There are all kinds of camp programs for children in the summer. There are adventure camps, art camps, music camps, sports camps, theatre camps and more!
Whether your kids like the outdoors, using their imaginations, science projects, technology, or something totally different, you can find pretty much every kind of camp imaginable!
In this article we list some of the region’s most interesting day camp programs. Stay tuned though – we’ll likely add a few more over time. Our list includes a camp with outdoor adventure activities in Maple Ridge, art and theatre camps in Coquitlam, and programs at museums in Vancouver, Richmond, New Westminster and up the Sea to Sky Highway. We also include theatre camps for children and youth in Vancouver.
2023 Summer Camp Programs For Kids
Day camps are amazing programs for children to learn new things while having fun in the summer. There are terrific overnight residential camps in the Lower Mainland, and we are huge fans of those. In this article though, we focus on day camps where kids do their programs over the course of the week, but stay at home each night.
The camp programs we describe below are for WildPlay in Maple Ridge, Place des Arts in Coquitlam, the Fraser River Discovery Centre in New Westminster, and the Vancouver Maritime Museum at Vanier Park. We also look at theatre camps at Bard on the Beach and Theatre Under the Stars in Vancouver.
In this article, towards the end, we also provide information about group programs for children and youth at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery and Britannia Mine Museum. The programs at these two venues aren’t “day camps”. They are, however, programs that you can book for groups of kids.
WildPlay in Maple Ridge
WildPlay in Maple Ridge offers Anti-Gravity Day Camps throughout the summer. The camps are for kids ages 10 to 14 years old and each session includes five days of fun. The camps feature all sorts of outdoor activities that build resilience and teamwork skills. There are walks in nature, ropes courses, climbing challenges, arts and crafts, and more.
In 2023 the day camps run on the weeks of July 10-14, July 17-21, August 14-18 and August 21-25. The cost for each week starts at $450 per camper. However, if you use the promo code VBP15, you can save 15% on the cost of the camps as well as for adventures at other times of the year.
This camp location might be a bit of a drive for people who live closer to the City of Vancouver, but wow will it ever be worth it! And if you live close to Maple Ridge, consider yourself very lucky. Your children will have so much fun at this camp!
Place des Arts in Coquitlam
Place des Arts offers both day camps and half-day camps in the summer. The camps involve different types of visual and performing arts classes in set time blocks each day.
The full-day camps run from 9:00 am until 3:45 pm and are for children ages 7 to 10. Meanwhile, the half-day camps run from 9:00 am until 12:00 pm and are for ages 5 to 14. Prices range from $120 up to $275 in 2023, depending on which camp and classes you choose.
The weekly schedule in 2023 is July 4-7, 10-14, 17-21, and 24-28. Camps also run from July 31 to August 4, and from August 8-11.
To learn more about these camps, visit the Place des Arts website.
Fraser River Discovery Centre
The Fraser River Discovery Centre is an educational venue in New Westminster with exhibits about the Fraser River and its surrounding environment.
Eight different summer day camps run between July 4 and August 25 in 2023. Most last for about 5 days and take place from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm on weekdays. Each camp costs about $250 for non-members to attend, although certain discounts are available most years.
Kids ages 6 to 11 can learn about salmon, the Fraser River Watershed, the Metis culture, and other topics. There’s lots of cool science, activities and games to try.
For more information about these camps, click Fraser River Discovery Centre Summer Camps.
Vancouver Maritime Museum
The Vancouver Maritime Museum hosts their STEAM summer day camps about science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics in 2023.
The first camp starts on July 3 and the final camp ends on August 25. The camps take place from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on weekdays with a new camp starting each week. Rates are about $275 per week for kids between the ages of 6 and 12.
Topics differ from week to week this year. Options include Sailor Skills, Deep Sea Discovery, Maritime Mythology, Arctic Animals, Ocean Activists, plus a few more.
TIP: You can save 25% on general admission to the museum if you use the promo code BESTVANCOUVER when purchasing your tickets online! The discount isn’t valid for the summer camp programs, but it is for regular visits.
Visit the Vancouver Maritime website for more information about the camps.
Gulf of Georgia Cannery
The Gulf of Georgia Cannery offers day camp experiences to groups of youth between the ages of 6 and 12 years old. The attraction is a great destination for a field trip or an educational experience with a large group.
Rather than having a day camp schedule for the year, folks interested in bringing large groups of children to the cannery can inquire about the camps online. A typical trip involves a film, tour of the Canning Line, scavenger hunt, and other activities.
TIP: As of May 2023, the Gulf Of Georgia Cannery has a new exhibit about seafood called Fish Tales. Also, every day of the year, admission to the museum is free for children and youth up to, and including 17 year-olds. They just have to pay for special programs and events, like the summer camps.
To learn more, see the Group Programs page on the cannery’s official website.
Britannia Mine Museum
Unlike most other attractions in this article, the Britannia Mine Museum doesn’t offer week-long summer camps. However, folks are welcome to host their own day camps at the venue.
The special Camp Program at the museum allows groups of fifteen or more children, along with at least one adult leader, to spend a few hours on site. Activities include panning for gold, the BOOM! experience and exploring the site.
The cost is about $20 per student. For more information and to request a date for a camp, visit the Britannia Mine website.
Bard on the Beach
The Shakespearean theatre festival Bard on the Beach takes place at Vanier Park during the summer. The festival also features various summer camps each year. Professional teachers cover performance techniques and some of the camps delve deep into specific Shakespearean plays.
In 2023 there are a wide range of camps available. One is for ages 5 to 7, while the others are for ages 8 to 13 or ages 13 to 18. Most of the camps take place at Vanier Park in either July or August. New for this year though is the Intro to Shakespeare camp at Surrey Civic Theatres. It runs from July 17 to 21.
Prices range from $125 to $420 per week depending on your age and the camp you choose. As an added bonus, participants typically receive two complimentary tickets to a Bard on the Beach show.
TIP: Be sure to visit one of the productions this summer. Shows in 2023 include Julius Caesar, Henry V, As You Like It, and Goblin: Macbeth. We’re guessing that the shows children might like best are As You Like It (because it’s a musical with Beatles music) and Goblin: Macbeth (because the characters are all goblins).
To learn more about these camps, see the Bard on the Beach website.
Theatre Under the Stars
Theatre Under the Stars is an outdoor theatre company that puts on shows in Stanley Park. The company also hosts week-long summer camps for kids between the ages of 8 and 18 years old.
Aspiring performers work on their singing, dancing and acting skills with the help of industry professionals. The camps are held at Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park and are open to all skill levels. Participants get to perform on stage at the end of the week for friends and family members.
In 2023 there are four camps running on July 17-21, July 24-28, July 31 to August 4, and August 15-19. The camps range from $450 to $495 per child. They run from 10:00 am until 3:00 or 4:00 pm on weekdays.
TIP: Whether your kids do the camps or not, be sure to take the whole family to see one of the theatre’s musicals in the summer. They are fantastic! In 2023 the two plays are The Prom and Matilda.
For more information about these summer camps, visit the Theatre Under the Stars website.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Best Places on a Budget
- Best Places for Children
- Vancouver Summer Activities
- June Calendar of Events
- July Calendar of Events
- August Calendar of Events