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Summer Splash

You probably don’t want to think about it — summer. It’s hard to believe that it’s time to start planning, especially since June seems like a ways off. Believe us, it’s not. And you have to start early to get your pick of some of the bay area’s best summer camps. We’re making it easier on you with this helpful guide that covers camps from Brandon to Wesley Chapel and beyond.

Best Summer Camps Tampa



701 Channelside Drive, Tampa; 813-273-4015

Join the excitement! Get NAUI open water certified during this SCUBA camp for 12-15 year olds. Ages 10-14 can participate in travel camps, enjoying activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, fishing and tubing around Tampa Bay. On location camps for ages 6-9 include science experiments, field trips and the opportunity to see live animals. AquaTots and AquaKids programs for 3-6 year olds include crafts, games and live animals. Register online!


Summer on Bayshore

Academy of the Holy Names

3319 Bayshore Blvd., Tampa; 813-839-5371

Academy of the Holy Names offers Summer on Bayshore, an open enrollment program, from June 4through July 20. The program includes Camp Jaguar, a themed day camp for students in preK3 through fourth grader, as well as a variety of individual week sessions for prekindergarteners through 12th graders. Full and half-day sessions are available. Complete session information and registration available online.


Ballerina Princess Camps

The Dance Center

161 E. Bloomingdale Ave., Brandon; 813-684-4282, 

Ballerina Princess Camps are week-long sessions set for July and include a daily ballet class. Camps will focus on their own princess ballet — Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, or Nutcracker — and have daily age-appropriate activities, including arts and crafts. The first 50 dancers registered get a free ballerina princess T-shirt. Class size is limited.


Berkeley Summer 2012

4811 Kelly Road, Tampa; 813-885-1673

For more than 30 years, Berkeley summer programs have helped children explore new subjects, develop their creativity, perfect techniques on the playing field and make lasting friendships along the way. Berkeley Summer provides the perfect opportunity to focus, reinforce, enrich, improve and enjoy. Every student benefits from the personalized attention, meaningful activity and the chance to indulge his talents.


BeYOUty Camp

12502 USF Pine Drive, Tampa, FL 33612 (Shriner’s Auditorium at USF); 813-309-3300

“Being You” is Beautiful…. BeYOUty Camp is the ultimate self-esteem camp just for young girls! This camp is specifically designed to empower girls ages 8 years old and up…. It’s 5 days of life-changing fun. From the minutes the camp starts, it is everything “GIRL.” From celebrity speakers to fun self-esteem building activities, girls discover who they are in a healthy, safe, and productive environment. Girls learn about what makes them beautiful, including the beauty of helping others. Supported by two non-profit programs, the Teen Edge and Shriners Hospitals for Children, every girl will have the opportunity to earn 5 to 10 hours of community service that week, too! Plus, all the proceeds from the camp will benefit the Teen Edge’s Grounded-4-Life Program and help sponsor Shriners patients during the camp.


Busch Gardens Adventure Camps

3000 E. Busch Blvd., Tampa; 888-800-5447,

Busch Gardens offers a variety of camps. Resident camps marry the best of Busch Gardens’ offerings into multi-day, sleep-away programs for students in grades four through college. From single-day to week-long adventures, day camps provide campers in prekindergarten through ninth grade with hands-on, educational experiences with animals and the outdoors. Sleepover camps are one-night overnights perfect for groups and students in first through 12th grade who are looking for enriching up-close encounters with amazing animals and fun crafts and activities.


Camp IDS

12015 Orange Grove Drive, Tampa; 813-961-3087

At Independent Day School’s summer camp, students can try archery or filmography in the morning and dabble in painting or French cooking in the afternoon. From musical theater to matball, more than 60 half and full-day camps ensure everyone has a great time. Certified teachers serve as lead counselors. Dates are June 11 through July 27. Free morning drop-off at 7:15 a.m. After-care from 3-6 p.m. and bus transportation are available for a fee.


