Raleigh is North Carolina’s capital and second-largest city. With an unmistakable Southern charm and beautiful environment, it’s the perfect place to spend the summer. There are many things to do for kids throughout the city, and summer camp is one of the top choices during school break.
Whether you live in Raleigh, NC or are close to it, there are plenty of great summer programs within or close to the city. You’ll find in-person overnight camps and day camps to suit your schedule and budget. You can also read our list on Charlotte summer camps for more options.
Best Raleigh Summer Camps
NCMNS stands for the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, which organizes science-inspired day camps for kids between kindergarten and 9th grade. These camps introduce children to science through fun activities and interactive lessons delivered by engaging instructors.
The NCMNS has nine different options that your child can select. The Healthy Habitats camp teaches kids all they need to know about natural habitats, including how plants adapt to new environments. Then there’s the popular Ology camp where kids learn branches of science — from zoology and ornithology to entomology.
Other day programs available at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences include The Art of Doing Science, Digging Up Dinasours, and Wildlife Illustrators.
Most NCMNS programs operate as day camps, so you can drop off your kids in the morning and pick them up in the evening. The camps usually last one week, but you can register them for multiple weeks once you find the ideal camp.
2. Camp Kanata
Camp Kanata sits on 150 acres of land encompassing lakes and forests. With so many natural attractions, campers ages 6-15 have plenty of outdoor adventures to indulge in during their time at camp.
The Raleigh camp organizes several camps, allowing you to choose what works best for your camper. You can choose one-week overnight camp sessions or summer day camps. For a short but fun-filled camp experience, the three-day weekend camp is also ideal.
At Camp Kanata, the fun never stops. The 15-acre lake provides opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, boating, and fishing. Beyond that, the camp has a huge water slide for splish-splashy fun, creative arts classes, and archery practice areas.
Camp Kanata is a great place to send your child for the summer holidays. The small counselor-to-child ratio gives room for personalized instruction and guidance for campers. With an environment that encourages active learning and development, your child will leave camp better than they arrived.
The Raleigh Little Theater hosts artistic campers each summer for a fun-filled theatre camp. Their day camps begin at 9 am and ends at 4 pm each weekday, but half-day camps are also available. At summer camp, kids can learn about different ideas, hone their acting skills, and inspire themselves through drama and art.
While activities vary by age and camp, participants can do everything from performing plays, create their own plays with their peers, partake in acting games and activities, and more. It’s a great place for campers to grow social skills in a fostering environment.
There are different offerings for campers starting at age 4 to students going up to 9th grade. Raleigh Little Theater does provide extended care options to help with a parent’s busy schedule. Plus, scholarships are available so that anyone can make it to camp. Raleigh Little Theater has been run by a group of talented professionals and performers since 1936.
Giggles Drop offers a summer day camp for kids ages 5-12. They host different themes each week to keep things fun, like outer space and prehistoric times themes. Learning lessons include farm animals, science experiments, bugs, wild animals, space, and more.
Each day includes an exciting field trip to different places filled with fun activities. The day lasts 9 hours, starting at 8:30 am, but busy parents can also request additional time if needed. Once the field trip is over, there is free play at the Giggles facility.
The day camp provides lunch, water, and a clean camp shirt for kids, so parents don’t need to worry about those. They also keep their teacher-to-student ratio below 1:13 to ensure kids get the care and attention they need.
Warrior Tech NC camp helps kids learn about exercise and nutrition in Raleigh, NC. They train children ages 5-13, with a camp starting at 8:45 and ending at 4:00 pm each day. They also offer before and after care from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm. You can sign kids up for the entire week or on a daily basis.
The week ends with a fun and friendly camp competition that parents can come and see. It’s certainly a unique option focusing on being active and learning about how food and nutrition are essential to a lifestyle. The camp instills healthy core values and offers them an outlet to expend energy at its wonderful facilities.
Parents just need to send kids off with snacks and lunch, plus gym clothes and appropriate shoes. They are open during the summer as well as the school semester and winter break.
Camp Rockmont is one of the biggest Christian camps in North Carolina, with over 600 acres of private land. This overnight summer program for boys started in 1956 and aims to provide a fun and meaningful Christian community for the campers. Although it is 3 hours away from Raleigh, you’ll only have to take two trips to drop off and pick up your camper at their sleepaway camp.
Camp Rockmont offers a week-long starter program for boys ages 6-10 and a two-week classic camp for those ages 7-16. There’s also a three-week Base Camp and 4-week Summit Camp, which are only available for boys ages 11-16. Althogh
There is a range of adventurous age-appropriate activities from field sports and farming to mountain biking and blacksmithing! Interspersed with these boisterous activities are periods of quiet reflection to help campers build their faiths.
The New Life Camp has been in operation for 60+ years, having opened its doors in 1950. With a history of organizing top-tier summer camps in the Raleigh area, New Life Camp is another great place for your children to spend the summer.
This is a Christian camp where campers are encouraged to detach from technology and immerse in religious teaching and fellowship. Your children can forge a deeper relationship with God throughout the summer and improve their spiritual lives.
New Life Camp also makes provisions for recreational activities so kids can enjoy an all-around experience. Campers can play exciting games like carpetball, dodgeball, table tennis, and mini-golf. They can also choose to participate in crafting classes or watersports like water sliding, fishing, and boating.
8. Camp Marbles
Camp Marbles allows campers to learn and play in a healthy environment, make new friends, and create memorable experiences. Your child can participate in different activities at Camp Marbles, ranging from games and crafts to outdoor exploration. That guarantees a genuinely enriching experience for your child and transforms their summer into the ultimate learning journey.
Camp Marbles encourages active learning so that campers will practice their skills on certain hands-on projects. By pushing kids to learn by doing, they’ll build confidence, learn faster and grasp concepts easily.
Two days are rarely the same at Camp Marbles, thanks to a rotating collection of activity rooms. These activity rooms often revolve around creative themes and help inspire kids to develop their creative skills.
Master Chang Martial Arts offers a summer camp for kids with no martial arts experience. Kids can practice martial arts in a fun and safe environment with other students. The summer camp also includes one-week free enrollment in regular classes, where they can learn new moves and to break boards.
The camp runs through the summer, and the students can continue to practice week by week. The kids are expected to bring comfortable clothes, snacks, a lunch, and a good attitude to practice. The program isn’t all about improving athletic abilities either, as there is a strong focus on helping kids improve themselves emotionally through self-confidence and self-esteem.
The goal is to teach kids discipline and responsibility and have them make new friends throughout their time here. To keep things interesting, the camp offers different weekly themes used in their learning. With classes for all skill levels, your kid doesn’t need any experience, but if they have some, that’s even better.
Xtreme Summer Camp operates out of Durham, Raleigh, and registers only 50 kids for its day camp program. The camp activities stretch mental and physical skills, intending to significantly improve them for the students that attend.
The Xtreme Camp primarily targets kids ages 8-16 and offers both half-day and full-day camps. If you’re trying the camp for the first time, the half-day camp is a great place to start. Then you can start leaving your children for the entire day if they like the program.
Campers are spoiled when it comes to choosing activities. A few of the many traditional camp activities include high ropes courses, ziplining, arts & crafts, laser tag, and survival skills training. The camp also organizes team-building games and pursuits that allow campers to build bonds and develop interpersonal skills.
For camps all over the state, read our camp guide on North Carolina 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.