Super Hip Summer Camps

May 28, 2014 |
Swimming is a part of UA Rec Center's “A” Camp.  photo: James S. Wood/courtesy UA Campus Recreation

Swimming is a part of UA Rec Center’s “A” Camp.
photo: James S. Wood/courtesy UA Campus Recreation

It’ll be no sweat getting your kids’ minds off the heat if you enroll them in one, or several, of these sizzling summer camps! Pique their interests in arts and theatre, music, science, sports, nature, bicycles, dance and radio from one or more of these 20 organizations. Children look forward to summer all year, so help make theirs memorable and educational with these great offerings.

Arizona Onstage Productions
Hosts the Frozen Summer Camp where children, divided by ages 6-9 and 10-13, will be working with professional actors, singers and choreographers to learn songs, scenes, dances, characters and costumes in order to showcase an original musical production based on the hit animated movie Frozen. The two sessions are June 2-13 and June 16-27, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., at 3244 E. Speedway Blvd. Cost is $450/session. Find out more at, click on Summer Camp.

Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
Home to 21 acres of pristine Sonoran Desert at 2021 N. Kinney Rd., is an ideal locale for youthful inquiry, learning and growth. Camps include two sessions of the Museum Explorers Camp for grades one to six, where attendees can “observe live animals, conduct science experiments, make cool crafts, create art with the Museum’s Art Institute, sample desert foods, hike in the desert and more,” says the website. Dates are July 14-17 and July 21-24, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. and costs run $175/session for members, $200/session for non-members. Kids entering grades seven to nine can participate in Earth Camp and learn about the “Sonoran Desert ecosystem and current environmental issues while hiking, camping, doing field research and exploring our beautiful desert.” Sessions are June 9-13 and 16-20 and cost $1000 for non-members, $900 for members. Registration details are at or call 883-1380.

Rehearsal during a past ATC Summer on Stage. photo: Tim Fuller

Rehearsal during a past ATC Summer on Stage.
photo: Tim Fuller

Arizona Theatre Company’s
Summer on Stage and Summer Backstage are, according to the press release, five-week theatre training programs where “Arizona high school students can experience nearly every aspect of theatre production–from acting, voice, dance and movement to playwriting, theatrical design, directing and sets, lighting, costumes and sound.” Classes are at the UofA and Temple of Music and Art. “The programs run concurrently and collaboratively from June 23–July 25, Monday through Friday, culminating in performances during the final week at the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave.” Late registration deadline is June 13 at $950/performer for Summer on Stage and $450/student for Summer Backstage. Participation is limited. Find out more by contacting Education Manager April Jackson, 884-8210 x7513, or visit

BICAS' Build A Bike students. photo: Troy Neiman

BICAS’ Build A Bike students.
photo: Troy Neiman

BICAS (Bicycle Inter-Community Art & Salvage)
Has Build-a-Bike, five-day (Tuesday-Saturday) classes scheduled this summer, with four sessions between June 3 and August 16 at 44 W. 6th St. For $80, students ages 13 and up will be taught “how to properly disassemble, clean and completely rebuild a bicycle. In pairs, students take apart and rebuild a BICAS project bicycle, and will learn to rebuild bearing systems, replace cables and housing for breaks and shifters, install chains and properly adjust derailleurs. Upon completion of this fun course, each student receives a $40 BICAS credit to spend on shop time to fix up their own bicycle,” according to an email from Kristin McRay of the BICAS Education department. Register, and find out more, at or call 628-7950. Also check out for other classes.


El Group Youth Cycling & Pima County DOT Bicycle & Pedestrian Program
Tucson’s Youth Summer Bike Camps provides campers ages 7-13 an opportunity to build “confidence, knowledge and skills in a safe, fun, peer-led environment,” according to the website. Kids are taught riding skills, mechanical knowledge and bike handling, as well as health and wellness, environmental stewardship, air quality issues and recycled art through a series of hands-on experiences. Each week-long session (June 2-6, 9-13 and July 21-25), from 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m., takes place at 600 N. 9th Ave. and costs $150/child; scholarships available. has all the pertinent information.