Camp Bayshore

3909 S. MacDill Ave, Tampa; 813-839-4297

Camp Bayshore is a loving, caring, fun-filled Christian day camp for children ages 3 through sixth grade. The summer session is 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 4 through Aug. 3. Tuition is $175 per week, and includes all programs. Participants will enjoy movies, skating, cookouts, museums, art, music, beach outings and more! Registration opens in April, with forms available online.


Campo Italiano

1731 East Seventh Ave., Tampa; 813-248-3316

This day camp, open in June, will expose your children to everything Italian. They’ll explore culture through music, games and more. Space is very limited.


Carrollwood Cultural Center

4537 Lowell Road, Tampa; 813-269-1310

From June 11 through Aug. 17, campers ages 4 to 12 will participate in arts-based activities with a focus on the circus! Little ringmasters will have an opportunity to create balloon art, learn magic tricks, juggle, mime and more! Special activities including Lego engineering and video game animation also are available. Full and half-day camps are available. Registration is open.


Carrollwood Day School

Various Tampa locations; 813-920-2288

For campers entering first through 12th grade, week-long camp sessions offer an array of activities from sports to art to robotics! All camps are $150 or $250 a week! Sign up online or contact Camp Director Donna Holyman at for details.


Glazer Children’s Museum

110 W. Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa


Camp Connect welcomes children ages 4 through 10. There’s a full spectrum of fun and educational themes for every age, from science to art to history. Camps will run all summer starting June 11. Space is limited.


Rice Psychology Group

3802 Ehrlich Road, Suite 310, Tampa; 813-969-3878  
It’s summer camp for your brain. Participants will receive individualized computer-based cognitive training to improve attention and focus, self-control, working memory, processing speed and conceptual reasoning.  High school students wanting to improve memory and speed for college entrance exams should consider the program.


The Goddard School

Various Tampa locations

At The Goddard School, summer is full of fun and learning. Energetic teams of teachers plan developmentally appropriate activities to instill a lifelong love of learning. Children are exposed to science and nature, arts and crafts, drama, cooking, manners, computers and technology, literature and language, music and movement, sports and games, and special visitors that provide exciting learning opportunities in a safe and secure environment.


History Adventures

Tampa Bay History Center

801 Old Water St., Tampa; 813-228-0097

Paint, dance, and swashbuckle your way through Tampa’s past! Campers explore each week-long theme through hands-on activities, arts & crafts, games, music, literature, and interactions with historians and other experts. Summer 2012 themes include: Art Infusion,Viva Tampa!American Girls, and Pirates and Explorers. TBHC’s History Adventure Camps are open to children ages 8-11. Pre-registration is required.


In The Breeze

7514 Gardner Road, Tampa; 813-264-1919

We have been teaching horsemanship at it’s finest in the Tampa Bay Area since 1993.  Every child will have their very own horse.  We ride at 10am and at 2pm every camp day.  CALL FOR BROCHURE.  Download application from out website.  Special Prices good until 15th of May.  7:30am-6:00pm, Ages 12-16, $25 a day   LIMITED TO 10 CAMPERS, 8am-5pm, Ages 8-11, $50 a day,  LIMITED TO 9 CHILDREN and 9:30am-3:30pm, Ages 5, 6, & 7, $75 a day AND LIMITED TO 4 CHILDREN.  Cerification Classes based on a 10 day schedule.



1619 W. Snow Circle, Hyde Park Village; 813-872-7603

KidzArt is a fun and dynamic drawing-based program that encourages discovery and self-expression in a safe environment! The summer camps are designed to provide each student with a unique experience that nurtures their individual creative spirit while building friendships, gaining artistic understanding and – most importantly – having fun!


Mary Jo’s Sizzlin’ Summer Camps

15906 Mapledale Blvd., Tampa; 813-969-0240

Experience a summer of dance (ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, acrobatics), acting, musical theater, voice and music. The fun is for ages 3 and older. The weekly themes include Princess and Pirates, Beach Bash, Dancing Divas & Dudes, Tampa;s Got Talent, Movie Moves and In the Jungle! Sign up online. Sessions are June 18-29 and July 9 through Aug. 3.


