2000 Kids Summer Fun Guide
Day Camps and Classes
JORDAN BACHMAN PIONEER FARM For over 60 years, kids have spent their time reading and daydreaming of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books about life on the 1860s prairies. The Pioneer Farm now allows them to experience what it was really like in the old days. It re-creates rural Texas life in the late 19th century with historically correct homes, animals, and clothes. Children participating in the week-long camps dress in 19th-century working clothes before embarking on a world of water pumps, cow milking, pig feeding, and simply living off the roots of our fine land. This open-air living history museum holds a variety of special events and school programs that will turn the young'uns into true farmers who can cook with sorghum and leatherwork. Walk-in registration is still being accepted for some day camps; sessions begin Jun 5. Your family can visit the Pioneer Farm any Mon-Wed in May (Mon-Thu in Jun and Aug), 9:30am-1pm & Sun, 1-5pm. $4 (kids $3). 11418 Sprinkle Cut-off, 837-1215 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
AUSTIN CHILDREN'S MUSEUM "OLOGY" CAMPS This is just too cool. The Austin Children's Museum is offering half-day and full-day camps dedicated to studying all sorts of different, well, ologies. Half-days are for 4- to 6-year-old youngsters, and here are just some of the weekly topics: "time" for some ologies, which explores geneology, chronology, and paleontology, among others; "sensational" ologies, which will look into culinology, opthamology, and musicology; and "environmental" ologies, covering climatology, ecology, and eco-toxicology. Wow -- let the young'uns teach you a thing or two! And for the older kids, there are full-day camps for ages 7-11. Their camps are no less interesting and include: "it's a crime" ologies, where kids will learn to fingerprint, take a field trip to the Austin Police Department, and run the obstacle course at a police training academy; "future and high-tech" ologies, where kids will learn about the search for disease cures, study robots, and take field trips to Dell, Motorola, and the UT Robotics lab; and last but certainly not least, "weird" ologies, which will cover a grab bag of topics including (but of course not limited to!) garbology, teratology, and thanatology. Just think -- your child's newfound interest in an ology could turn them into an ologist! Austin Children's Museum, 201 Colorado. Reservations required. 472-2499x201.
THE AUSTIN ZOO Zoocademy summer day camp sessions will be held weekly in June and July, featuring a variety of fun and educational programs. Activities include animal encounters, nature hikes, animal enrichment, arts and crafts, train rides, scavenger hunts, games, goat milking, pony care and rides, and more. The Zoocademy Teen Force transforms teens into junior zookeepers, and Zooper Troopers gives younger kids a closer look at zoo life. Pre-register now. Jun 5-Jul 28, 10807 Rawhide Trail, 288-1490 or http://www.austinzoo.com.
SUMMER WONDERS Don'tcha just love a smart mouth? Nothing's more fun than a kid who can turn their clever little perspective in your direction. "Mommy, why's your hair two different colors?" Or, "Daddy, how come your belly looks pregnant?" Awww, just makes ya wanna send them away for a little bit. Summer Wonders offers an educational opportunity for gifted children to keep them on their toes and out of your hair while school is out. Based on the model "Worlds of Wisdom and Wonder" from Evanston, Illinois, the courses cover subjects from architecture to volcanoes in an environment specially created for the gifted child. Due to pace and content of the program, there are application requirements. Jun 12-Jul 21, classes held at St. Gabriel's School, 2500 Wimberley. Program address: Summer Wonders, 8024 Mesa, Ste 170. $250-$550 a session. 346-7039.
4-H CAPITAL PROJECT Remember Reba McEntire planting trees in those cool 4-H commercials? She was always singing and having a good 'ol time. Yup. This summer, the 4-H Capital Project is offering a couple of different camps, and there's much more than trees involved! One is "fish 'n' fun" camp, where participants will be fishing daily, learning about aquatic ecology and tackle crafting, and even taking a field trip to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center. The other camp is called "Blast Off for Fun," where kids will learn to build model rockets and solar cars, experience an orbital simulator, and take a field trip to the NASA Space Center in Houston. Travis County Extension Service, 1600-B Smith Rd. 473-9600.
