Winter camps are a great activity to keep the kids busy so they won’t utter those words you dread: “I’m bored!” There are many winter camp programs all over the U.S. to keep your kids interested in the outdoors and away from their devices.
What are the benefits of winter camping for kids? One of the biggest is that they will get out into nature, which will give them a boost of Vitamin D that will keep their mood in a good place. Just 10 minutes of sun exposure is enough to boost one’s mood!
If the weather’s not sunny, that doesn’t mean kids can’t benefit from winter camp. The experience will give kids the chance to learn about the outdoors, meet other kids, and enhance their skills.
So, with that in mind, let’s check out 11 of the best winter camp destinations.
#1: Ocean Lakes Family Campground, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
If your kid is still very young or you’d love to go on a camping adventure with them, you’ll want to take them to a kid-friendly campground before you enroll them in a winter camp for kids.
This will introduce them to the outdoors and camping, and it’s great to do this from when your kids are really young. The Ocean Lakes Family Campground is one of the best campgrounds to explore with your kids.
It’s got tons of activities for kids to enjoy during the winter, such as skateboarding and a recreational center where they can play arcade games. There’s also a Sandy Harbor Family Fun Center where family members can get together to play games and enjoy swimming (provided the weather’s okay).
The campground has over 800 campsites that are pull-through sites along paved roads. They come with amenities such as electric, water, sewer, and cable TV hookups. There’s free Wi-Fi at all campsites and you can choose between shaded, lakeside, or oceanfront campsites.
One of the best things about this campground is that it’s right on the beach, so it’s perfect for stunning views. It’s not the winter getaway for quiet time, though – people who’ve visited Ocean Lakes have said that it was a lively, fun, family getaway.
#2: Jewish Community Center (JCC) Winter Camp Break, Missouri
The Jewish Community Center is committed to offering a gathering place for people of all generations, and provides them with services and programs, therefore benefiting them and the whole community.
At this camp, children get to engage in many activities that will keep them active and interested throughout the day. There’s a variety of tasks they’ll be able to do, such as cooking, crafts, science, arts, and swimming. These are all fun activities that campers will enjoy because there’s something for everyone, and the JCC center winter camp break is a great way to get your kids introduced to camping and what it’s all about.
The camp runs for one day, and these camps are meant for kids who are in grades K-5th at the Staenberg Family Complex as well as grades K-8th at the Marilyn Fox Building. Parents will be pleased to know that Covid-19 rules are in place, and take the form of adult staff being screened, sanitation, and social distancing.
#3: Chicago Park District Winter Break Camp, Chicago
Instead of letting your kids become bored during winter break, you can get them to attend a fun and interesting winter break camp in Chicago Park District. Kids will be able to enjoy their break with other kids while learning valuable skills.
Campers will take part in arts and crafts, sports, and recreational activities. They’ll be able to make new friends, learn how to play various sports, and get in tune with their creative sides.
The cool thing about this is that this winter break camp is available at various parks all over the city and usually run from towards the end of December to early January – make sure you check the website for details.
Most parks will cater to kids who are between the ages of six and 12. This winter camp is sure to keep them busy for at least six hours a day, although some will last for longer.
#4: Lost Pines Winter Camp, Texas
If your kid is a boy scout, winter camp at Lost Pines is a valuable way to spend their time and work towards their boy scout goals – the staff at this winter camp provides a program that offers merit badges which kids don’t usually get at summer camp, so this is sure to give them an edge.
The campgrounds at Lost Pines have over 500 acres of land that’s located on the northern shores of Lake Bastrop. It’s a fantastic spot for fishing and some campsites are right on the water. There are loads of other fun activities for kids, such as archery, shooting sports, and climbing, all while kids can work towards getting their merit badges and rank advancement.
Scouting is a fantastic way to help your children learn and enhance their academic, leadership, and ethics skills. It also teaches them how to build self-confidence.
#5: Camp Super Duper, Los Angeles
Your kids want to have fun in the winter and they’ll be able to do that while learning new things at Camp Super Duper in L.A. Research states that having fun experiences helps to boost levels of endorphins and dopamine in the brain, which contributes to helping children learn.
This winter camp takes place at two locations: Pilgrim school in K-Town and St. Monica in Santa Monica. It’s one of the most versatile winter camps for kids because of how kids from the ages of four to 17 can take part.
Super Duper Camp features a lot of fun activities for your kids, such as field trips that include going to a trampoline park and the California Science Center.
The winter camp runs for two weeks in December, but kids will be there for a few hours every day. In early January, there’s also field trip week where kids go on field trips every day.
The camp tries to appeal to different kids’ preferences, so there’s a good balance of different types of activities, such as small group and big group activities, structured and unstructured activities, as well as both indoor and outdoor experiences for kids to engage in. This keeps things interesting while it also gives kids a whole range of things to do.
#6: Liz Bolton Horse Camp, San Diego
If your kid loves horses, you should seriously consider sending them to a horse-riding winter camp. The Liz Bolton Horse Camp in San Diego offers a winter camp in January that includes horseback riding lessons and horseback games as well as other activities.
Campers who sign up for this camp will get to learn about how to look after and groom a horse, horse anatomy, and different horse breeds. But, they’ll also get to do other activities, such as arts and crafts. This is a one-week long camp that starts from 8 a.m. in the morning and ends at 5 p.m. every evening. Boys and girls between the ages of five to 17 can enroll and they don’t have to have any experience with horses.
