- June 2, 2015

Free and Discounted Summer Camps

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Apple Camp

It’s the last week of school, but I have not actually gotten around to booking any summer camps yet. If you, too, are on the last-minute hunt for a good camp or two to break up the long weeks of vacation, here’s a list of local camps that are offering special discounts for Free Fun in Austin readers, plus several camps that are free!

Austin Summer Camp Discounts

American Robotics Academy


What does it take to create a remote controlled robot that can walk, drive and turn in any direction? Reach out for, grab, throw or release objects on? Move and act as you design and build them to do? A little bit of learning and lots of fun! American Robotics Academy aims to excite, inspire and motivate children about the importance of robotics technology. Hands on classes offer an introduction to the fundamentals of engineering design, helping children understand “how things work.” Held in a friendly, sports like atmosphere, students work in age appropriate teams and learn how to design, build and test remote controlled miniature robots.

Locations: Multiple Locations throughout Austin.
Dates: Check location for dates
Cost: Full day: $300/week (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) Half Day: $175/week (9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.)
Phone Number: 512-844-2724
Website: www.RoboticsAcademy.com
Discount: 10% discount with code INT9

Ashley’s Playhouse

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Ashley’s Playhouse is a drop-in childcare center for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old. Their magical facility, loving staff and extended hours make it the perfect summer solution for busy families! Ashley’s Playhouse has an indoor two-story treehouse, acting stage, interactive EyePlay system, cinema room, outdoor playground and daily arts & crafts projects to keep your kids entertained for an hour while your run errands or all day! So, whether you need help in between camps, before or after camp, or just because the kids love playing there- Ashley’s Playhouse has you covered!

Location: 13343 N Hwy 183, Suite 200, Austin, TX 78750
Cost: One time registration fee of $40 per family and then an hourly rate applies. Infants under 18mo-$12/hour; Children 18mo-12 years- $10/hour; Siblings are 40% off
Dates: Year-round Mon.-Thur. 7 a.m. – 10 p.m., Fri 7 a.m. – midnight, Sat. 8 a.m. – midnight
Phone Number: (512) 872-2755
Discount: 1⁄2 off registration and one free play hour per child on their first visit

ATX Kids Club Summer Camp Adventures


Kids will have the time of their lives at this 100% Mobile Camp. They will spend the summer traveling around the region learning about its history, art, and environment, while visiting natural and cultural attractions. We travel on Austin CapMetro and in the ATX Kids Club Vans for the best adventures. Camp counselors and kids alike have a fantastic time visiting places like: Austin Nature & Science Center, Aquarena Springs, Auditorium Shores, Austin Zoo, Botanical Gardens, Sprinkler Parks, Farms, Museums, local & State Parks, Ladybird Lake Boardwalk, Wildflower Center, and Mt. Bonnell. We spend time playing outdoor games in our neighborhood parks to include Frisbee, Soccer, Ladderball, and Bocce Ball. There is an emphasis on walking and fitness during our camps. We stress the importance of daily exercise and healthy lifestyles. Student : Counselor ratio is 6:1 Counselors are selected and hired based on prior experience with children and educational focus. They are CPR certified, require background check and are trained on ATX Policies and Procedures. ATX Kids Club is licensed by the City of Austin. Lunch/Snacks must be provided.

Locations: Convenient drop off/pick up locations in the South Austin area, to include Auditorium Shores, Manchaca Library, and Central Market Westgate.
Cost: $175/week; $675/month
Dates: June 1st – August 21st
Phone Number: 512-234-KIDS
Website: www.atxkidsclub.org
Discount: 10% off with promo code ATXFUN

The Austin Artery

Austin ArteryThe Austin Artery is a unique arts camp that uses art as a tool to enhance math, writing skills and emotional well-being through unique projects like mural making, sewing, dying fabric, and cultural studies. This small camp is led by a local artist and former teacher of the year on the lush campus of local Reggio Emilio School, Four Seasons.

Location: Four Seasons Community School (near the Domain)
Dates: Every week in June and July
Cost: $175-$300
Phone Number: 512-968-4315
Website: www.theaustinartery.com
Discount: 10% off

Creative Side Jewelry Academy

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Creative Side Jewelry Academy, the top jewelry crafting and metalsmithing school in central Texas, is now offering a Young Metalsmiths Programs for ages 10-16 years old! The camps introduce the ancient craft of metal working to your budding artist. Classes are open to all skill levels, ages 10-16, and provide a safe and creative environment. Students learn fundamental metalsmithing techniques and get lots of great hands on experience at the jeweler’s bench. The camp is led by professional artist and educator Lindsay Hendricks. Under her guidance, students will increase fine motor skills while they learn sawing, riveting, filing, hammering, drilling, and much more! Students will create multiple pieces throughout the camp and be encouraged to develop their own designs. A kit with materials and a sketch book are included in class fees.