AUSTIN NATURE & SCIENCE CENTER in Zilker Park provides exhibits and educational programs for everyone throughout the year. The center also holds a variety of summer camps for children ages three to 13 and volunteer programs for 13- to 16-year-olds. Camp activities for all age groups include hands-on nature and science activities, experiments, trail hikes, observation, crafts, and games; kids at the ripe old age of nine through 12 can learn to fish, canoe, cave, mountain bike, and camp. Pre-registration is required, and limited scholarships are available. Camps May 30-Aug 11. 301 Nature Center Drive, 327-8181.
BORDERS EXPLORERS CAMPS Just when you thought Borders Books & Music couldn't possibly come up with anything more for kids to do, well, they have! Borders Explorer Camps will encourage kids' creativity with four weeks of weekend classes at their north store this summer. Cosmic Cooking, Jul 8-9, 2-3pm, will focus on food preparation for kids, including a recipe book and, of course, eating! Musical Universe, Jul 15-16, 2-3pm, offers kids the chance to learn about different styles of music, make musical instruments, and perform in groups. Planes & Planets, Jul 22-23, 2-3pm, will focus on space and flight, with activities like paper airplane folding, solar system construction, and lots of science talk! And Art in the Stars, Jul 24-25, 2-3pm, presents fine art at its best. Kids can work on mosaics and all sorts of other art projects, and artistic freedom is encouraged. All Borders camps are free and are intended for ages 5-11. 795-8410 or 795-9553.
ORGANIC GARDENING SUMMER CAMP Picture your children awash in flowers, sunshine flowing through their hair, young chicks and chickens pressed against them ... and then send them to a place where this fantasy is reality. The Organic Gardening Summer Camp is the summer extension of Ronda's Montesorri School, a Primary Farm School. What the heck is this, you ask? A place where elementary schoolchildren can learn the three R's while running a working farm. Better than flourescent lights and hard plastic desks, these whole earth children get to raise chickens in their classroom and take home blue and green eggs! The summer camp allows children ages two to six to be in control of their own little plot of land and teaches them responsiblity for animals as well as living plants. Although they may be too young to count very high, they're never too young to learn to protect the planet, especially if they get to do it with a little trowel in hand. Ronda's Montessori Garden, 4300 Mount Vernon, 707-8635.
TEXAS SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF offers Summer Fun 2000 for Deaf and hard-of-hearing children and their families. The program has classes in a variety of topics from computers, basketball, early childhood education, Camp Star Quest I and II, and others. Students can reside on campus nights and weekends. Beginnning in June, deadline May 31. Application requests to Lori Bonheyo, TX School for the Deaf, P.O. Box 3538, Austin, 78764. 462-5329 or 800/DEAF-TSD.
WILD BASIN WILDERNESS PRESERVE is 200 acres of beautiful Hill Country on the outskirts of West Austin set aside to preserve the land though active management, nature education, and research. A variety of activities are offered throughout the year for adults and kids, including nature walks, stargazing, flint-knapping, bird watching, trail maintenance, and plant identification. So, not surprisingly, they're offering a camp this summer. Campers will have the choice to learn about birds, bugs, reptiles and amphibians, or fossils. But never fear, non-campers. The Basin hosts an Insect Patrol in which children discover the mysterious world of nighttime insects (registration deadline Jun 1). Also, don't miss Family Trail Days, featuring storytellers, musicians, art and craft demonstrations, and more in a mini-festival that children of all ages and their families can enjoy. Week-long camps May 30-Jun 23 (registration by May 17); Family Trail Days, third Saturday of each month, 10am-2pm, 805 N. Capital of TX Hwy. 327-7622.
