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Art&Seek Jr: Happy Campers Part 2

by Therese Powell 10 Jul 2012 12:07 PM

If you still want the kids to have a fun summer adventure but prefer to skip the heat stroke, here some camps worth checking out.


Art&Seek Jr. is one mom‘s quest to find activities to end the seemingly endless chorus of the “I’m Bored Blues” while having fun herself. Impossible you say? Check back on Tuesdays for kid-friendly events that are fun for adults, too.

After last week’s post, I heard more than a few of you say, “Camping OUTDOORS?!! In Texas???!! In JULY???!! Have you lost your mind, woman?!!” I realize, for a lot of parents, outdoor summer camps are NOT an option. It’s just too stinkin’ hot. So if you still want the kids to have a fun summer adventure but prefer to skip the heat stroke, here some camps worth checking out:

Discover all kinds of cool stuff at the Museum of Nature and Science

They’re filling up fast, but the Discovery Camps for children in grades K through 6 at the Museum of Nature and Science still have a few spaces open in their summer program. Kids can explore everything from astronomy to paleontology in these five-day sessions. My favorite is the robotics camp, where kids get to build and take home a small robot! Another plus about these camps is that they’re a full day (9 to 3) with before and after care available. For working parents, this is HUGE. Those of you who have had to race around during your lunch hour doing the “camp swap” know exactly what I’m talking about.

If  you have a particularly ebullient child, you just can’t go wrong with a theater camp. The Mesquite Arts Center is offering a theater camp for kids in grades 1 to 12.  Led by two professional tour actor/directors from Missoula Children’s Theatre, this intensive weeklong camp culminates in a full-scale musical theater production of The Pied Piper, featuring campers as actors or assistant directors. The production is designed with suitable parts for every age, skill and experience level. The Wylie Acting Group for Children offers another theater camp worth checking out. Geared for children in grades K-6, the Charlie & the Chocolate Factory camp day is designed to introduce budding thespians to the art of theater.

You and the kids can immortalize Fido in the Pet Portrait Painting Camp

Art camps are the bomb because they have two key elements kids love: being creative and getting dirty while being creative (but mom doesn’t care because you’re being creative). The Viva Italia! camp at the Kimbell sounds so cool, I wish I could go.  Over the course of five afternoons, campers (ages 6–12) fill their imaginary passports with stamps from cities along the Italian peninsula. The kids take daily gallery tours and do learning activities and studio art projects that encourage creativity and explore the connections with Michelangelo’s Florence, Caravaggio’s Rome and Canaletto’s Venice.

Finally, if you’re wanting to be a little artsy yourself and bond with your favorite small person, then you seriously need to try out the pet portrait painting camp at  Oil and Cotton. This half day camp for kids and adults starts off by teaching you how to mix your acrylic paints and what brush to use. Then, later in the morning (using a  photo as a guide), you paint a one-of-a-kind portrait of your animal pal.

All of these neato-torpedo camps are bound to fill up fast, so don’t wait around or you’ll miss out.

Therese Powell is an Art&Seek calendar coordinator and KERA-TV producer. She spends most of her free time seeking out adventures for her 7-year-old daughter, Rose. Tell us about some of the summer camps your kids have enjoyed or clue us in to your ideas for quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at [email protected].