Camptastic!: San Antonio's Cultural Institutions Rise to the Occasion with Summer Sessions Geared for Creative Kids

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  • Southwest School of Art
We’ve got no complaints about summer vacays of the mindless variety — but what’s better than coming back from break energized by a new discovery? While far from a comprehensive list of summer camps in San Antonio, our roundup abounds with unique programs for the aspiring young artists, actors, gamers and DJs in your life.

Carver Community Cultural Center: Summer Camps
East Side landmark the Carver invites kiddos to “articipate” in one of three camp experiences built around the disciplines of theater, dance and music production. Led by industry pros, the programs encompass everything from ballet and hip-hop dancing (Dance Intensive) to digital audio mixing (DJ Camp) and a production of the scrumdidilyumptious musical Willy Wonka Jr. $80-$260, June 10 - August 2, registration ongoing, Carver Community Cultural Center, 226 N. Hackberry St., (210) 207-7211,

The Classic Theatre: Camp Classic
The Classic Theatre doubles down on its name with Camp Classic, a set of four weeklong programs that cover stories from a variety of folkloric traditions, including Greek Mythology (Jul 15-19 and 22-26), Mexican Folklore (Jul 29-Aug 2) and European Fairytales (Aug 5-9). Campers in three age groups (5-7, 8-10 and 11-13) will be given the tools to create their own performances from scratch, including characters, costumes, props and sets. Camp fees are discounted for everyone who registers prior to May 1, but registration is accepted all the way until the first day of each session. $135-$150, Jul 15-Aug 9, early registration deadline May 1, session registration deadlines vary, the Classic Theatre, 1924 Fredericksburg Rd., (210) 589-8450,

The DoSeum: Summer Camps & Master Camps
Unsurprisingly, San Antonio’s STEM-focused children’s museum boasts a brainy assortment of summer-camp options custom-crafted for kids between the ages of 3 and 11. In weeklong sessions spread across the summer, curious youngsters can immerse themselves in engineering, transportation, digital media, museology, water conservation, sound science, robotic submersibles or gardening — or maybe tinker with the recipe for Play-Doh or create works of art from recyclables. Aiming to “promote continued learning long after the camp is over,” the DoSeum’s new Master Camps beckon to tomorrow’s programmers, modelers and developers with deep dives into the worlds of tech, gaming, vlogging and 3D printing. $210-$830, June 3 - August 16, registration open until all slots are filled, the DoSeum, 2800 Broadway, (210) 212-4453,

The Magik Theatre: Camp Showbiz
The Magik Theatre isn’t messing around: sessions of Camp Showbiz stretch across the entire summer and take place on two separate campuses, with the option to register for up to four weeks of non-stop theatrical fun. The Magik starts ’em young — toddlers as young as 3.5 can attend the Imagination Station half-day camps — but has programs suited for all ages. Theatrical productions for the summer include The Cat in the Hat (ages 5-7), A Series of Unfortunate Events (ages 7-11), Mamma Mia and Into the Woods (ages 12 and up), and the camp’s classes allow younger participants to dive deep into theatrical specialties such as stage makeup, filmmaking, musical theater and creative writing. Registration for each session extends until the Sunday prior to the start date (space allowing), but if your kiddos are in it for the long haul, it’d be in your best interest to grab the Early Bird discount before it expires on May 1. $190-$695, Jun 10 - Aug 23, early registration deadline May 1, session registration deadlines vary, the Magik Theatre (420 S. Alamo St.) and Magik Performing Arts Center (5359 Casa Bella), (210) 227-2751,

McNay Art Museum: Summer Art Camp
  • McNay Art Museum
The Lone Star State’s first modern art museum welcomes young artists in the making with four diverse summer sessions designed for kids between kindergarten and fifth grade. Balancing exhibit exploration, creative play and hands-on studio time, the programs explore representational painting (Pop Portraits), sculptures rendered in upcycled materials (Eco-Build), photography, serigraphy and cyanotypes (Say Cheese) and stop-motion animation (Animation Creation) — and all culminate in young artist showcases. $320-$340, July 15 - August 9, registration open until all slots are filled, McNay Art Museum, 6000 N. New Braunfels Ave., (210) 824-5368,

North East School of the Arts: Arts Extravaganza
NESA, San Antonio’s famed arts magnet high school, is hosting an Arts Extravaganza camp for local 6th through 9th graders taught by NESA faculty as well as professionals in the arts. The weeklong camp gives middle-grade students a chance to immerse themselves in their area of choice, be it visual art, cinema or creative writing. $285, July 22-26, registration deadline June 25, LEE High School, 1400 Jackson Keller Rd., (210) 356-1034,

The Public Theater: Honk Jr. Summer Intensive
While most camps run for one to two-week sessions, the Public Theater pulls out all the stops for its six-week Summer Intensive, which starts in May with evening sessions then switches to a full day camp from June 10 onward. Participants ages 7 to 14 will join forces to put together a musical performance, learning everything from song and dance to behind-the-scenes theater techniques. This year’s production is Honk Jr., a musical retelling of the age-old fable of the ugly duckling. $475, May 20 - June 30, registration open until all slots are filled, the Public Prep, 7551 N. McCullough Ave., (210) 733-7258,

Southwest School of Art: Summer Art Studios
Billed as the “most comprehensive and largest summer arts experience for students in San Antonio,” the Southwest School of Art’s Summer Art Studios program encompasses foundation courses such as drawing, painting and ceramics as well as fine-tuned classes focused on photography, stop-motion animation, papermaking, architectural modeling and even pet portraiture. In addition to weeklong programs geared for two age groups — Kids Studio for ages 5 to 14 and Teens Studio for ages 14 to 18 — the school caters to outdoorsy creatives with The Nature of Art (a collaboration with the San Antonio River Foundation hosted at Confluence Park) and also offers a wide range of summer programs for adults. $50-$285, June 3 - August 9, registration open until all slots are filled, Southwest School of Art, 300 Augusta St., (210) 200-8200,

Woodlawn Theatre: Summer Camps
  • Woodlawn Theatre
The Woodlawn Theatre’s educational wing, the Woodlawn Academy, doesn’t waste time getting down to business. It’s kicking off summer camp season with a full production of Frozen Jr., a musical based on Disney’s 2013 mega-hit film. The musical will feature two casts (ages 7 to 12 and 13 to 18), and requires prospective campers to audition for one of the 60 available slots on May 12 and 13. Other camps include Musical Theatre Boot Camp, as well as fairytale-focused Happily, Ever After and Beauty and the Beast, the latter of which will tie in with the Woodlawn’s July production of the Disney musical. Campers more interested in behind-the-scenes work can participate in tech theater and stage makeup camps that tie in with the summer’s productions, and for participants with specialized interests, the Woodlawn is also hosting three single-day camps that focus on dance, special FX makeup and stage combat. $55-$475, Jun 10 - Aug 9, registration open until all slots are filled, Woodlawn Theatre, 1920 Fredericksburg Rd., (210) 267-8388,

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