Looking for a summer day camp for your child? We've got you covered. Starting in April the Sarasota Herald Tribune publishes their list of summer camps. You can also see what the Sarasota County Government has to offer. You’ll find programs specializing in the arts, sports, adventure and exploration and more! Your children will have no excuse to be bored.
- 2012 Summer Camp Guide
-Sarasota County Parks and Recreation publishes this list every summer explaining all of their summer programs available from June through August.
-Sarasota Herald Tribune's Summer Camp Guide publishes a camp listing every April. To get your copy, click link above.
-Manasota Family and Kid's Directory is also a great summer guide and directory. To see their camp listing - you're just a click away!
-Your Observer features a Summer Fun Guide 2012 on their site. Check it out today!
-The Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County's Child Care Connection program provides parents with individualized referrals for child care including summer camps.
-Dreams Oaks Camp offers an exceptional camping experience for children with special needs and chronic illnesses ages 7 through 17.
-Easter Seals Southwest Florida offers affordable, full-day summer day camp for children of all abilities. Campers ages 7 -18 will have fun, learn and grow in a safe environment.
-CECO is a 501(c)(3) non-profit center offering a summer camp for children with motor disabilities.
- The Gap School offers a highly intensive, 3-week camp for children ages 5-11 that is designed to help children better navigate their social world by offering daily opportunities to practice, modify and monitor their nonverbal communication and verbal interaction skills.
- Forty Carrots 2012 Summer Series Brochure - Forty Carrots Family Center’s Play and Parenting Education Class Opportunities offer fun, information, skill development and support.
- Bath and Racquet Fitness Club - The 2012 Summer Camp is designed for your child to have fun while learning new skills like hitting a backhand or learning a lifesaver jump. The camp offers a large variety of activities and is open to all ability levels. Children ages 5 to 12 years are appropriate for this camp.
- Camps at the Sarasota Y offers the opportunity for kids to make new friends, find their inner artist, explore new places, learn leadership skills, try a new sport, and much more!
- Boys and Girls Club - Children and parents can take advantage of the Boys & Girls Club of Sarasota and enroll their children in summer programs offered at the different club locations throughout Sarasota County.
- Girl's Inc - Enroll your daughter in the Girls, Inc. Summer Program. She will explore the community, participate in sports, stretch her creativity, acquire valuable life skills, join clubs, learn about the environment, make new friends and have fun. Each girl will participate in activities that involve them in their nationally researched and developed programs.
- Florida Studio Theatre - The Youth Summer Theatre has something to offer everyone in the theatre spectrum. Interested youth and teens can experience behind-the-scene classes from the Kid's Classic Performing Arts Camp to Teen Improv. All Classes are Monday through Friday for children ages 5 -17.
- Sarasota's Orchestra's Summer Program - School-aged children on summer break can maintain or gain musical skills during the Sarasota Orchestra's summer program. If your child has their own instrument, this is a great program for all skill levels. The beginner can try out a musical instrument, while the intermediate and advance students hone their skill.
- Sarasota's Youth Opera Summer Workshop - Register now for the 2012 The Summer Workshop Day Camp. Your child will take classes in music, voice, acting, opera appreciation, design, and technical production for young people 8 and up. The theme of this year's workshop is Fairy Tales and Folk Music in Opera.
- P(a)yne Skatepark - Skate Camp offers programming for kids interested in learning about the sport of skate boarding. Skate Camp and after school programs are held at the skate park in Sarasota County.
- Stage Door Studios - Open a door of opportunity into the world of dance and theater by enrolling your child in Stage Door Summer Camps. Click here for the 2012 summer camp schedule.
- Theme Park Sleep-away Camp - If your child wants to get a behind the scenes look at the adventurous world of theme parks, try SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Adventure Camps . Sleep-away camps are available for children 8-18, and day camps are available for children as young as age 5.
- Creative Kids Summer Camp - Art is a valuable and creative force for young people between 6 and 17, fostering self esteem while having lots of fun. We look forward to 6 more weeks of art making led by a talented team of professional art educators. Register in person, by phone or online for weekly programs. For more information and registration call 941.365.2032 or visit www.artsarasota.org.
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If you've ever wondered what kid-friendly entertainment Sarasota has to offer, here’s your guide to the local entertainment venues. They can be a great way for you to engage your child in the arts and culture, and have fun with them, too.
- Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary - Lions, and tigers, and birds? The Big Cat Habitat provides a home for exotic animals in need of food and medical care. Watch entertaining and educational demos, visit the petting zoo and witness majestic creatures in their natural environment.
- Circus Sarasota - A not-for-profit performing arts educational organization. Circus Sarasota currently conducts limited Circus Arts workshops at various times throughout the year and performances from June to August at the Historic Asolo Theatre. Check back in the winter for shows under the "big top".
- Sailor Circus - Dubbed the Greatest "Little" Show on Earth, the circus has performances twice a year. You and your family can watch acrobatic routines and Arial stunts performed by school age children ages 8 - 18 years old.
- Van Wezel Performing Arts Center - During the summer months, the Van Wezel's Friday Fest on the Bay provides an outdoor concert venue for the whole family. This free concert features a different band every Friday, with food vendors and family fun. During the school year, The Van Wezel School time Performances run from October through April for the ticket price of $7. This is a great way to teach children in correspondence with the Sunshine State Standards and the Sarasota County Curriculum.
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Take advantage of activities for your children that are unique to Sarasota County. From skating rinks to water parks, drum circles and beach runs, there is something that you and your child can experience and enjoy together.
- Children's Events Calendar - Check out the All About Sarasota Kids event calendar for fun things to do.
- Discover Natural Sarasota County - is a site featuring a directory of Sarasota County parks and nature areas. The site offers information for parks, attractions and other outdoor activities in Sarasota County.
- Events and Programs at the Library - Sarasota County Library provides a calendar of programs offered at all the public library locations. You can also search for programs specifically for your child's age.
- Free Summer Bowling - Kids can bowl 2 free games all summer long at any participating AMF Bowling Center. You must register through the web site and receive two confirmation e-mails for your child to register.
- Miniature Golf - Miniature golf can be a great way to play and connect with your child. On Bee Ridge Road, Evie's Miniature Golf has an 18-hole, waterfall adventure course, arcade and ice cream parlor. For a glow-in-the-dark miniature golf experience try Lunar Golf in the Sarasota Square Mall. Smuggler's Cove .They have one location in Sarasota, and two in Bradenton. You can play a round of mini-golf, and then feed alligators featured in a live exhibit.
- Mommy and Me at Mote - Designed for children ages 2 to 5 and their parents or caregivers, this program will inspire the youngest Marine Biologists. During Mommy and Me at Mote, children will use interactive activities and exhibits throughout Mote Aquarium to learn about Mote creatures, from sharks and eels, to dolphins, seahorses and coral reefs.
- Out Of School Activities -Want to learn what activities are offered for your child when they're not in school? Type in the word of the activity you want and thelookup941.org searches to give you a list of what's offered.
- Siesta Key Drum Circle - As the sunsets on the horizon, people are serenaded by the sounds of different percussion instruments and revelers dancing to the beat of the drums. Bring the family, blankets and chairs every Sunday to the Siesta Key Public Beach. Festivities start about an hour before sunset.
- Sarasota Family YMCA Water Park - Next door to the Selby Aquatics Center, your kids will enjoy the Josephine Lofino Splash Park. This park includes a variety of waterslides, water cannons and splash pools free to members of the YMCA, or $10 for non-members. Parents can rest easy on the sun deck while toddlers and children play. A full-service concession stand makes the water park a perfect spot to beat the summertime heat.
- Stardust Skate Center - Your child can roller skate, play arcade games and eat nachos at Sarasota's largest air-conditioned roller skating/dance arena.
- Sun-N-Fun Sun- This resort and campground offers your family a fun filled summer with an Olympic size pool, Kids' Activity Pool and play area. Families can also enjoy other recreational activities such as tennis, shuffleboard, basketball, volleyball, and mini and disc golf.
- Little Naturalists Program - A FREE alternative to the typical playgroup for school-age children. Connect with nature in fun, creative ways. This hour-long program includes a short guided nature walk, hands-on nature activities, a snack and a story. Programs are being offered quarterly beginning in March. Visit scgov.net for more information and to register, or call 941-861-5000.
- Youth Sports Programs - Sarasota County has many after school youth programs for children and teens. Any sport your child may have an interest in, or a talent for can be played year round in a variety of programs. For a complete list of youth sports, go to the Before and After School Programs page.
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Sarasota and the surrounding cities have lots of attractions for children. Here you will find a list of the popular places with a description of the programs they offer especially for children.