Who knows? Your kid might love the camp so much that he or she will want to take part in equestrian camping adventures when they get a bit older. To find out more about equestrian camping, read, “What Is Equestrian Camping?”
#7: Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, Texas
The full-day camps held at this Center offer kids the chance to get outside and learn about the outdoors. As any serious camper knows, these skills are important to help them when they’re in a remote location or just want to know how to camp smart.
Kids will be able to learn about and encounter animals in the area, learn how to identify plants, play a range of outdoor games, and take some nature hikes in the 155-acre property.
Due to Covid restrictions this year, the nature center is offering an online winter camp for kids that are between the ages of four and 12. The activities include daily Zoom classes with arboretum naturalists every day, hands-on crafts and experiments, and fun outdoor activities kids can do with their families at home. This is a great way to keep your kids entertained and stimulated during the winter break.
#8: YMCA Winter Camp, Valley Of The Sun, Arizona
YMCA offers winter camps in various locations. This one in Arizona ensures that kids will be able to make the most of the snow! It’s the perfect way for kids to see the outdoors in a whole new way.
The winter camp runs for four days and four nights. Kids will be able to take part in a variety of activities, such as crafts, archery, and paintball. Fun aside, there are also courses on offer that they’ll love and which will improve their skills, such as the Giant Swing & Ropes Course. Budding campers in the group will love being exposed to camping elements, such as campfires.
The children have dedicated camp counselors available. The camp is committed to encouraging kids to be honest, caring, respectful, and responsible, which are known to be important core values of the YMCA.
#9: Camp Pellissippi, Boy Scout Camp, Tennessee
Camp Pellissippi is located right on the shores of the Norris Lake near Andersonville. The camp is equipped with five cabins and tent sites. There are amenities available, such as a campfire area, a stage area, a shooting range, and more. Up to 300 scouts and leaders can be accommodated at this camp.
During the winter camp, boy scouts will be able to make the most of the time between Christmas and New Year by enjoying the Great Smoky Mountain Council’s yearly Winter Camp.
This is an adventure that involves kids taking part in morning warrior hikes in the woods and other activities as well as merit badge classes. There are over 135 types of merit badges that boy scouts can achieve, so it’s exciting for them to get the chance to earn more. On some evenings, the scouts will enjoy campfire programs that include skits and songs.
If your child can’t attend the full camp program, he can still enjoy single-day camp adventures. This camp is open to any Scout BSA, STEM scout, explorer, or venturer, but some of the activities might be restricted to kids who are 13 years of age or older.
#10: Monkey Business Camp, San Francisco
If you’re looking for a safe space where your kids can enjoy playing on their own or with other kids as they take part in projects and games that are run by experienced staff, you’ll love Monkey Business Camp.
It will prevent your kids from spending too much time plugged into their devices during the winter, especially because research has found that children between the ages of eight and 10 spend six hours per day in front of their devices. So, you really want to prevent that from happening by sending them to this fun camp.
The Monkey Business winter camp takes place at Berkwood Hedge School in Downtown Berkeley, and this location has been chosen because of its close proximity to various cities.
The groups have 14 kids in them, with two main staff members, so your kids will be assured of getting the attention they need. You can enroll your kid into the winter camp if he or she is between the ages of six and 10.
Activities your kids can expect to enjoy include walks to local parks, hula hoops, bubble dance parties, field games, sports such as basketball, and more.
The camp is committed to adapting according to Covid-19 regulations, and this includes setting up activities outside where it’s safer and having a fewer number of children at tables during activities.
#11: Camp Live Oak, Florida
This winter camp for kids takes place at the Birch State Park in Ft. Lauderdale. It encourages children to take part in various outdoor activities, such as beach play, hiking, archery, fishing, hands-on science activities, arts, crafts, and canoeing.
There are flexible camp options daily that will cater to your festive holiday schedule. The camp runs for two weeks at the end of December.
Camp Live Oak is the only accredited day camp for kids in Broward County and it gives kids a hands-on experience of the environment and outdoors that are unique to Florida. Most of the activities that kids will be able to enjoy are held outdoors in the park’s designated area.
Birch State Park is considered to be the central park of Florida, nestled between the intracoastal waterway and Atlantic ocean. It’s a lively place for the Fort Lauderdale community to enjoy various activities underneath the soothing calm of the oak trees, so it’s a memorable place for your kids to experience.
What’s the difference between boy scouts and venture groups?
A venture group is similar to boy scout troops, but it puts more focus on first aid and leadership training, as well as high-adventure activities. These groups are smaller, which means venturers typically also take part in personal events like bowling or game nights.
What are some benefits of winter camp for kids?
Winter camp can help kids stay inspired during the colder months, while teaching them confidence, outdoor skills, social skills, and leadership, all in a safe space where kids can enjoy themselves.
These skills will benefit them as they grow older, and some winter camps also help boy scouts to earn more merit badges.
If you have kids, you don’t want them to become bored and uninspired during the winter break. That’s why you need to ensure you get them involved in a winter camp.
There are a variety of winter camps that your children will enjoy, from boy scouts to YMCA and others. We’ve even included a camping experience that you can take with your kids if they’re still too young to go on an official winter camping trip with other kids.