Updated: February 18th, 2023
Washington DC, the capital of the United States, might be known for its political background, but it's also an excellent summer location for kids to explore. What you'll find is a vibrant, multicultural city with opportunities to enjoy all types of fun activities, historic locations, and opportunities to immerse yourself in arts and culture.
The capital city can also provide quite the traditional camp experience for kids, with plenty of summer camps to choose from. This list has all the best summer camps in the Washington DC area for your kids, from theater programs to sports camps.
1. Adventures on the Hill
Adventure on the Hills summer camps provides an exciting opportunity for kids to learn and have incredible fun. The program located on Capitol Hill offers STEM classes, crafting classes, water recreation, and track/field events. The summer programs run from June-September and are open to children ages 3 to 10 years.
Participants can learn about all kinds of subjects ranging from robotics, photography, drawing, animation, music making and much more. The day camps start at 8 am and end around 6 pm, so a child's entire day is spent learning and having fun with their new friends. There is a healthy counselor-to-camper ratio, so your child gets the personalized teaching and support they need throughout their stay.
At this camp, campers learn to be innovative, risk-taking individuals. They learn new things every day and come out of the camp more knowledgeable than before. With more than 8+ daily camp activities and weekly field trips, Adventures On The Hill offers a memorable camp experience.
2. D.C. Way Sports Camps
DC Way offers soccer sports camps for kids ages 5-14. The camps boast expert trainers and a well-designed curriculum designed to improve the soccer skills of campers rapidly.
Campers learn from the best coaches about dribbling, passing, vision, and finishing classes. They also learn other crucial soccer skills like spatial awareness and more. But the fun and games are only a part of what makes D.C. Way camps special.
The day camps instill life lessons in campers and teach them the value of hard work, patience, and consistency. You can choose from several camping sessions that start at different points. That includes part-day and full-day sessions as well as extended-week programs.
The camps take place at Tyler Elementary School or The Fields at RFK Campus depending on the your children's age. Their soccer camps are a great way for kids to gain new skills and improve their existing ones.
3. Breathing Space Yoga Camp
The Breathing Space Yoga Camp teaches young campers how to do yoga. Through their classes, kids in grades K-7th can learn about mediation, mindfulness, body postures, and breathing techniques.
The camp isn't all just about yoga either. Kids can also enjoy arts and crafts activities, outdoor field trips, play outside on the playground, and free play. There is a yoga trapeze camp for older campers in grades 3rd through 7th.
Camps are separated by grade levels, so camp activities are correctly suited for their ages. The day camps start at 8:45 am and run until 3:15 pm with aftercare options. It's one of the more unique camps offered in Washington DC that's taught by amazing and caring yoga instructors.
Breathing Space holds yoga classes for kids and adults during the school year, so it's always a great after-school activity for children or the entire family.
4. Headfirst Summer Camps
Headfirst organizes several summer camps throughout Washington D.C. for kids in Pre-K and 8th grade. Options for participants include day camps, sports clinics, and STEM camps. Headfirst summer camps feature a roster of age-appropriate camp activities for children of varying ages. The Junior Day Camps teach basic STEM education, help campers create unique handcrafted objects, and allow them to interact with their peers.
The day camp has a broad range of STEM classes, arts-and-crafts sessions, robotics, and more. Headfirst also offers specialty camps if you want a more tailored experience for your young camper. The STEM camp welcomes campers between 4th and 5th grades and offers practical training in skills, such as robotics and urban planning.
Headfirst runs camps for some of D.C.'s best-known sporting organizations, including the Washington Nationals and D.C. United. If your child has sporting aspirations and needs expert instruction, you’ll want to enroll them in one of these quality programs.
5. Traveling Players Ensemble
There are many summer camps for theater enthusiasts in the DC district, and Traveling Players Ensemble is one of the top ones. The camp is notable for its holistic theater training, which helps build their skills to become excellent actors.
Beyond developing artistic skills, the students have plenty of opportunities to explore the outdoors and immerse themselves in their environment. TPE actively encourages outdoor activity through open-air rehearsals, overnight camping, and nature walks. The camp itself has over 620 acres of land and is the perfect place to experience nature.
Traveling Players Ensemble organizes programs for kids from grades 2nd through 12th. A typical day at camp involves fun games, rehearsal sessions, practice classes, and plenty of free periods for your child to relax and recharge.
The summer programs last anywhere between two weeks to the entire summer. You have the option of choosing from a variety of ensembles, each focusing on a different aspect of theater.
6. Theater Lab Summer Camp
Theater Lab runs intensive four-week camp programs for middle-aged children keen on developing their acting or musical theater skills. Campers train under the watchful eyes of professional tutors and discover their artistic sides through constant practice.
Theater Lab is a highly acclaimed musical theater program and admits top talents in the DC area. But that doesn't mean beginners can’t join. The camp also welcomes new entrants into musical theater as they display a commitment to learning, consistent practice and also gives them the chance to meet new friends with similar interests.
This camp encourages hands-on learning for campers in different aspects of musical theatres, such as voice, music, dance, and acting. Talented youth learn how to produce vocals, act ensembles, build character, and practice controlled breathing. What's more — campers can participate in the musical production and receive feedback to improve their skills and self confidence.
7. Camp Shakespeare
Camp Shakespeare is the ultimate destination for anyone who wants to train in classical theater. This camp introduces youngsters to the drama through the works of Shakespeare.
Kids learn how to become better at acting under the guidance of classically trained instructors. Teachers cover analysis of drama texts, so campers find it easy to embody the language used by actors. Other classes cover essential areas, such as voice training, stage movement, and storytelling.
At Camp Shakespeare, participants are divided into different age groups for optimum summer learning and performance. That includes Poppets ( 7–8), Groundlings ( 9–11), Young Players (12–14), and King's Company (15–18).
Camps run for different lengths with several weeklong sessions available. For example, Poppets camps run for one week while Groundlings, Young Players, and Kings Company age-groups stay in camp for two-week sessions. There are also three-week Intensive classes for returning Kings Company and Young Player students.