It’s that time of year: Winter Camps for East Bay kids

Winter camps for East Bay kids

Call it childcare or call it camp: sometimes we need to give kids a fun place to go during school vacation days. Here are some options, along with pricing for a la carte days.

4cats art studio offers two-day long projects in which kids create paintings and sculptures in a 3-hour session
Location: 379 Colusa Avenue, Kensington
Hours: Mon + Tues before Christmas and Mon + Tues before New Year’s Day – Morning program 9:30 am -12:30 pm; Afternoon program 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Price: $120 for two days of mornings or afternoons
Ages: 5-12; check website for details on programs available for each age group

Berkeley Playhouse Winter Camp enables school-age kids to produce a show with an informal performance on the last day of camp. Harry Potter and Frozen are on the schedule.
Session 1: Monday December 22- Friday December 26 (no class on Wednesday 12/25)
Session 2: Monday December 29- January 2 (no class on Wednesday 1/1)
Hours: 9 am to 3 pm
Price: $350 per session or $300 if you register early (no a la carte days)

Brushstrokes is a paint-your-own-pottery studio where children will do arts and crafts during a half-day camp.
Location: 745 Page Street (between 4th and 5th Streets)
Hours: 9 am – 1 pm, extended care until 5:30
Price: $65/day
Ages: 6-9

Camp Bladium entertains kids with sports, LEGOs, Rock Climbing, and other fun all day long and provides snacks and lunch for them.
Location: Alameda
Hours: 9 am to 4 pm, every day of winter break except Dec 24/25 and Dec 31/Jan 1
Price: $69/day
Ages: 5-14

Circo Day Camps are put on by the Kinetic Arts Center. Children will engage in clowning, trapeze, juggling, acrobatics, climbing and general circus happiness.
Location: 785 7th St (7th and Brush Sts) in Oakland
Hours: 9 am-4 pm
Dates: Mon, Tues Dec 22 + 23  + Mon, Tues, Fri, Dec 29, 30 and Jan 2
2013 Prices: $75/day in advance; $85/day of; discounts for purchasing multi-day packages
Ages: grades K-6

Cooking Round the World offers hands on culinary activities, themed Italian for this winter break.
Location: Kehilla Synagogue Kitchen is located at 1300 Grand Avenue, Piedmont
Hours: Full day 9-4; half-day 9-1
Dates: Dec. 22, 29, 30, 31, Jan 2
Price: $80 full day $50 half-day

East Bay Dance Center offers kids Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, Tumbling, Art, Drama, and more with kids their own age.
Location: 1318 Glenview Ave, Oakland
Dates: December 22 through January 2.  No camp Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Registration available for one day to two weeks.
Hours: 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
Price: $55/day or $200/week or $375 for both weeks
Ages: 4-16

Gan Israel Berkeley offers kids excursions to local destinations like the Marine Mammal Center, Jelly Belly, ice skating, and even an overnight ski camp. Healthy lunch and snacks provided.
Location: Chabad of the East Bay with transportation from N. Berkeley BART and Park Blvd, Oakland
Dates: December 22 through January 2.  No camp Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Registration available for one day to two weeks.
Price: $60/day or $360 for two weeks
Ages: 7-12 (or Mini Gan Izzy for 4-6)

Head Over Heels Gymnastics Camp offers gymnastics and circus activities, arts and crafts, and games.
Location: 4701 Doyle Street in Emeryville
Dates: Dates of Head Over Heels Camp are posted on their camp calendar page.
Hours: Camp is available half day (9am-12noon) or full day (9am-4pm). Extended care available
Price: $70/day
Ages: 3-12, must be fully potty-trained

JCC School’s Out Winter Camp includes all-day programming with field trips.
Location: Berkeley Branch and Oakland Branch
Hours: 8 am to 6 pm
Dates: Monday, Tuesday, Friday of each winter break week.
Price: $75 per day/$65 sibling (discounts for members)
Ages: 5-12

Lakeshore Children’s Center is a general day care program that runs during Oakland school holidays for grades K-8
Location: 3534 Lakeshore Avenue, Oakland


Monkey Business Winter Camp is a good old-fashioned general day camp (with organic snacks, of course!)
Location: The Berkeley School on University Avenue
Dates:  M, T, W, F of both weeks.
Hours: Basic hours are 8.30-3.30, but add on 8 am drop off or 6 pm pick up for extra fees
Price: Basic hours are $75/day before 12/1 with discounts for 4-day, 1-week, or 10-day commitments (see details on their web page.)
Ages: 4 1/2-10 or “Youth Leaders” for 11+ who have attended Monkey Business before.

