Summer time and St. Paul, Minnesota is a match made in heaven! Summer in the city is a great time to be a kid, and there are dozens of fun and fabulous options to keep kids busy and parents happy this coming summer. While listing all of them would be overwhelming, here are my top five picks for the summer
New Life Academy Summer Adventures
New Life Academy in Woodbury is a private PK-12th grade school and is known for its high standards in academics, character building, and service. Besides offering summer high school courses for credit, they also provide a Summer Adventures program for children ages 6 months to 5th grade.
Exciting adventures await as children participate in weekly field trips, science activities, crafts, gym time, computer lab time, cooking projects, and songs and games. I can personally vouch for this school and highly recommend this program for its quality and fun. The staff are incredibly caring and professional and have as much fun as the kids do!
The dates run M-W-F, June 15-August 19, and they offer three different drop-off/pick up options to work with parents’ busy schedules. Registration can be done by going to their website and clicking “Inside the Academy” “Summer Programs” “Summer Adventures” and downloading the brochure and registration form or by calling Christine at 651-757-4375.
The cost of Summer Adventures depends on the age of the child, the arrival/pick up option, and the number of days per week the child is signed up for. However, the daily fee caps at $38.50 per child. There is a $20 non-refundable registration fee per child or maximum $40 per family. The beauty of this program is that parents pay per day and can send their child as many or as few days as they want!
McPhail Center for Music
The McPhail Center for Music is offering summer classes and camps for kids of all ages: 3 years old to adults! They offer early childhood music camps, camps at the MN Zoo, music and art camp, composition camp, and Suzuki Institute classes, among others.
A brief overview as well as a class and camp breakdown can be found here . The sessions run in June and July, with a variety of dates and time. Prices also vary, with the most affordable being the Early Childhood Music Camp starting at $142 for a 4-day camp. The highest cost for a program is Allegro Orchestra Camp at $550 for a 5-day session.
While prices might seem steep, the value of these summer programs is priceless as students gain a greater appreciation for music, learn new skills, or hone their repertoire.
Register by calling 612-321-0100, but hurry! Some class registrations end in April and you don’t want to miss out on a fabulous experience for you or your child!
Camp St. Croix
Camp St. Croix in Hudson, WI, is just a short drive over the river and is worth every minute. This camp offers both day camps as well as overnight camps, and also provides camps for kids with learning disabilities, diabetes, and epilepsy. Camps give children an exciting array of outdoor activities such as horseback riding, canoeing, boating, swimming, environmental education, and arts and crafts. The educational and fun values here are absolutely priceless. As a teacher who went on one such winter camp with 4th graders, I can personally rate this five stars! Children walk away with valuable life skills, a greater awareness of the environment and wilderness, and an appreciation for hearty outdoor fun.
Parents can choose from a general day camp, specialized arts camps, outdoor camps such as archery or fishing, yoga camps, or a variety of nature camps. Prices vary depending on which camp, but the range is $158 per week for an elementary general day camp to $342 for a leadership training camp for teens.
Please visit Camp St. Croix’s website for more information and a virtual tour of the camp. Click on “Summer Camp,” then click “Day Camp” for a brochure and a breakdown of each kind of camp offered. Parents will need to complete an online login to register, but it doesn’t look complicated.
Macalaster College Computer Camps
Macalaster College in St. Paul hosts an exciting menu of summer computer camps for your 7-17 year-old geeks. Courses range from video game design, web design and graphic design, video editing, photography, and robotics. Students will learn game creation, graphic design, computer programming, or digital photography. The fun factor here is sure to bring out any child’s inner creativity.
Camps include 5-6 hours of technological activities, physical activities such as capture the flag, ultimate Frisbee, and soccer, and lunch. The week ends with a showcase of talent for kids to show their families what they’ve done. All courses are taught on the Macalaster College campus.
Courses are filling up fast, and parents must go here to choose a course and sign up. The cost for a 5-day camp runs from $799-899, and parents have a few choices of dates for each camp. But hurry! Some camps are full and others are nearing capacity.
Royal Family Kids Camp
Royal Family Kids Camps, Inc is a faith-based, not-for-profit program that exists to provide abused and neglected kids with an unforgettable summer camp experience. This organization is all over the United States and in several international locations as well, and hopes to provide a camp in each county of the U.S.
There are three camps in MN currently: St. Paul (Ramsey County), St. Peter, and Eden Prairie. These camps are run by local churches that have highly trained staff and give these children the best week they possibly can. The week of camp offers sports and games, woodworking, crafts, swimming, bug catching, songs, stories, and a special event each evening. Many children within the county system have never had a birthday party, and the highlight of the week is definitely the “Everybody’s Birthday Party” where each child receives a box full of handpicked presents just for them, birthday cake, and lots of positive attention.
The local church sponsoring the camp for 7-11 year-olds provides everything the child needs for the week of camp at no cost to the county or the foster or biological family. The St. Paul camp runs July 10-15th this year, and registration can be done by going to Summit Church’s website and getting more information there, or by calling 651-228-0811.
This camp changes lives, and as a volunteer with this organization for five years, I can attest to the positive and lasting impact it makes in the lives of hurting kids. The caring staff and counselors pour out their energy and love as they provide a memorable and special week for the kids in our foster care system.
While the metro area of St. Paul/Minneapolis offers so many more possibilities for summer fun for kids, teens, and families, these are my top five picks for this year. Give your child an interesting and enriching summer with nature camps, technology camps, music camps, and day camps. And don’t forget those kids in our community who deserve a chance to have their own special week at camp! You can’t have too much fun in the sun in St. Paul!