ODYSSEY SCHOOL CAMP Keep your child's mind active while he or she is having fun! This catch-all camp has skill-building stuff in all sorts of areas, from reading, math (basic and algebra), writing, helpful study skills, science, computers, keyboarding, exploring UT campus, summer gardening, drama, art, and more. Give your child a jump-start for the new school year, and they'll have fun besides. Jun 19-Jul 14, 510 W. 26th. 472-2262.
THE LITTLE GYM Now here's a place that truly covers it all. Little Gym camps run the gamut of activities, from gymnastics, themes, stories, videos, arts and crafts, special guests, and more! There are morning and afternoon sessions, and every week has a unique theme: Under the Sea, Goofy Olympics, Lights-Sirens-Badges, Indiana Jones, and Pet Week, to name but a few. Little Gym is intended for ages 3-7. May 30-Aug 3. Camps are Mon-Thu, 9am-noon & 1:30-4:30pm, 13717 Burnet (near Wells Branch). 331-1234.
MAD SCIENCE Toss out those chemistry and crystal radio sets! Mad Science camps will teach beaker-crazed kids science they can use with hands-on experiments such as baking nachos in an environmentally friendly way, making their own sidewalk chalk, or dissecting an owl pellet. (Hey, how come we never got to play with poop?!) There are three different week-long camps, each appropriately titled to their field of focus: Claws, Codes, and Constellations; Moving With Science; and Cells, Crime, and Fun, at which your child can dabble in, respectively, the extraterrestrial, the architectural, or the biological. Ages 7-12. First camps begin Jun 12, 9am-noon or 1:30-4:30pm. Seven locations around town. 892-1143.
TIME QUEST Austin Independent School District Community Education presents these summer day camps for children entering first through sixth grades. Kids will be warped back and forth in time in a glowing phone booth, landing in battle zones and rescuing fair maidens, just like on Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure! Whoo hoo! Got your attention, eh? Kids will have the opportunity to travel through time, experiencing past, present, and future, but it will be through an innovative and fun curriculum that inludes arts and crafts. The camps will take place at six elementary schools in Austin: Boone, Cook, Davis, Doss, Maplewood, and Williams. May 30-Jul 14; Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm, early drop-off available for additional cost. $99 per week. Registration: 414-0215.
FUTURE KIDS These days, it's not only cool to be a computer geek, it's almost essential. Even geeks need to have fun, though, so Future Kids computer camp teaches kids how to use the Internet, how to create their own Web pages, and even how to make their own video games. Along the way, campers gain confidence and familiarity with how computers work. Parents can sign their youngsters up for Pokémon or Beanie Babies-themed classes, at the end of which kids get to take home their very own toy. Campers can also sign up for Robotics classes in which Legos are used to create movable machines. Ages 6-14. Classes May 24-Aug 3, 3818 Far West. 346-8020 or http://www.fkaustin.com.
GIRLSTART TECHNOLOGY CENTER offers a welcomed and much-needed alternative to mall-walking through summer afternoons. Campers at Girlstart can create their own Web sites, participate in hands-on math and science experiments and activities, meet women involved in nontraditional careers, and take field trips to the UT campus. Through interaction with each other in this encouraging atmosphere, girls are taught self-confidance as well as skills needed for a future in computers or engineering, areas in which women tend to be underrepresented. Bring a sack lunch -- snacks, drinks, treats, and prizes provided. Week-long camps: Jun 5-Jul 31, 8am-5:30pm, 608 W. 22nd. 916-4775 or http://www.girlstart.org.
THE MAGIC CAMP is a misleading name for this week-long instruction free-for-all which actually includes puppeteering, juggling, and performance as well as magic. The camp holds half-day programs for ages 5-7 and full-day programs for ages 7-19. Future David Copperfields who want to perfect their performance can join the Performer's Academy (audition may be required) and conquer their stage fright straight away. Guest performers and teachers (including McGruff the Crime Dog!) share their expertise throughout the sessions. Tuition includes a morning snack and all supplies. Jun 5-Jul 21: June sessions at Baranoff Elementary School, 12009 Buckingham Gate; July sessions at T.A. Brown Elementary School, 500 W. Anderson. 288-1596 or http://www.magiccamp.com.
