2017 Kansas City Summer Camps: Science and Nature Camp

Posted February 22, 2017 10:26pm by Jane

Here is the much-awaited KC Kids Fun listing of 2017 Kansas City area Science and Nature Camps.  Whether your kid is scientifically-inclined or just a nature-lover, there are some exceptional camps available around the metro for. Your first stop might be to check out the offerings of your local parks and rec department and then check out the super camps on our list (and on our General Day and Overnight Camps list).

Sponsored Listings:

Imaginations get their rocket fuel at Camp Invention! An exciting, weeklong summer adventure awaits with activities that explore connections between science, technology, engineering, and innovation while sharpening their 21st century skills. A program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Camp Invention allows children in kindergarten through 6th grade to experience real-world problem solving, creative thinking, invention, and teamwork. Children work together to transform the terrain and ecosystem of a distant exoplanet. They take risks as budding business owners, blast rockets, air cannons, and rubber chickens, and wire a circuit to create their own Spy Gadget Alarm Box! Local, certified educators lead a week of hands-on activities that fuel children’s confidence in their natural ability to dream and create.

Early registration discounts are available so don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity. Visit campinvention.org or call 800.968.4332 for information. Use promo code LocCamp17 by 3/20 to save $25 on registration or LocCamp2017 after 3/21 to save $15 on registration.

Regular Listings:

  • Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center (Kansas City, MO) has a variety of nature and wildlife exploration programs offered throughout the year.
  • Bear River Ranch Cub Creek Science Camp (Rolla, MO) has a residential summer camp for boys and girls, ages 7 to 17. The ultimate animal camp!
  • Blue Valley Recreation (Overland Park, KS) – Classes are designed to spark imaginations and inspire a desire to learn about life sciences, earth and space. Many have make-and-take projects.
  • Bricks4Kidz (Kansas City, MO) – Build, learn and play with LEGO® bricks. Programs are built around proprietary motorized model plans, designed by engineers and architects, with exciting themes such as space, construction, expeditions, and amusement parks to name a few.
  • Camp Invention: See our Sponsored Listing above!
  • Clay-Platte Montessori’s “10-Acre Wood” (Kansas City, MO) located on ten wooded acres with a meandering creek through the middle of the property, offering an ideal outdoor environment for our nature and science themed camps and workshops.
  • Ernie Miller Park and Nature Center (Olathe, KS) hosts outdoor discovery camps for children ages 6-12. Hikes, environmental games and nature crafts are centered around a weekly theme. These camps fill up quickly!!
  • iD Tech Camps (Kansas City, MO) At iD Tech Camps for ages 6-18, we offer weeklong day & overnight summer camps for aspiring programmers, app developers, video game designers, robotics engineers, 3D modelers & animators, filmmakers, photographers, and more. Courses are led by tech-savvy, adult-only staff in a fun, experiential environment. With personalized instruction for all skill levels and small class sizes of just 8 students per instructor, you’ll be creating and innovating in no time!
  • Johnson County Park and Recreation District offers tons of summer camp programs for ages 3-18.  Included are camps focusing on nature, dinosaurs, science, hiking and fishing!  Dates, locations and fees vary.
  • Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center Camps (Hutchinson, KS) tons of day and overnight camps. This is an overnight camp and scholarships are available.
  • Kansas City Zoo Summer Camps (Kansas City, MO) offers some really neat week-long science and animal-related day camps for all ages.
  • Kansas Starbase (Kansas City, KS) is a really cool camp for kids who have finished 4th, 5th or 6th grades. 4 “Academies” are offered:  the Traditional one allows kids to discover and apply principles of aviation and rocketry.  The Robotics Academy uses special Lego robotics kits!  Kids can even build and launch rockets in Rocketry Academy, or peek into the future at Space Exploration Academy.
  • KU Edwards Campus Summer Camps (Overland Park, KS) – KU Edwards Campus is hosting a variety of summer camps for children who are interested in sports, music, science, engineering, math, technology and Chinese language and culture.
  • KU Engineering Camps (Lawrence, KS) – KU offers a camp for high schoolers interested in engineering, hosted by the University of Kansas School of Engineering. The camp lets students explore the different engineering disciplines through classes led by KU faculty. A middle school camp will be held at Blue Valley Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) in Overland Park, KS.
  • Lakeside Nature Center (Kansas City, MO) is open year-round and features an array of nature offerings for kids!
  • Exchange City & EarthWorks (Kansas City, MO) – Our CuriosityCamps focus on fun mixed with academics! At Exchange City®, citizen campers, ages 10-14, become business entrepreneurs running a thriving city. At EarthWorks®, scientist campers, ages 8-12, become wildlife biologists exploring the fragile nature of wildlife including fish, reptiles, birds and mammals. Financial assistance available.
  • LEARN Science and Math Club –  Each summer, LEARN’s all-volunteer staff of engineers, programmers and other techie types donates up to five weeks of their time to give kids a rip-roaring good time playing with robots, developing video games and doing lots of other fun (and secretly educational) projects. For ages 5-14
  • Mad Science KC (various locations) is offering several camps this summer for a variety of ages. They can learn about everything from the great outdoors to rockets to robots. And it’ll be super fun!
  • Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary (Northland) has a fantastic summer program called EGADS (Earth Guardians Adventure Days). There are a variety of offerings including outdoor exploration, games, crafts and songs. There are camps for children from preschool through ninth grade.
  • Microsoft Store at Oak Park Mall (Overland Park, KS) offers FREE YouthSpark Camps to get kids of all ages coding, creating games and apps, and having a blast in the process!
  • Mr. & Mrs. F.L. Schlagle Library (Kansas City, KS) is an environmental learning center located at Wyandotte County Lake Park. We’re not seeing camps posted yet, but check back on their website…camps are fun and reasonably priced!
  • Outdoor Education Laboratory (south Johnson County, KS) is open to campers from kindergarten thru 6th grade. Kids get down and dirty, spending the day outside in the forest, learning about nature and science in a very hands-on and very fun environment. This camp is EXTREMELY popular – sign up quick!
  • Powell Gardens (Kingsville, MO – east of Lee’s Summit) offers an incredible variety of educational opportunities throughout the summer for kids.
  • Science City (Kansas City, MO) offers summer camps for kids ages 6 to 12. Hands-on activities keep your kids interested in weekly themes related to biology, chemistry, engineering and space. They have great hours for working parents – definitely check this one out.
  • UMKC – Kansas City Summer Transportation Institute (Kansas City, MO) is a unique camp for high schoolers focused on various aspects of the transportation industry including career exploration in the transportation sector, skill building, teamwork and college preparation. A great opportunity for your older ones!
  • Wildwood Outdoor Education Center (near LaCygne, KS) offers residential camping in a gorgeous setting. Five-day programs for boys and girls ages 7-15 . An incredible outdoorsy camp with an emphasis on leadership and self-esteem. Full and mini sessions available for this overnight camp.
  • YMCA (20 locations in the metro) offers camps for 5-15 year olds and run June – early August.  Bonus:  before and after-camp care is available, as is financial assistance.