The Creative Side family is excited and honored to open up this world of jewelry making to our young metalsmiths! The gratification the students receive after creating their own design from start to finish is irreplaceable. Creative Side and the kids will host an art show at the end of camp where parents and family will be invited to join us to meet the instructors, new friends, and view their artwork on display.

Location: 321 W. Ben White Blvd. #204
Dates: Summer Apprenticeship 6/8-6/12, 6/29-7/3, 7/20-7/24 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Cost: $165 – $385
Phone Number: 512-799-0731
Website: www.creativeside.org
Discount: $45 off camp tuition with coupon code KIDZ 2


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KinderDance of North Austin’s Programs encourage children to have fun and gain a love for learning by associating it with something that comes naturally — movement, music, dance, and fitness! Kinderdance offers age appropriate dance and creative movement programs for ages 2-10! Registration is now open for our summer camps and classes! Camps are for ages 3-5 and include ballet, tap, and gymnastics, a craft, and a performance showing off everything your dancer has learned. Themes include Frozen, My Little Pony, and Disney Princesses! Dance, gymnastics, and toddler classes are also offered in the convenience of childcare centers, Montessori schools, and preschools, providing busy parents the convenience of giving their child the gift of extracurricular arts during the school day! Check out the website or call for more information, or to register, today!

Locations: Rattan Creek Community Center, 7617 Elkhorn Mountain Trail; Lakeway Activity Center, 105 Cross Creek, Lakeway, TX; Various childcare centers and Montessori schools in Austin, Cedar Park, Pflugerville, and Georgetown. (Classes only)
Dates: Throughout the summer beginning on June 15, 2015
Cost: Ranging from $125-140 per child (depending on location)
Phone Number: 512-257-0733
Website: www.northaustindance.com
Discount: 10% off when mentioning the Free Fun in Austin Summer Camp Guide!

The Olive Tree Learning Center

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 10.11.06 PMCamp Olive, for ages 18 months- 5 years old is held from 7:30-5:30, with half day or extended day options. 

Location: 6609 Manchaca Road, Austin
Dates: July, 2015
Discount: Email with “Free Fun in Austin” in the subject line to get 50% off

Safari Champ


Spend Spring Break on the wild side with Safari Camp, for kids ages 3 and up. Enjoy making Blue Bonnet Rock Candy, face painting, group games, the Austin Reptile Show, Wild Things Zoofari, and so much more!

Location: 1400 E Old Settlers Blvd, Round Rock, TX 78664
Cost: Full week (5 days), full-time for $250 (Reg. $335); Full week (5 days), part-time for $120 (Reg. $160); Daily rate, full-time for $50/day (Reg. $67/day); Daily rate, part-time for $25/day (Reg. $32/day)
Phone Number: 512-828-0000
Website: http://safarichamp.com/camps.html
Discount: 25% on all rates

Synergy Dance Studio

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Synergy Dance Studio offers 3 levels of summer camps with full and 1⁄2 day options. Campers will have a blast in weekly themed camps, or be challenged in intensive camp options, depending on their age and ability. All camps will have a parent show on Friday, to show off what they’ve learned during the week! Preschool camps, ages 3-5 years, begin at 9 a.m. and ends at 12 p.m., with extended hours offered at 8:00 and 12:00. Preschool themes this summer include Frozen, Sophia the First, Fairy Wonderland and Under the Sea. Camps include dance, crafts, gymnastics and fun games! School Age camps, ages 4.5-10 years, begin at 10 a.m. and finish at 3 p.m. with extended hours available beginning at 8:00 and ending at 5:00. School Age campers will need to bring a sack lunch. This year, enjoy Frozen, Taylor Swift, I Wanna Be a Pop Star and Teen Beach Movie. Daily activities will include dance, crafts, gymnastics, musical theatre, games, and many more fun activities! Intensive camps, ages 7-17 years, focus on technique, style and skills and will be divided up by age and ability from beginner to advanced. Professional staff will teach every class with special guest teachers offered daily. Camps offered include Triple Threat (dance, sing and act), Jazz and Hip Hop, Ballet and Modern and Drill Team.

