Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium will offer summer camps for tots through high school, ranging from half-day camps to five-day camps. Weeklong kindergarten and “kinder safari” camps — both half-day — are for 5- and 6-year-olds who have completed kindergarten and for fully toilet trained 3- to 5-year-olds, while kids 6 to 11 have options for one-day, two-day and five-day camps covering a wide variety of zoo and aquarium subject areas. Youth ages 12 to 18 can pick among camps encompassing various interests — check the website for dates and details.
When: May 30-Aug. 4
Where: 3701 S. 10th St.
Who: Ages 3-18
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Cost: Half-day kinder camps cost $140 per child per camp ($165 nonmembers). Other camps range from $75 ($80 nonmembers) to $255 ($265 nonmembers).
American Legacy Complex
Is your kid all about the horse? Of course! Of course! Well, Wilbur, this is their (feed) bag. (Ahem.) Campers in the 4- to 6-year-old and 7-13 age groups will learn about horse safety, horse health, horse grooming, horse breeds, horse tack, equipment … and horse riding. Mostly horse riding. There are no unrelated activities, not even a spirited game of H-O-R-S-E.
When: Beginners (ages 4-6) morning camps, June 12-16, July 10-14. Beginners (ages 7-13) full-day camps begin June 19, June 26, and July 19. Intermediate/advanced camp (ages 7-13) starts July 24.
Where: 7193 County Road 40 (west off of 72nd Street, about 8 miles north of Dodge Street).
Who: Ages 4-13
Cost: Morning camps $300 per camper. All-day camps $400. Cash or check only.
Nebraska Humane Society
Cute animal videos on the Internet are fine and all, but your child cannot cuddle a smartphone, tablet or laptop. At Camp Kindness, there will be enough puppies and kitties and other (manageably-sized) critters to make your kid forget all about the device. The four weeklong sessions in June (half-day) and seven two-day sessions in July (full-day) will give every child the chance to get close to a shelter animal. (Note to parents: If a dog immediately leaps into your child’s lap and gives him or her a big smooch on the lips, the kid has been officially adopted! Trust us on this.) Kids 6 to 9 are “junior campers”; those 10 to 13 are “senior campers.” Junior half-day sessions run from 9 a.m. to noon. Senior half-day sessions are from 1 to 4 p.m.
When: Weeklong sessions begin June 5. (The last begins June 26.) The first two-day July session begins July 6; the last begins July 26.
Where: Nebraska Humane Society, 8929 Fort St.
Who: Ages 6-13
Cost: Weeklong, half-day camps are $180. All-day camps (two days) are $165. Registration is first-come, first-served; Camp Kindness tends to fill up fast.
ART & MUSIC
Omaha Conservatory of Music
The Omaha Conservatory of Music summer program, SoundWaves, is a “weeklong immersive summer music camp” that covers the breadth of music — voice, strings, guitar, brass, woodwinds, piano and percussion. The program, billed as “the region’s premier pre-college training program,” offers masterclasses, a rock lab, as well as orchestra and musical-theater options. And composition and music business. Lodging and meal plans are available. Prospects must submit an audition video from the past six months, but students of all skill levels are welcome. New this year: “violin intensive” (July 20-21) and piano chamber-music camps.
When: July 22-29
Where: 7023 Cass St.
Who: Ages 9-18
Cost: $850 after June 2, early registration discounts available. Lodging at Creighton University and meals $825; non-lodging, lunchtime meal plan $125. Additional masterclass lessons $250. Scholarships available on a first-come, first-served basis.
School of Rock
From beginner camps to themed camps, there’s a wide variety of in-person options to ensure every child has an immersive musical experience. These weeklong summer music camps are performance-based, meaning students learn to play by rehearsing and performing together in a fun, safe environment. Cowbell optional.
When: June 5-July 28
Where: 13270 Millard Ave.
