Tucked away mere miles from our nation’s capital is a hidden gem of the adventurous and historic city of Richmond, Virginia.
It’s no wonder that summer camps thrive here. The James River, the country’s only urban class IV rapids, runs right through Richmond, making for epic kayaking adventures. You can combine water adventures with miles of hiking and biking trails. The city has a lot to offer for summer fun.
It’s home to many historical sites. Not only will you find outdoor fun for your kiddos, but also plenty of educational opportunities. Down below, we included a roundup of the best summer camps in Richmond based on what we know about the area and the parents we’ve talked to.
Best Richmond Summer Camps
Located in a climate-controlled facility, there are many opportunities for families and people of all ages to explore the Sports Center of Richmond. One of those opportunities is their summer camp open for children ages 3-13.
Campers will experience games like soccer, kickball, dodgeball, field hockey, and more, both indoors and outdoors. Counselors here know that rest and rejuvenation are important, so there is also plenty of time to play camp games and time to relax. Full and half-day camps are available, along with three different programs to match your child’s age and interests.
They also offer a Junior Camp Counselor Program for your 14-16-year-old to get them ready to be a camp counselor upon leaving. Camps take place during school holidays, along with their popular Friday Nights Sports Camps.
The Steward School is one of the top schools in Richmond, so it also makes sense that it offers quality summer camps.
A private K-12 facility, The Steward School brings academics and summer camp fun to all attendees, even those who don’t come here. Choose from gymnastics, dance, STEM, sports, creative writing, and so much more.
Offering full-day and half-day summer week-long camps, The Steward School makes it easy to choose what’s right for your child. You can even sign up your kid for more than one session. You can find something suitable for your child in any grade from K-12. Latino students can also enroll in their Latino Education Advancement Program, a pre-college program that’s free.
Alkuluna, meaning “Bright Eyes” is the oldest camp in Virginia, getting its start in 1915. The summer camp is a ministry of River City Faith Network offering an affordable option to families with kids ages 9-14.
Set in the Allegheny Mountains in the George Washington Forest in Millboro Springs, Camp Alkulana is all about the natural world and the beauty and fun of being outdoors.
Your child will enjoy hiking, caving, rock climbing, canoeing, ropes courses, campfires, and ministry. There are four overnight sessions to choose from depending on age. Have an older child that is interested? Here you can also find staff training opportunities to help your child become a Junior Counselor for future camps.
But one of the best things is that they even host a family camp weekend in the fall. There are also school year programs to keep kids united together all year long.
With a slogan of, “We make kids tired,” endless adventures are to be expected. Kids aged 5-17 can explore the outdoors while whitewater kayaking, rock climbing, ziplining, mountain biking, hiking, and learning outdoor survival skills.
Choose from Base Camp, which is a 4-5 day camp for the young ones, adventure-specific day camps, or even overnight camps for older campers. The sleepaway camps include wilderness survival training and outdoor adventure education.
Peak Experiences hosts several summer camps, but they are also a premier rock climbing venue with courses and classes for people of all ages.
Building culinary skills alongside self-confidence for young aspiring chefs is the goal at Young Chefs Academy Culinary Camp. It was founded by Julie Burleson back in 2006.
Three and five-day camps offer three-hour hands-on sessions for ages 6-15. They will cook to their heart’s delight and learn baking techniques through fun challenges that encourage friendly competition.
There are also year-round programs to keep kids having fun after school. They also host parties, weekly courses, family events, and courses to keep everyone cooking together.
Team building, sports, early childhood education, and outdoor education are all part of the YMCA of Greater Richmond. Everything is open to preschoolers and teenagers, including a Leaders in Training Program.
YMCA’s Camp Thunderbird offers 100 acres of outdoor education next to Lake George. Campers can swim, fish, zipline, and participate in team sports along with other confidence-building activities. You can also choose from several specialty camps, from Lego to Ninja Warrior, or sports camps focusing on soccer, basketball, and dodgeball.
YMCA has been a trusted activity center for years, and its summer programs are no different. When students return to school, it doesn’t all end there. Parents will find many more choices throughout the school year and school holidays.
The Swift Creek Mill Theatre began its days as a mill in 1663. In 1965 it was reborn into a theatre and playhouse. Today, it continues to provide entertainment and education for children.
With four distinct programs to choose from depending on your child’s age, the theatre experience will come to life this summer. Students in grades K-2 can enroll in the Discovery Camp, where stories are acted out and arts and crafts take on a whole new meaning.
Third through 5th graders can participate in Writer’s Camp, where they perform their very own short play. Fifth through 12th graders will experience a two-week immersive theatre production experience in the Performance Camp. Each program culminates in a live performance giving your child a true theatre experience.
Collegiate is a K-12 college prep school that runs the popular Summer Quest program.
Summer Quest features over 220 camps for kids from all over the area. Mooreland Road and Robins campuses and Collegiate School Aquatics Center are all participating locations. Each camp session has extended opportunities to fit your scheduling needs throughout the this time.
Choose from sports camps such as archery, basketball, and lacrosse. If your child is looking for something more academic-focused, there are coding and other STEM learning classes. You can even find guitar lessons, dance, chess lessons, and language skills. They run through early August, so finding something for your child that matches your schedules is a breeze.
The Richmond SPCA is a no-harm humane society. They advocate for animals and adopt over 4,000 pets to loving homes every year. They host Critter Camp, a summer camp for youngsters with a love for animals.
Aimed at children between 6 to 13, Critter Camp offers in-person and take-home camp choices. If your child is an aspiring vet or just wants to interact with dogs and cats, this is the perfect summer camp.
Week-long sessions give ample opportunity to learn about animal medicine, welfare, and care. There are half-day and full-day sessions depending on grade level throughout the season with extended days optional.
10. Camp Roanoke
Camp Roanoke is nestled amongst 700 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Outdoor adventures abound with this weeklong camp for students entering 2nd through 7th grade. Your child will experience the beauty of the mountains with activities like archery, canoeing, team-building activities, and environmental education.
Camp Roanoke is hosted through Roanoke County’s many programs. So when summer is over, and you’re in need of more to explore in this beautiful region, look for other opportunities in Roanoke County. With several facilities, classes, and activities geared toward families, Camp Roanoke is only just the beginning.
Within this city resides some of Virginia’s best summer camps.
Martin has been in the summer camp industry for 7 years now. He has worked in different roles for camps, including as a marketing director for summer camps in the United States. Martin enjoys all kinds of outdoor activities but likes hiking and kayaking the most. He’s also a huge fan of traveling.