Summer 2021 Resources for Kids

Congratulations Marin! We’ve finally reached the Yellow tier. Returning to a version of family life this summer calls for research and planning. Being resource providers, MCFL librarians have gathered together a list of activities to engage your children during summer break, both in-person (outdoor and indoor) as well as online.

New guidelines, opens a new window from the C.D.C. state that unvaccinated children at U.S. camps can go without masks most of the time while outdoors because the risk of transmission is low. Some organizations continue to follow COVID protocols for in-person activities: limiting cohort size, mask-wearing, maintaining social distancing, and sanitation precautions. Find the vendors that cater to the comfort level of your family by visiting the website links.

In-person camps

Art, Music, and Theater

Bandworks Rock n’ Roll Camp, opens a new window  Weekly all-day or half-day classes throughout the summer, ages 8+

Fairfax Music Camps, opens a new window   Weekly group performance camp, ages 9+

Marin MOCA Art camp, opens a new window  3-week workshop in Clay and Mixed Media, ages 6-11

Marin Shakespeare camps, opens a new window  Learning about and performing Shakespeare combined with physical games and activities, grouped by age and themes

Masterworks Kids Art Studio, opens a new window  Summer art experiences, ages 6-14

NY Broadway programs, opens a new window  Signature Broadway Camp, with classes in dance, voice, musical theater, acting, and more, a Broadway Training Intensive, and a Future Broadway Stars junior camp. Ages 5-18, varies by program

Summer Sings!  Marin Girls Chorus teaches girls to sing healthfully while exploring music, movement, and rhythm through singing, dancing, and art, entering K-gr 5

The Culinary Dude’s Kids Summer Cooking Camps, opens a new window   Weekly themed camps, ages 6-14   


Friendship Explorations Outdoor Camp, opens a new window  Fun outdoor summer camp with a therapeutic twist, operated by Ready Set GO Therapy, PreS–gr 8

JCC Camp Kehillah, opens a new window  Exploration of Jewish culture and values through a variety of activities while developing imagination and making new friends, K–gr 10

Nature and Adventure

Avid4 Adventure, opens a new window  Empowering kids of all ages and skill levels to choose active, outdoor lifestyles in California, Colorado, and Oregon. Both day and overnight

Marin GreenPlay Camp, opens a new window  Nature awareness in day and overnight camps, ages K-gr 12

Terra Marin, opens a new window  Small groups play and learn in the woods. Four camps in age groups ranging from 3-17

Trackers Bay, opens a new window   Guided outdoor adventure, fantastic stories, and new friends. North Bay camp in Freestone/Sebastapol, grouped by grades, K-12

Sports and Fitness

Dave Frommer Soccer, opens a new window  Week-long camps for boys and girls ages 5-12, all levels

Dominican University of California Sports Camps, opens a new window  Offers individual sport or multi-sport options, gr 1-8

Mountain Bike Camps, opens a new window  Sponsored by Fairfax Cycling, ages 8+

Gino Pomilia Baseball, opens a new window  Teaches all positions and aspects of baseball, grouped by grade K-12

Horsemanship Camps, opens a new window  See individual camps at various stables around Marin

Legends Summer Baseball Camp, opens a new window  “Fun first” baseball program at Strawberry Rec fields, ages 7-13, all levels

Marin Rowing Association, opens a new window  Offers 2 age level camps: Middle School athletes (gr 6-8) and High School Athletes (gr 9-12)

Pacific Coast Surf Camp  Monday-Thursday sessions plus Sunday mini-camps, ages 7-16 in Bolinas. Equipment provided

Samurai Summer Camp, opens a new window  Martial arts for ages 7-13 from Aikido of Tamalpais Dojo


Camp EDMO  Curiosity galore in both on-site and online camps in science, coding, engineering, and the arts, grouped by grade PreK-8

Camp Galileo, opens a new window  Innovative, hands-on learning through sports, art, and STEM activities, PreK-gr 4 

Esports  STEM accredited Esports Performance Module curriculum, gr 3-12, all skill levels

Sage Educators Nature Navigators, opens a new window  Fun, hands-on outdoor science activities in 4 themes, K-gr 5

Community recreation in-person options

(*generally more affordable)

Fairfax Recreation, opens a new window   

Marinwood Community Center, opens a new window   

Mill Valley Recreation, opens a new window  

Novato Parks & Recreation Camp Ton of Fun, opens a new window

San Rafael Summer Camps, opens a new window

Strawberry Recreation District, opens a new window  

YMCA Marin, opens a new window   

Tip, opens a new window: Ask about scholarships, grants, or other discounted payment options. 93% of ACA-accredited camps offer some form of financial assistance to children from economically challenged families, have medical needs or special situations that might preclude them from attending camp.

