Hello dear GISH PICKS reader! School is almost out so it’s time to get serious about your kids’ summer day camps. Check out THE SUMMER BOOK® ONLINE – with over 200 camps to choose from, there’s at least one camp that’s perfect for every child! You can find camps by age group, area of town, subject matter, dates, cost, and much more! It’s so easy, you’ll love it. Best of all, you can search from anywhere – the carpool line, at work (shhh!), and while at the beach.

My guide to summer camps is the LARGEST and MOST ACCURATE guide in the city– I’ve been researching Houston day camps since 2003 and I love finding cool day camps for kids. I’m all about IGNITING LIVES (see why here) and exploring interests during the summer at camps are a great way to do that.

Naturally, I love to PICK camps, just like I love to PICK cultural activities! Below is my curated list of some camps I want you to be sure you check out. I’ll be sending these out from time to time on Fridays so be sure to open your emails.

Happy searching! And if you have any questions or would like a speaker to come and talk to your group about summertime family fun, please contact me. I’d love to help!


Into the Wild Summer Camps

Into the Wild Summer Camps
A.D. Players
PHONE: 713.439.0181
DATES: June 5-August 7
TIMES: half day for camps; full day for “Summer All-Star Camp”
AGES: 5-18 years old
COST: varies

The A.D. Players’ Theatre Arts Academy presents camps for all ages, all interests. Topics include “Madagascar”, “Monsters, Inc.”, “Where the Wild Things Are”, and “The Jungle Book.” TAA is a branch of the AD Players Theater Company and offers training for artists of all ages with a primary focus on ages 5-18. They specialize in developing individual artistry and the student as a whole while training students and providing them with tools which can be utilized in theater and life experiences.


Summer Camp 2017
PHONE: 713.552.9028
DATES: May 15-September 1
TIMES: varies (full days, half days, lunch workshops)
AGES: 10-15 years old
COST: starts at $50

In each of their 16 weeks of camp, students will make masterpieces inspired by a rich collection of artists from a new destination each week. Students will build their skills and learn new techniques in drawing, painting, sculpting, mixed media and collage. At the conclusion of the week, students will have a beautiful collection of personal masterpieces that represents all of their more fully developed creative skills and talent! Their summer programs (and all classes and programs) are for artists of all abilities, including special needs – everyone is welcome! artmixstudio will be glad to create a day camp for other ages or needs with a minimum of five artists.

Art of Sound Music School

Music Lessons
Art of Sound Music School
PHONE: 832.452.7970
DATES: ongoing
TIMES: you choose!
AGES: all
COST: $150/month for weekly half-hour lessons and $250/month for weekly hour lessons

Professional musician Tim Browning is offering lessons in your home through his music school, the Art of Sound. He’s very engaging with kids and will work with you or your children starting at any level on a variety of instruments (violin, viola, piano) and he can also teach voice or music theory lessons. Children of all ages show academic improvement when they study music and music has been shown to stave off neurological difficulties and aging issues in adults.

Aurora Picture Show

Aurora Summer Filmmaking Camps
Aurora Picture Show
PHONE: 713.868.2101
DATES: the weeks of June 19 and July 17 (8-11 year olds) and the weeks of July 24 and 31 (12-15 year olds)
TIMES: 9am-2pm
AGES: 8-15 years old
COST: $350 and $295/Aurora members (per week)

Aurora Picture Show's popular, hands-on creative filmmaking camps give kids the opportunity to learn about, create, and discuss film and video. Local professionals guide camp participants in developing, shooting, and editing collaborative digital short films, and then these projects are premiered in a special showcase at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston on Saturday, August 12. Each camp is Monday-Friday, 9am-2pm at Aurora’s workshop space at 2442 Bartlett Street.

