Summer Art Camps

Parent Q&A

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  • Our 7-year-old is increasingly interested in learning to draw comics and write graphic novels, and we're looking for recommendations for summer camps that might include those topics or are general art camps that he and his 5-year-old sibling can attend.

    Liv and Chiu is really great, but I don't think they take 5 yr olds. 

    Kalen Meyer runs an art day camp at the Berkwood Hedge School. I highly recommend this camp, not sure if she takes 5 year olds. She is a fantastic art teacher and artist. 

    A while back, my daughter spent several summers at Lucy Ames Art Camp. She had a lot of fun with a variety of art mediums and famous artist themes.  I still have most of her work on our walls.

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  • The wonderful Westside Studio Art Camp is no longer operating in this area and we are looking for an alternative for my art-loving 13 year old (turning 14 this summer). We are in Berkeley, so somewhere reasonably close by (Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito, Oakland) would be great, but we would consider a longer drive (or BART ride) for something truly exceptional.

    Separately, I'm also hoping to find a theater camp, as my daughter has expressed an interest in acting as well. She is shy, so it would need to be a place willing to work with someone who isn't already comfortable on the stage. Also, she can't sing, so musical theater is out of the question.

    Thanks for any recommendations!

    We live in Berkeley, and are considering the 4 week Cal Shakes theater camp for our 13 year old daughter. It's for grades 6-12, and I hope there are some other older kids in it too!

    My son (11YO) really enjoyed his winter camp at Liv & Chiu Art Studio in El Cerrito. Since it was for older kids, they taught more drawing skill and observation skills. Most of the kids were a little older so your child will fit in perfectly. They have in person summer camps available now. 

  • Art Camp for 6 year old in July

    (4 replies)

    Hello - seeking an art camp (half day or full day) for a 6 year old (young rising 2nd grader) in July. Many seem to be 7+. I know about MOCHA and Brushstrokes (and both are possibilities). Other thoughts/ideas/recommendations? Thanks!

    Epworth Creative Arts Camp! July 17-21. Epworth has a long tradition of having great kid activities. They also have a Peace Camp which is good too. This will be my kid's third year attending. She has done other art camps and liikes Epworth alot. 

    Try StudioOne in Oakland! I know they group by age and have a camp for 6-7s.

    Try Kalen Meyer's art camps.  She is an art teacher and has been doing camps for well over a decade.  Kids need to have finished 1st grade, so you'll be good:

    She is really fabulous and talented!!

    Richmond Art Center has AM and PM summer camps for age 5-7, info here:

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Camps for Teens & Pre-teens

Art Camps for Kids


Art Camps for Teens & Pre-teens

Art Camp for very artistic 13 year old boy

Nov 2007

I have a very artistic soon to be 13 year old boy. He draws and cartoons. Does anyone know of a quality summer program? We are interested in either an overnight or a Berkeley area day camp. Thanks mom

My daughter has attended the California College of Art camps for Jr. High students in Oakland the past two summers and she loved it. They have choice of which classes to take and she felt the instruction was good. It seemed very well run. It's art all day from 9-4. The spaces seem to fill up relatively quickly so sign up soon after they start taking applications. joan

Have you looked into Oxbow summer session. They are online. Not sure of the age requirement. Also, for future, you may want to check out SOTA high school in SF. Fabulous for creative kids. Artist's Mom

Art Camp or Workshop for my 14 year old

April 2006

I'm looking for an art camp or workshop for my teen this summer that includes kids her own age in the mix. Unfortunately, she's ended up with kids many years younger in other classes in the past and hopes for a different experience this year. Anyone know of an art camp/class/workshop this summer in the east bay that both provide excellent art instruction and attracts young teens? Denise

Call California College of the Arts on Clarement Avenue and ask for the Young Artist Studio Program. It offers excellent classes for middle schoolers and high schoolers. jdeloison

My son attended California College for the Arts - they have a youth art program in the summer ( 2 week program) that was wonderful. All kids have to take life drawing and then there are many electives. The college is in Oakland at Broadway and 51st. I highly recommend the program. Professional artists taught and there was an excitement and energy. I would call right away as they fill up quickly. anon

