Free & Cheap Houston Summer Camps, Near YOUR House, for 2016

Swimming in the Water Houston Summer
Looking for a summer camp that is not outrageously expensive?  How about one that is FREE or really very reasonable?  It turns out that these do exist around Houston!

The only trick is that Houston is huge and it’s not really cheap to drive across town for camp.  So, this post is to get you the tips you need to find a reasonable camp near YOUR house.

Look below for free or cheap vacation bible schools, free swim lessons and camps from $0 to $30!  And if you have more cheap camps to recommend, let us know!

 

Vacation Bible Schools:

  • Churches all around Houston have Vacation Bible Schools… often for FREE or for under $50.  Look for a church near your house and check on their programs.
  • Some examples are:
    • SonQuest Rainforest VBS, Southway Community Church, 14011 South Freeway, Houston, TX 77047
      • Free
      • July 4 – 8, 2016, 8:35am – 11:35am
      • Ages: 4 – 12
    • Super Heros Vacation Bible School, Second Baptist, All 6 Campuses
      • Free
      • Throughout July
      • VBS: Ages 5 through entering Grade 3. VBX:  Kids entering grades 4 or 5.
    • Walk This Way First Kids Camp, First United Methodist (Downtown & Westpark)
      • $25/child, $75 max/family
      • Downtown June 13-16, 2016, Westchase July 11-14, 2016
  • For more Vacation Bible Schools, check out the list on HoustonMomsBlog.com.

 

City of Houston Programs:

  • Free Swim Lessons
    • H2OSAFE Learn to Swim: 3 Levels of Swim Classes for kids ages 6-13.
    • SwimWise: Swim Classes for all ages and skill levels.
    • First come, first served on the free registration.
  • Houston Community Centers
    • Summer Enrichment Program:   10-week day-camp style program for youth ages 6 – 13, $30 per child per week.
    • Youth Sports:  Check out the free year round programs!

 

Houston Public Library:

  • STREAM Camp: Free week long summer camp for Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts and Math.  Kindergarten through 12th grade.   All Summer, Multiple locations.
  • Free Programs:  Check your local library for free classes/programs all year!

 

More Summer Camps:


Join the Club… Get your Hands on a 3D Printer, Minecraft & Robots… WonderSpace Technology Club!

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Most people have only heard of the 3D printer and the amazing things it can create… You kids can actually take your first steps in learning to use this revolutionary technology! At WONDER-SPACE TECHNOLOGY CAMP‘s new Saturday Tech Club, kids 7-13 can learn about 3D printing, robotics, Minecraft Modding, coding… and dream up their own project in the “Dream-It” sessions, designed to help all kids tap into their creativity and problem-solving abilities.

In addition to hands-on experience, kids can be part of live link link-ups with real tech inventors and entrepreneurs working in Silicon Valley – the kids will be able to hear their stories and pick their brains. What a great way to get kids inspired and thinking about the all the exciting possibilities their futures hold.

Be part of a fun and friendly tech community, getting together every Saturday morning (9-1) to induce ideas and explore technology.

Every week at Saturday Tech Club:

  • Explore a new tech theme; 3D printing comes to Wonder-Space for the first time
  • Uncover your creativity in an idea-generating Dream It session
  • Collaborate on a variety of tech projects
  • Absorb, wonder and discuss in a live tech seminar
  • Take the world’s favorite game to the next level in a Minecraft Modding challenge
  • Meet inspiring tech inventors and entrepreneurs via live-links to our Silicon Valley HQ
  • Ages 7-13, all levels welcome. Don’t worry if you can’t make every week as each week offers a stand-alone learning experience.

The Saturday Tech Club starts on Oct 4th for 8 Saturdays, at $399 for the 8 week membership. Learn more and register for the club, here!  Once you register, email fallclub@wonder-space.com, with your order number, and get a free tshirt! 


More fun than video games: Let kids “play” all day with coding, game design & graphics at Wonder Space Tech Camp! (Coupon Code Included!)

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Your kids can develop the technical skills that many parents wish they had themselves. At Wonder Space Tech Camp, Houston kids ages 7 to 17 years old can learn to code, design games and build a computer!

Kids come with all level of skill sets and counselors customize the program to work for the campers.  All camps have a 6:1, kid to counselor ratio, giving every camper the chance for lots of guidance and collaboration with an inspiring tech enthusiast.