Location: Synergy Dance Studio, 3425 Bee Caves Road
Dates: June 1 – August 14, 2015
Cost: $200-$300
Phone Number: 512-327-4130
Website: http://www.synergydancestudio.com
Discount: Registration fee waived for all new summer campers!

Wanna Play

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Wanna Play offers themed camps for kids ages 2 and up. Camp activities include art, science experiments, and games, as well as free play time in the Indoor Ballroom, Imagination Playground (life size blue blocks), Wii Dance, Video games, and even a Movie! Bundles include snacks and a meal. Activities are designed for various ages and abilities. Security is a priority, with fingerprint check-in and secured entry.

Locations: Wanna Play near Lakeline Mall, 14010 N Hwy 183, Ste 535, Austin, 78717; Wanna Play Round Rock, near Dell Diamond, 4500 E Palm Valley Blvd, Ste 100, Round Rock, 78665
Date: Summer Starts June 8, 2015
Cost: Camp Bundles include snacks, lunch & crafts: Half Day $30, Full Day $50 as well as Full week and monthly options. Hourly drop-in rates: $8 hr for kids 18 mos – 12 yrs, $10 hr for infants up to 17 mos, $4 hr for Siblings
Phone Number: Lakeline 512-258-7529, Round Rock 512-341-7529
Website: www.wannaplaplaycare.com
Discount: 10% Off One Week or One Month of Camp with registration

$10 Day Camp

Central Texas Youth Football League Cheer Camp

CTYFL (Central Texas Youth Football League) is hosting a cheer camp on June 13th and registration is only $10. Your child will learn basic cheer skills from cheers and chants to jumps and dance. Best of all, your child will get to show off their new skills to you and family in the End of Camp Showcase! Camp is open for all children ages 4-13.

Location: Manor Excel Academy, 600 East Parsons Street, Manor, Texas, 78653
Cost: $10
Date: June 13, 2015 from 8:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Deadline to register for a guaranteed shirt: June 5th, 2015. May still register the day of camp. Shirts are first come, first serve.

Free Camps

Apple Camp

Apple Camp is free for kids age 8-12. Participants will learn to make movies, shoot video, and create an original soundtrack. A parent must remain in the store each day of camp.  Sign up to be notified when registration opens.

Locations: Apple Store, The Domain & Barton Creek Square
Cost: Free

Austin Summer Playgrounds Program

Summer Playgrounds is a free drop-in program for children to participate in supervised activities throughout the day. Summer Playgrounds staff provide quality recreational experiences that promote creativity, teamwork and healthy lifestyles. Activities include organized sports, arts and crafts, games, team building and nutrition lessons.

Ages:  6-12 years old
Locations: See below
Dates:  June 15 – August 7, 2015
Hours of Operation:  Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | All sites are closed Friday, July 3, 2015
Registration:  Required at the site on your child’s first day of attendance
Contact:  512-974-3922 or email

Bartholomew District Park 5201 Berkman Dr. 78723
Chestnut Pocket Park 2207 East 16th St. 78702
Davis-White Northeast District Park 6705 Crystalbrook 78724
Dick Nichols District Park 8011 Beckett Rd. 78749
Garrison District Park 6001 Manchaca Rd. 78745
Little Zilker Neighborhood Park 2016 Bluebonnet Ln. 78704
Oakview Neighborhood Park 10902 Oak View Dr. 78759
Quail Creek Neighborhood Park 1101 Mearns Meadows Dr. 78758
Ramsey Neighborhood Park 4301 N. Rosedale Ave. 78756
Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park 12138 N Lamar Blvd. 78758


Austin Sunshine Camps

Austin YMBL Sunshine Camp at Zilker Park: Founded in 1928, this residential summer camp hosts children from 7-11 years of age. Camp sessions teach life skills, self-confidence, trust and teamwork, while providing outdoor recreation through activities such as arts and crafts, a low-ropes course, canoeing, hiking, swimming and other team activities.

Red McCombs Sunshine Camp at Lake Travis: ASC partnered with the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) to create a residential wilderness summer camp located on Lake Travis. This camp hosts campers ages 12-15. The Lake Travis Camp programming emphasizes team building with a sophisticated high-ropes course to build the self-esteem and confidence needed to cope with the stress and pressures of adolescence. Campers are completely “unplugged” from technology, an extremely unique situation in today’s world. Activities include volleyball, high-ropes, canoeing and campfires.

Both camps are free of charge to students who qualify for the Texas public schools free and reduced lunch program.