Also recommended: Young Actor's Summer Theatre Camp

Summer drawing classes for 15 year old

May 2005

Hi, My almost 15 year old is looking for a summer drawing class or program of some sort. She draws very well and is largely self-taught. She prefers to draw women in fancy clothes (future fashion designer?) but might appreciate life drawing. A two or three week course might work in well with our other summer plans. If you know of something, please drop me an e-mail. thanks, Nancy

California College of the Arts@ 5212 Broadway in oakland has a ''Young Artist Studio Program'' . Your daughter may be a bit old for this particular program as the brochure I have says its for kids who have completed 6th, 7th or 8th grade. However,they probably have other programs for her age or she may be old enough to just take a summer class or one of their other ''extended studies'' classes. Their phone # is 594-3710. Web address is :

Art camp for pre-teen in Albany/Berkeley?

March 2003

Hello, I've checked the archives, but haven't found any recent information. Does anyone know of any good art (clay, drawing, painting, and other media) camps (for ages 11 to 13) that will be happening in the Albany/Berkeley area this summer of 2003? Thanks! kim


Museum of Children's Art (MOCHA)

Summer art program away from home

Feb 2011

Can anyone recommend a good art program for the summer? Preferable several weeks long, perhaps not local, even abroad? My daughter needs to get away from home, nuture her natural talents and do something new this year. My artist needs a change of pace

I can highly recommend Oxbow Summer Art Program in Napa. My son enjoyed going there for 2 summers. I was impressed with the quality of the program, facilities and food. Wilma

Art Camps for Kids

Affordable Summer Art Camps in Oakland

Feb 2015

I'm looking for an art-based summer camp for my 7.5 yr old who loves to paint, draw, and craft. I looked into the Jr. Center of Art & Science, but it is only Mon-Thurs & much more than we were hoping to spend on camp, which is around $350/week. I'd love to hear any & all suggestions. Also, has anyone had a recent good experience with Studio One's summer camp? Thanks in advance! Melissa

I'm not familiar with Studio One, but have had a great experience with Camp Brainy Bunch. Their website is They do a series of 4 weeks of Creative Writing, Public Speaking, Leadership and Engineering. You can do a single week, two, three or all four. The camps are hands on and the kids actually learn while having fun. The Public Speaking for the 4th to 6th graders, for example, is called Fairy Tale Mock Trial. The kids put fairytales on trial and in the process learn about public speaking, debate, logic/reasoning. The kids dress up in costumes and play the different roles in the courtroom. My kids loved the camp and the staff. I loved that I felt safe leaving them, they learned and that the camps are kept small so they got plenty of attention. They even include lunch from Whole Foods each day. There is a generous multi-camp discount too. There are two age groupings 1-3rd and 4th-6th. Emily W

I am responding to two posts about Oakland summer art camps. Over the past couple years, my son has been enrolled both in Studio One and in the Oakland Fine Arts Summer School (OFASS), which is an OUSD/Studio One partnership. If you have a child in OUSD, OFASS is a fantastic, super-affordable summer option. My son was exposed to a variety of arts/activities - drumming, yoga, drawing, comic-book-making, etc In fact, I'm glad there were posts asking about this topic because our family will definitely look at enrolling again for this summer. We thought both the Studio One and the OUSD teachers did a great job and ran fun programs. I recommend both summer camps. Oakland mama

Summer art camp for 10 year old boy

Feb 2015

Does anyone have an East Bay (or possibly SF) summer camp to suggest for a pre-teen boy? He loves art and has been at Kids-n-Clay for three summers. He thought it would be fun to try a different medium. The offerings at California College of the Arts, esp. darkroom photography, seemed great, but he's a year too young. A program where the pre-teens are in a group by themselves and not mixed in with elementary kids would be best. He's open to a variety of differnt media, as you love the camp and the teachers and instruction and environment are great. Thanks! art camp seeker

Amazing art studio for kids in SF, mission district, called Little Tree Studios. My son has taken after school classes. They also have week-long summer camps. Age groups vary by the week's project. This year, they will not have camp in July or August due to the main artist/owner's pregnancy.