Who: Ages 7-18
Cost: $450 week
Kaneko “offers camps to learners who are interested in exploring creativity and its intersection with art, education, science, design, technology, and philosophy.” From Kaneko: “We are currently working on the lineup and dates for 2023 camps and plan to launch our schedule and camp offerings in early Spring. Our camps are donation based to keep them open and accessible for everyone! They typically run weekly through June and July with a week off for July 4th.”
Where: 1111 Jones St.
Who: Fourth through ninth grade
Cost: TBD (donation)
Happy Feet at McGuigan Arts Academy
Happy Feet summer camps. Happy. Feet. We have no confirmation, but jazz hands also may be on the menu during the “perfect introductory camp to theatre, art and music.” Meets from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturdays.
When: June 3-24, July 8-29
Where: 8708 Countryside Plaza in Countryside Village
Who: Ages 5 and 6
Rock N' Palooza at McGuigan Arts Academy
Prepare for a child with a thoroughly rocked palooza. Campers will study “great rock bands such as Queen, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, David Bowie and more.” They’ll also try their hands at acting. And they’ll “get messy” and “create outside the box” through drawing and painting. The door is open to kids of all skill levels, and campers can register for either full or half days. Come to think of it, forget the kids. Register yourself.
When: June 5-July 21
Where: 8708 Countryside Plaza in Countryside Village; June 19-23 and June 26-30 sessions are at the Benson Theatre
Who: Ages 5 and up
Cost: $250 per week (full day), $150 (half day).
The Rose Theater
The Rose Theater offers summer camps in drama, dance, musical theater, voice and acting. The theater’s summer camps “will have students stretching their imaginations while having a whole lot of fun.” Themed camps such as Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, Wicked, Odysseus, Zootopia, sketch comedy, acting technique, dance and more are available as well as a number of multiweek production classes. Session and camp lengths vary according to age group and subject. Inclusive camps welcoming “students with exceptionalities” also are available.
When: May 30-Aug. 4
Where: The Rose, 2001 Farnam St., and The Rose Studios for Youth Artists, 12202 West Center Road
Who: Ages 3-18
Cost: $65 to $600. Discounts available for members.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Nebraska State 4-H Camp
The state 4-H camp offers a lengthy menu of three- and four-day sessions at various locations around Nebraska. Camp options run from leadership training to four days of “silly camp fun.” Prepare for stuff involving the words “challenge,” “adventure,” “crazy,” “awesome” and “epic.” Did we mention “adventure”?
When: May 31-Aug. 10
Where: Various locations
Who: Ages 8-18 (varies by each camp)
Cost: Varies from $360-$480
During this summer camp, “challenge” is the mantra. Unless, of course, it’s “memorable.” Perhaps “teamwork.” Or “fun-filled.” At any rate, kids of all ages will explore the outdoors through positive and fun nature-based activities designed to teach a love of nature. Everything is all about this: “Our mission is to foster a love of our local ecosystems and inspire future generations to care for the natural world.”
When: June 5-Aug. 4. Dates vary by age group and theme throughout the summer
Where: Fontenelle Forest Nature Center; Camp Brewster at 1313 Bellevue Blvd. N., Bellevue; Camp Wa-Kon-Da at 402 Forest Drive, Bellevue
Who: Ages 3-15
Cost: Cost varies per camp, per age group, from $125 ($175 nonmembers) to $245 ($310 nonmembers)
Boys & Girls Clubs
Campers at Camp Nakomis this summer will enjoy the outdoors — Hiking! Boating! Fishing! — on the camp’s 35 wooded acres in Carter Lake, as well as participate in group games and activities. Nakomis advertises “a safe and positive environment” and is open to the public. Weekly themes start with “Aloha, summer!” and conclude with “Spirit Week.” Note: Week 6 will be wet. Very, very wet. There will be no camp June 19, when the Boys & Girls Clubs will observe Juneteenth. Pick-up and drop-off sites are at the First National Bank Tower downtown, Mutual of Omaha in midtown and Von Maur at Westroads Mall.
When: June 26-July 28.
Where: 4101 N. 17th St., Carter Lake, Iowa
Who: Ages 6-14
Cost: $165 per week. Campers may register for one week, or up to all seven weeks.
