Updated: January 3rd, 2023
Orange County is one of the most populated places in the state of California. It offers a vast amount of entertainment for families, with an availability of parks, museums, theme parks, and much more.
There are also plenty of summer camps in Orange County, CA, that kids can enjoy. There are day camps, overnight camps, and specialty camps, so you can enroll your child in whichever suits them the best. To make finding the right program easier, here are some of the best Orange County summer camps.
Top 10 Orange County Summer Camps
Operating out of San Bernardino County, California, Pali Adventures provides a fun-filled summer experience for kids ages 8-16. The overnight camp has a large collection of activities (up to 28!) that your kids can choose from.
Camp days are always a mix of play and learning at Pali Adventures, with participants engaging in different activities to improve skills across different areas. While mornings are spent on a chosen activity, kids can decide what to do in the afternoons.
And there are lots of things to do at Pali Adventure, which is accredited by the American Camp Association. Activities are split into broad categories called specialties, each specialty representing a different skill. You can select a range of outdoor activities that appeal to your child.
Athletic children can sign up for the ninja warrior, gymnastics, watersports, and other similar specialties. Creative kids can choose the filmmaking, street art, and even stand-up comedy focus. There is something here for everyone no matter the interest. There is a good reason why it was also featured as one of the top camps in the Los Angeles area.
Steve and Kate's Camp
Steve and Kate's Camp offers a full summer day camp in Irvine, CA. Parents can choose the number of days they want to send their kids to camp, as well as buy a summer pass for the entire season. It's suitable for children ages 4-12.
They offer various fun activities that involve a range of things like animation, music, performing arts, sports and rec, baking, and wall climbing. Each week offers a unique activity and games, which can involve a jumbo castle, obstacle course, bounce houses, and much more. The summer programs run from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm.
Any unused days get refunded back to give parents peace of mind. Lunch is covered, so you don't need to pack a lunch for your child. The staff is trained in CPR and first aid, so you're child is always safe under their supervision. With camps around the country and other large cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, Steve and Kate's Camps are well-organized and exciting.
Catalina Sea Camp
Catalina Sea Camp offers overnight summer camps on Catalina Island for children ages 8-17. With two locations on private beaches in Fox Landing and Toyon Bay, kids can spend their summer doing fun outdoor adventures while also getting an education in marine biology.
They offer some of the most exciting camp activities like underwater videography and photography, scuba diving, night snorkeling, paddle boarding, arts and crafts, archery, and much more. It's the perfect place for kids to become more independent while building social skills and developing new friendships.
Catalina Sea Camp provides an immersive experience in marine science through hands-on activities while allowing kids to enjoy the summer of their lives. Kids stay in hillside cabins with their peers, supervised by experienced camp counselors who undergo extensive training and background checks. You can sign kids 8-13 up for a one-week program and those 12-17 for a three-week program.
Students in grades 2 to 9 can sign up for PlanetBravo's award-winning technology camps in Los Angeles, Irvine, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Santa Monica, Pasadena, and other cities of Southern California.
PlanetBravo has courses in subjects like Minecraft Modding, VR game creation, animation, video editing, drones, Overwatch, Roblox, game development, and more. Their experienced staff and instructors can help your child continue their education over the summer while making new friends and enjoying summer fun. Their weekly classes also include fun outdoor games to keep their minds and bodies sharp.
These Orange County day camps typically start at 9 am and last till 3 pm each weekday. Students can enroll for multiple weeks by selecting different courses or even retake the ones they really enjoyed. The diverse and qualified staff have backgrounds in related fields, including engineering, filmmaking, computer science, and more.
OC Baseball Camp
Does your little one have hopes of playing the Little League next season or even becoming the next Babe Ruth? Then you need to sign them up for Tim O'Donoghue's OC Baseball Camp this summer.
With 20+ years of experience teaching baseball to kids, OC Baseball Camp may be the best place for your child to improve their baseball skills. The camp benefits from world-class instructors and a safe and healthy atmosphere where amateur athletes receive full support to improve their game.