We were please to find many boys participating in the classes. Excellent, high-quality art instruction.

Here is link to June camps: Good luck! KS

Studio One Summer Art Camp for 6-year-old

March 2011

Hi all, I am looking at sending my 6 year old daughter to Studio One 's Summer Art Camp for part of the summer. I was wondering if anyone out there has sent their child there and what your experience with it was. I didn't see anything in the Archives about this. Mostly I am concerned that the kids are well supervised and that the teachers/counselors actually pay attention to the kids rather than spending more time chatting with themselves. (My sister works in Parks and Rec in SoCal and I've heard some stories...) Also, I want to make sure that there is structure/discipline because I can see the potential for a bit of chaos. Claire

We did a week two years ago. It was fine -- not outstanding, not horrible. It was a little chaotic at dropoff. I wasn't there during the day so don't know how much the staff socialized with each other vs. focussing on the kids. I kind of felt like I got what I paid for (at that great price) but not particularly more. I felt like my just-finished-K daughter was perfectly safe there all day, and she liked it all right but didn't love it. I wouldn't want to sign my kid up for a whole summer, but for a week or few it's fine. reasonably satisfied customer

My daughter attended one week of Studio One summer camp last year, and we all loved it so much that we've had her in their after school program (they pick up from several Oakland schools) during the school year. The art activities with the artists are engaging, and the Oakland Parks and Rec staff are enthusiastic, positive and seem well-trained. They lead the kids in games when they're not doing ceramics or cooking or print-making, and thus no one seems to get bored or get into trouble. We'll definitely send our child there again! Happy with Studio One

Drawing camp for talented 8 year old

Jan 2011

My son turns out to be pretty talented and very interested in drawing. Because the arty camps we've done and his school art program do such a wide variety of media exploration, including countless glued recycled projects and playing with colors, he doesn't get much of the drawing. Does anyone know of and afterschool program or camp where life drawing is a frequent activity? Thank you!

looking for a camp that believes in arts and kids? look up this is their 22nd year. they hire working artists to teach all their classes you can see examples of staff and programing on their web-site albeit 2010 2011 should be posted by March 1st, but you can get the feel for the camp. best Judy

Visual Art Camp for 8 year old

April 2010

Hi, I am looking for a visual art camp for my 8 year old son. He has done several years of Camp Galileo and loved it, but we are looking for something with a bit more focused approach that is still fun. We are in Oakland but willing to travel a bit for the perfect camp! Thanks. Stephanie

I would like to very enthusiastically recommend Imagination Kids Art Camp , the brain child of long time local artist and art teacher Lucy Ames. My daughter has been attending Lucy's camp every summer for one or weeks for the last 4 summers. The program is wonderful. The group is small, taught by Lucy in her studio, and the projects are fun and sophisticated. Lucy breaks the work up so that it is manageable and keeps the pace going so that everyone is very involved, learning tons, and having a great time. At the end of the week, the kids have an art show: each time the work is so beautiful, I am amazed at what Lucy is able to teach. Cate

We highly recommend Lucy Ames' Imagination Kids summer art camp. Lucy teaches art during the school year at two Berkeley public schools and holds her camp at her home studio in El Cerrito. Our 4th grade son has enjoyed his sessions every summer for the last four years. Lucy's teaching style is friendly and approachable, yet focused on providing technical art skills and enormous freedom of expression. The camps are kept small enough for individual attention and often are based on a theme, such as world art, color, or artists' styles. Lucy is a pleasure to talk with and would be happy, I'm sure, to give you more information directly. Here's her contact info: (510) 527-4777 Miriam and Ben

My kid is a teenager now and will always remember all the laughing that was shared and the creative energy of Art Yowza . (ARt Yowza is for children ages 5-11) I see the campers Art exhibits all around town in Alameda ( at the Starbucks at Park St., Starbucks at Alameda Towne Centre and The Blue Dot Cafe) so I see that the art work still has the same vibrancy and humor. Rebecca Stees is a gifted teacher and her day camps are a talent-nurturing place. I highly recommend this experience for your son. Louise