Music Showcase and The Florida Academy of Performing Arts

402 Oakfield Drive, Brandon; 813-685-5998

Camps include musical theater for ages 5 and older. Shows include Fiddler on the Roof, Little Mermaid, High School Musical, and Grease. Other camps include group guitar, group violin, computer music class, acting classes, rock band and Glee show choir. Half and full-day camps and before and after care are available.


Nature Discovery Camp

2950 E. State Road 60, Plant City; 813-757-2186

Explore the 400 acre English Creek Preserve and discover the true wild Florida! Campers in grades two through five will enjoy hands-on activities, hikes, games, crafts and field exploration. Sixth through eighth graders will split their time between field studies and a fully supplied science lab as well as building an underwater ROV! All camps include an off-site field trip. Transportation is available from Tampa and Brandon for an additional fee.


Patel Conservatory

1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa; 813-222-1002;

The Patel Conservatory is offering more than 70 camps and classes in all areas of dance, theater and music for all ages and experience levels! Camps for ages 3 through college-age are Monday through Friday. Weekly classes for all ages are held on afternoons, evenings and weekends. Call to speak to a member of the registration staff for help in choosing the right camp or class for your needs. Save 10% on select camps and classes when you register on or before March 24. Restrictions apply.


Stageworks Summer Theater Camp

1120 E. Kennedy Blvd, Tampa; (813) 251-8984

Learn about theater from the bay area’s Stageworks Theatre this summer. Campers will perform in a production of Thoroughly Modern Millie Junior. Camp is open to students 8th – 12th grade. Performance dates are July 27, 28 and 29.


Summer Science Camp at MOSI

4801 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa; 813-987-6000

What do launching pumpkins, designing video games, explosions, slime and fashion design all have in common? They are just part of the MOSI Summer Science Camp adventure waiting for you. Summer Science Camp is June 11 through Aug. 17. MOSI offers science, technology, engineering and math, also known as STEM, camps for preschoolers to high schoolers. There are half-day, full-day, technology, travel and residential camps, with certified teachers for all programs.


Summer Stars Theater Camps

Historic Friday Morning Musicale

809 Horatio St., Tampa; 813-831-5214

These week-long half-day camps bring the magic of the stage to youngsters 5-8 and 9-16. Campers learn acting, music, dance and stagecraft from credentialed, caring staff in a beautiful historic theater. Every camp ends with a fully staged show! Sibling and military discounts available.


Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

1101 W. Sligh Ave.; 813-935-8552, Ext. 268

This summer, the Zoo School is headquarters for more than 100 week-long camps for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Kids and teens can learn about nature, science and the animal kingdom while hiking through the zoo, exploring behind-the-scenes and cooling off in the water play areas. Adventure camps include animal encounters, keeper talks, educational shows, games, crafts and more.


Tampa Parks and Recreations Summer Camps

25 Tampa locations; 813-274-8615

The city of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department offers a nine-week camp filled with friendship, adventure and fun. Available at 25 community centers across the city, children will enjoy sports, arts and crafts, games and more.


Tampa Preparatory School

727 W. Cass St., Tampa; 813-251-8481

Summer programs include academic courses for credit, enrichment opportunities, sports camps and Camp Terrapin, a sports and fine arts camp for students entering first through eighth grades. To learn more, attend our Open House event on April 28, with hour-long tours set for 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Contact Director of Summer Programs Tammy Honegger with any questions.



Camp Crusader

1350 Court St., Clearwater; 727-461-1207

For students entering kindergarten through sixth grade, Camp Crusader campers enjoy daily structured activities. Each week the camp has a distinct theme, exciting events and special visitors. Throughout the week campers will participate in arts and crafts, swimming and offsite field trips that will add to the camp experience. Camp is 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with extended day until 6 p.m.


