summer camps for ages 5 – 11! Led by experienced staff, our camps are offered at three convenient locations in North Central, East, and South Austin and include a variety of themes to choose from all summer long. While in a safe and welcoming environment, we empower campers to envision and create their own films, perform on stage, and explore the visual arts. Cost: $295 – 590.

Summer Spark
Various Dates | from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with extended hours from 3:30 to 6 p.m. | Multiple Locations
At Summer Spark day camps, your children come alive as they engage in weekly creative problem solving challenges. With packed schedules, powerful media everywhere, and performance pressure on schools, we believe that a fundamental component of a strong foundation is missing in the lives of many children today. The ability to tackle a problem with no set solution – to think creatively and flexibly, to struggle, fail, and try again, to test, revise, and reiterate. Cost: $350/ week. The cost of Extended Hours is $75 per child, per week.

Thinkery Camps
Various Dates | from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. | Multiple Locations
Thinkery Camp programs provide a creative, safe and challenging environment for campers to expand their problem solving potential—and have a whole lot of fun! In each weeklong camp, Pre-K–5th grade campers engage in playful learning experiences and develop critical thinking skills in a collaborative environment. Cost: $264 – 385.

YMCA Summer Camp
Various Dates | Various Times | Multiple Locations
YMCA Summer Camp offers children and teens, ages 4-14, a safe, exciting, and memorable day camp experience.  Kids have the opportunity to build self-confidence, independence, and creativity, and parents have peace of mind knowing your kids are in a safe and enriching place.  Camps are offered throughout the Greater Austin community, so whether you’re in Travis, Hays, or Bastrop, we have a positive, fun, and enriching camp atmosphere close by.  Cost: Fees vary. Member rates are discounted but non-members are welcome to register for these programs.

Zach Theater Summer Camps
Various Dates | Various Times | Zach Theater, 1510 Toomey Rd.
Performing arts camps for ages 3 to 18. Sessions include musical theater class, acting camp, dance intensive, Broadway kids and more. Cost: $195 – 390.

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About the Author

Dani Dudek
Dani Dudek is an Emmy-winning marketer who has been active professionally in the entertainment industry for two decades. She has mastered the art of celebrity spotting across the country, but does so best in Austin, where she runs the website ATXGossip.com. With a special eye for even the most minor of celebs, she is basically Shazam and IMDB together in human form.
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