Bridges Academy of Fine Arts

Jerry Eckles Music Theater Camp
Bridges Academy of Fine Arts
PHONE: 713.402.5110
DATES: June 19-30
TIMES: 9am-5pm
AGES: rising 2nd through 12th graders
COST: $250 for two-week camp

The Bridges Academy of Fine Arts will produce a one-hour "Junior" version of the hit Broadway musical “Annie” this summer in their annual Jerry Eckles Music Theater Camp. Enrollment is open for students entering grade 2 through graduating seniors, and the camp will run Monday through Friday, June 19-30 from 9am-5pm. Tuition is $250, with a 10% discount for each additional sibling you enroll. All camp activities will take place in the Rotunda Theater at St. Luke's United Methodist Church at 3471 Westheimer in central Houston.     

Building Brains

Summer Camps at Building Brains
Building Brains
DATES: May 30-August 11 (no camps July 4)
TIMES: vary, based on location
AGES: 3-12 years old
COST: starts at $200

The Lego Camp Preschool camps are for 3 to 5 year olds and they use LEGO Duplo educational kits to build math and science skills. Building Brains – Lego Camp Elementary I (6 to 8 years) or II (9 to 14 years) camps allow kids to learn to build simple machines using gears, levers and pulleys and then motorize these machines using LEGO kits and curriculum while building math and science skills. Class also includes challenges where kids will compete against one another to build the best design. Students will understand why a machine works and will learn how to manipulate a machine to go faster or slower. Fine motor skills, critical thinking skills, imagination, and confidence will increase in this fun-filled camp atmosphere.

Camp Invention

Camp Invention
National Inventors Hall of Fame
PHONE 800.968.4332
DATES: vary based upon location (over 15 in the greater Houston area!)
TIMES: varies based upon location
AGES: 5-12 years old
COST: varies based upon location

This summer, launch your child’s imagination at Camp Invention! All-new modules mean all-new fun as children invent, build, question, and discover. Children in kindergarten through 6th grade experience real-world problem solving and creative thinking as they transform the terrain and ecosystem of a distant exoplanet, take risks as future entrepreneurs, blast rockets and rubber chickens, and wire a circuit to create their own Spy Gadget Alarm Box! Local educators lead a week of hands-on activities that fuel children’s 21st century skills. Early registration discounts are available so don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity.

Chess Masters of Houston

Chess Camp
Chess Masters of Houston
PHONE: 832.721.4945
DATES: June 19-August 18
TIMES: 9am-12pm or 8am-5pm
AGES: 5 years old and up
COST: starts at $150

Chess Masters of Houston is the premier organization teaching chess to kids. Owner Nellie Naidoo has been coaching winning chess teams in HISD schools for twelve years and is passionate about the game and bringing it to every child, every home (including special needs kids). Chess Masters is very organized and has great teachers! Most of the top players in Houston are taught by International Master Daniel Fernandez and he is their lead teacher. Chess Masters of Houston is centrally located and they have summer camps for all levels from ages 5 and up. A special feature is that class sizes are small.

Crossing Borders Camps

Summer Art Sessions
City ArtWorks
PHONE: 713.681.1331
DATES: June 5-August 11, no camp July 3-7
TIMES: times vary (full day and half day classes are available)
AGES: 4-15 years old
COST: $160/2-hour session (can be combined many ways)

City ArtWorks offers two summer options, based on age: “ArtSmart” classes are 4-5 year olds and “Imagination” classes are for 5-15 year olds. Their classes focus on "Art for Life:  giving children the ability to create, interpret, and explore through art."  Every summer, City ArtWorks offers programs that include sculpture, clay, printmaking, drawing, painting, mixed media and other visual art mediums. They encourage creative problem solving, they help develop critical thinking skills, and they expose children to visual arts concepts and history. But most of all, City ArtWorks' classes are fun and a great way for kids to connect with other young artists while developing skills they can use in all areas of their life!