Oakland Zoo Winter Camp offers a different experience at the Zoo each day.
Location: Oakland Zoo
Hours: 9 am – 4 pm, December 22-23 or December 29-30 Zoofari; December 24 or December 31: Nature Play
Price: $80/day for non-members; $75/day for members
Ages: grades K-5th

Sarah’s Science Winter Camp offers an inventors workshop during six of the most common, non-holiday vacation days.
Dates: Monday and Tuesday of Christmas wee and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday of New Years week.
Location: The Berkeley site will be at Black Pine Circle School and the Oakland location is the Lake Merritt United Methodist Church.
Hours: 8 am to 5.30 pm
Price: $95/day
Ages: 5-11

We Rock the Spectrum combines modules of arts and crafts, storytime, Zumba and other indoor fun to offer day camp at their facility.
Dates: December 22-January 2 except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day
Hours: 9 am to 2 pm
Price: $59/day
Located at 2920 7th Street, near Ashby + San Pablo. Call to register: 510-845-9787

Westside Studios offers silkscreening camp during this vacation
Dates: 12/22 and 12/23
Hours: 9 am to 3 pm with extend care available
Price:  $90 per day for drop-in, $170 for 2 day camp
Ages: 6-11 yearsLocated at 1019 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA

Wheelhouse Academy Holiday Baseball Camp
Location: Richmond
Hours and Dates: 8.30 am to 12 pm M, T, W of both winter break weeks
Ages: 7-14
Price: $60/day or $150 for each 3-day session, or $300 for all 6 days

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  1. says

    El Cerrito Martial Arts has a day camp featuring two Martial Arts classes per day as well as Arts and Crafts. Field trips include Bowling and Movies.

    Location: 10524 San Pablo Ave. El Cerrito, CA, 94530
    Hours: 7:45am-6:15pm (with late pickup till 7pm available) December 17-21 and 26-28
    Price: $175 for week one and $105 for week two early registration (before December 4th).
    Ages: 4 1/2- 12

  2. says

    – Stitch Sewing Lab – Sewing Camp for Boys and Girls – Students learn and improve upon basic sewing techniques completing one or two small projects. No sewing experience necessary, all supplies included, there are many fabrics and embellishments for both boys and girls to choose from.

    Location: 704 Gilman Street, Berkeley, CA 94703
    Hours: 12/17-12/21 – 9am-3pm with extended care available for $10/hour
    Price: $350 for 5-days; $75 per day; 10% discount for those who enroll by Dec 8
    Ages: 7 and up
    Contact: Email for more information or to enroll.

  3. says

    Great List! Nice to have so many options for the holidays! Here are a couple more we heard about at Activity Hero:
    ‘Round the World Winter Camp, Oakland & Alameda.
    Kids discover America’s deliciously different regions by cooking & eating! Campers go home with a binder of recipes, a new apron & perhaps a yearning for travel!
    Location: 1300 Grand Avenue, Oakland
    Hours: Wed-Fri, Dec. 26-Jan 4th, (8am pre-care) 9am-1pm
    Price: $240
    Ages: 7-13
    Contact: Mindy Myers,

    Camp Chrysalis Winter Snowboarding Camp, Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows. (transportation to and from Berkeley)
    Kids age 12-17 spend a whole week snowboarding! Evenings are filled with environmental discussions, fun winter survival games, snowboarding video seminars, and movies–all with hot cocoa, of course!
    Hours: Dec. 28-Jan 4 Overnight!
    Price: $975
    Ages: 12-17
    Contact: Erika Singer –, Yaniv Singer –

  4. Lisa Tsering says

    Can I put in a good word for Lakeshore Children’s Center. They are really nice to the kids, they feed them a hot breakfast (!), and when we lived in Oakland my son loved going on their field trips too.

  5. Lisa Tsering says

    I can vouch for Wheelhouse. My son (age 9) LOVED his time there. However for cost reasons we’re sticking with the city of El Cerrito day camp this year.