Art Yowza is a wonderful place for young artists. Rebecca has fun one week theme camps that appeal to both boys and girls. My grand-daughter(8)and our friend and neighbor's son have been going to Art Yowza for years and always look forward to their time there and learning something new. This year, Rebecca has added four new camps to the summer season (June 14-August 28) that focus on building skills. Young Designers, Art Tricks, Sculpture Wow and Cartooning Fun all look fun to us for 2010! Diana

Summer Art Camp for 5 year old

Jan 2009

I haven't yet been successful at finding an art camp for my 5 year old. He loves to draw, paint, do arts and crafts, etc. I was hoping to find him an art camp that he could to go this summer either in June or July. I was hoping to find something in Berkeley or Oakland but could go as far east as Lafayette if necessary. thanks art mom

I've grown to love Art Yowza Camp through my daughter's involvement. Rebecca Stees is an excellent caring teacher. Her Summer Camps are perfect for young children. I just found out that Art Yowza now offers after-school classes and children's birthday parties. Her cute carriage house studio is adorable. For more information go to : Louise

Hi, Art Yowza rocks! The School Holiday Camps has been very convenient for me as a working mother. Rebecca is incredibly creative in her approach and it's been amazing to see what my child makes with new inspirations and support. It's also been fun to invite my child's friends to join her at camp. Art Yowza is in a lovely cottage setting with a beautiful yard. And it's overflowing with cool ideas and tons of art supplies. It' been an enriching and fun experience for our child. Contact Rebecca Stees at: Best wishes, Deirdre

ART YOWZA in Alameda has been a big hit with my granddaughter. She attended Rebecca Stees's ''Passion for Fashion'' this summer, and learned to drape fabric on a small wooden mannequin. Now, every day after school she comes home and creates fashion looks on her mannequin. Forget Barbie! She has been so creative with this that we featured her holiday masterpiece on our family Christmas card this year. Rebecca has the unique ability to ''pull' art out of virtually anyone, and they have a blast doing it. Check out her website at Highly recommended! There are camps for many areas of interest. simonsays

Aurora School , in the Upper Rockridge neighborhood in Oakland, has a variety of wonderful half day camps for 5-12 year olds-- art and other subjects in the summer. You can take one half day camp or 2 for full day and extended care is available as well. My kids have taken many of these over the years. They have always been taught by wonderful teachers and have been very creative. Many of the kids attending do not go to Aurora, so all are very welcome. The homey environment makes it especially great for younger kids. Info will probably come out in the next few weeks. During July, they also run a fabulous theater arts camp where the kids put on a musical at the end. Lori

Summer art camp for 10-year-old son

April 2008

Our 10 year old son is interested in taking a summer arts or drama program that emphasizes drawing and/or acting. Does any one know of programs in the Oakland or Berkeley area that we could examine? I have contacted both Studio One and the Oakland Parks and Recreations Department. However, their camp dates conflict with our summer schedule. Thank you for any information you can provide. David

Check out Monart in Oakland They offer wonderful summer art camps as well as weekly art classes throughout the school year. Each week has a different theme. The instructor works well with kids of all ages/levels. My son has attended the weekly classes for nearly 2 years and the summer camps 2 years in a row. He really enjoys the program. Sophia

Our camp is a music, art and theatre camp. There is a lot of emphasis on music and he would probably be encouraged to either try violin in a beginning group or play a set of percussion instruments. We do have a wonderful art teacher and do a dramatic performance. The kids get to work on the script during the week. The dates are July 21st to the 25th. It's called Creative String Summer Camp and we are in Berkeley. Irene

Full day art camp for elementary aged child

Feb 2008

I am looking for a summer camp (preferably at least 6 hours a day) that focuses on art for the week for an elementary school- age child. Many combine science, art, p.e. but I have only found Pleiades' Pallete to do art for a full day camp, but it is only offered in June. Any suggestions for mid-August (11- 22?). Actually, any suggestions for art camps described as above for any dates will be useful for the future. Thanks

My children had a good experience at MOCHA art camp in downtown Oakland last August. Jennifer N.

