Advice about City of Berkeley Day Camps
There are a lot! Here's our list: Trackers, Sees the Day, Cal Explorers, Berkeley City Camps, Kids for the Bay, A World of Peace, Wild Ones Art Camp, One Generation, Monkey Business. Some of these are on our list of camps we want to try but haven't yet. We've done:
- Trackers: focus on outdoor skills, all outdoors, they do a great job teaching how to be responsible in the outdoors including leave no trace principles, how to be safe about things like knives. They throw in some cool fantasy stuff, like there was a dragon theme day over winter break where the kids searched for "dragons" (actually birds), and that makes it really fun for younger kids. This is the one I'd recommend the most for nature and hikes.
- Cal explorers: they had a little bit of indoor time but mostly outdoors with a huge range of activities - sports, arts and crafts, science/nature projects, dance, usually they have swim lessons but they canceled last year because of COVID.
- Berkeley camps: they have a few different ones, with a range of activities and prices. We did one of the playground-based ones and it was simple but fun - lots of free play on the playground with some arts and crafts and sports activities mixed in. Some of their camps go to more nature spots like the marina and tilden, we want to try one of those this year.
Most don't have registration open, except for Trackers which is already full for most weeks!
Your boys might enjoy the Berkeley Marina camps. They vary from Marin biology to boating or kayaking. They are affordable and very well run. You need to monitor the city’s website under the Berkeley Marina tab to find out when the sign up is going to be. Usually the “sporty” camps fill the same day. When my kids were that age they also liked the UC village half day camps like LEGO building, chess or gymnastics. Good luck!