Girl Scout Camps
During Girl Scout Camps, kids can experience the great outdoors, make new friends, gain confidence and create lifelong memories. Camp adventures include challenge courses, zip lines, horseback riding, archery, swimming and, um, camping. We’re talking troop camps, day camps and special events. Membership required for most camps and events.
When: Year round
Where: Various locations
Who: Girls in kindergarten through 12th grade
Cost: Cost varies per camp, financial aid available.
Information: girlscoutsnebraska.org, find a guide on the camps page
The evangelical camp, established in 1958, offers options from “overnighter camp” aimed at kids going into first through third grades to three-day “mini-camps” (grades 3-5) to junior and junior-high camps and, finally, a senior-high camp for grades 9-12. There also are sessions for “leaders in training” and “junior cabin leader training” (rising 11th graders through graduating seniors). There’s also ax throwing and, no doubt, prayer before the ax throwing. According to the website, “at Camp Rivercrest, we are passionate about the Kingdom of God, teach from the Bible, and believe Jesus is the only way to salvation.”
When: June 15-July 28
Where: 2840 County Road 13, Fremont, Nebraska
Who: First grade through graduating seniors
Carol Joy Holling Camp
Located on 317 acres of rolling hills outside of Ashland, Neb., Carol Joy Holling Camp hosts overnight and day camps throughout June and July for kids in kindergarten through 12th grade and people with special needs (ages 13-adult). Activities include a high ropes course, zip line, swimming, boating, hiking, horseback riding, archery, creative arts, games, worship and Bible study. New this year: Leadership Camp, a three-week comprehensive leadership development program for grades 9-12.
When: June 4-July 27
Who: Kindergarten through graduating seniors
Cost: $200-$475; scholarships available
SPORTS & RECREATION
Camp at the MAC
Put me in, coach, I’m ready to play today! This sports camp goes over fundamentals of multiple sports, including baseball/softball, tennis, football, soccer and golf. There is no word on collegiate NIL workshops at press time, but look at me, I can be centerfield! Lunch provided.
When: Monday through Friday; June 5-Aug. 4; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Maple Athletic Complex, 4718 N. 120th St.
Who: Ages 8-12
Cost: $2,000 for the full summer; $225/week or $250/week with early drop off
Mount Michael Benedictine School
A recreation camp for boys, conducted by the monks of the Mount Michael Abbey and by Mount Michael school alumni. Spread out across the school’s athletic and recreation areas — and the 400 acres around them — the camp should offer a change of pace for the typical teen of today. Under “things not to bring to camp” during the five-day sessions, one will find money, pocket video games, cell phones, laptops, tablet devices or any other electronics. In other words, your kids will have to learn to converse with others using their voices and not their thumbs. And … one happy camper mentioned war ball. This will break no smartphones, which the kids won’t have. Right?
When: Four Sunday-Friday sessions June 25-July 28
Where: 22520 Mount Michael Road, Elkhorn
Who: Boys 7-14
SCIENCE & EDUCATION
Big Red Summer Academic Camps
It’s the Big Red academic camps. Not football or basketball. Just to be clear. Running from June 11-16, campers get to live on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, meet new people from all over, wander amid the ivy-covered halls of academe … and “spend time investigating an interest or potential career.” Available camp sessions include acting for the camera, agriculture, animation, digital media, engineering, sustainable fashion, veterinary science and the unicameral youth legislature. Space is at a premium, and registration is first-come, first-served (with scholarships available). Sessions will be led by Nebraska 4-H staff and UNL faculty members.
When: June 11-16
Where: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Who: Ninth through 12th grade, including recent high-school graduates
MCC College for Kids, College for Teens
Metropolitan Community College offers College for Kids and College for Teens courses that bring fun and learning to children ages 5-18. Featuring kids and teens classes that focus on art, technology, science and more.
