Calling All Kids

Summer’s in full swing, and if your children are eager for something new to do, consider one of these fun, educational camps designed to engage their interests and hone their talents, with options for every personality.

Animal Lovers

The Naples Zoo’s Summer Camp WILD offers week-long, daily camp sessions from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from July 10-August 7. Camps are split into three age groups—Nature Cubs (5-6), Leapin’ Lemurs (7-9), and Cheetah Champs (10-12)—to enjoy daily animal encounters and behind-the-scenes tours. Each week’s activities center around a specific theme, such as Animal Careers for future veterinarians and zookeepers to learn about working at a zoo, and Travel Around the World, for little adventurers

Young Creatives

At the Naples Art Association’s ARTScool program, kids ages five to 17 can learn a range of creative arts, with one-on-one instruction from accredited teachers. Sessions run through August 4 and feature activities including drawing, painting, clay hand-building, digital artwork, jewelry design, 3D sculpture assembly, and more. (org/classes/artscool)

Water Babies

Local nonprofit Ocean Kids offers daily and weekly camps at Lowdermilk Beach Park through August 4. Campers are introduced to water sports such as surfing, snorkeling, skimming, and stand-up paddleboarding, but they also learn safety skills that include CPR and first aid. The activities are designed for kids ages 6-14, with an end-of-summer party on August 17. (com)

Budding Botanists

Naples Botanical Garden’s Summer Camp in the Garden runs throughout July for kids entering grades 1-6. This year’s week-long themed camps range from Gardeners in the Kitchen, where campers can learn to grow their own seeds and harvest fruits and veggies, to Botanical Artists, where blossoming painters, drawers, and designers can get inspired by the garden’s beautiful blooms, butterflies, and scenery. (naplesgarden.org)

Drama Queens

With its STAR Academy program, Gulfshore Playhouse offers five-day camps from July 10-August 4, featuring singing, dancing, and acting for kids and teens ages 6-18. From Broadway Bootcamps where little ones learn songs from classic musicals to audition-only programs and intensives for teens, each camp culminates with a final recital or performance for campers to show off their well-rehearsed talents. (gulfshoreplayhouse.org/star-academy-summer-2017)

Rising Chefs

Sur la Table hosts five-day cooking classes for young chefs, ages 8-17, throughout July and August. Aside from learning kitchen safety and cooking fundamentals, kids are taught how to make everything from ginger chicken to margherita pizza at the Confident Cooking camp, while Sweet Adventures teaches little bakers how to make treats such as cherry hand pies, summer berry tartlets, and monkey bread. (com)

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