If your summer childcare situation is something in between all or nothing, perhaps your family would like to explore half-day camps. I've wrangled and rounded up a few top picks for part-day camps!
For young campers (age 2 years, 9 months through 5 year olds), Habitot offers ten weeks of fun. Themes include beaches, space, and farm. Sign up for one week or many. Curbside Drop-off & Pick-up Service Available.
Hours: Morning session is 9am to 1pm; Afternoon session is 2pm to 5:45
Price: $200 per session. Discounts available.
Head Over Heels (Emeryville)
Day camp program for kids 4+ offers gymnastics and circus arts, plus playground games and arts + crafts. Each Friday ends with a performance for the parents and friends.
Hours: 9 AM to 12 PM for half-day camp
Price: $245/week; discounts for mulitiple weeks, siblings, and early registration
Lawrence Hall of Science Camp (LHS, Berkeley)
For kids ages 4 and up, LHS offers half-day camp on fun topics such as Legos, dinosaurs, and potions.
Hours: Camp is available half day (9am-12noon) or combine two camps for a full day (9am-4pm)
Price: Half day camp (in the $200s) and full day camp ($400+) — priced per week week — vary based on curriculum. Discounts available to members.
4Cats Arts Studio Summer Camps (Kensington)
4cats is a professional art studio for artists ages 2-15. Children learn about famous artists and use professional art materials to create masterpieces in the style and spirit of those artists. Basic program is half-day, but if you’re looking for an all day camp, 4Cats has partnered with The Fuse Fitness to bring you a fun-filled art and Kung Fu extravaganza!
Website >Hours: Monday-Thursday 9:30 AM-12:30 PM & 1:30 PM-4:30 PM, 2 camps running each day in the AM & PM
Set in a paint-your-own pottery studio, this art camp offers kids a chance to explore all sorts of materials in order to express their own visions and stories. Expect access to lots of clay and paint in addition to canvas, ink, and more. For kids 4-11. Afternoon program for teens and tweens.
Hours: 9 am – 1 pm for 4-11 year olds; Extended care $10/hr til 5:30
Price: $199/week plus $125 materials cost
Shawl Anderson Half-day Dance Camps (Berkeley)
Half-day dance camps are offered for different ages and dance specialties throughout the summer including middle school and high school age. Find more details on the website.
Weeks and Pricing:
Jul 22-26 mornings: Multiple styles for ages 7-9 ($198)
Jul 22-26 afternoons: Multiple styles for ages 8-10 ($198)
Aug 12-16 mornings: Hip Hop intensive for ages 9-11 mixed gender ($210)
Hours: Morning sessions are 9am-12:30pm; afternoons are 12:30-4pm
BandWorks Summer Camp (Oakland and other Bay Area locations outside the 510)
For kids 8+, BandWorks Rock n’ Roll Camp is open to young beginners through advanced, older teen players. Professional musician-instructors create a fun and supportive environment while they teach kids the skills they need to play in a rock band-and make new friends in the process. Week-long Summer Day Camps offer a variety of classes throughout the summer, and campers may enroll for a 1/2 day or full day. All instruments welcome! By the end of the week, students are rocking out in a live performance in the classroom. For beginners, Intro to Rock Band Instruments Camp offers kids get an opportunity to get their hands on a variety of instruments, while receiving rudimentary instruction of each of them. For kids with some musical experience, camps include Rock Band and the popular “Music of” series, in which students focus on one featured band such as Green Day or a genre like “Classic Rock.”
Hours: AM session: 9am-12noon; PM session: 1pm-4pm, (campers signing up for full day will be provided lunch supervision); before care and after care available
Price: $275 – $300 per week
Bay Area Children’s Theatre’s Summer Performers Camp: ALADDIN JR. (Alameda & Piedmont)
Campers learn acting, singing, and dancing skills as you rehearse this musical filled with magic and mayhem, Aladdin Jr. Whether you are a novice or seasoned performer, this fast-paced, two week musical theater production camp will prepare you for final performances in front of your family and friends. Skill building and stage confidence will be emphasized along with group participation. Little Performers option is a one week, half day camp that teaches basic theater skills and includes final performances in Aladdin Jr.
Alameda Website >
Piedmont Website >
Hours: Little Performers: Ages 5 – 6, 9 AM – 12 PM
Price: $180 (1-week program)
First Touch Soccer (Berkeley)
First Touch Soccer Camp offers fun, instructional, and age-appropriate soccer coaching located at John Muir Elementary School in Berkeley. Campers will learn the basic skills that will help them succeed on the field along with lessons in sportsmanship and teamwork. Each session will have a 12 camper limit. All levels welcome! To register, contact Coach Eric, Eric@kidsinmo.com or 510-541-0268
Hours: Half days only | K – 2nd graders 9:00 am to 12 noon; 3rd – 5th graders 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm | Before and aftercare available through Kids in Motion
Escuela Bilingüe Internacional, Spanish summer camp (Oakland)
In Spanish campers will explore art, music, science, gardening, movement and dozens of other enriching and dynamic themes. Expect fun guest speakers and field trips. EBI’s teachers represent many Spanish-speaking countries so children can experience many rich cultures of the Spanish language.
Pre-K: 8:30 a.m – 12:00 p.m with am/pm extended day options
Primary School: Morning camp: 8:30 a.m – 12:00 p.m. Afternoon camp: 12:30 p.m – 4:00 p.m with am/pm extended day options
Price: $370 per session; payment plan available.
Did I miss your family's favorite half-day camp? Tell us in the comments!
[Photo by Polly Pagenheart]