At OC Baseball Camp, campers learn the fundamentals of baseball, including pitching, playing base, throwing, and catching. Moreover, they learn the other side of baseball—developing the right mindset, conditioning the body for peak performance, and more.
OC Baseball Camp offers both full-week and 3-day camp for kids ages 4-14. The day camp is an excellent way to get a feel for the program before making a larger commitment. It's one of the few baseball camps in Orange County.
It's common for science-loving kids to feel out of place among school peers who'd rather watch movies or read the latest comic. However, Destination Science gives science geeks a haven to connect with others, make new friends and learn cool stuff.
While it's fairly new, Destination Science has built a reputation for helping campers develop critical social and cognitive skills. Campers learn to cooperate, interact with people, and form connections with peers through games and discussions here.
Camp days start at 9:00 am and end at 3:00 pm. Each day, campers participate in three 70-minute STEM learning sessions. On special days, participants go outside and carry out science experiments outdoors.
Destination Science has a lot going for it and is a top camp to consider if your child needs STEM education. There are very few camps in California that offer the same level of education as this one.
Students receive classes from expert educators while learning how to be better scientists. This camp makes learning fun for every camper, so don't be surprised if your child starts giving Einstein a run for the money!
YMCA of Orange County
Every summer, the YMCA of Orange County organizes several camps for kids in the area. These camps provide a healthy space for kids to have fun while building up their Christian faith and developing leadership skills.
The summer day camp is a 5-days-a-week affair that includes field trips, STEM events, sporting challenges, and other traditional camp activities. Camp E.L.K. is another YMCA summer camp program that's great for youngsters between ages 8 and 17. Campers can enjoy GaGa Ball, ropes course, archery, and much more.
If you want the ultimate summer camp experience for your child, consider registering for Camp Oakes, a sleepaway camp for students entering grades 3-12. Camp Oakes reflects its age-grade by offering more mature activities, including hiking and leadership training
If you want to organize your child's summer around one activity, YMCA of Orange County has nearly a dozen specialty camps. You can choose from sports camps, STEM camps and much more.
Back Bay's unique location at the Newport Resort and Marina makes it the perfect place for youth to get introduced to the ocean. With no strong waves, campers can enjoy their first experience with the sea and practice swimming safely.
Back Bay Summer Camp has been running for eight years and continues to be one of the most popular camps in the Orange County area. The camp is located near Jamboree Road, which is easily accessible from anywhere in Orange County.
It's open to anyone between 5 and 17 years of age, but they must have basic swimming skills to be eligible for entry into the program. Beyond learning how to swim at Newport Beach, campers cultivate an appreciation for the environment. They also build endurance skills and learn how to navigate ocean water safely.
If you're looking for more water-based camps, then Catalina Island has a plethora of summer programs for your children.
Irvine School of Music
The Irvine School of Music is a music education institute dedicated to empowering youths to grow into capable performers. With industry-trained instructors overseeing lessons, ISM offers students structured day camps for developing the skills necessary for success in their chosen musical field.
OC summer camps at ISM are a great way to let your young musician pick up some music skills over the summer. The school offers training in different areas, including music production, songwriting, and instrumental music.
Each program at ISM is comprehensive and packed with value. For instance, the four-day Songwriting camp exposes campers to lyric writing and the composition of harmonies. In the end, campers create an original audio/video recording to show off their learned skills.
Summer in the Son Day Camp
Run by the St. John's Lutheran School, Summer in the Son is a faith-based day camp that operates like every other summer program. That means your child does traditional camp activities, including field trips, group games, and educational sessions. But they also learn and build up their faith.
The day camps run from Monday to Friday, with daily sessions held between 7:00 am and 6:00 pm. Each week operates based on the selected themes, so no two weeks are the same at Summer in the Son. Anyone in kindergarten through eighth grade is welcome to register for these week long camps.
The camp dates fall between June and July. Depending on your budget, you can register for one, two, three, four, or five-day camps.