All camps activities develop problem-solving skills and critical-thinking abilities, and foster curiosity, a love of learning and a collaborative and adventurous spirit. The program is in it’s 13th year and kids keep returning for the fun!

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Each camp explores a new area of the tech world, using innovative activities that give campers the chance to discover and enjoy their creativity:

  • 7 and 8 year olds begin with the Fundamentals of Programming and Game Design, experiencing the basics of programming logic and creating exciting games.
  • Pre-teen camps from age 9 to 12 expose campers to an exciting array of tech experiences, from designing 2D games, websites and apps to digital video and photography. Campers get hands-on, creating desktop Lego robots and even building computers.
  • Teen camps from age 13 give campers a fun, focused and challenging environment in which to collaborate with their peers and expert counselors. Developing skills to enjoy now and in the future, teen campers are learning coding languages Java and C++ and evolving from gamers into creators; in Minecraft Modding, Minecraft becomes a visual learning tool full of possibilities. Campers become 3D modelers in the booming world of animation, and create ever-more-ambitious 3D games.

What makes this camp even better is that Wonder-Space was launched by 2 Rice University students, Emmie and Josefa, in 2002 to give boys and girls a space for fun, exploration and collaboration in technology.

“On beginning my degree in Electrical Engineering, I realized I really hadn’t been exposed to much technology or engineering and that hands-on problem-solving was new to me… Wonder-Space gives kids really valuable experiences that stand them in great stead for the future; whatever their passions we help them to be tech-savvy, inquiring and solution-focused. We also give them the most fun summer imaginable!” Emmie.

As an electrical engineer myself, and having also felt a little behind when I got to college, I am very excited to teach my own kids these skills.  And it looks fun too!

Sign up for now for camp in Houston and get 25% off*!  Use code BKSC25.

WS Tech Camp
*Terms and conditions apply. Offer may be used where space allows, for new bookings only, for more than one child and for multiple camps in the summer of 2014. Offer does not apply to lunch or extended hours. Camps described below are subject to availability.

Houston  (2900 Weslayan #545, Houston, TX 77027):
  • 21-25 July – Fundamentals of Game Design (7/8yrs), Web design (9-12yrs), App Game Design (9-12yrs), C++ Programming (teen), 3D Animation Maya (teen)
  • 28 July – 1 Aug – Fundamentals of Programming (7/8yrs), Digital Photography and Editing (9-12yrs), App Game Design (9-12yrs), Java Programming (teen), Advanced Game Modding (teen)
  • 4-8 Aug – Fundamentals of Game Design (7/8yrs), 2D Game Design (9-12yrs), Advanced 2D Game Design (9-12yrs), Digital Video and Special Effects (9-12yrs)  
  • 11-15 Aug – Fundamentals of Game Design (7/8yrs), Fundamentals of Programming (7/8yrs), Digital Video and Special Effects (9-12yrs), Digital Photography and Editing (9-12yrs), Web Design (9-12yrs), 3D Game Design (teen)
The Woodlands (Main Event, 19477 I-45 South, Shenandoah, TX 77385):
  • 21-25 July – Fundamentals of Game Design (7/8yrs), 2D Game Design (9-12yrs), Digital Photography and Editing (9-12yrs), Roboworks:Mindstorms (9-12yrs), C++ Programming (teen)
  • 28 July – 1 Aug – Fundamentals of Programming (7/8yrs), 2D Game Design (9-12yrs), Digital Video and Special Effects (9-12yrs), Digital Photography and Editing (9-12yrs), App Game Design (9-12yrs), Advanced Java Programming (teen), 3D Game Design (teen), Minecraft Modding (teen)
  • 4-8 Aug – Fundamentals of Game Design (7/8yrs), 2D Game Design (9-12yrs), Advanced 2D Game Design (9-12yrs), Web Design (9-12yrs), Roboworks:Mindstorms (9-12yrs), Build a Computer (9-12yrs), Java Programming (teen), Advanced Java Programming (teen), C++ Programming (teen), Advanced Game Modding (teen), 3D Animation Maya (teen)

Looking for Cheap Houston Summer Camps? How about $25/week??

I had the great honor of being featured on ABC13 today by Patricia Lopez.  Be sure to go HERE to see how to save money on Houston summer camps and also look below for more information that will help you plan your summer!

Instead of compiling a list of all summer camps, I wanted to know which ones parents recommended.  Over the winter, I asked the BigKidSmallCity community for their favorite camps and got a great list.  You can find it HERE!