Arts and Crafts
CLAYWAYS POTTERY STUDIO Ahh, the sad ceramic ashtrays of our youth. Live vicariously through your kids and send them to Clayways' half-day camps, which teach older kids (11 and up) to throw gorgeous pots on the wheel and create unique clay pieces. Younger kids, ages 6-10, hand-build pieces such as animals, masks, and bowls. We love 'em even more when they're lopsided, yes? Five-day sessions, Jun-early Aug. 5442 Burnet. 459-6445 or http://www.clayways.com.
THE ART SCHOOL The Austin Museum of Art at Laguna Gloria is offering a full range of programs for children this summer. While many classes have filled up already, several drawing classes are still available, so hurry, hurry. Information is updated regularly, so call the museum or check the Web site for latest availability. The goal for the children's program is the enjoyment of the creative experience and not simply the production of a finished product, so they say, but don't worry, mom -- surely your kiddo will present something marvelous for the fridge! 3809 W. 35th, 323-6380 or http://www.amoa.org/.
ARTS ON THE LAKE presents a Visual Arts Camp for kids 6-13 at the beautiful St. Stephens campus overlooking Lake Austin. What a place for inspiration! Classes offered are drawing and painting, ceramic arts, and photography. St. Stephens Episcopal School, 2900 Bunny Run. 327-1213x135.
DOUGHERTY ARTS SCHOOL In addition to a wide selection of classes for teens and adults, the Dougherty also offers summer fine art camps for ages 3-14. "Preschool Picassos" spend two weeks exploring visual arts, drama, creative movement, and music. A similar roster is offered for kids 6-8 in their "Summer Arts Adventure." "Studio 2000" is a two-week boot camp in the two-dimensional arts for ages 9-14, and lucky adolescents age 11-14 get to venture into the 3-D. Or they can focus on animation, computer graphics, or delve into the playwriting, poetry, zine making, and even "ritual writing" in the Dougherty's brand-new Literary Arts camp. The two-week-long camps begin as early as Jun 5 and run through Sep 1. Call for detailed schedule. 1110 Barton Springs Rd. 397-1458 or http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/dougherty.
HIDDEN TALENT This ceramics studio offers a four-day camp where kids of all ages can get their hands in the paint and slap it all over the walls -- yay! Well, not exactly, but you will get a brush and the chance to paint your very own timber wolf. There are two camps to choose from for the aspiring crafty type, but Hidden Talent is open throughout the summer for other stuff like glazing, professional classes, and, yes, adult classes too. Camps run Tue-Fri, Jun 20-23 & Jul 25-28, 1-4:30pm, 2525 W. Anderson, Northcross Mall. 323-2551.
TERRA TOYS "Pardon me, sir, but do you have any Grey Poupon?" No? How about a broken guitar string? South Austin's favorite toy store hosts free weekly scavenger hunts again all this summer. Clue lists are handed out at noon every Saturday during June, July, and August, and the first person or group to return by 6pm with all 20 items wins a $15 gift certificate! Second and third place winners get $10 and $5 gift certificates; all other players get their pick from the store's treasure chest. Terra Toys also has a regular art gallery for children under the age of 16, and children of any age (even you over-the-hill-ers) can participate in creating bag art -- the store gives the niced-up bags to customers to take their new toys home in. 1708 S. Congress. 445-4489.
