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Summer Camps for Kids

One-of-a-kind classes and camps are offered in beautiful Balboa Park for children, teens and adults. The behind-the-scenes summer adventures are wide-ranging, featuring hands-on classes, camps, seminars, explorations and games created by Park educators, performers and artists. Students have the opportunity to learn about varied disciplines, like dancing or bridge, sculpting or snakes, and even trains, planes, and dinosaurs.

Balboa Park summer education programs begin in mid-June and continue through August. Dates, times, and prices vary by institution. Registration will begin in March.

2016 Full Day Camps

San Diego Junior Theatre (JT)
1650 El Prado, Suite 208, San Diego, CA 92101
Half-day Camp: Pre-K only / Full-day Camp: Grades K thru 12
Junior Theatre is offering introductory to advanced one- to two-week day camps in voice, acting, and dance, which will culminate in an end-of-camp presentation. Every session will explore a different theme, so students are welcome to sign up for multiple sessions. Early drop-off and aftercare are available.
Full-day camps offered June 13 thru August 26.

theNAT - San Diego Natural History Museum
1788 El Prado San Diego, CA  92101
Half-day Camp: Pre-K
Full-day Camp: Grades 1 through 8
Dig for dinosaurs, unlock animal mysteries, and explore nature’s wonders. Camps include Museum exploration, garden hikes, animal visits, and encounters with real scientists. Join us for a week of fun, creativity, and friendship. Summer camp at the NAT is where it’s at!
Full-day camps offered June 20 thru August 26. No camps the week of July 4.

San Diego Zoo
2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
Grades Pre-K thru 12
The San Diego Zoo has wild adventures from A to Z. Camps include up-close animal encounters, behind-the-scenes experiences, games, crafts, and more. For the creative camper, we have special art focused programs. For the real adventure-minded camper we have overnight camps. For day camps kids can join us for one week, two weeks, or for a whole summer of fun!
Full-day camps offered June 20 thru August 26. No camps the week of July 4.

Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA)
1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
619.238.7559 •
Full day Camps: grades 1st thru 8th / half-day artist studio workshops for teens.
Learn about photography, video, animation, and much more with creative professional artists at MOPA!  Camps are great for all levels of experience and explore storytelling, image making, and idea sharing!
Full-day camps offered June 27 thru August 26. No camps the week of July 4. 

The San Diego Museum of Art
450 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
Grades K through 12
Develop your young artist’s creativity in a fun and stimulating environment in a week-long Summer Camp or Teen Summer Studio held at The San Diego Museum of Art’s Museum Art School. Classes are led by artist instructors and will include hands on art activities exploring a variety of media and trips to the Museum to view summer exhibitions.
Full-day workshops/camps offered July 25 thru August 26.

2016 Half-Day Collaborative Sessions

Many Park institutions offer collaborative programs, combining two half-day courses into a full day. A supervised lunch and escort to the second location create a special Balboa Park experience. To register for the half-day collaborative camps, see the 2016 Half-day Summer Camp Grid

Read each institution program description and choose what best fits your child’s interest and grade level.

  • Make a list of back-up programs before you call to register, just in case your child’s first choice is sold out.
  • Please contact each institution directly to register.
  • Please notify each institution that your child is participating in the full day collaboration.
  • Centralized registration is not provided.
  • Additional program information, including camp descriptions and registration fees, can be found by visiting each website or by calling each institution.

Half-Day Camp Options 

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center (FLT)
1875 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
619.238.1233 ext. 806 
Grades Pre-K thru 8
Explore, experiment, and discover.  Hands-on science topics include forensics, physics, the human body, robotics, DNA, and chemistry, as well as astronaut camp in a space station simulator. Interactive exhibits, IMAX films, and out-of-this-world instructors make challenging science projects fun.

San Diego Automotive Museum (SDAM)
080 Pan American Plaza, San Diego CA 92101
Grades 4-6
Learn about car culture, design and engineering. Create your own car designs and run your own models. Explore alternative automotive technologies, past, present, and future.

San Diego Civic Youth Ballet (CYB)
1650 El Prado, Suite 209, San Diego, CA 92101
Grades Pre-K thru 5
Daily ballet classes introduce students the art of ballet as well as the concepts of musicality and performance. Other camp activities include arts & crafts, jazz classes, performance rehearsals, and field trips to other cultural institutions in Balboa Park. Each week of camp culminates in an in-studio performance where family and friends are invited to see what students have learned. 

San Diego Model Railroad Museum (MRM)
1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 696-0199
Grades 1-8
SDMRM camps offer model railroading activities such as: exploration of trains past and present, scenery design, diorama creation, and the science behind train layout implementation. 5th-8th grade campers even build a fully functioning train layout. All campers take a behind the scenes tours at each of our 6 gigantic layouts, including our interactive solar-powered model railroad exhibit and go on a train-themed field trip. One week of full-day camp is offered for 5th thru 8th graders the week of August 8-12.

Spanish Village Morning Art (SV6)
1770 Village Place, Studio 6 & Studio 10, San Diego, CA 92101
Grades 1 thru 8
Discover clay sculpture and use a potter’s wheel. Then explore Balboa Park and collect natural objects to create walking sticks, animal masks, and more.

Spanish Village Afternoon Art (SV30)
1770 Village Place, Studio 30, San Diego • CA 92101
Grades 2 thru 8
Experience art in several different mediums, including Chinese brush painting, polymer clay, altered books, ceramics, and more. Each day is a new medium

San Diego Air & Space Museum (AIR)
2001 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101
619.234.8291 ext. 119
Grades 1 thru 12
Have a blast this summer at the San Diego Air & Space Museum with fun hands-on activities. Build rockets, launch hot air balloons, and fly aircraft simulators. Great fun for your future aviator or astronaut!

San Diego Museum of Man (SDMoM)
1350 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
619.239.2001 ext. 75
Grades K through 5
Explore the world of archaeology and anthropology at the Museum of Man! Discover what life was like in ancient civilizations of the Maya, the Egyptians, and people native to Southern California. Dig for artifacts, create original works of art, and go behind the scenes with our on-staff archaeologists to discover secrets hidden within our 100 year old museum!  

Japanese Friendship Garden (JFG)
2215 Pan American Road, San Diego, CA 92101
Grades 1 thru 8
Experience Japanese culture with fun activities at the JFG. Students will learn about “Life in Japan” the way it used to be, and also how it is in modern Japan.  There will be Japanese crafts, games, language, food, and other fun activities. Kids will also learn about our Garden and Japanese-style gardening. 

The San Diego Art Institute (SDAI)
1439 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
619.236.0011 •
Grades K thru 8th
Maximize your creative problem solving and imagination with SDAI half-day Summer Camps. In the summer of 2016, SDAI is thrilled to offer six different camp experiences exploring Photography, Public Art, Filmmaking, Parkeology, Constructivism, and Eco Art. Early registration is encouraged as we expect these camps to fill up quickly!