When: June and July
Where: Courses are offered at multiple locations within the Omaha metro area
Who: Ages 5-12 and 12-17, unless otherwise noted
Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum
There’s a whole heapin’ helpin’ of summer camps at the museum, startin’ in June. That’s a little science talk, there. Or not. Offerings range from Flight Camp to Astronaut Academy to Drone Soccer Camp to Earth Science and STEM in Space. There also will be virtual STEM-chat camps. Eleven camp topics to excite any child's interests. Registration opens in early March.
When: June 5-Aug. 4.
Where: 28210 West Park Highway, Ashland.
Who: Ages 6-13-plus (varies for each camp).
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
Jewish Community Center
Summer activities at the Jewish Community Center have something for kindergarteners through high school students, from swimming and diving to musical theater. As of printing time, there are still a few spots available. According to the website: “All J Camps are now at capacity, but space remains in select Premiere Camps and also our Leaders In Training program for 8th-10th graders! Those looking for full day care can take advantage of half-day J Camp add-on when they register for a Premiere Camp. Please contact Amanda Welsh, firstname.lastname@example.org, for available options.”
When: May 27-Aug. 1
Where: 333 S. 132nd St.
Who: Ages 5-18
Cost: $192 (member) to $269 (nonmember). Registration is required, with a $50 late fee.
Brownell Talbot’s summer-camp program is going full STEAM ahead — science, tech, engineering, the arts and math. Kids at the camps, according to the school, will be “tackling daily challenges, hands-on activities, lessons, and art and theatre projects.” Full-day camps run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., while specialty camps go from 9 a.m. to noon.
When: Weeklong sessions from June 12-July 21
Where: 400 N. Happy Hollow Blvd.
Who: Preschool (potty-trained 3-year-olds) to 12th grade
Cost: Varies from $85 (early-elementary sports camps) to $750 (two-week camp)
YMCA of Greater Omaha
The YMCA of Greater Omaha summer day camps offer kids a fun and engaging environment where they will make friends, belong and achieve. The camp focuses on closing the summer achievement gap. Weekly themed activities allow campers to create arts and crafts, explore science and technology, swim and appreciate nature.
When: Weekly, May 30-Aug. 18.
Where: Armbrust YMCA, Downtown YMCA, Maple Street YMCA, Sarpy YMCA, Southwest YMCA, Charles E. Lakin YMCA, Twin Rivers YMCA and Mills County YMCA
Who: Ages 5-12
Cost: $165 per week for members; $195 per week for nonmembers
Summer Adventure Day Camps provide a unique learning experience for children where they will learn science concepts and interact with nature through hands-on activities, arts and crafts and more in indoor and outdoor settings. Six summer camps will be held this year, including Butterflies, Birds and Bookworms; Ecosystem Explorations; Plants and Patterns; Nature’s Amazing Life Cycles; Pollination Investigation; and Wondercamp: A Sensory Adventure.
When: May 29-Aug. 11; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: 100 Bancroft St.
Who: Ages 5-12
Cost: $255 for nonmembers; $235 for members per week
Big place. Little kids. Lots of fun stuff. What’s the hold up in signing up? Families can choose from a wide range of camp themes including Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead, Culinary Creations, Wizard Academy and more. Kids will get to meet new friends, explore Omaha and engage in hands-on learning. Also, there’s a big steam (with no periods) locomotive downstairs at track level.
When: June 5-Aug. 11; Full-day camps, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Half-day camps, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Before- and aftercare available for an additional charge.
Where: 801 S. 10th St.
Who: First- through fifth-graders
Cost: Pricing ranges from $110 (half days) to $240 (full days) per week; discount available for Durham Museum members. During the week of Independence Day, a full week is $200 (no camp on July 4), and single-day camps will be available for $50
Omaha Children’s Museum
Omaha Children’s Museum’s summer camps “feature engaging curriculum and great instructors who make every day exciting and new. Camps include daily play in the museum and a snack.” Can you say S.T.E.A.M. Barbie? I knew that you could. Look for Barbie, Nintendo and Marvel themes among camp offerings.
Where: 500 S. 20th St.
Who: Ages 4-5 and 6-8
Cost: Half-day sessions are $135 for members and $150 for nonmembers per week