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 chess, 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.
2014 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 day camps in voice, acting, and dance, which will culminate in an end-of-camp celebration with peers. Students may sign-up for the entire summer since each session features different curriculum. Early drop-off and aftercare is available. Teaching staff are professionals who work in the field of theatre.
San Diego Natural History Museum: TheNAT (NAT)
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 Museum trained naturalists for a week of fun, creativity and friendship. Summer camp at theNAT is where it’s at!
San Diego Zoo
2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
Grades Pre-K thru 12
The San Diego Zoo has wild things from A to Z. Camps include up-close animal encounters, off-exhibit excursions, games, crafts, and more. For an ADVENTURE with a capitol "A" join teen Survivor Challenge program and for the art-at-heart campers there are special art focused camps. Kids can join for one week, two weeks, or a whole summer of fun.
The San Diego Art Institute’s Art Department
3830 Ray Street, San Diego, CA 92104
Grades 1st thru 6th: Discover, imagine, and explore your creativity this summer at the San Diego Art Department, a program of the San Diego Art Institute. Our summer camps take place in the professional art studios of our North Park facility. The hands-on workshops provide students grades 1st thru 6th, the opportunity to let their artistic expression flow through painting, drawing, comic illustration, sculpture, watercolors, and much more.
2014 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 2014 half-day 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 Civic Youth Ballet (CYB)
1650 El Prado, Suite 209, San Diego, CA 92101
Grades Pre-K thru 5
LEARN. GROW. PERFORM! Daily ballet classes introduce students to the art of ballet as well as the concepts of musicality and performance. Other camp activities include arts and 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. .
Museum of Photographic Arts (MoPA)
1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
Grades 1 thru 12
Explore the art of photography and filmmaking at MoPA’s half-day summer camps. These hands-on workshops allow students to discover techniques of filmmaking and photography, while creating fun projects through a variety of themes.
San Diego Model Railroad Museum (MRM)
1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
Campers enjoy a week of building their own layouts, model railroad mechanics, science, culture and history while exploring the museum’s exhibits. Older campers create scenery, build models and get to go behind the scenes of gigantic layouts and take a field trip to the Santa Fe Depot
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. Build rockets, launch hot air balloons, and fly aircraft simulators. Our camps put you in the pilot’s seat.
Mountain Lake Chess Camp (CHS)
2225 6th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
Grades K thru 12
International Chess Master, Larry Evans, teaches to all ages and levels. Practice combines theory with tournament play, casual play, and team events on a life-sized chess set. Children compete in an exciting, cumulative merit forum that rewards participation. Every camper gets prizes and a trophy.
The San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA)
1450 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
Grades K thru 5 and 9 thru 12
Develop young artist’s creativity in a fun and stimulating environment in a week-long, morning or afternoon half day Museum Art School Summer Camp or Teen Summer Studio.
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.
San Diego Museum of Man (SDMoM)
1350 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
619.239.2001 ext. 37
Grades K through 8
Campers explore the world of archaeologists, Egyptologists, forensic scientists and more! Join summer camp at the Museum of Man to unearth the histories and mysteries of the world. Campers will investigate mummy mysteries, go behind the scenes with curators and scientists, and even discover the origins of a superhero!
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.
San Diego Bridge Academy for Youth (SDBAY)
3111 6th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103
Grades 4 thru 12:
Learn to play bridge – an exciting game of skill sure to entertain and fascinate. Bridge, a partnership game requiring coded communication and teamwork, is also a game of strategy, requiring creativity, logic and critical thinking. Taught by San Diego Bridge Academy for Youth (SDBAY) founder and champion bridge enthusiast, David Walters. Instruction is provided in a relaxed, easy-going atmosphere with lots of play time. Breaks and refreshments provided. Minimum two week commitment.