Locations: Lake Travis; Zilker Park
Dates: Residential Summer Camp (6 day sessions) June 8-August 15
Cost: Free of charge to students who qualify for free and reduced lunch.
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.sunshinecamps.org

Clean Creek Camp

Join your kids outdoors this summer for 3-4 days of outdoor adventure at Clean Creek Camp. We’ll explore in and around Austin’s creeks and aquifer. Groups with adult leaders are welcome!

Ages: 9-13 (children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian).

Activities include:

  • Hike and explore Barton Creek with a scavenger hunt challenge
  • Wade in the creek and find out how bugs tell us about water quality
  • Clean up and float on Lady Bird Lake
  • Learn green gardening for clean water
  • Get down into the aquifer through a local cave
  • Paddle and clean up Barton Creek

Location: Various outdoor locations in Austin
Dates: June 8-11; July 14-16
Cost: Free
Website: www.austintexas.gov/CleanCreekCamp

CODE at Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC)

CODE @ TACC is an innovative and exciting summer program that incorporates a project based learning approach to expose students to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers. Students will foster their talent and creativity by being introduced to the principles of high performance computing, life sciences, networking, robotics, and electronics.

All students are welcome to apply. All applicants must meet ALL of the criteria listed below in order for their application to be considered:

1. Be a current sophomore or junior in high school.
2. Have an interest in developing creativity, design and problem solving skills.
3. Have an interest in learning how to use technology to make the world a better place.
Location: J.J. Pickle Research Campus, Building 196, 10100 Burnet Road (R8700), Austin, Texas 78758
Dates: July 13-24, 2015 (Please note that the application date deadline has been extended to June 7, 2015)
Cost: Free

Esquina Tango

4 week session starting the 1st week of June:

  • Tuesdays 6 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. Brazilian Rhythms with Kaitlyn (ages 8-12)
  • Thursdays 5:30-6:15 p.m. Tango with Monica (ages 6-10)
  • Fridays 5:30-6:15 p.m. Salsa with Melissa (ages 3-6)

4 week session starting the 1st week of July:

  • Mondays 5:30-6:15 p.m. Latin with Stephanie (ages 3-6)
  • Tuesdays 6-6:45 p.m. Brazilian Rhythms with Rebekah (ages 8-12)
  • Thursdays 5:30-6:15 p.m. Tango with Monica (ages 6-10)

Location: Esquina Tango, 209 Pedernales Street, Austin
June & July

Dr. James Polk Academy

The DJPA offers children free opportunities to study with top professionals in music, theater, dance, visual arts and technology. The DJPA provides complete instruction in various art forms, teaching the full core foundation of each genre.

Classes will take place from June 22 – August 14, 2015. Arts classes will take place on Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Register here as a sign of interest, and you will be contacted when a free class date is set.

To kick-off the summer programs, DJPA Saturday Sample Classes will feature Arts & Tech crash courses, available to the public, through June 13. Classes will include Acting, Singing, African American History, and various tech courses.

Location: Carver Library, 1116 Angelina Street, Room #1, Austin
Dates: June 6; June 13, 2015 (with more classes to come, based on interest)
Cost: Free

Microsoft Store Camp

Summer camps are now posted on microsoftstore.com/Austin and start on June 15thThe month of June will have beginner and intermediate coding camps. The month of July will have beginner and intermediate video game design camps.

Camps run for 4 days a week and individuals must sign up for each day that they plan to attend. Parents must remain in the store for the entire camp with their children.

Location: Microsoft Store, The Domain, 3309 Esperanza Crossing, Austin, TX 78758
Dates: June 15 – July 30, 2015
Cost: Free
Websitemicrosoftstore.com/Austin (Filter events by “Education – K-12 Students”)

Camps With Scholarships Available

Pathfinder Summer Leadership Summit

GENaustin’s Pathfinder Program is a personal and professional leadership development program aimed at giving high school girls a head start on their road to college, career and independence. This summer program helps young women uncover their strengths, develop skills like interviewing and public speaking, explore different industries and professions, and gain access to women leaders — all with the support of like-minded peers.

Location: Sunday retreat at 2921 E 17th St Bldg C, Austin, TX 78702/ Monday – Friday UT Commons, 10100 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78758
Dates: June 14 – June 19, 2015
Cost: $450; scholarships and payment plans available
Website: http://genaustin.org/what-we-do/Pathfinder/

You may also be interested in our 2015 Vacation Bible School (VBS) Directory and our 2015 Austin Summer Camp Guide.