Summer is right around the corner, even though for us folks in the State of Florida, it seems we have summer all year long. I know that a lot of my great childhood memories stem from my summers at day camps and sleep-away camp. The other plus side to sending your child to summer camp is knowing that they will be supervised and occupied during their summer vacation which is better than having them running around the neighborhood with nothing to do. That’s when most kids get in trouble because they can’t find enough things to keep them busy and they end up doing dumb and dangerous things while seeking fun. Summer camps can teach kids a lot of life’s lessons in a structured environment. You may want to consider some of these options for your children this summer if you live in the Tampa Bay area.
Busch Gardens Adventure Camp – Busch Gardens, Tampa offers many different choices and activities for your child to enjoy this summer. Programs include camps to learn more about the animals at Busch Gardens or the workings of an adventure/amusement park. You can find something to occupy some time this summer for children in preschool to college age with educational programs. One example is week long programs teaching preschoolers about animals habitats, the sounds animals make or the reasoning for the different types of animal groups. There are overnight camps to learn about nocturnal habits of different animals, water park combo adventures and much much more. Visit the website to peruse all the different programs and prices available for your child, but look soon as summer camps tend to fill up quickly and long before the actual summertime gets here. The week long sessions appear to cost approximately $220 for pass holders and a little more for non-pass holders and up depending on which type of camp you choose. With all the options they offer, I’m sure you’ll find the perfect camp for your child.
Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo – Zoo School offers 100 camp programs for children K through 8th grade which will teach them about nature, science and the animal kingdom while hiking through the zoo and getting a behind-the-scenes look at the workings of the zoo. Daily rates start at around $55 for members and five day camps starting at $165. They offer discount rates for zoo members. The camps include hikes, animal encounters, arts and crafts, lessons and so much more to keep your child interested and happy during their summer vacation.
The Florida Aquarium – Another great choice for a summer day camp for your child located in downtown Tampa. A great option for your kids to learn about marine animals and make friends at the same time. They offer early drop off and late pick up for those of you who need extra time. Call 813-273-4015 to have a summer camp schedule mailed to your home to see if this program is right for you and your child. Some other activities include sailing, snorkeling, fishing and caving. This is a great place for your child to learn about aquatic life.
Circle F Dude Ranch – My favorite summer was the one I spent at a sleep away horse camp, however it was out of state and I could have been happier if I didn’t have to fly. Too bad my parents didn’t know about the Circle F Dude Ranch. The camp offers 10 day, 2 week and 3 week sessions from $1,500 to $2,500 that includes room, board, arts and crafts materials, horseback riding, supplemental insurance coverage, a Circle F yearbook and a Camp T-Shirt. Extras not included are personal laundry ($15.00 per week) and camper’s personal bank account (suggested deposit of $25.00 per week). There is no sales or tourist tax on camp fees. Paint ball and off-site excursions require additional fees. There are early registration discounts available now. The ranch is located just south of Orlando in Lake Wales, so your kids won’t be too far away from you in case you have a bout of separation anxiety.