13 summer camps for kids at Lake Tahoe
Summer camps can be fun for kids of all ages and offer opportunities for arts and crafts, high ropes courses, hiking and even mountain biking.
Head to Heavenly Mountain Resort where kids can become involved in conservation education, relay and endurance games, team building activities and more. Known as Discovery Day Camp, the camp is geared toward children ages 5-12. Parents can register their children for a day, a week, or even more, but the camp has the advantage of being one of the few open every day, including Saturdays and Sundays, from June 20 to Aug. 28.
“Heavenly’s summer kids camp program specializes in learn-through-play activities that connect education with fun,” said Rachelle Atherton, senior communications specialist at Heavenly Mountain Resort. “Kids get to learn about Lake Tahoe’s unique ecosystem through interactive learning stations, while navigating the mountain through ropes courses, scavenger hunts, hiking, relay games and more. Heavenly eco-rangers guide kids through an interactive curriculum that promotes conservation and appreciation for the Tahoe National Forest.”
And there is a bonus at Discovery Day Camp: You don't have to pack a lunch for your children -- it's provided by Heavenly's Tamarack Lodge. Three four-daylong adventure camp sessions are available.
Of course, there are many other camps available around Lake Tahoe, too -- some which are offered by private organizations and others by city parks' departments. The cost for these camps can vary based on type of activities offered, whether camp is daylong, weeklong or even overnight.
Looking for more Lake Tahoe camp ideas? Check out the list of 12 camps below. Use the hyperlinks to find out more information on times, costs and registration.
More camps for kids around Lake Tahoe
Camp Skylandia: Operated by Tahoe City Parks and Recreation, this summer camp has weeklong themes and operates along the forest, on the beach and on the pier of Skylandia Park, in Tahoe City. Camps are split up by grade levels, and can be registered for on a week-by-week basis on the Tahoe City Public Utility District Parks and Recreation Department's website. Other camps offered through the department include sailing camp, Claymation film camp and theatrical makeup artistry camp.
Mountain Camp: If an overnight camp is what you envision for your kids, you may want to take a look Mountain Camp, located close to Lake Tahoe on the shore of Ice House Lake in the Eldorado National Forest. Available for kids entering second through 12th grade, Mountain Camp is coed and allows kids to enroll for a week or up to four. Kids can learn to sail, kneeboard and disc golf as well as try out fencing, mountain biking, ropes courses and more. Just don't tell your kids that the wake-up time at Mountain Camp is 7:30 a.m.
Tahoe Expedition Academy: Four-day camps are offered all throughout the summer with Tahoe Expedition Academy and kids are split up by age groups, including: 4 to 6; 7 to 11; and 12 to 14. The camps also have themes. The youngest kids might be engaged in Awesome Arts and Adventure Camp while older children could sign up for Primitive Skills Camp, Claytivity Art Camp, or even +Impact Video Game Coding Camp. Camps are usually academic or adventure-based and provide your kids with the opportunities to work with professional crafts people and artists from around the lake.
South Tahoe Adventure Recreation (STAR) Camps: If your kids are in kindergarten through fifth grade, they can get their fun on at themed camps offered daily or weekly at STAR camp in South Lake Tahoe. The program is centralized upon the concept of "No Child Left inside" and encourages kids to explore and build a love for the outdoors through authentic experiences. The program also can help kids to develop self-confidence and leadership skills.
EPIC camps: Incline Village Parks and Recreation offers a number of Tahoe-based camps for kindergarten through fifth grade. Themes include the Jurassic Age, Ice Age, Ancient Greece, Medieval Times and the Golden Age of Piracy with field trips scheduled to Reno to visit Wild Island, Jump Man Jump and more. Several specialty camps also are available, including Author Academy, Paddleboard Camp and Movie Mania.
Kids Art Camp: These camps, scheduled for two one-week sessions in July in Kings Beach, are offered in conjunction with the Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe. Kids work with local artisans and crafters to learn skills in ceramics, fiber art, journal making, pastels, wire sculpture or other art forms. Elementary and middle school students are invited to enjoy these hands-on experiences.
Tahoe Donner: Eight weeklong sessions are available for kids to enjoy at Tahoe Donner, which is located off Donner Pass Road. Kids are split up into age groups and known as Explorers, Pioneers or by another fitting title. Depending on the age group, they might become involved in archery, mountain biking, ropes course, crafts, fun at the beach, pool or another kind of fun. Whatever the day and whatever the focus, the idea is to give your kids a great mountain experience.
Teen Environmental Science and Service Learning Academy: The camp, offered out of Galena Creek Regional Park on Mount Rose Highway, is for youth ages 13-17 and provides hands-on learning experiences through service projects, work with environmental partners and more. Your kids will be given leadership responsibilities, but also will have the chance to meet new friends, do arts and crafts and hang out at the beach. Themes include Desolation Wilderness, Water Explorations and Engineering in Nature.
Camp Galilee: Located in Glenbrook along the edge of Lake Tahoe, this camp focuses on spiritual faith as well as the experience of being outdoors. Six adventure sessions are offered throughout the summer, all age specific, with a family camp and youth backpacking trip squeezed in between the adventure sessions. Campers can go kayaking, camp out under the stars, do rock climbing and more. Bonus: The cabins at Camp Galilee are heated and even feature an indoor bathroom.
Woodward Tahoe: This camp, in Truckee provides a number of day camps as well as the option for overnight camps for kids, including skateboard camp, cheer camp, BMX camp and more. Camp programs are for kids ages 7-19, with the camp located at Boreal Mountain Ski Resort. Campers in the overnight programs stay in the bunkhouse, which features dorm-style rooms. Extracurricular activities include arts and crafts, capture the flag, kickball and more.
MTB Summer Camp: Want your kids to focus on mountain biking during their summer camp? Then check out Sierra Switchbacks Summer Camp. These three-day camps cover topics such as braking, body positioning, cornering, shifting, climbing, descending and more. Camps are split into beginning, intermediate and advanced levels and bikers are led on their biking adventures in the Tahoe National Forest by Tahoe mountain guides.
Camp Zephyr Day Camp: This camp, in Zephyr Cove, offers five-day programs for children ages 5 to 12. The camp is Christian-based with daily readings from the Bible and spiritual development, but also featuring opportunities to engage in the outdoors. From arts and crafts to nature camp, singing, swimming, kayaking and more, your child can find different opportunities for exploration at this day camp.