Summer Camps for Creative Kids Around the Main Line
Nurture your young artist at one of these creative summer camps that span a range of interests, from visual and performing arts to food craft and technology.
“Every child is an artist.”– Pablo Picasso
Although summer may still be months away, it’s time to start thinking about camps for your kids! If your child is a budding artist, performer, chef, or other creative type, then you’re probably looking for a creative summer camp. These camps offers an immersive arts-focused program and nurturing environment, where your child can tap their creativity and refine their talents. Kids are encouraged to express themselves and experiment with new materials, techniques, and styles in a nurturing and supportive environment. Better yet, they’re likely to find their group among a community of other kids who share their passion for the arts.
Around the Main Line and beyond, we found creative summer camps for kids of all ages. These feature a wide range of art disciplines, from visual and performing arts to food craft and technology, as well as a gender-affirming and accessible arts camp. Read on to find out some of our favorite creative summer camps and learn how they might provide a fun and enriching summer for your creative kid.
Summer Camps for the Visual Artists
Summer camp and the arts go hand-in-hand, and around the Main Line, you’ll certainly find lots of options your artsy kid. In fact, many camps offer a program where young artists can work in multiple mediums, and work with a variety materials.
An exploratory format offering a variety of mediums is the foundation of the Wayne Art Center’s Summer Art Camp. This long-running and popular arts camp is for children ages 5–17. At the Media Arts Council‘s Summer Arts Camp, young artists also focus on a different medium each week. At the end of each week, campers have a gallery showing of their work for family and friends. Similarly, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Summer Art Camp in Philadelphia offers weekly artistic adventures. These may involve painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, comics, or mixed-media projects — all within the esteemed studios of the oldest art school and museum in the US!
Alternatively, doodlers, sketchers, and kids who love to draw can hone their drawing skills in one of Young Rembrandts Summer Camps. Find drawing camps in the Bryn Mawr, Malvern, King of Prussia, Downingtown, Exton, Chadds Ford, and Phoenixville areas!
And for your camera buffs, The Photography Workshop hosts one-week I Love Photography Camps. These are held at various locations including Longwood Gardens, West Chester, Upper Merion Township, and Chester Springs.
All the World is A Stage: Music Theatre Camps
Let your kid be a star this summer! Whether your child is a natural on stage or taking their first steps into the limelight, a performing arts camp is an wonderful growth opportunity. Kids build social skills, confidence, character, self-awareness, presentation, and so much more.
Located in Center City, Music Theatre Philly offers a weekly music theatre summer camp for K–6th grade kids. Campers start the day with a full voice and body warm up then learn new songs and original choreography. Each week (Monday through Friday) has a theme and campers work toward a performance on the final day.
The Plymouth Performing Arts Center, located in the Plymouth Meeting Mall, hosts musical theatre camps for kids ages 6–11 and 9–16. Camps are one-week in length, with performances on Friday. All campers participate in the show with lead roles, supporting roles, cameo roles, and ensemble roles. Highlights in this year’s summer roster of shows, includes Willy Wonka, Jungle Book, Aristocats, and The Lion King.
Dance Through the Summer
What better way to offset the desk-bound school year and screens, than with creative summer camps focused on movement? Summer dance camp can also give your little kid, tween, or teen an opportunity to take a leap forward as a dancer.
Ballet 180 offers camps for dancers of all ages and is accessible to Main Line families, as well as those in the Western Suburbs. Founder Kelly Murray Farrell strives to make make dance accessible, engaging, and inspirational for every student who walks through the studio door.
Newtown Square studio, Twirl, offers thematic dance, movement, and performance arts camps that make each day a blast! Past themes include Zombies 3, Super Mario Brothers, Dinosaurs, and Pixar Dance & Acro Party. For a little creative mash-up, they’ve also offered Remy’s Baking Adventure (in partnership with Hippie Chic Cakes). And for the middle schoolers, there’s the Stranger Things Encounter and Twirl Summer Dance Intensive.
Twirl also offers a Down syndrome summer camp that is known to fill up quickly, so reach out if you’re interested!
Next Level Chefs: Food Craft Camps
How about a camp that teaches your child how to get creative in the most yummy way? The Candy Lab in Ardmore is dedicated to making “edible art” in a relaxed and creative laboratory. Let your kids craft delectable creations this summer day camp for kids, which run from August 19–30, 2024.
Makers, STEM, & Creative Tech
Learning is fun at creative summer camps where kids immerse themselves in hands-on experiences and activities.
The mission of Dean Adventure Camps is to help kids pre-K to 15, embrace a “Just Try It” attitude. Located on the Haverford College campus, the camp features a host of activities like skateboarding, woodworking, sewing, and much more!
If you believe kids learn best through play, consider one of the summer camps at Snapology of King of Prussia. Their STEM educational enrichment program is woven into their half-day and full-day camps. To top off the fun, Snapology has partnered with area community centers and Urban Air locations to offer creativity and innovation with active fun.
If you’ve got gamers, give them a chance to mix it up with outdoorsy and virtual adventures at Camp Level Up in the Poconos. Geared for kids entering 6th to 10th grade, it’s a hybrid summer schedule that parents can feel good about. Part of the day, campers immerse themselves in creative digital projects and play their favorite video games. For the rest of the day, campers participate in traditional sleepaway camp activities, like swimming, hiking, camp craft, games and more.
Inclusive & Affirming
For parents of LGBTQ+ and non-binary kids, finding a camp with a supportive environment, similar-minded youth, and staff advocates is especially important. If your child is seeking inclusivity and diversity, they just may find their community at Appel Farm Arts Camp.
Nestled in the woods of southern New Jersey, Appel Farm Arts Camp is a gender-affirming, overnight summer arts camp for kids ages 8–16. Campers will find connection and learning through an arts-based curriculum and outdoor fun. Activities include theatre, visual arts, music, dance, and environmental arts, plus sports, swimming, and more.
Lead photo courtesy of Appel Farm Arts Camp.