Canterbury School of Florida

Various locations in St. Petersburg; 727-525-1419

Canterbury’s summer programs offer outstanding opportunities for campers to explore new interests, strengthen skills, make new friends and have fun in a safe environment. All counselors and instructors are experienced Canterbury faculty and alumni. The program is designed for flexibility and includes day care (prekindergarten through fourth grade) as well as full-day or half-day themed camps for students in prekindergarten through 12th grade. Sign up for a week or the summer!


Dunedin Fine Art Center

1143 Michigan Blvd.; 727-298-3322

Studies show that children who study art do better in all of their studies. DFAC summer art camps offer fun, creative, cognitive experiences for children ages 4-1/2-14. Activities include drawing, painting, drama and dance. Attend the open house from 6-8 p.m. April 27 to learn more.


Eckerd College Summer Watersports Camp

4200 54th Ave. S., St. Petersburg; 727-864-8288

Adjacent to Boca Ciega Bay, the school provides the perfect environment for learning water sports! Classes include sailing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, kayaking, saltwater fishing and more for ages 5-17. The camp is June 4 through Aug. 3, with half-day classes from 9 a.m. to noon and/or 1-4 p.m.  All watersports equipment and life jackets are provided. Each student receives a camp T-shirt, a sports bottle, a class photograph, a certificate of completion, and mid-class refreshments and snacks.


GAD Summer Intensives

6020 126th Ave., Largo

This camp opens the doors for young dancers and performers to experience an intense and rewarding professional performing arts curriculum, which includes classical ballet, Broadway jazz, modern, theater, voice and music. The study program is designed to increase individual abilities, strength, artistry, technique, placement, alignment, performance, variety and overall stamina. Camps will include daily classes in disciplined studies of dance, music and theater arts. Each camp will conclude in a full production performance.

 Hoffman Institute at Ruth Eckerd Hall “SUMMER ARTS 2012”

1111 McMullen Booth Rd, Clearwater, FL 33759

(727) 712-2706,

Give your child a summer in the spotlight at Ruth Eckerd Hall’s Hoffman Institute. Performing arts classes and camps available for ages three to eighteen like “Next Stop Broadway!”, “Show Stoppers!” and “I’m Ready for My Close- Up!” .  Parents will save money with special discounts,  save time with our convenient  lunch program and save on stress knowing that your child will spend their days in a safe, cool and creative environment. Watch them shine as they explore and experience the arts! You save, while they shine! (tuition assistance is available).  Enroll now and we’ll see you at The Hoffman! Deal:1. All Themed Dramatics Classes our first week (June 11-15) are 25% off! ($165 vs. $220) 2. Enroll in 3 or more one-week classes and receive 10% off each class!


Largo Cultural Center

105 Central Park Drive; 727-587-6751

The magical theater camp experience has returned to the center this summer. Registration is open for this three-week camp for ages 8-13. From June 11-29, campers will perform in the fantastical, magical and musical extravaganza Seussical Jr. based on the stories of Dr. Seuss. From July 16 through Aug. 4, campers will perform in Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man Jr. Campers will be trained in acting, dance, improvisation, pantomime and stage direction by experienced teachers. Scholarships and before and after care are available.


Shorecrest Preparatory School; 727-522-2111, Ext. 173

5101 First St. N.E., St. Petersburg

Serving over 2,000 Tampa Bay area campers each summer, all of Shorecrest’s camps are open to the public. Shorecrest offers more than 60 enrichment camps for ages 4-18. The full and half-day sessions include sports, theater, robotics, academics, arts and driver’s education. Eleven weeks of camp run from June 4 through Aug. 17. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with before and after care available.


Tampa Bay Skating Academy Summer Camps

255 Forest Lakes Blvd., Oldsmar, 813-854-4010

27001 U.S. 19, Countryside, 727-723-7785

Have a cool time on the ice this summer. Ice skating camps are offered to beginner and intermediate level skaters ages 6-12. Daily camp sessions include on and off ice instruction, arts and crafts, catered lunch and supervised on-ice free time. There also are camps for experienced skaters, including a hockey camp in Oldsmar and a figure skating camp in Countryside.


