Stimulating Summer Camps at 12 San Diego Museums

Written by Danielle Susalla Deery on Friday, May 27, 2016 - Read 3584 times

Stimulating Summer Camps at 12 San Diego Museums

Spark a lifelong love of museums by signing your kids up for a Museum Summer Camp this year. With 12 San Diego museums offering summer camps in 2016, you are bound to find the perfect camp for your children. Summer camps provide the opportunity for your kids to learn something new and deepen their appreciation for and understanding of art, science, nature, history and more. If you are looking for the best age-appropriate summer camp for your little one then read below to learn more about what San Diego museums have to offer. From science and nature camps to art and discovery camps, these engaging programs will stimulate your child's imagination.

The camps below are listed according to geographic region from the earliest to the latest dates: Balboa Park; Downtown San Diego; South County; La Jolla; North County.

BALBOA PARK (downtown San Diego)

Fleet Summer camp 2
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
Science Camps
Pre K-8th grade; June 13-August 19
619-238-1233 ext. 806
The Fleet offers a diverse selection of weekly, half-day and full-day summer camps that will stimulate your child’s curiosity and help them fall in love with science. Each camp incorporates the Fleet's exhibitions allowing kids to explore the museum. Camp themes include: Junior Scientists; Space Explorer; Chemistry in the Kitchen; Gross & Gooey Science; Body Basics; Energy Explorer; Super Solar System; Superhero Science; Wizards Workshop; Construction Crew; Spy Camp; Forces Everywhere!; Bugs, Rocks and the Wild; Ahoy! Arggg! Pirate Camp; eCamp; Magic for Muggles; Maker Camp; Robotics Garage; and Computer Programming-Modding Minecraft, among others.

Model Railroad Museum
Super Steam Camp
Kinder-8th grade; June 20-August 12
Campers will learn about model railroading and California’s railroads in this fun and interactive camp. From designing and constructing their very own model railroad layout to art projects and a field trip to the Balboa Park Miniature Railroad, kids will enjoy the principles behind how trains work in this educational week-long camp.

theNat Summer camp
San Diego Natural History Museum (theNAT)
Nature and Science Camps
Pre K-8th grade; June 20-August 26
Kids will love discovering dinosaurs and exploring nature's wonders at one of theNAT's camps this summer. Themes include: Digging into Dinosaurs, Ocean Wonders, Fossil Finders, Hooray! For Habitats, Sea Monsters and Beauties, Explore Balboa Park, The Science of Flight, Exhibit Makers, and Digital Storytelling among others. Half-day camps for pre-K and kindergarten, and full-day camps for first through eighth grades.

Japanese Friendship Garden
1st-8th grade; July 11-August 12
Campers will learn about Japanese art and culture through a variety of activities including bonsai pruning, flower arrangement, karate, language, taiko and more in this week-long half-day camp.

San Diego Air & Space Museum
Aerosummer Camps
1st-12th grade; July 11-August 19 (Camps still available August 1-19)
Explore the solar system, build and launch rockets or design your own flying car in some of the camps available at this museum. In these half-day, week-long summer programs kids will learn about air and space history and science through hands-on activities.


NCM summer camp 3
The New Children's Museum
Art & Creativity Camps
Ages 4-15; June 13-August 26
With an extensive range of camps for your little ones ranging from eco-art, textile arts, and murals to book making, creating musical instruments, and exploratory art making, your kids will learn new creative skills. Each camp provides hands-on art making activities and creative games with the opportunity for children to think, play and create in the Museum's galleries.

Living Coast
Living Coast Discovery Center, Chula Vista
Wildlife Day Camps
Ages 4-18; June 6-July 22
Kids and teens will enjoy hands-on nature fun and discovery with up-close animal encounters, nature hikes, kayaking, scientific and career exploration, arts/crafts, games and outdoor fun on San Diego Bay and the National Wildlife Refuge. Meet endangered sea turtles, sharks, stingrays, snakes, lizards, owls and more. Perfect for animal lovers!


Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Summer Learning Adventure Camp
Ages 4-15; June 27-August 26
From the classroom to the seashore, kids become scientific explorers in this fun, hands-on camp. Campers investigate marine habitats, create ocean art projects, learn about careers in oceanography, and combine the science and sports of surfing and snorkeling.

La Jolla Historical Society
Photography and Architecture Camps
6th-12th grade; July 5-29
If your child is constantly snapping photos with their phone, they might enjoy using a DSLR camera to capture the world around them in the Street Photography Camp. Campers will even get their own exhibition at the Outside the Lens Gallery space. In the Young Architects Camp, kids will learn about the principles of architecture through guided tours, hands-on drawing, modeling and computer workshops taught by practicing architects.

mcasd summer camp
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego La Jolla
Contemporary Art, Media & Process Camp
Ages 5-17; August 1-26
C.A.M.P. (Contemporary Art, Media & Process) invites kids to explore contemporary art through a series of week-long half-day or full-day art-making workshops led by local contemporary artists. Kids discover out-of-the-ordinary materials and learn about artists' processes as they discuss artwork in the Museum's galleries. Camper's artwork will be celebrated with a showcase exhibition.


Children's Discovery Museum, Escondido
Discovery Summer Camp
Ages 5-8; June 27-August 12
Explore, imagine, and experiment through hands-on science, art, and world culture activities in this Discovery Camp. This week-long day-camp offers themes such as Superheroes vs. Villains, Famous Artists, Science of Magic, Little Olympian, and Take the Stage.

San Diego Botanic Garden, Encinitas
Nature Camp
Grades 6-8; June 27-July 29
760-436-3036 x201
Spend the summer outdoors in this week-long half-day summer camp. Each week of the Nature Camp will focus on a different method of experiencing nature. Camps range from Nature Photography and Playful Survival Camp to Art Camp and Gardening.

Danielle Susalla Deery

Danielle Susalla Deery is an Independent Curator, Adjunct Art History Professor, San Diego museum aficionado, mother and former Director of Exhibits and Communications at Oceanside Museum of Art.

You can reach Danielle at