I don't know what dates they are running but my kids really enjoyed Richmond Art Center's camp last year. They are actually just 3 hour sessions but some kids did am and pm sessions making it into a more full day. only downside there would be different kids in am and pm with a handful doing both and probably not so many of their friends to eat lunch with. But the teachers are really great, they are in spacious real art studios with excellent materials, and each 3 hour session is split between visual arts projects/ teacher and ceramics studio/ teacher. anon

Children's Fairyland Summer Day Camp might be what you are looking for. We offer a multi-cultural performing arts camp, and August 11-15, 2008 is our last session of the summer. Though the program does focus on performing arts, there is also arts & crafts, puppetry, animals, and plant activities. You can learn more are There is also a big Summer Camps & Programs Fair in Oakland that you may want to go to. It's Sunday March 9th from 1-4:30pm at the Scottish Rite Center. Good luck and I hope you find what is best for you and your child. programs [at]

A good art camp in central Berkeley that operates most of the summer (and thru August 22) is Kalen Meyer's. About 15 kids from 9am-3pm, each week has a separate theme. She's a great instructor, and the art projects are fantastic! They are always the one we put up on the wall. The camp always fills by its first registration deadline, this year Feb 23. Ages 5-12. for details. --happy art camper parent

Brushstrokes Studio ( in Berkeley has a great art program for summer camp. The owner Jessica is truly gifted. Brushstrokes is a pottery painting studio, but the camps are varied and include things like mosaics (which I believe Jessica has won an award for a public mosaic work.) The space is amazing and they just expanded to the second floor. The upstairs can be rented out for parties. The staff is amazing for parties and camps. I brought my three- year-old there for a private party. I thought she might be a bit young. Anyone who has painted with a three-year-old knows the challenge and potential mess. The staff kept our area so clean that she was able to move from project to project without feeling overwhelmed. She painted three peices and was captivated for over an hour straight. They really do take care of all age groups. There is even a changing table and comfortable nursing chairs for mom's groups. tracy

Montclair Summer Arts Workshop -- offered through Oakland Parks and Rec. Takes place mid-to-late August each year. My 6 year old and several of his friends LOVE it. Check it out online at Maybe we'll see you there?

My kids LOVE Mocha Art Camp in downtown Oakland. They have all day care there if you want it from 8-6, but their regular program is 9-3. Each week has a different theme, and these can be wildly different and fun, they've done mask-making, puppets, art of different countries, etc. Their teaching staff is very professional, and they are convenient to BART. Their phone number is (510) 465-8770. They also have a pretty good website, Satisfied Mocha parent

You may want to check out Brushstrokes in Berkeley or Art Yowza in Alameda. I think they should both be in the archives. Good luck! lucy

You should check out Monart in Oakland. They also have a studio in Alameda. My son attended the summer camp last year and he loves it! He now goes to the weekly art program after school as well. Monart offers different themes each week. My son gets to be creative while learning drawing techniques on the subject. Kids are also provides fun facts about the subject. My son looks forward to his Monart class everyday! Monart has an open house coming up in Oakland. Check it out: sophia

Good summer art camp for 6-8 year old

March 2007

Looking for suggestions for a fun and creative art camp for 6-8 year olds this summer. Prefer something in the Oakland Berkeley area 1/2 day or full day. The emphasis can be on any different kind of art projects--painting, drawing, clay, etc. in a fun, easy-going environment. want my kids to love art

I'd highly recommend YAWS (Young artists workshop)summer camp located in Berkeley- the teacher/director is a wonderful art teacher and artist- each week has different themes and media so you can choose what seems most intriguing or do more than one week with a new focus. I don't immediately see a website, but you can contact the teacher Jennifer Burke at jennyaws [at] chris

Imagination Kids is a great art camp.Lucy Ames runs it, it's very small (6 kids) in a studio in her back yard. 510-525-2523 I highly recommend it. a

Children's Fairyland offers a Performing Arts Day Camp that might be good for your child. It is a week long program from 9am-5pm Monday-Friday, each week focuses on a Fairytale from a different culture. There is arts & crafts each day and a performance for the parents at the end of the week. Good luck! programs[at]