California Kids

Establishment neighborhood
iD Tech Camps
910 E. Hamilton Ave., Campbell
iD Tech is an organization that hosts STEM-based camps at various college campuses across the country—from Stanford and UCLA to the University of Michigan and OSU, Princeton, MIT, Georgetown, UVA, UNC, and many more. The programs vary in length and are for kids as young as 6 and up to 18-years-old. Not only is this a great concept, but the camps are also extremely well-run. And they can be fabulous experiences not just for super-tech kids, but for anyone, boys or girls, regardless of experience, who are interested in computers and technology. In addition to their co-ed sleepaway camps, iD Tech also has day camps and an all-girls program called Alexa Café.
Cazadero Music Camp
5000 Austin Creek Rd., Cazadero
Cazadero is a music camp in Sonoma County with a fairly rigorous program. The camp skews slightly older (it's for 10 to 18-year-olds) than others, and the core of each camp day is split between specialized small and large group instruction: orchestra, jazz ensemble, or concert band. There is still a bit of time, though, for non-musical electives and activities, campfires, talent shows, and the like. And for budding musicians who also love nature, Cazadero is a double win: Campers sleep on tent decks under a starry sky among Sonoma's redwoods. Sessions range from one to two weeks.
Skylake Yosemite Camp
37976 Rd. 222, Wishon
For a traditional East Coast camp experience on the West Coast, there’s Skylake Yosemite, which is located on a lake in the Sierra National Forest, about 15 miles from Yosemite National Park in California. Also big on camper-choice, kids here can do everything from ballet to tennis to paddle to yoga (okay, so maybe it’s not entirely East Coast-traditional). And parents tend to like that the camp serves meals cooked from scratch with a lot of organic fruits and veggies, and with meat delivered fresh from a Fresno market. The camp runs a 2- and 4-week session for kids age 7 to 15.
Kennolyn Camps
8205 Glen Haven Rd., Soquel
A good West Coast option, Kennolyn is situated on 300 acres of privately owned redwood forest in the Santa Cruz Mountains, which is really convenient for Bay Area families. They take campers entering first through ninth grade, with a leadership training program for those entering tenth. Kennolyn has shorter camp sessions (one or two weeks), and they also get that going to camp for the first time can be intimidating, so they offer a three-day intro camp for their youngest campers (first to fourth grade). For locals, Kennolyn also takes kids for days-only.
The Great Escape Club
3525 Glenhurst Ave., Atwater Village
This genius business bills itself as a "playspace and retreat." It's outfitted with a full, modern, and blessedly clean kids playspace that's supervised during open hours. While kids are playing, parents can drink tea and coffee in a parents-only room, plug in and handle emails in a workspace, or, best of all, sign up for massage and reiki treatments. While the concept works best during the week, this is also an excellent place to host a weekend birthday party.
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