ROCK & ROLL AND JAZZ CAMPS So you wanna be a rock star? What better place for a kid interested in learning about making music with a band than right here in Austin, the Live Music Capital of the World? Austin School of Music is offering two different music camps this summer for the next generation of musicians, one emphasizing rock & roll and the other jazz. Students will actually form bands according to their instrument and ability, and instruction is performance-oriented. Some of Austin's finest musicians will be teaching. ASM even has their own recording studio, where students will be introduced to recording techniques and record demos of their own band. And the best part? Musicians in both camps will have the chance to perform this summer at live music venues in Austin! Four sessions, Jun 5-Aug 5, 805-B W. Fifth. 476-7666.
CHILDREN'S DAY ART PARK is an annual tradition presented by the Austin Symphony at Symphony Square. The program is full of music, dance, arts and crafts, and storytelling. Every Wednesday at 9:30am, from June 7 to July 26, children can visit the "Instrumental Petting Zoo," where they can try their hand at playing different instruments from the orchestra. During the morning festivities, members of the ASO visit with the children to talk about their instruments and play favorite tunes. Just don't feed the musicians! At 10am, performances especially geared for young children are presented onstage: Trout Fishing in America (Jun 7), Jon Emery's Teddy Bear Picnic (Jun 14), Roy Lozano's Ballet Folkloria (Jun 21), Tamasha Africana (Jun 28), Bill Oliver (Jul 5), Silver Thistle Pipe & Drum (Jul 12), Beto y Los Fairlanes (Jul 19), and finally, Joe McDermott & Friends (Jul 26). Trout Fishing in America will also be giving a special concert on the night of June 7 to benefit the ASO Education Programs. The show begins at 7:30pm and costs $10 per adult and $8 per child. Each week, there are storytellers, mimes, and magicians to add to the fun. After the featured entertainment, children can follow the Pied Piper down the "Lemonade Trail" to the Art Tent, where local artisans have set up shop and the kids can create stuff to take home. Admission is still only 50¢ per child; adults are free when accompanied by a child. Lemonade is 10¢ a cup. Bring a sack lunch and dine on the shores of Waller Creek! Wednesdays in June and July, 9:30am-noon, Symphony Square, 11th & Red River. 476-6064.
ACCORDION KINGS CAMP AND JAMBOREE You may not buy this now, kids, but accordions are actually one of the coolest, if not the coolest, instruments you could play. This is especially true in Texas, home of so many cultures that, coincidentally, have the accordions at the center of their musical universes. They all converge at Texas Folklife Resources' Accordion Kings Camp and Jamboree in August. The camp portion of the two-day squeezebox extravaganza focuses on the roots music of Texas through organized jams and workshops taught by no less than Zydeco master Geno Delafose, Conjunto queen Eva Ybarra, ragin' Cajun Gary Bertrand, and John "Polka" Dujka. Students of any level are welcome and are not required to read music. Just bring a three-row button, one-row button, or piano accordion. Camp: Sat-Sun, Aug 26-27, Rabb House on Brushy Creek, Round Rock. $100 ($75 advance). Jamboree: Sat, Aug 26, 8-11pm, Old Settlers Park's Lakeview Pavilion, Round Rock. $5 (free for campers). 441-Y'ALL (9255).
WORLD MUSIC CAMP Got culture? Concordia University presents this intriguing camp, which is designed to give elementary students an overview of fine arts and the elements of culture that are unique to various countries. While the Mexican-American culture is clearly visible in Austin, many youngsters may not have had much glimpse of other cultures that don't have as large a presence in our city. This camp is the ideal spot. Areas of focus will extend well beyond music and will include folk tales, stories, art, hands-on projects, choir classes, musical instrument demonstrations, language, daily lifestyle, customs, traditions, celebrations, and of course, food. They emphasize the importance of fine arts and focus on the positive aspects of ethnic diversity. There will literally be something for everyone. Viva la difference! 13112 Tamayo, Austin 78729. 331-9246 or email@example.com.