- The Children's Garden - Follow the yellow brick road into a land of make-believe. The Children's garden, located near downtown, is a two-acre interactive garden for kids where imagination blossoms and nature play is getting your hands dirty! This interactive park with whimsical creatures, hidden mazes, playground, acting stage, costume playhouse and special events for children of all ages to enjoy.
- Crowley Museum & Nature Center - Children can enjoy the pioneer history of our area while exploring nature trails and the Myakka River. The attraction includes a museum with artifacts from the late 1870's to the early 1900's, a one-room homestead cabin, and a working sugar cane mill.
- G-Wiz: The Science Museum - Your child will learn a lot in this hands-on science center. Exhibits are located on two floors of the science and technology center. Various programs and day camps offered during June and July.
- Hunsader Farms - 80 acres of vegetables, fruit & fun offers many children and family friendly events and activities throughout the year. Take your children on a farm tour and pick vegetables. Special events are held at the farm throughout the year like the Pumpkin Festival, which is held for 5 days in October.
- Marie Selby Botanical Gardens - is a "tropical oasis nestled on the bayfront of Sarasota". This botanical garden is a 9.5-acre, open-air and under-glass museum of more than 20,000 colorful plants. Children will be interested in the Butterfly Garden and the Children's Rainforest opening soon.
- Mote Marine Laboratory and Science Center - Internationally recognized marine research facility, aquarium and touch tank. Includes a 135,000-gallon marine research and display aquarium where sharks and other marine animals are maintained. Programs for summer camps and weekend adventures are offered for children during the year.
- Ringling Museum - On Saturdays, the focus is on families! Family-friendly tours and activities are available in different locations at the Museum during Saturday Family Days. Programs are included in the price of regular Museum admission and designed for children 4 and up.
- Sarasota Jungle Gardens - Acres of beautiful gardens and nature trails make this a perfect setting for birthday parities, summer camps and educational bird and reptile shows.
- Save Our Seabirds is dedicated to the rehabilitation and community education of aquatic birds. Families can tour the facility and enroll their child in educational camps offered throughout the year.
- Historic Spanish Point - Learn about the "4P's "of Prehistory, Pioneer, Palmer and Plants. Take time to learn about Florida's early pioneer history from one of the largest intact prehistoric villages and learn about one of Sarasota's most influential pioneers Bertha Palmer.
- Myakka River State Park is one of Florida's oldest and largest state parks. The "Florida Wild and Scenic Myakka River" flows through 57 square miles of wetlands, prairies and woodlands. Myakka is popular for hiking, fishing, camping, and wildlife observation.
- Oscar Sherer offers 15 miles of trails through these beautiful natural areas that provide opportunities for hiking, bicycling, and wildlife viewing. Canoeists and kayakers can paddle along South Creek that flows to the Gulf of Mexico. Fresh and saltwater fishing is popular, too.
- Sarasota County Parks offer recreational opportunities for virtually every type of user.
- South Florida Museum in Bradenton, FL offers Family Nights and Summer Camps for children of all ages. While you're there feed Snooty the Manatee at the Parker Manatee Aquarium or explore the universe at Bishop Planetarium.
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- Florida Aquarium - Come discover one of the best aquariums in the country and a premier Tampa Bay area attraction! This wonderful family destination has plenty of fun activities like Swim with the Fishes, Penguins: Backstage Pass and a Wild Dolphin Eco-tour. Don't miss Explore A Shore, our outdoor water fun zone for the children!
- Museum of Science and Industry - offers fun for all ages, from toddlers to adults, a unique hands-on science experience. Affectionately known as MOSI, it is the largest science center in the south. In addition to being home to Florida's only IMAX Dome Theatre, MOSI also boasts Kids in Charge!, the newest and largest children's science center in the United States. The IMAX Dome Theatre at MOSI, a 340-seat theater with an 82-foot hemispherical movie screen, immerses viewers in an experience combining state-of-the-art cinematography.
- Adventure Island - When the summer heats up, try soaking, sun and relaxing at Adventure Island. This water park is modeled around the laid-back Florida Keys lifestyle. The family will enjoy over 30 acres of water-soaked excitement. Ride slides, waterfalls, a giant wave pool, a rambling river, and other family attractions provide hours of sun-drenched fun.
- Busch Gardens - Experience up-close encounters with amazing animals while taking an unforgettable safari across the Serengeti Plains. The park has 4 pulse-pounding roller coasters, stage shows with animals, and colorful live entertainment all year long.
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