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The Best Summer Camps in Sonoma

Have you made your summer plans yet? Here's a rundown of the best (and cheapest) summer programs for kids around Sonoma.

This article was originally published on May 11.

The sunshine has finally arrived and spring fever is in full swing. And that means that we also only have eight weeks of school left! Are you feeling the nervous twinge that I get about how I am going to entertain my kids for the entire summer

Well, it is time to start planning! Now don’t get me wrong, I love relaxed mornings and not  lunches or rush off to school, but the day can be long with two six-year-olds. We usually plan one or maybe two weeks of vacation during the summer, but what do you do to fill the other two and a half months?

I have started looking into the summer camp options here in Sonoma and thought I would share what I have found with you. Since we do live in a small town, summer camps can fill up quickly. If you want to secure a spot you have to be looking and reserving spots now.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Garden Camp at Sonoma Garden Park

Located at the beautiful Sonoma Garden Park on 7th St. East, this camp has two sessions. Both include gardening, harvesting produce, creating delicious snacks, natural crafts, garden games, investigations, and much more! All classes taught by SEC educators and Master Gardeners. Camp runs June 13th-17th and June 20-24. They have different themes for each week. Ages 6-11. 8:30-12:30pm Monday through Friday. $110 members, $125 non-members.

Rhoten Productions at Sebastiani Theatre

Rhoten offers five different camps this year: Nature Camp, Adventure Camp, Performing Arts Camp, Camp Shakespeare and Cal Austin’s Theatre Camp. If your child loves to perform, then these are the camps for you! Campers can start at 5-years-old and up. Some sessions are 2 weeks and have a range of dates throughout the summer. Prices range from $400-525 but remember this is for two weeks. Session One starts June 13th so sign-up early!

Ramekins has Kid Chef Camps with Lisa Lavagetto

Inspire your young chef with a four-day Summer Camp at Ramekins. Only in Sonoma can your child attend a world-renowned culinary school! Chef Lisa Lavagetto will take students on a culinary tour exploring regional cuisine and igniting culinary imaginations. Participants will learn hands-on cooking skills to take home and prepare healthy food for the entire family. There are four summer sessions available for ages 7-11 years. 9:00-1:00p Monday thru Thursday $350. Starting June 20th. 

Sonoma Academy of Dance

Nine different summer camps! Classes start on June 20th and go until August 8th. Most camps are 9:00-4:00 (a few go until 2:00) Monday-Friday and start at $200 and go up to $350 depending on the camp you choose. They also offer early drop off and late pick up. Princess camp is my daughter’s first choice in camps this year but all the camps sound amazing. This is their 6th year running summer camp.

McDonald Ranch Summer Camp

Swimming, go karts, archery, arts and crafts – this camp offers all the summertime mainstays, for kids, 5-12. For children over 8-years-old, they offer a full-time equestrian program, for the rest, one day a week is spent at a Santa Rosa ranch, horseback riding and caring for livestock. The camp meets at Morton Warm Springs, 1651 Warm Springs Road in Glen Ellen, from June 6 – August 19, 8a.m.-5p.m. Prices range from $190.00 per week to $250.00 depending on the camp you choose.

SummerJam Band Camp

Sponsored by Sonoma Jazz and the Sonoma Valley Unified School District, this musical-themed camp is FREE for all band students, in 5th – 8th grade. It runs for two weeks, June 13-23, from 10a.m.-1p.m., at . There will be a final concert on Thursday, June 23rd at 6pm. To sign-up, call 707-939-5294 or email by June 1.

Boys & Girls Club

New themed day camps this year including "Sports Camp," "Science Camp," "Rock Climbing Camp" and "Cooking Camp." All sessions run from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., June 13-August 9 for kids entering 1st- 5th grade. $100 per week. Their regular enrichment summer camp meets from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m for $60 per week ($50 per extra sibling). A later camp is available from 1 -7 p.m., which is free for Boys & Girls Club members (membership is $120 per year).

Challenger Sports British Soccer Camps

High-level coaching in highly personalized setting, each British Soccer Camp provides players of all ages and abilities the appropriate program and level of curriculum. Camp meets at Sonoma’s Field of Dreams, July 11-15. Times vary based on age (Kids 3-16-years-old can participate.) Prices vary by age, $83-$121. All players receive a jersey, camp ball, camp shirt and giant soccer poster. To register, email or call 866-528-9688.

This last one is just outside Sonoma and it has received so many rave reviews about it that I can’t wait to send my kids this year. If you'd like your kids to have some Christian education over the summer, Glen Ellen Church hosts an annual "Vacation Bible School" in the evening from 6 - 8:30p.m. They will have a great time with lively songs, hilarious skits, creative crafts, exciting games, Bible stories and tasty snacks—all of the things that make Vacation Bible School so much fun for children. And it is free! Call  707-327-8997 to sign-up or for more information.

Keep a look out for my second part of this series, how to entertain your kids this summer with out going to summer camp. We'll have lots of ideas that will easily fill your summer with lots of happy memories. But for now happy camping!

caterina Lynch April 13, 2011 at 09:15 PM
Hi there wanted to let everyone know of a great new gift to buy your kids..its called ticklemeplant...I bought it for my niece and she loves it! Every time she touched it the plant moves she moves and laughs with it ...now all her friends want one..just go to ticklemeplant.com
Pamela Hawken (C) 2012 April 14, 2011 at 03:16 AM
Very timely article...it's so easy to wait until the last minute, but getting into the best programs means it's time to sign up now !!!
Jill Nepper June 19, 2011 at 02:41 AM
do you have a working email address for the Challenge Soccer Camp? I sent them an email & it bounced back. Thanks!
Michelle Rulmont June 20, 2011 at 04:41 PM
Hi Jill- Try their phone 866-528-9688 or this email address mwatkins@challengersports.com or the website is www.challengersports. com. Hope this helps! Looks like a great camp!
Lori Edwards April 28, 2012 at 07:23 PM
We are also providing summer camps in Sonoma at Saunders park off 5th street east in Sonoma. Toyology/Candy inventor camp- kids will become official toy testers by testing toys from local toy companies. We will test, analyze and give feedback while coming up with ideas of our own at camp. We will submit our ideas to local toy companies at the end of camp. June 11-15 Survivor Camp- come play the game of survivor in Sonoma. A kids version with team work and friendly competition. Make your own flag, shelter and play for the immunity idol. June 18-22 Crafty camper- Do all the messy crafts you can't do at home. We will tie dye, paper mâché, build forts out of cardboard and lots of other messy art work that mom never lets us do at home. June 25-29 ages 6-10 and July 9-13 ages 3-5. Call 707-290-1787 or www.sonomakidcamps.com to register email us at info@sonomakidcamps.com.

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