ACTUAL LIVES: GRRL ACTION PROJECT Beginnings of self-expression can be long and arduous, especially for preteens. The focus of Actual Lives is to help girls build confidence by giving them the skills and the space to gain a public voice. Participating girls will spend Mon-Thu working with creative writing teachers Alyssa Harad and K. Bradford and performance coaches Shawn Sides and Sarah Richardson. Fridays will be spent in a series of workshops. Eventually, campers will transform their creative autobiographies into public performances and create anthologies of their writing. Twenty girls will be able to take part in this new collaboration between the UT English Department and the Rude Mechanicals Theater collective, and 10 full scholarships are available. Performances Jul 1-2. Classes meet Mon-Fri, 9am-noon. Ages 12-15. Contact Chris Strickling 894-7334 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
AUSTIN BOYS CHOIR SUMMER TRAINING CAMP Think your young'un has a good voice? Well, besides the usual outdoors-y summer activities for young lads like basketball, indoor rock climbing, tennis, and team-building exercises, this particular camp promises six hours of daily choral work to refine your boy's golden tones. Who knows? You might have the next Backstreet Boy in your family! Led by Stacy Weger, Austin Boys Choir's musical director. For ages 7-16. Registration: 927-1143.
CAPITAL MUSIC The people at Capital Music must have known that to turn your infant into the next Chopin, their musical education should probably begin early. That's why they installed the Kindermusik Adventures Camps into their already-existing repertoire of music lessons. Children from infancy (now that's young!) to age 6 can participate in a weeklong camp with their parents that focuses on diverse sounds in our world, from the ocean to music from the Far East. Kindermusik hopes to foster creativity in these young children by employing art, movement, dance, drama, and music in their camps. Of course, once they are older, these musically primed children will need a place to continue nurturing their appreciation of music. And where else but Capital Music? They hold classes for beginning musicians to discover sequencing recording, music theory, and histories behind music. As a grand finale, campers will get to play in a keyboard band. For those who have already mastered the art of music, there are also classes for teens and adults. Kindermusik Adventure Camp: Jun 5-Jul 31. Capital Music camps: Jun 5-Aug 4. 458-1933.
NATURAL EAR MUSIC CAMP Only in Austin could there be two different places where kids are molded into rock stars! The instructors at this camp insist that even beginning students (who are welcomed) will pick up rock & roll like they were born knowing it. Participants are assigned to groups of six kids who enjoy the same kind of music and who are close in age and amount of musical experience. The year's worth of instruction packed into these three-week sessions ends with a high-energy performance (and a guaranteed gig in this town, some will tell you, is worth its weight in gold!). Music success stories abound from former campers -- many have gone on to perform throughout Austin and beyond. Rock on! Applications at participating local music stores. Two sessions Jun 12-30 & Jul 10-28, Music Lab, 1306 W. Oltorf. Ages 8-18. 447-5910 or email@example.com.
MUSIC NATION CAMP Children love to dance, sing, and play music. This could be just the place for them to try their powerful pipes and rhythmic leanings in a constructive, exciting way that is easy on mom and dad's ears. Within these week-long camps, participants will be introduced to music from other cultures in a hands-on approach. A new artist from a different culture will be featured every day to demonstrate a particular form of music. Campers are encouraged to try out these foreign instruments as well as experiment with more familiar instruments such as the piano, guitar, and the instrument you can take anywhere -- the voice! Through music-related activities, campers are also introduced to improvisation and the concepts of rhythm. Camps from Jun 5-July 28. Ages 3-10. 447-8185 or http://www.cccmusictherapy.com.
INLINE SKATE CAMP Motorblade Inline SK8 Skool is presenting their skate camp for the eighth year in a row this summer, and it still sounds as kool as ever. Inline skating is truly tons of fun. We've personally had some of our best, er, um, injuries from inline skating. Just kidding, mom. Motorblade offers all kinds of fun and safe activities for both the beginning and experienced skater, like capture the flag, skate painting, obstacle course navigation, safety skills, and ramp & grind rail, to name a few. And don't forget inline sports like hockey, skate golf, skate T-ball, skate basketball, and skate dance. Who'da thought you could do so much on skates? Jun 12-Jul 26, Austin Recreation Center, 1301 Shoal Creek Blvd. Ages 6-12. For more info contact Fritz, 323-5457 or 476-5662 to register.