Eva Halifax participating in a past "Art of Summer" at The Drawing Studio. photo: Tanya Rich

Eva Halifax participating in a past “Art of Summer” at The Drawing Studio.
photo: Tanya Rich

The Drawing Studio
Hosts the Art of Summer, at 33 S. 6th Ave., featuring art programs for ages 9-18 that provide “an opportunity for young people to explore the visual world and develop their personality through art.” Sessions start at the beginning of June and run through mid-July, and include a variety of art forms taught in both immersion and blitz classes. Tuition ranges from $100 to $330 per person depending on the course and age group. The “Art of Summer” exhibition, July 19-26, showcases the artwork created by attendees with an opening reception on July 19. Space is limited and programs fill quickly. Find details on specific camp dates, prices and how to register at or ring 620-0947.

Eller College of Management
Presents DigiDudes and TechDivas, summer technology camps for kids entering fifth through eighth grades that cover animation, web design, social media, programming and “My Dream Business.” It also informs children about internet safety, cryptography and network security as well as honing “skills such as team-building, collaboration, presentation, video development and design.” The five day sessions run weekly through June, from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 pm, at McClelland Hall, 1130 E. Helen St. The fee is $325/session. Further information is at

Jayla Stevenson at KXCI during the 2011 DJ Training Program. Photo: KXCI staff

Jayla Stevenson at KXCI during the 2011 DJ Training Program.

KXCI Community Radio, 91.3FM’s
Annual DJ Training Program runs in June, providing budding music aficionados an introductory knowledge of broadcast equipment and rules, music appreciation and selection, creating music sets and public speaking. For ages 9-12, training is June 23-26 from 9 a.m.-noon and their live broadcasts are on Sunday, June 29 from noon-6p.m. It all takes place at 220 S. 4th Ave. Costs run $100-$150. Information is at or contact Amanda at 623-1000 x17,

Maker House
Hosting camps that offer hands-on activities which “allow children to explore the things that interest them most; encouraging children to investigate, teaching them to follow lines of questioning that lead to new discoveries, to solve problems and trust in their intellectual ability and creative instincts.” Programs began at the end of May, run through July and feature a range of topics for kids 7-15 that include: creative writing, puppetry, photography, musical instrument design, game design, electronics, robotics and drawing and painting. The five-day sessions are $250 each and run from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Registration and further information is at

The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures
Is set to take children on imaginative adventures with seven weekly sessions, for children 5-7 and 8-12, between June 9 and August 1. The camps are from 9 a.m.-noon, at 4455 E. Camp Lowell Dr., and themes include: Fairy Mushroom, Mad Laboratory, Fairytale Theatre, Mini Master Chef, Under the Sea, House on Wheels, Castle in the Clouds. Weekly costs are $90, $80 for members; an afternoon club house is available from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. for $20, $15 for members, where kids can make miniature arts and crafts, play games and practice yoga and gymnastics. Details, and registration forms, are available at, 881-0606 x105.


Sports activities take place at Playformance.

A youth fitness and athletic development school, has a wide-variety of special guests and activities for youth in grades one to eight during its weekly sessions through August 8. Soccer, swimming, basketball, juggling, drama, gymnastics, martial arts and cooking is just a partial list of what kids can expect to do! The days run from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. for $250/week or $50/day; half days are also available (9 a.m.-noon or noon-3 p.m.) for $150/week or $30/day at 119 E. Toole Ave. More information, and registration is available at or call 271-1445.

Rocks and Ropes
Both locations, Downtown and Foothills, are hosting summer climbing camps for children of all abilities. Rock 1 is geared for 5- to 7-year-olds, Rock 2 is designed for kids 8 to 10, and Rock 3 is for those 11 to 15. Weekly sessions run from June 2 to August 1. Prices and times vary depending on the camp. Visit to find out more for both locations or call 882-5924 for the Downtown space, 330 S. Toole Ave., and 209-2562 for the Foothills, 8975 E. Tanque Verde Rd., site.

