Summer is a great time to be a kid! To make it even more fun, check out these unique camps designed to delight kids of every age and interest – from art to science to Birch Aquarium’s cool surfing camp shown above. Here is our 2022 Museum Summer Camp Guide, which includes more than a dozen “can’t miss” camp experiences for preschoolers to high schoolers at locations in Balboa Park, Downtown, North County, La Jolla and South Bay.
Hurry! These popular camps fill up fast!
Fleet Science Center | ICA San Diego (Central) | Japanese Friendship Garden | Museum of Photographic Arts | San Diego Air & Space Museum | San Diego Model Railroad Museum | San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat)
1875 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego 92101
June 20 – August 19 | Grades: Pre-K & Kindergarten (Wait List Only for Grades 1-8)
The Fleet turns curious kids into happy campers with science-themed summer camps that provide exciting experiments, intriguing investigations and fantastic fun. (Oh—and don’t tell the kids, but they’ll be learning a lot, too.)
1439 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego 92101
June 22 – July 8 | Ages: 5 – 13
ICA San Diego provides the spark for creative process, critical thinking and leaves the rest to the children’s imaginations. For a one-of-a-kind experience, ICA integrates contemporary art with real-world problem-solving exercises. The fun and creative environment encourages campers to use their creativity in new ways while also encouraging the development of important life skills. ICA also offers camps at its North County location in Encinitas.
2215 Pan American Road East, Balboa Park, San Diego 92101
June 22 – July 8 | Grades: 1 – 8
These unique camps offer a variety of activities like karate, origami, Asian brush painting, ikebana flower arranging, candy sushi, kamishibai storytelling, Washokuiku cooking class and more.
1649 Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego 92101
June 20 – August 12 | Ages: 9 – 17
Learn about photography, video, animation and much more with creative professional artists at MOPA. Campers discover the hidden worlds of Balboa Park through the lens of a camera. The adventure includes visits to the Spanish Arts Village, cactus garden, palm canyon and more. (Cameras are provided, but campers are welcome to bring their own camera with an SD memory card if they’d like.)
2001 Pan American Plaza, San Diego 92101
June 15 – August 19 | Grades: TK – 12
For some out-of-this-world summer fun, check out the San Diego Air & Space Museum’s unique flight-inspired camps, including Astronauts in Training, Junior Artists & Astronomers, Girls in Engineering, Aviation Simulation, Need for Speed and more.
1649 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego 92101
June 20 – August 5 | Grades: K – 9 (In-Person), TK – 4 (Virtual)
Keep your summer on track with these popular model railroad camps. Beginner modelers are introduced to the basics of creating a mock model railroad, while older campers create a working model railroad. Kids paint, plaster, lay track and construct a mini-town, complete with buildings, trees, trains and people. Virtual and in-person camps are available. (Some camps are already sold out.)
San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat) – SOLD OUT
1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego 92101
July 18 – August 19 | Grades: 1 – 8
These science-themed summer camps are designed to teach and inspire children about the natural world and offer hands-on activities, opportunities to explore Balboa Park and the Museum, and all of kids of nature-based fun. This camp is currently sold out. Mark your calendars for 2023!
Downtown San Diego
200 W Island Ave, San Diego 92101
June 20 – August 19 | Ages: 4 – 9 (Downtown – Sold Out. See below for Del Mar location.)
These camps are project-based and taught by artists and educators. All camps include classroom time to explore art projects and learn new skills as well as physical play in its spaces. Family and friends are invited each Friday to an exhibition to view artwork created during the week. All Summer Camps at the downtown Museum are sold out. Additional spots are available at the Art + Play Space in Del Mar.
2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, 92037
June 21 – Aug. 26 | Ages 5 – 13
From the Aquarium to the beach, campers can explore underwater worlds and meet amazing ocean creatures, play games, create fun crafts, engage in science activities and more. These camps merge scientific exploration with hands-on fun.
1550 S El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024
June 22 – July 8 | Ages: 5 – 17
Like its Balboa Park location, ICA North offers a fun and creative environment that encourages kids and teens to use their creativity in new ways while also encouraging the development of important life skills.
4050 Mission Ave, Oceanside, CA 92057
July 11 – July 15 | Ages: 9 – 11
Mission San Luis Rey is proud to announce its first-ever Kids’ Summer Camp for 9 to 11-year-olds. It will be a week of fun activities in collaboration with people from the San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians. Children will learn more about Mission San Luis Rey and its history, from the native era to the mission era, including the Franciscan friars today. More Info here.
320 North Broadway, Escondido 92025
June 20 – July 29 | Ages: 4 – 8
Little Explorers Camp includes access to the Museum exhibits, hands-on exploration with trained education staff, and an opportunity to make new friends. Kids can explore the deep blue sea, practice their paleontology skills, and blast off into outer space with endless opportunities to explore, imagine, and experiment. There’s also a Kindergarten Readiness Camp (August 1 – 5) to get your little ones ready for “big kid school.”
1555 Camino del Mar, Suite 310 (Del Mar Plaza, Upper Level), Del Mar 92014
July 5 – 29 | Ages: 6 – 9
The Camps for Makers program at the Museum’s satellite location in Del Mar includes classroom time to explore projects, as well as opportunities for physical play in the space. Family and friends are invited each Friday to an exhibition to view artwork created during the week.
1000 Gunpowder Point Drive, Chula Vista 91910
June 6 – July 22 | Ages: 4 – 15
Perfect for nature and animal-lovers! Campers will enjoy up-close animal encounters, nature hikes, arts and crafts, games, and outdoor activities, while exploring science and conservation and learning about local wildlife. A new Junior Research Camp is being offered for 7th-9th graders in partnership with UCSD Scripps Research Institute.