KIDS' MARTIAL ARTS PROGRAM Tom Gohring's School of T'ai Chi will teach your kids to kick some serious butt! No, not really. Any instructor will tell you that martial arts is about developing confidence and improving discipline, and kids will be able to do both while having fun at these classes. Kids are even welcomed to sample a couple of classes at no charge. Help your child build self-esteem in a focused, positive environment. Ongoing kids' classes Mon & Wed, 4:30pm; Sat, 12:15pm. 6611 Airport, just west of Highland Mall. 422-4245, firstname.lastname@example.org, or http://www.taichitom.com.
FUN-DAMENTALS of Softball and Baseball Camp is being held by Austin Softball & Baseball. Now that America's favorite pastime has a professional spot in Central Texas, it's a prime time to get in the know of the game. May 30-Jun 2 & Jun 6-9, 9am-1pm. Contact Alice Reen 386-5652 or http://www. austinsoftball.com.
UT SOCCER CAMP 2000 In some parts of the world, you know, soccer is religion. The sport has grown hugely popular here in the U.S. in recent years, so this summer's a perfect time to get in on the action, and get a tan besides. The University of Texas Division of Recreational Sports is offering three one-week sessions for kids age 5-13. Go for the goal and give it a kick! Classes Jun 5-9, Jun 12-16, or Jun 19-23 . $100. 471-3116 or http://www.rs.utexas.edu/soccercamp.
UT SUMMER SPORTS SCHOOL Wanna make like Major Applewhite? Head on down to UT for some other fun sports led by the Department of Kinesiology & Health Education. Swimming, golf, and diving are but a few of the sports they will be offering this summer. Even infants and toddlers can get their start with swimming lessons -- hey, it's never too early to get them primed for Barton Springs. Don't know where to go? Get on I-35, look for the massive stadium extension towering high in the sky, and there you are. Classes begin Jun 5. Contact Cheryl 471-1272.
CAMP SUB-ZERO We know, some kids just don't like the heat. And even if you're the sun-lovin' kind, well, in Texas it gets hot! Egg sizzlin' on the sidewalk hot! (Have you tried that, by the way? Trust us, it's that hot.) Camp Sub-Zero could be the perfect place to cool off for a while this summer when the tar starts melting in the streets. They offer lessons for those who want to learn to skate and a hockey program in 10 weekly sessions with a different theme each week. Camp activities include broomball and other ice activities, and also arts and crafts, gym times, and a few outdoor things for those who just can't stay away from the heat! Lace 'em up. May 30-Aug 4. Chaparral Ice, 14200 I-35, exit 247. 252-8500.
SAN ANTONIO SPURS ALL-STARS OK, OK, so basketball is an inside sport. And yeah,this is summertime. But look at it this way -- the basketball pros are finished up in early June, and those guys down the road in San Antonio just might be around to help youngsters hone their shooting skills. This specialty camp promises an All-Star guard who will help instruct participants in the finer points of that oh-so-popular sport. How's that for a star-studded summer?! Boys and girls ages 7-17 are welcomed. Contact either James Silas Basketball Camps: 709-9630, or West Austin Youth Association: 473-2528.
AUSTIN ROCK GYM Our fine city is nearing another 100-degree summer, and an air-conditioned, sculpted rock climbing gym might be just where your kids want to be to escape the heat. Austin Rock Gym holds weeklong classes promoting physical activity, balance, and, first and foremost, safety while rock climbing. Students learn the basics of climbing safety and technique combined with interesting climbing-related games. Beginning, intermediate, and advanced classes available. Ages 6-15. Jun 5-Aug 21, 9am-1pm, 4401 Freidrich #300. 416-9299 or http://www.austinrockgym.com.