2017 Kansas City Summer Camps: Art Camps

Posted February 22, 2017 10:26pm by Jane

There’s no shortage of art and creativity in the great Kansas City area. So if your little ones prefer summer camp fun that involves using their creativity, we’ve found plenty to choose from. Here’s a roundup of the great Art Camps in Kansas City this summer!

Get started by checking out your local parks and recreation catalog and then check these out!

(If you operate a Kansas City area day or overnight camp which is not listed here or in one of other other camp listings, please let us know! And if you’re interested in a Sponsored Listing, email us for information.

Regular Listings:

  • Blue Valley Recreation (Overland Park, KS) Art Camps include a wide variety of fun art activities for the kiddos!
  • CartoonWorks (Kansas City, MO) Ron Wheeler’s Cartoon Camp teaches the basics of cartooning, sculpting with clay and creating a comic strip. Audrey’s Art Camp includes working with clay, etching and crafting paper.
  • Community School of the Arts/KCYA Kansas City Young Audiences (Kansas City, MO) has many dance and theater options for 5-15 year olds – but look closely and you’ll find a few very interesting visual arts offerings too!
  • Johnson County Park and Recreation District offers 30+ summer camp programs for ages 3-18.  Included are camps themed around arts and crafts, history, art and music.  Dates, locations and fees vary.
  • Mattie Rhodes Art Center (Kansas City, MO) has awesome art exploration classes and programs for kids of all ages, pre-school through teenagers. Campers ages 5-12 will experience five different mediums – ceramics, textiles, cultural art, mixed media and painting/printmaking.
  • The Culture House (Olathe, KS) has four “schools”:  Theater, Dance, Music and Visual Art– each with summer camps!
  • The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, MO) has a mix of hands-on and art appreciation classes for a variety of ages.  These programs sell out FAST!
  • Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (Overland Park, KS)  Fun and educational hands-on art classes offered throughout the year for children ages 5-11.  See website for specifics.
  • Paint Glaze and Fire (Overland Park, KS) hosts Camp ARTrageous and other fun ceramics classes throughout the summer.
  • Red Star Studios Summer Art Camp (KCMO) offers incredible youth and adult experiences throughout the year. Different themes and mediums will be explored each session. They also offer parent/child classes throughout the year for added bonding time and fun!
  • Silver Tree Visual Arts (Lenexa, KS) They’ve taken their passion for art and created sessions and classes where kids can have fun, collaborate, explore different cultures in art and express feelings. Half-day offerings with different themes each week. All classes held at The Culture House Academy of Performing Arts.
  • Wolf Creek Art Studio (south Overland Park, KS) offers half-day, week-long Art Camps for kids ages 6-16.  A different form of art will be explored each day and includes fun outdoor activities, and animals to boot!
  • YMCA (20 locations in the metro) offers camps for 5-11 year olds and run June – early August.  Arts and Crafts-themed camp is available in addition to drama, sports and nature!  Bonus:  before and after-camp care is available, as is financial assistance.