Summer Theatre Camp

Summer Theatre Camp at The Grand
The Grand 1894 Opera House
PHONE: 800.821.1894 or 409.765.1894
DATES: July 24-28
TIMES: 12:30-5:30pm with an evening performance for the public on Friday, July 28
AGES: 7-16 years old
COST: $245

If you love to perform for family and friends – this is the camp for you! Led by actors/directors from Missoula Children’s Theatre as well as The Grand’s camp staff, camp will consist of daily rehearsals and direction on acting, singing and technical theatre, as well as theatre crafts and performance instruction. Summer Theatre Camp is a week-long residency program presented by Missoula Children’s Theatre and The Grand and will culminate in a full performance of PETER AND WENDY on Friday, July 28 at 6pm on The Grand’s stage.

Art Camp Adventures!

Art Camp Adventures!
Gerry and Greta's Art Studio
PHONE: 713.817.0177
DATES: June 12-August 11 (no camp week of July 3)
TIMES: 9am-3pm
AGES: rising 1st-5th graders
COST: $325/week

At Gerry and Greta’s Art Camp Adventures, every child is an artist! They’ll have lots of fun creating awesome art projects and taking a daily afternoon break in The Zone's huge Inflatable Bounce House Room. There’s a free Pizza Party on Fridays and unique art themes each week. Campers will create exciting projects as they use a variety of art materials, try new artistic styles, and learn about different artists. Small classes ensure lots of one on one time with veteran art instructors and camp directors Gerry Melot and Greta Bernitz, enabling every young artist, from beginner to advanced, to grow, learn and blossom.

Crossing Borders Camps

Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, French & English Immersion Summer Camps
Language Kids World
PHONE: 281.565.1388
DATES: June 5-August 25
TIMES: 9am-3pm, early and late care available
AGES: 3-11 years old
COST: starts at $219

Give your child the gift of another language with these Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, French, and English language immersion summer camps. The Language Kids World summer camps are play-based and innovative, and provided in a fun and nurturing environment that fosters friendship and curiosity for other cultures! Their hands-on and interactive programs are taught by native-speaker language educators with extensive training and experience in language teaching methodologies. The camps are week-long, with early and extended immersion provided at some locations, for kids 3-11 years old. There are multiple locations: Houston, Bellaire, Sugar Land, Kingwood, Spring/The Woodlands, Spring Branch, Katy, Pearland. Call them today and start your child on the path to become bilingual!

Creative Writing Summer Camp

Creative Writing Summer Camp
Project ReadWrite
PHONE: 713.828.3699
DATES: June 5-9 (NOTE: registration ends May 26!)
TIMES: 9am-3pm
AGES: 7-14 years old
COST: $450

Project ReadWrite Creative Writing Summer Camp is a 5-day, intensely creative, highly educational writing & video production workshop designed to helps kids ages 7-14 bring their big ideas to life! Budding writers and filmmakers can sharpen their reading, writing, artistic, and directorial talents as they transform their original stories into richly illustrated moving pictures and hardbound books.

Psynergy Psychological Services

Creative Resilience
Psynergy Psychological Services
PHONE: 713.724.7050
DATES: June 19-30 (2 weeks)
TIMES: 9am-12pm
AGES: 4-11 years old
COST: $650

This two-week workshop centers around children’s natural love of storytelling, which is the foundation for self-discovery, self-confidence, and self-regulation. In developmentally appropriate workshops for ages 4 to 11 year-olds, psychotherapists Victoria Jones and Dr. Catherine Boswell have created a workshop to help children succeed in a world that favors perfectionism and competition. The tools for insight and growth will be storytelling, creative movement, acting, mindfulness meditation, play, drawing, painting, singing, games, puzzling, and bookmaking. The workshops are from 9am-noon Monday through Friday; early and late care are available for an additional fee. Simultaneous 90-minute Parent Workshops are also available on Wednesdays, 9-10:30am, for an additional fee. Siblings get a 10% discount.

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Sarah Gish
1940-A Fountainview, PMB 116
Houston, Texas 77057
phone: 713.492.1173

© 2017 Sarah Gish

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