If you are also looking for free things to do in Houston with your children, go HERE!  This includes over 20 free splash pads for you to cool off!

Each week I also update Houston Events List here, so you can stay up to date on what is going on in Houston.  If you want this delivered to you, Like BigKidSmallCity on Facebook and sign up for the free newsletter!

Now let me share the highlights of my cheap summer fun research! 

  •  Vacation Bible Schools start at about $25/week, for half days, for kids around 3 and older.  There are often extended day options and younger kids can often come with volunteers.  For example, First Methodist Houston, June 16-20, 9:30-12:30, Extended Care for $35/day with enrichment, $7/day early drop off
  • Houston Shaolin Temple $100 per week 7:00am – 7:00pm. Kung Fu, Outdoor Sports, Chinese class, and more!
  • Conmigo Spanish Immersion Summer Camp – 2 Weeks 9:00am-2:00pm, $400/$385 siblings
  • Camp Cho-Yeh is a sleep over camp in Livingston and they have FAMILY CAMP Weekends! $110/adult, $50/camper.  (Sleep Over Camp is $840 for 1 week.)
  • Main Street Theater has Parents Night Out, 1 Day Camp, 2 Week Camps & Pippi!
    • Camp  – 1 day Turbo Camp $60 (2 week half day – $320, 2 week full day $450)
    • Parents Night Out, Ages 4-9, $35 for the first student enrolled; $15 for each sibling enrolled

You can also go HERE for Sarah Gish’s ideas!


What’s the best way to learn a second language? Conmigo Spanish Immersion Summer Camp 2014

Summer Camp
I took 4 years of Spanish in high school and remember none of it. My husband spent 1 year living in Japan, with a Japanese speaking family, and still remembers all of it. This is why my kids go to a language immersion school and I’m so excited about this summer camp!

Conmigo is a hands-on Spanish immersion summer camp in the historic Houston Heights. The two week session is an introduction to the Spanish language through stories, games, art, culture, music & food!

June 16 – June 27, 2014
9:00-2:00pm
Ages 4-9 years old

The teachers are fluent in Spanish and have degrees in Early Education.  Also, the founder, Kim Martinez taught my two older kids at Poe Nursery School.

The camp is almost full but is still taking applications. Go HERE to learn more!


Sign Up for RoboCamp this Summer! 4 Houston Locations, Ages 5-13!

RoboCampStill looking for Summer Camp ideas?  How about RoboCamp?  It focuses on Robotics and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)  for ages 5 through 13 years.

The camp has 4 locations in Houston and will run from June 10 through August 16, from 7:30am to 5:30pm.

Go HERE for more!


Summer Camp at the Houston Health Museum – Includes Medical Detectives, Lil’ Chef’s and Lego Camp!

The Health Museum has a solid line up of summer camps for 2013. Kids from age 5 to 13 can attend between June 10 and August 23.

Go HERE to learn more.

Lunch is included in the camp pricing.  Bodega’s Taco Shop is providing lunch (including vegetarian options). Menus available on the Monday prior to the start of each camp week.

All camps meet from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
An Extended Camp Days option (7:45 a.m. – 5 p.m.) is available during all camp sessions for $40 per child per week.

From the Health Museum website, below are descriptions of the available camps.  I’m super excited about the Lego camp.  At other museums, the Lego camp is only offered to the older kids.  At the Health Museum, 5 year olds can attend!

Ages 5-7
Itty Bitty Bodies
Back by popular demand – a summer experience for our youngest guests! Campers will be engaged during a project-packed week full of activities that include finger casts, make-and-take skeleton models, dookie cookies and more! It’s a great way to promote healthy habits in a fun and interactive way.

Medical Detectives
Do you think you’d make a good detective? Learn more about the science, techniques and skills used by professionals who solve medical and forensics mysteries for a living in this brand new camp. Campers will perform a DNA extraction on fruit, take fingerprints, find trace evidence and more in this introductory forensics camp designed specifically for kids.

Lil’ Chef’s Academy
It’s time to play with your food! Try your hand at edible, kid-friendly creations including healthy smoothies and pizza! Have a ball learning about the basics of good nutrition. Create food-related crafts, launch a food cannon and more!

No Bones About It
Test your camper’s dissection skills and creativity! Campers will learn basic anatomy terminology, build skeletons, learn about dissections, and dissect real owl pellets! You will be amazed at what your camper learns while exploring the museum, building anatomy-related arts & crafts, and participating in hands-on activities during this truly fun summer camp.