Field Trips and Other Out-and-Abouts
ICE CREAM TOURS without driving out to Brenham? Our very own Amy's Ice Cream offers weekly tours for groups of 10-25 people (ages 3 and up). Participants make and taste a batch of ice cream and go into Amy's walk-in freezer to taste and smell various ingredients. Following the tour, participants may buy a 4-oz. serving of Belgian Chocolate or Mexican Vanilla ice cream with M&Ms on top for only $1.50. Yummy. By appointment only, Mon-Fri beginning 10am, 3500 Guadalupe. Free. 458-6149 x515.
CAMP ON THE MOVE Now here's a cool idea -- a camp that's constantly on the go! That's right, no bunk beds or mess hall here. These guys are too busy running around the city. This could the perfect alternative for parents who may be too busy to drive the kiddos around but want to give them a chance to get out and do some fun stuff in Central Texas. They promise Laser Tag, guest speakers, Putt-Putt, bowling, educational tours, GattiTown every Friday, and Schlitterbahn twice a week. Get movin' and sign up! 292-0033.
CAMP SELAH ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE LEARNING ADVENTURE. Dinosaurs, you say? This camp at Bamberger Ranch claims they have the best set of dinosaur tracks found in the whole state of Texas. Well, if it's not a tall tale they're shoutin', then you can be sure this is definitely a unique experience for the lucky ones who get to participate. Twenty kids will live at the camp, located 50 miles outside of Austin, and they'll be exposed to the intricacies of living in and caring for the environment. Campers live in stone lodges and flex their science and math muscles through activities such as map reading and creek water Ph-level testing. Of course, they have the usual camp stuff too, like swimming, hiking, canoeing, and, you know, hangin' out in dinosaur footprints. May 28-Jun 3. Ages 9-14. 480-9274 or email@example.com.
YMCA CAMP FLAMING ARROW Faith, caring, honesty, responsibility, and respect. These are the things YMCA holds dear, and what they hope kids will learn and practice at their good 'ol fashioned summer camp Flaming Arrow. "Kumbaya" around the campfire is just part of the fun kids can look forward to at this spot, which also promises canoeing, archery, swimming, riflery, sports, folk arts, crafts, climbing, hiking, and general all-around fun and friendship. That's what YMCA's about, after all -- strong kids, strong families, and strong communities. Check it out. Boys & girls ages 6-15. Weekly sessions Jun 11-Aug 5. 800/765-YMCA.
CAMP WILDFLOWER The lovely Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center offers a number of weekend children's programs this summer in their Children's Little House. Behind the enticing diminutive door, young visitors to the center can explore aspects of the natural world in programs like "Trees Are Terrific" and "The Art of Recycling." Come one, come all, and be one with nature in this idyllic spot just south of Austin. Sat 10am-noon & 1-4pm, Sun 1-4pm on a drop-in basis. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse. Free with admission to the Center. 292-4200 or http://www.wildflower.org.
WET AND WILD ADVENTURE CAMP is for the truly adventurous kid who likes to mix it up. Kids ages 8-15 will travel all around Central Texas visiting lakes, rivers, creeks, pools, heck, anywhere you can get wet or get wild! The idea is that every day is a field trip. Traveling in vans (15 of 'em!), campers visit sites such as Enchanted Rock, Volente Beach, McKinney Falls, Schlitterbahn, Hamilton Pool, and the Blue Bell Creameries! None of the one-week sessions are identical; check out the schedule to find the plan that suits you best. Morning drop off at Oak Hill (between 7:30-8am) or Westenfield Park (between 7:30-9am). Afternoon pickup in Oak Hill or Zilker Park after 5:15pm. 288-0168 or 892-2224. http://hometown.aol.com/llraces/webpage.html.