We’ll add to this list as we discover new camps and classes for this summer! In the meantime, take a look at the ones listed here, the ones offered by your parks and rec department and even the ones put on inside your favorite chain craft store (like Michael’s or JoAnn – they’ve always got a full calendar of classes).

2017 Kansas City Summer Camps: Special Needs Camps

Posted February 22, 2017 10:25pm by Jane

Special needs kids and families need special places to have fun summer experiences. Sometimes, the right environment can be hard to find. We’ve pulled together a list of camps that fit a range of special needs. Make sure to let us know if you know of other special needs camps to add to this list.

Basic Listings:

  • Autism Works (Liberty, MO) Offering YEAR-ROUND support for families! Social Clubs are for children ages 5 and up and meet twice a month focusing on creating a fun environment to learn social skills. *Parent Support group is for parents/caregivers of children on the spectrum. *They also offer workshops and plenty of resources.
  • Blue Valley Recreation (Overland Park, KS) – Blue Valley Rec offers many adapted and integrated leisure activities designed for individuals with disabilities. Includes swim lessons, bowling, dancing, cooking, open swim, open gym, a walking club, T-ball, softball, golf and bocce ball. Single day events include miniature golf, gardening, karaoke and much more!
  • Boy Scouts Rotary Youth Camp (Lee’s Summit, MO) offers long-term camping experience to Boy Scouts with special needs.
  • Brain Balance of Overland Park (OP, KS) – Get a Jumpstart for the Next School Year. The Brain Balance Program can improve your child’s social, academic and behavioral abilities.
  • Camp Barnabas (Purdy, MO – southwest Missouri) is a residential camp which focuses on people with all types of disabilities. Campers can be anywhere from 7 to 35, depending on their disability. Each session is directed to specific needs: developmental disabled, physically disabled, autistic/Asperger’s, blind/visually impaired, deaf/hearing impaired, amputees, chronic illnesses and others. Siblings are also welcome and have their own programming.
  • Camp Carousel offers fun, recreational activities and structured, creative opportunities to foster sharing and healing. The retreat features small group settings with trained professional staff and volunteers, with opportunities for families to spend quality time together. It is held by Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care and is open to the community.
  • Camp Encourage encourages social growth, independence, and self-esteem in youth with autism spectrum disorders through a quality, overnight camp experience located at the Tall Oaks Conference Center in nearby Linwood, KS.
  • Camp Erin is a two day overnight camp for kids ages 6 to 17 who are grieving the death of someone close to them. Staffed by certified grief counselors and hosted by Kansas City Hospice, this camp is free and early application is recommended.
  • Camp Hickory Hill (Columbia, MO) is a summer camp for children with diabetes. They offer a supportive medically supervised environment where children with type 1 diabetes, ages 8-17 have an opportunity to discover kindred spirits, build self-confidence, learn about managing their diabetes more independently and have a whole lot of fun.
  • Camp MITIOG (Excelsior Springs, MO) is a camp for young people with spina bifida. All of the traditional camping activities are offered, with a one to one camper/counselor ratio and medical staff on-site.
  • Camp Planet D – Kansas City (Kansas City, MO) is an overnight camp for kids with diabetes, ages 7 to 14. Newly diagnosed and first time attendees receive priority admission.
  • Camp Quality is an overnight camp for children with cancer, ages 3-17.  Every child has an assigned adult “companion” and an on-site oncology specialist is available for every camper.
  • Camp Wilderness (Lawson, MO) accepts children with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders. Ages 7 to 17 welcome.
  • Cheley / Children’s Hospital Burn Camp (Estes Park, CO) hosts children ages 8 to 18 who have been hospitalized in burn units across the country for a very traditional camp experience with specially trained staff.
  • Children’s Therapy Group (Overland Park, KS) is a multi-disciplinary clinic specializing in sensory integration therapy. In the past, they offered fine motor enhancement classes, a handwriting class, fun with language for kids with problems with social, pragmatic and expressive language, sensory motor group and more.