Academy at the Lakes

2331 Collier Parkway, Land O’Lakes; 813-948-7600

A great way to have fun and meet new friends, campers ages 3-14 can choose from many activities, including sports, arts, recreation, science, technology and academic review. Full and half-day camps are available for the eight, one-week sessions that run from June 11 through Aug. 3. Extended care is also available.


Discovery Point

5415 Post Oak Blvd., Wesley Chapel, 813-907-8892

27830 Summergate Blvd., Wesley Chapel, 813-994-2700

Discovery Point child development centers offer a variety of summer camps for ages 5 through 12. In addition to themed weeks, children participate in field trips, arts and crafts and more. Camps are 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.



Camp Invention

Various locations; 630-431-7754

This nationally acclaimed, weeklong summer enrichment day experience for children entering grades one through six is free to schools and organizations nationwide. The program’s top priority is to provide quality enrichment programming in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math). Local schools host the program and the week’s hands-on activities are led by local teachers to ensure a safe learning environment. Visit Camp Invention online to find a camp near you!

Center Academy

Various locations

Students can tailor their program to their needs, including elementary academics, middle grades academics, SAT/ACT prep, and classroom success training (critical thinking, study skills, notetaking, organizational skills). Also available is the BrainWare Safari Learning Skills Program, which is designed to increase 41 learning skills. High school students can earn up to one SACS- approved credit toward graduation! Five-week tuition is $695.

Club Z; 813-949-4499

Summer is the perfect time to catch up or even get ahead in a difficult subject or develop serious study skill techniques. Club Z!’s Learning Built to Last study skills program can teach students how to listen, read and study better. Plus, the tutor comes to you.

Music Together; 727-289-9845; 813-409-4244; 813-979-1789

Get in on the fun with your child during these classes for newborns through age 5. Program includes six 45-minute classes, two CDs, parent guide/DVD and an illustrated songbook. Classes are offered in South Tampa, Sarasota and the St. Petersburg area by Allisongs for Tots and Ditties for Kiddies. In Citrus Park, Clearwater and St. Petersburg, classes are offered by You and Me & Music Together.

Pathfinder Adventure Camps

Various locations; 727.328.0300

Perhaps your child isn’t ready for a full week away? Or maybe you want an adult weekend getaway while the kids enjoy a camp adventure? These weekend camps in Hillsborough County for students in fourth grade or higher are a great option. Pathfinder also offers week-long overnight camps in Manatee County. Activities include tree climbing, zip lining, archery, canoeing, camp fires, night hikes, ropes courses, arts and crafts, cookouts and more.

Tampa YMCA Summer Camps

Various bay area locations; 813-224-9622

Summer camps at the Y focus on nurturing the potential of children and helping them grow in spirit, mind and body. Fun and friendship are encouraged and young people build self-esteem, develop interpersonal skills and make lasting memories. Plus camp also provides engaging, hands-on education-based activities that help kids avoid summer learning loss. Camps are offered at 10 YMCA locations and at several program sites.


Skyland Camp for Girls

317 Spencer St., Clyde, NC; 828-627-2470

Celebrating 95 years, Skyland is an overnight camp in the Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina. Skyland’s enrollment is limited to 50-65 campers (ages 6-15) per session. While many camps boast enrollment in the hundreds, Skyland believes in providing a summer filled with personalized experiences, magical moments, exploration and confidence-building activities. Whether it’s getting on stage for musical theater, shooting a bulls-eye, hiking to the top of a mountain or cantering on a horse, there are many firsts every single day at Skyland.


Valley View Ranch Equestrian Camp

606 Valley View Ranch Road, Cloudland, GA; 706-862-2231

A horse lovers’ paradise since 1954, this camp takes 60 girls ages 8-17. Instructors teach beginner to advanced riders. Campers spend four to six hours daily with their own horse. They’ll also enjoy swimming, pottery and more.

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