Youth exploring the "Texture Tour on 4th Avenue" with Tucson Arts Brigade. photo: Michael Schwartz

Youth exploring the “Texture Tour on 4th Avenue” with Tucson Arts Brigade.
photo: Michael Schwartz

Tucson Arts Brigade
Is working to instill social justice in youth through its Arts & Civic Engagement summer program. Taking place on Mondays from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., children 11 to 17 work with “professional artists to design, install and maintain works of art” for “community arts projects like cement benches, mosaics, community builds, murals and eco-art,” says the website. The “pass the hat/by donation” creative collaborations happen at the Brigade’s office at 738 N. 5th Ave. #101. Get more information at, 623-2119 or email

Tucson Botanical Gardens
Is gearing up for its Power Plants Summer Camps, intended for youth in grades one to six. Sessions are June 9-13 and July 7-11, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. daily at 2150 N. Alvernon Way. The website explains that the children will “gain a renewed admiration for nature” in the Garden’s tranquil setting. The campers will: “Learn about Sonoran Desert natural and cultural history, water conservation, and plant and insect biology; practice caring for a garden and preparing healthy meals with locally grown foods, express their creativity with nature photography, painting, and journaling; build outdoor recreation skills to become more comfortable spending time outside, and play games and have fun outdoors.” Price per session is $145/non-members and $120 for members. Call 326-9686 for further information; register online at

Tucson Girls Chorus
Hosts its Oh My Glee! Musical Theatre camps on June 16-20 and June 22-26, which focuses on art, dance, music and theatre for boys and girls, ages 6 to 15. The camps are $230/week, and the days run from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday at 4020 E. River Rd. Register and find out more at, call 577-6064 or email

Tucson Museum of Art’s
Summer Arts Program is designed to allow children ages 5-13 to express their creativity and produce original works of art with inspiration culled from the museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions. The wide-range of weekly classes, which run from June 2 to August 1, include drawing, painting, sculpting, collage and printing on topics such as: clay and folk art, Chinese and Modern, galleries and buildings, elements and earth, wearables and comics, music and animals, nature and drawing, masks and watercolor, plus much more. The weekly fees are $100/student for members, $155/student for non-members and take place at 140 N. Main Ave. Find details and register at

UA Rec Center's “A” Camp. Photo: James S. Wood

UA Rec Center’s “A” Camp. Photo: James S. Wood

University of Arizona’s Campus Recreation
Is in its 19th year of hosting “A” Camp, which offers weekly sessions through August 1 that aim to engage 5- to 11-year-olds in activities that include art, dance, sports, swimming and games along with educational topics, featuring: sustainability, kindness, science and more. Pricing for the day-long sessions ranges from $160-$220 per week, per student. Descriptions and locations are online at; email regarding deposits.

University of Arizona Museum of Art
Is hosting Art Sprouts, an art-making and literacy event for families with children ages 2-5, where children can have a unique experience exploring priceless works of art, reading stories and poetry, listening to music, moving their bodies and creating their own hands-on artworks! The events are on June 18, July 16, and August 13 and each date has two sessions from which to choose: from 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. or 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Parental attendance and advanced registration is required. Contact Olivia Miller at, or call 626-9899. Free with admission costs: $5/general; free for members, ages 18 & under, students, active military, and UA employees with ID.

YMCA of Southern Arizona
Is running a bevy of programs at its several city-wide locations. Camps are based on ages and include: kindergarten summer camp, ages 4-5; full-day themed summer camp, ages 5-12; specialty summer camp, ages 4-16; and a Leaders in Training program for ages 13-16. Visit and click on “summer camp” or check in with your neighborhood YMCA for complete information on times, schedules and costs.

Zuzi Dance Company
Offers two summer camps through June and July. The High Flyin’ Arts Camp, for kids between 7 and 15, has two, 2-week sessions from June 2-13 and July 7-18. The website states that the literature based art camp explores the performing arts of music, aerial dance and creative movement as well as theater, writing, drama, visual arts and costume design. It will culminate in an integrative performance. Cost is $400/student per session. Zuzi’s Move it! Dance Camp is a 1-week intensive dance camp for the serious student, ages 9-15, covering several dance and movement forms for all experience levels. There are two sessions, June 23-27 and July 21-25. Cost is $200 a camper. All sessions are from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at 738 N. 5th Ave. Get more details by calling 629-0237 or visiting

Students learn a variety of moves at Zuzi's summer dance camps. photo: Bethany Lusk

Students learn a variety of moves at Zuzi’s summer dance camps.
photo: Bethany Lusk

Category: Arts, Community