Just for Kids

Summer Camps We Love

Twelve fun activities that keep kids healthy, happy and sharp while school is out.

By Kim Doleatto April 6, 2021

When summer camps went on pause last year we had no idea how much we'd miss them. Thankfully, they’re back to keep kids moving, learning and making friends and memories for a lifetime. Many offer early bird pricing and have smaller group sizes to allow social distancing and are filling up fast. There are dozens to choose from, but check out this list of summer camps on our radar.

Science by the Sea at Emerson Point Preserve

This STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics)-based camp immerses kids in hands-on marine science activities like collecting and analyzing water samples, coding and getting close and personal with marine life. Added Bonus: It's free! Ages 12-15

Sarasota Fishing Camp

Beyond the thrill of the catch, kids learn how to tie basic knots, care for gear, boat safely, release fish properly, cast-net, select bait, identify and respect our local marine life and shores. Ages 8-14

The Manatee Performing Arts Center

Kids build confidence and communication skills through singing, acting, dancing and technical design, and parents enjoy a live performance at the end. Choose from three different sessions: 101 Dalmatians, Moana and Matilda. Ages 7 to 17


Kids explore Turtle Beach, Lido Beach and the mangroves as they live the true #saltlife hashtag with stand-up paddleboarding, surfing and ocean swimming. They also learn about ocean safety and marine biology, fostering an appreciation for wildlife and the environment. Ages 5-14

Sarasota Contemporary Dance

From newbies to intermediate-level movers and shakers, boys and girls groove to hip-hop, Afro-modern and jazz dances as they stay active, learn choreography and have fun. Parents enjoy a live performance at the end of the week. Ages 5-12


Kids of all music levels come together and make rock star dreams come true. Your child learns guitar, drum, and piano basics as the band prepares for its big rock concert. They'll learn the songs they love and give a performance for friends and family at the end of the week. Ages 8-17

Florida Studio Theatre

Creativity and expression flourish on stage through acting, dancing, singing, playwriting and improvisation. Children step out of their shells and learn empathy when they step into someone else's shoes to play a role. In the end, parents give a standing ovation when their child performs live in a play. Ages 4-17

Astro Skate

Kids stay busy all day with more than just skating. This camp includes crafts, kickball, dodgeball, a talent show, dress-up days and "bring your own bike or scooter day." Off-site field trips to the park, bowling lanes, the movies, laser tag and more make for a fun-packed day, week or more. Ages 5-11

Arts Ablaze

Art and crafts with themed weeks get kids dirty and exercise dexterity and creativity. Kids get the satisfaction that comes with creating their very own masterpieces doing ceramics, painting, paper crafting, weaving, collage and more. The day also includes an outdoor activity. Ages 6 and older

Circus Summer Camp

Coordination, focus and confidence get a boost as kids do acrobatics, teeter on the low wire, swing on the trapeze and learn to juggle. Take part in Sarasota's circus arts legacy for a creative way to stay fit and have fun. Ages 6-15

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature Summer Science

From Bigfoot to Stonehenge, natural disasters to extinct animal species, your child gets to unravel answers to the million and one questions they always seem to fit into a single day. Ages 7-11

State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota

Kids apply 21st-century skills with science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) and learn robotics and programming, 3-D printing, coding, drone control and etiquette, movie making and graphic design, spurring critical thinking they'll use for a lifetime. Ages 7 to 18

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