.Happy Campers: SoCo kids’ camps

Although summer may seem far away in terms of calendar days, many Sonoma County parents have already started to consider summer camp plans for their children. And though it may still be winter for a few more weeks, children’s summer camp spots fill up fast, so it’s best to get a headstart and reserve a space while there are still plenty of open spots left.

So, where can all these kids go when the days get long and hot and school is no longer in session? Well, Sonoma County is full of perfectly suited summer camps, well-equipped to curate programs with the same engaging atmosphere, social environment and enriching, possibly even educational experiences.

From science and engineering, arts and crafts, theater, sports, nature, animals and oh so much more, it’s hard to walk away from a list like this without wishing (at least a little bit) that adults could attend summer camps as well.

Charles M. Schulz Museum

For those who don’t know about this little tidbit of famous animation history right at the North Bay’s fingertips, consider Santa Rosa’s Charles M. Schulz Museum, built to commemorate and remember the cartoonist behind Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the entire Peanuts gang.

The museum dedicated to Schulz’s illustrative accomplishments opened in 2002 and has since brought millions of visitors and helped make millions of memories. This includes camps, classes and workshops for artistically inclined children to enrich and educate themselves in theater, animation, art exhibitions and more.

Charles M. Schulz Museum is located at 2301 Hardies La. in Santa Rosa. For more information, call 707.579.4452 or visit the website at schulzmuseum.org/classes-camps.

Flynn Creek Circus

For the children who dream of running away with a circus or simply want to have fun and learn a unique skill set that is as fun as it is useful, Flynn Creek Circus is worth considering.

Flynn Creek Circus will see those kids flying, twirling, flipping, tumbling, walking the tightwire, juggling and more—all of these acrobatics are guided under the careful supervision of professional performers and in the best environment for lessons like these…in an actual circus tent. This is one camp that kids will remember for quite some time, especially when sharing what they did over the summer: “I joined the circus,” they’ll say, before backflipping away.

For more information about Flynn Creek Circus, call 707.684.2115, email [email protected] or visit the website at flynncreekcircus.com.

Farm Camp California

One of the many benefits of going to summer camp in California’s Bay Area is the sheer number of choices for children with all kinds of interests. This extends to STEAM programs, artistic work and, in the case of Farm Camp California, agricultural pursuits too. This coed overnight camp for children aged eight to 17 was established in 1952 and is located on 500 acres of nearly-coastal farmland.

At Farm Camp California, kids can choose five farm chores (in line with their personal preferences) and tend to animals like horses, cows, donkeys, pigs, sheep, chickens and so on, or they may work in the garden, woods, recycling and other more camp-related activities instead. Other activities include arts and crafts, horseback riding, forest exploration, music, sports, drama, water activities and even evening entertainment after all the excitement of the day winds down.

Farm Camp California is located at 34285 Kruse Ranch Rd. in Cazadero during the summer and at 1480 Moraga Rd., Ste C #392 in Moraga during the winter. For more information about Farm Camp California, call 707.847.3494, email [email protected] or visit the website at farmcampca.com.

Hanna Center

For a less conventional, but equally important, children’s camp in the community, consider Hanna Center, which provides trauma-informed services to the North Bay community with a specific focus on providing an environment equipped to care for at-risk youth. Programs at Hanna Center are meant to empower and assist those who need it most by providing summer camps with recreation and education for all.

The summer camps at Hanna Center aim to provide a tranquil, constructive environment to facilitate safe and fun socialization, connection and activities. All-day recreation camp at Hanna Center, which provides that quintessential summer camp experience, is for children aged five to 14. Hanna Center also offers Morning Specialty Camps including Culinary Camp (for ages seven through 11), Soccer Camp, Tennis Camp, Lacrosse Camp, Baseball Camp and Basketball Camp.

Hanna Center is located at 17000 Arnold Dr. in Sonoma. For more information, call 707.996.6767 or visit the website at hannacenter.org.

Transcendence Theatre Company Kids Camp

Transcendence Theatre Company is a well-known epicenter of theatrical spectacle in the North Bay. Most everyone enjoys the performances put on by this popular theater company, a staple in Sonoma County’s artistic community, which is especially beloved for Skits Under the Stars and, of course, summer camps for kids.

For the children out there who have a theatrical flair, Transcendence Theatre Company has the perfect camp led by Broadway artists. Children aged eight through 12 may attend this local theater company as junior artists, while those ages 13 through 17 are grouped separately—both age ranges will be able to enjoy Transcendence’s week-long summer camp program and learn to sing, dance, act, do improv and so much more.

To top it all off, Transcendence Theatre Company is an all-inclusive organization that aims to create an inclusionary space accessible to all who want to participate.

Transcendence Theatre Company is located at 19201 Sonoma Highway #214 in Sonoma. For more information, call  877.424.1414, email [email protected] or visit the website at transcendencetheatre.org.

Santa Rosa Recreation & Parks

And if this list of children’s summer camp options in Sonoma County just isn’t quite hitting the mark for one’s kid’s specific and unique interests, consider checking out the Santa Rosa Recreation & Parks website.

There, curious parents may peruse a comprehensive summer camp list that includes day camps, adventure camps, art, dance & drama camps, STEM camps, sports camps and even work experience camps. And some of these camps are cool enough to make the parents wish they could join in, with options like a royal ballroom dance camp, fashion design camp, youth yoga camp, hand sewing camp, jewelry-making camp, twilight tennis camp and even a camp about mermaids, faeries and voodoo.

Santa Rosa Recreation & Park’s list of camps also includes camps for special populations, which extends to the Kamp Kennedy day camp for children and teens with developmental disabilities and the UCP Camp Kaos day camp from United Cerebral Palsy of the North Bay.

The Santa Rosa Recreation & Parks summer camp offerings can be found at srcity.org/864/Summer-Camps.


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