Other in-person experiences

Bay Area Discovery Museum, opens a new window  4 new exhibits (ticket reservations required)

  1. Think, Make, Try® Together, opens a new window   Try It Studio
  2. Reveal the Extraordinary in the Ordinary, opens a new window   How Things Work
  3. Place Wonder Within Reach, opens a new window   Tot Spot
  4. Adventure Through the Treetops, opens a new window   Gumnut Grove

Broadway Under the Stars  2021 season presented June 4 – September 19 by the Transcendence Theatre Company in Sonoma

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, opens a new window”  Musical production presented by Bay Area Children’s Theater (BACT)

Movies Under the Stars  Lark Theater in partnership with The Village at Corte Madera shopping center present the Lark Drive-In, Thursday – Saturday evenings. Purchase tickets, opens a new window online prior to attending

Sharks, opens a new window  New exhibit at California Academy of Sciences

Literary online activities

First Partner's Summer Book Club, opens a new window  10-week summer reading initiative sponsored by @JenniferSiebelNewsom with California First Partner, ages 3-12

Lit Camp, opens a new window  Reading and writing lessons with an interactive camp approach by Scholastic publishing

Story Pirates Creator Camp, opens a new window  Authors and illustrators interact with campers to inspire writing and drawing their own stories under weekly themes, ages 5-12

Story Seeds Podcast Camp  Scaffolded options from an introduction to the art & science of podcasting to virtual meet-ups with expert podcasters, to providing tools to create their own podcasts, ages 7-14

Storymakery  Self-publishing camps designed to inspire pleasure for creative writing. Kids grouped by age from 5-12 create books during the camps  

Summer FUN! Writing Workshops, opens a new window  Classes by local writer with a new theme each week emphasizing different literary techniques and academic skills, ages 8-14

On-Demand camps and activities

Boy Scouts of America Virtual Camps, opens a new window

Girl Scouts of America Online Camps, opens a new window

Raddish Cooking Club, opens a new window  Cooking and nutrition instruction, ages 4-14. Kit mailed to home with subscription purchase

Smithsonian Science How, opens a new window  Free, interactive TV-style webcast programs for Middle School students from Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC), opens a new window  Free online summer camps

After more than a year of togetherness, you may find this NYT parenting article helpful: Kids Can Be ‘Homesick and Happy’ While at Camp, opens a new window.

If your summer experience is at Camp Home, check out these 100 Fun Science Experiments for Kids, opens a new window or 17 Fun Outside Games Kids will Love, opens a new window. Whatever is in store for your family this summer, make it fun, do it outdoors whenever possible, and include reading in your activity basket!

Remember, we're always here for you if you need assistance:

• Call or visit your local branch (Hours and Locations, opens a new window)
• Talk to a Librarian by calling 415-473-2272 (Mon-Fri 9-6, Sat 9-3, Sun 1-4)
• Request a Book Bundle, opens a new window so staff can create personalized recommendations especially chosen for you!

Sources, opens a new window    [guide to in-person, online, and on-demand summer camps]

American Camp Association (ACA), opens a new window 

Bird, Betsy. (2021, May 27). Looking Virtual Literary Summer Camps? Look No Further!, opens a new window A Fuse #8 Production. School Library Journal [professional journal blog]

Brown, Marissa. (2021, April 28). 14 free or cheap summer camp options for 2021, opens a new window. Care [caregiver resource website]   

Grose, Jessica. (2021, May 19). Kids can be ‘homesick and happy’ at camp, opens a new window. The NYT Parenting Newsletter. The New York Times [online newspaper]

Sharpe, Ronnie. Ronniesawesomelist, opens a new window [family resource website]

Summer Camps, opens a new window! (2021, April 18). Marin Independent Journal. [newspaper supplement]

Summer Camps Directory. Marin Magazine [magazine article]

The 2021 Marin Summer Camp Guide. Marin Mommies [parenting website]

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels