A Lakewood/East Dallas camp guide

The days of kids staying home all summer watching “Days of Our Lives” and eating popsicles are over. Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean students should stop learning. You don’t have send your kid to a camp far away. Here are details for some of the summer camps available in our neighborhood.

For the well rounded kid

Lakehill Preparatory School

Dates: June 4-Aug. 10

Location: 2720 Hillside and 7401 Ferguson

For ages: 4-18

Tuition: $220-$295 per week

Sign up: lakehillprep.org

Almost anything your kid wants to try, this camp teaches. The kiddos can dabble in chemistry, engineering, hiking and survival, wildlife, arts and crafts, puppets, photography, volleyball, disc golf and too many subjects to mention. Childcare before and after camp is included. Some camps are held at the school’s main campus, and some are at the Alice and Erle Nye Family Environmental Science Center.


St. Christopher’s Montessori School

Dates: June 4-29, July 2-31 and Aug. 1-28

Location: 7900 Lovers

For ages: 3-8

Tuition: $450-$890 a month, depending on times and child’s age

Sign up: 214.363.9391

St. Christopher’s Montessori School offers camps for cooking, games, fitness, Spanish, music, art and dance.


Photo by Danny Fulgencio


Dates: June-August

Location: 7301 Gaston

For ages: 3-17

Tuition: $125-$200

Sign up: whiterockymca.org

White Rock YMCA’s weeklong Urban Adventures Travel Camps offer trips to the Crow Asian Art Gallery, the Dallas World Aquarium and the Latin Cultural Center. Counselor training and swim lessons also are available.


Self defense

Dates: June-July

Location: Lakewood Dojo, 2114 Kidwell

For ages: 4-15

Tuition: $300, with discounts for siblings

Sign up: dallaskenpo.com

Chamberlain Studios of Self Defense offers 10 one-week courses in martial arts. Most camps are from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., but a few are from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.


For the nature lover

Dallas Arboretum

Dates: June-July

Location: 8525 Garland Rd.

For ages: 3-12

Tuition: $99-$250

Sign up: dallasarboretum.org

Many of the arboretum’s half-day and full-day camps sell out, so sign up early. “Little Critters,” for 3- to 4-year-olds, explores squirrels, spiders, frogs and toads. Fossils, garden investigation and the connection between art and nature are among topics for 4- to 6-year-olds. Dale Chihuly’s glass art is one subject for kids 5-7 and 7-10. Campers explore the life and times of Texas pioneers while studying native plants and animals at Lone Star Overnight Adventure Camp, open to 8- to 12-year-olds. That weeklong camp culminates in an overnight trip to the Trinity River Audubon Center.


Texas Discovery Gardens

Dates: June 11-15, July 16-20 and Aug. 13-17

Location: Fair Park, 3601 Martin Luther King Junior Blvd.

For ages: 4-8

Tuition: $175-$200

Sign up: texasdiscoverygardens.org/camps

Weeklong classes on butterflies, gardening and garden critters run from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Childcare from 8-9 a.m. costs $15; care from 3:45-5:30 p.m. costs $25 and includes a snack.


For the musician


Dates: June-August

Location: Dallas School of Rock, 5606 Dyer

For ages: 4-17

Tuition: $995

Sign up: dallas.schoolofrock.com, 214.363.7625

The Dallas School of Rock offers two-week camps that include music and vocal instruction, theory and songwriting, Rock-N-Roll music appreciation, live performance basics, instrument clinics and more. The school also offers “Little Wing,” half-day camps for pre-schoolers June 4-8 and Aug. 6-10 for $249.


East Dallas Children’s Music

Dates: May-August

Location: Wilshire Baptist Church, 4316 Abrams

For ages: infant-8

Tuition: $60-$150

Sign up: eastdallaschildrensmusic.com, 214.324.2224

Musikgarten classes for babies up to 4-year-olds feature singing, dancing and playing simple instruments. Keyboard camps for older children focus on multicultural songs, games, art projects and drumming.


Girls Rock Dallas

Dates: July 23-28, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Location: Life in Deep Ellum, 2803 Taylor

For ages: 8-17

Tuition: $325, with financial assistance available

Sign up: girlsrockdallas.org

This intense weeklong class offers instruction to girls only, in guitar, bass, drums and vocals. Campers will form bands and learn how to write original songs together and perform at the camp’s showcase.


Creative Arts Center of Dallas

For the artsy kid

Creative Arts Center of Dallas

Dates: June 11-July 22

Location: 2360 Laughlin

For ages: 14 and older

Tuition: $195-$219

Sign up: creativeartscenter.org

A weeklong portfolio-preparation class teaches university-bound high school and college art students the basics of presenting a portfolio, writing strong artist statements and choosing the right art school. Another class, Intro to Design, promotes creativity and helps students gain visual organization skills. The center also offers classes in drawing, jewelry making, sculpture and painting. And there are one- and three-day workshops on color theory, art history, printmaking, drawing and painting. The center also offers free classes to DISD students through Big Thought.

Photo by Can Türkyilmaz

For the thespian

Dallas Children’s Theater

Dates: June-August

Location: 5938 Skillman

For ages: 4-18

Tuition: $70-$400

Sign up: dct.org

“Showbiz Summer and Teen Conservancy” has to be the greatest name for a camp. Kids as young as 3-and-a-half can enroll in the mid-morning Pre-K Drama Days for $70. Acting, improv, musical theater, movie-making for teens and technical theater are among the offerings in the $250 range. Slappy’s Circus Camp is a weeklong clown class for $265. The two-week musical theater camp costs $400.


Junior Players

Dates: June 11-22

Location: Ridgewood Recreation Center, 6818 Fisher

For ages: 7-14

Tuition: Free

Sign up: 214.526.4067

Our neighborhood rec center offers a two-week theater camp, and classes are limited to 25 on a first-come, first-served basis. Instruction includes performing and theater arts. Classes culminate in the Festival of Plays, uniting rec centers all over Dallas.

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About the Author:

Rachel Stone
RACHEL STONE is the Oak Cliff editor. Email rstone@advocatemag.com or follow twitter.com/advocate_oc.