Monday, May 16, 2011

UPDATED Go Local - Summer Camps (and a few others....)

It's time to PLAN!  Consider the convenience as well as the great selection of summer camps located in our direct neighbourhood.  Consider NOT having to drive all over town to deliver your children to summer camp.  From sports, to pottery, cooking, theatre and dance, there are lots of camps right here in this neighbourhood:

Baobab Tree's Rhythm Trek camp (ages 7-12) runs August 15-19; as they put it "Drum, sing, dance; make art and food!"  Sounds good to me.  They are a fantastic local organization that teaches African drumming / dance and song.  They are located in "the treehouse" (no, not a real treehouse) at St. George's Church, 415C Piccadilly Avenue (just east of Island Park off Richmond).  Cost is $225.

Camp Awesome - run by Parkdale United Church, this bible camp for 4-12 year olds will run the week of July 25-29 from 10-3 pm with games, crafts and singing all in an environment where they will also learn about faith.  The cost is $75 but all children are welcome regardless of ability to pay.  For more information see

Canadian Mothercraft - best known for their daycare program and the Ontario Early Years Centre, Mothercraft on Evered (2 streets east of Churchill and just south of Byron) also offers the Fun Ventures summer camp for children aged 3.8 - 6.  For more information see

Capital City Dance - located in the Westgate Mall this dance studio offers summer dance camps during the weeks of July 11th, 18th and 25th.  See for more information.

Fisher Park Community Centre - Just realized I did not get around to including the details - and I have them somewhere.  Coming soon.....

Gotta Paint - Gotta Paint holds typically holds weekly camps throughout the summer  for 5-7 and 8-13 year olds at 352 Kirkwood Avenue.  For more information please contact them directly as information for this year is not yet on their website.

Hintonburg Community Centre - Just realized I did not get around to including the details - and I have them somewhere. Coming soon.....

Jewish Community Centre - JCC programming is open to all faiths and they have a fantastic facility including a great outdoor pool.  I don't know if they're technically in the Kitchissippi boundaries, but if they're not they should definately receive an honorary mention for being so close!

New Star Childrens Theatre - New Star is located in what used to be the United Church at the corner of Churchill Avenue and Ravenhill (across from Churchill Alternative School).  They offer a no-experience necessary summer Broadway Musical Theatre Program for ages 7 and up that culminates in a show at weeks end with everyone assured a part!  It's available for 3 weeks this year - July 25 through July 29, August 8 through August 12 and August 22 through August 26.  Hours are from 9-4 with free before and after care available.  Weekly cost is $230..  For more information see

Ottawa Gymnastics Centre   One of the best gymnastics clubs in the city, they have an awesome facility with equipment geared to all age groups.  Camps also take advantage of the outdoor City playground and wading pool.  There are half day camps for 3-5 year olds and full day camps for 6-13 year olds.  Registration is not open yet but will be available via their website, by phone or walk-in.

Ottawa Conservatory Vocal and Dance Academy at 175 Richmond Road, - Rock Camp 2011!! 1/2 days 9:00-12:30 for ages 8-17 for a fee of $195 a week.  Registration is ongoing.  Check their website for more details.

The Social Learning Centre - Located at 725 Churchill Avenue, the centre will be running a Summer Bridges Academic and Creative Arts Camp with local author Selena Robins for 4-12 year olds.  The camp runs from 9-4 with free pre and post care.  The cost is $35 a day.

YMCA Carlingwood - The Y typically offers summer camps at their 200 Lockhart Avenue location (behind Carlingwood Mall).  Keep in mind that this location is set to close in 2012 so it may be one of your last chances to take advantage of the facility.  Information about Y summer camps will come soon at

Suzart - Suzart Productions runs theatre camps out of the Woodroffe United Church at 207 Woodroffe Avenue (south of Byron and north of Carlingwood Mall).  Camps include music dance and performance instruction ending with a show on the final day.

Other Favorite, but further afield, summer camps:

Registration for camps at these great three museums (that operate under one umbrella) started in February but that doesn't mean they don't still have some spots available:

Canada Agriculture Museum ,

Canada Science and Technology Museum,

Canada Aviation and Space Museum

The Canadian Childrens Museum has a brand new bilingual summer camp this year called "In the Land of Giants"; there are 3 camps for ages 6-9 and 3 other weeks for ages 10-12. While they have not had this particular camp before, we have attended a lego camp at their facility and had a very positive experience (and my kids ended up knowing their way around all the hidden hallways of the museum!). Registration is by phone at 819-776-7014 and in my experience camps at this museum (for some strange reason - likely lack of awareness) fill up less quickly than at the other museums. For more information see

The camp that I would most like to try myself (though registration is sadly limited to those aged 8-14!) is the "Sail and serve" at the Britannia Yacht Club. Half a day of tennis by the National Tennis School and half a day of sailing - what more can one ask for? It's great! The only possible drawback is weather since the tennis is outside - the flipside of that is the tennis is outside! And so is the swimming....What could be better?  Registration is online at 
One can also register for 1/2 days of tennis for 6-9 year olds and 10-14 year olds at the Tennis Centre West Ottawa at Pinecrest and Carling (Britannia Beach)

Two terrific camps where we have almost always been able to find a last minute spot: the Ottawa Athletic Club - sports, golf or tennis (worth the price) and Rays Reptiles (worth the drive and worth arriving early for pick-up so you can watch the end-of-day animal show). For more information see . Little Ray will also be offering a Little Ray's Radical Science camp.
One of the only places I know of in the city that offers the choice to go to camp just for a day is Cosmic Adventures ( and they generally have spots available if you're in a last minute pinch.  Tubes 'N' Jujubes in Gatineau has also started offering a similar daily program