San Jose is the third-largest city in California and the largest one in Northern California. It’s on the southern shore of San Francisco Bay and is known for housing the most famous tech hub in the United States, Silicon Valley. It’s the center of innovation and technology, and the summer camps located in San Jose, CA, reflect that with the various STEM opportunities here for kids.
You can also find the traditional day camps and overnight camps in the city of San Jose. Each one offers programs and activities that differ from the next one. These are some of the top summer camps for kids you can choose from in San Jose.
Best San Jose Summer Camps
Steve and Kate’s Camp was founded in 1980 by Steve and Kate Susskind. Together they’ve strived to reinvent summer camp and introduce individualized learning. Steve and Kate’s offers camps in large cities throughout the United States.
In San Jose, the camp is located at St. Frances Cabrini School and allows campers to make their own choices to inspire self-confidence. They believe that this helps the campers to develop problem-solving skills and encourage them to be themselves.
Children at Steve and Kate’s summer camp range from ages 4-12. The day camp starts at 8 am each day and ends at 6 pm. Each session lasts one week, and you can purchase either a day pass or a summer membership.
Prior to camp, campers select an interest-based activities. They also offer a sampler squad, which allows the campers to experience each activity to find what interests them the most. Each team is comprised of 10-18 campers. They offer a unique variety of programs and classes, including film, culinary, fashion design, music, dance, technology.
Camp Captivate focuses on science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics activities. It’s located at Elks Lodge, surrounded by trees, in Santa Clara, CA. The camp was founded in 2009 by Ildiko Stennis. She believes that children learn best when they have hands-on projects that stimulate their creativity.
Camp Captivate is a small camp with low student-teacher ratios. The team sizes are 1:12, and campers range in age from 5 to 13 years old. There are three different groups depending upon the age of the camper. You have the Explorer Camp for kids ages 5 to 7, S.T.E.A.M. Camp Jr for ages 7 to 10, and S.T.E.A.M. Camp Plus for children ages 10 to 13.
There is a one-week session that begins in June and ends in July. Each session is a full-day program, and the in-person campers are outside 100% of the time. The summer program follows Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. Each camper receives a specially curated science kit, and throughout the summer they cover eight themes.
3. Camp CMT
Camp CMT (Children’s Musical Theater) is one of the top performance arts camps in California founded in 1968 by John P. Healy Jr. Healy insisted that every child who auditioned would have the chance to perform on stage. His unusual approach led to the camp’s success.
The camp is held at the CMT Creative Arts Center. There are four different student groups for pre k to kindergarteners, grades 1 to 2, grades 3 to 5, and grades 6 to 8th. The camp is held from the first week of June until the first week of August and comprises 2-week sessions.
The teacher-student ratio of 6:1 allows each camper to receive sufficient instruction for success. The sessions conclude with an outdoor performance for the camper’s guests to show what they learned over the summer.
Cirque Arts Summer Camp helps campers fine-tune their skills in exciting pursuits like juggling, acrobatics, gymnastics, aerial ropes, globe-walking, and much more. It was founded in 1996 by Cheryl Taylor. The youth camps are held at the South Bay Events Hall in the Bay Area.
The day camp sessions are 2-weeks long and start from 9:30 am until 3:30 pm. Campers from 1st grade until 10th grade are welcomed at the camp each summer. To ensure that each camper receives individualized instruction, the student to instructor ratio is 8:1. Each session ends with the campers participating in a final show. The show is conducted with professional performers and includes makeup, costumes, music, and choreography!
In addition to summer camps, they also offer winter camps, after-school classes, and youth circus productions.
The Harker Summer Program is a summer offering by the Harker School. The school was founded in 1893 and is the largest independent school in California. It was originally called Manzanita Hall when Frank Cramer founded it. The school’s focus was college prep, and to this day still maintains the core philosophy it held when the school was founded.
They have summer camps in California for different groups depending upon the camper’s age, but it has programs for kids in kindergarten through high school. Students can participate in small-group instruction and hands-on projects focused on math, language arts, STEM, and art.
There are sessions that are two weeks long and others that are one week long. Some programs allow students to select their favorite subjects like mythology, web design, manga art, and creative writing. They can choose from a variety of for-credit and non-credit subjects.
Kids Summer Art Camp is held at the San Jose Museum of Art, located in downtown San Jose, CA. Campers get a chance to experience unique moments at the museum. The camp sessions are week-long and run during June and July. The curriculum is S.T.E.A.M.-based art and science projects. The camp’s mission is to support young artists as they learn how to appreciate, discuss, and create art pieces. The students are taught by experienced instructors and passionate art educators.
The camp day begins at 9 am and lasts until 12 pm for younger students. This camp is suitable for kids ages 6 to 14. The campers are split into three different groups based on their ages. Teen campers (12-14) can participate in specialized afternoon sessions from 1 pm until 4 pm that takes a deeper look at various creative media.
All art materials and supplies are included in a kit each week, so you don’t have to worry about buying the materials. Campers participate in a virtual exhibition of their work. Each child and their family can experience the virtual exhibition and fully immerse themselves in the experience.
Sprouts Cooking Club was founded in 2006 by Kate Rodgers, who was raised on a farm and grew up believing that food could heal. She started Sprouts Cooking Club to teach children that healthy eating is fun. The program teaches this by providing hands-on learning experiences.
The summer camp takes place at Sprouts Outdoor Garden Kitchen in Berkeley, CA. The day camp is from 9 am until 5 pm and serves campers from 7 to 12 years. The cooking camps are held outdoors and feature a grill top, pizza oven, and burners.
Campers get the opportunity to cook right alongside real chefs all week long. They also often venture to authentic restaurants and cook in the kitchens, getting a real-life behind-the-scenes look. Through their experiences, campers learn to cook with fresh, organic ingredients and develop a deep appreciation for healthy eating.