  • Children’s Therapy Services Summer Camp (Leawood, KS) offers a variety of summer camps and individual therapies for children with special needs.  Camps include Social Language Preschool & Elementary Groups, Outdoor Preschool Playgroups, Speech Articulation, Kindergarten readiness and more.  All camp curriculum are written by licensed speech pathologists or certified teachers.
  • CLO’s Midnight Farm Day Camp (Baldwin City, KS) Midnight Farm will hold two day camps for children and adults with special needs. Activities include crafts, singing, animal interactions and more. Horseback riding will be available for an additional fee.
  • Life Unlimited (North Kansas City, MO) hosts recreational sports, youth day camp and vocational day camp for young people with developmental disabilities. Campers must be Clay County residents (due to funding issues).
  • Express Yourself Camp (Bonner Springs, KS) To help children ages 6-14 deal with the unique feelings following a loss or life change, the YMCA of Greater Kansas City and St. Luke’s Home Health and Hospice are offering a special day camp at Camp Naish. Small group activities will include music therapy, a multi-media project, physical activities, arts and crafts, skits and a closing ceremony. Campers will learn different ways to express their feelings of loss and to remember a loved one or a life change in a celebratory way.
  • Heartland Therapeutic Riding Horsemanship Camp (Bucyrus, KS) Offers a one-week, inclusive horsemanship camp for 8-16 year olds with or without special needs.  PATH Intl-certfied instructors and small camper/staff ratio ensure a safe, fun experience for all.  Each day includes a riding lesson, horsemanship skills, crafts and lots of hands-on horse time.
  • Horizon Academy (Roeland Park, KS) offers summer classes for kids (in grades 1-12) who are struggling with basic skills due to learning disabilities. Includes reading instruction using the Orton-Gillingham approach and math using the Math-U-See approach. Students also have classes in PE, music and art and take weekly trips to the Fairway pool.
  • Horsin’ Around at Midnight Farm is a horsemanship day camp for children ages 6-16 with or without special needs. Campers will learn riding skills, general horse knowledge and ground skills to help them become well-rounded riders. Camp will also include horse-themed crafts, games, pony parade and a horse show on the last day.
  • Joshua Center Summer Camp (Kansas City, MO) is available to children with neurologically impaired children, including those diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, High Functioning Autism, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder or ADHD.
  • KidsTLC has offered social skills camps in the past for children with Asperger’s Syndrome, high-functioning autism and related social challenges. Check their website for more information on summer programming.
  • Life Unlimited (North Kansas City, MO) hosts recreational sports, youth day camp and vocational day camp for young people with developmental disabilities. Campers must be Clay County residents (due to funding issues).
  • Midwest Brachial Plexus Network, Inc. and Rotary Youth Organization (Lee’s Summit, MO) offer a three day overnight camp for children with brachial plexus birth injuries.
  • Missouri Children’s Burn Camp (Lake of the Ozarks, MO) is held at Camp Sabra, a residential camp. This is a program for children ages 6 to 17 with burn injuries and offers traditional camp activities. There is no charge for the camp.
  • Muscular Dystrophy Camp is a one-week residential camp for anyone ages 6 to 21 with a neuromuscular disease. Contact the local MDA office for details – 913-859-0632
  • Camp Kidz Rock sponsored by Successful Sounds (Overland Park, KS) – for vocal children ages 4-10 with immature or delayed social and play skills, Asperger’s, High-Functioning Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Sensory Integration Dysfunction and related play/social delays.
  • Sugar Creek Equinapy (Harrisonville, MO) offers summer therapeutic riding programs for special needs children.
  • Wonderland Camp (Lake of the Ozarks) is a residential camp for children with developmental and physical challenges. All of the traditional camp activities are offered. There are also special weeks for children with Prader Willi Syndrome and brain injuries. Plus a wheelchair accessible treehouse!
  • YMCA (20 locations in the metro) offers camps for 5-11 year olds and run June – early August.  Bonus:  before and after-camp care is available, as is financial assistance.

Please feel free to let us know about any other great camps out there for Kansas City kids with special needs!