Teddy Bear Clinic
Bring your favorite stuffed friend to camp and find out what happens when you visit the doctor! In the Teddy Bear Clinic, campers and their stuffed pals will take a ‘medical history’ and perform tests just like a doctor! Students will have a blast as they test their skills as M.D.’s – Mini Doctors – and find out more about the world of medicine.
LEGO® Junior Vehicle Engineering – NEW for 2013!
Students will creatively build and modify different vehicles including everyday vehicles, concept cars, construction machines, and more using our unique LEGO® kits.

Ages 8-10
The Body Shop
It’s a Mini Med experience for our younger campers! Discover the organs of the body through hands-on dissections. Learn about the bones and muscles that hold us together. See what it takes to keep our bodies healthy and strong. Offering an age-appropriate first encounter with human anatomy, this is a great adventure for kids who love science and biology!

Camp DaVinci
Explore the legacy of Leonardo da Vinci – the ultimate artist-scientist! Follow in the footsteps of this great innovator as you explore architecture, art, anatomy and engineering. Design and build your own skyscraper, explore different mediums of art, dissect a cow’s eye, and invent your own unique feat of engineering just like Leonardo did in his days. A well-rounded camp experience for the creative camper!

Grossology
Did you know that the record for projectile vomit is 27 feet? Or that the acid in your stomach is strong enough to dissolve metal? Learn about these gross facts, make your own fake dookie cookies and snot and more! This camp is great for kids who enjoy the messier side of life!

Super Sleuths
Explore the world of forensic science by securing a crime scene, gathering information and processing evidence collected from the scene. Learn about blood typing, fingerprint analysis, and dental forensics to solve the case. Get an opportunity to test the reliability of eyewitness testimony. This camp is a wonderful opportunity full of hands-on activities for the budding detective.

That’s Using Your Head
What weighs three pounds, feels like oatmeal, and needs about 8 hours of sleep a night? Your brain, that’s what! Want to know more about the outrageous organ inside of your head? You’ll view a real human brain, dissect a sheep brain, learn about your senses, build and test helmets and lots more in this incredible camp for the aspiring brain surgeons out there!

LEGO® Vehicle Engineering – NEW for 2013!
Students will build up to 13 different motorized vehicles capped off with a final project using our unique LEGO® kits. Vehicles include everyday vehicles, concept cars, construction machines, and more.

Ages 11-13
Mini Medical School I and II
Our most popular camps! Do you enjoy science? Have you ever considered a career in health or medicine? If so, this is the camp for you! Each Mini Medical School session gives campers the opportunity to view real human organs and experience hands-on dissections of animal organs. Campers will also have the opportunity to meet professionals and visit institutions within the Texas Medical Center. Like the first years of medical school, these camps differ in that they explore distinct body systems and medical specialties. Mini Med I explores the nervous system, musculoskeletal system, the digestive system, and much more. Mini Med II explores the cardiovascular, respiratory, urinary system and much more. Designed for kids who enjoy biology, dissections, health and medicine. Mini Med I is not a pre-requisite for Mini Med II. Campers may sign up for one camp or get the full experience and sign up for both!

The Forensic Scientist
Explore the world of forensic science. Learn how to secure a crime scene, gather clues, process evidence, and participate in a trial. Use blood typing, fingerprint analysis, and dental forensics to crack the case. Get an opportunity to test the reliability of eyewitness testimony. Learn about careers in forensic science. A great camp full of hands-on activities for the budding detective!

Camp Cardiac – NEW for 2013!
Do you have an interest in the heart? Experience a camp that is sure to get your blood flowing – tour the Texas Heart Institute, get certified in First Aid and of course, view a real human heart specimen. Learn about medical careers related to the heart, meet medical professionals and perform comparative dissections. It’s a camp experience that’s sure to be out of this world!

Beyond The Finish Line – NEW for 2013!
What does it take to compete at the highest level? Find out how your body pushes to new limits. Investigate the chemistry behind Gatorade, find out how nutritionists and dieticians keep athletes in tip top shape and tour some of Houston’s most well-known sports facilities. A thrill for every fan of sports and science!

LEGO® Collision Cars – NEW for 2013!
Students will use our unique LEGO® kits to build a variety of battling machines. This is a class of exploration, problems solving, and risk-taking with a goal of learning and experimenting with how machines work and compete.