Winter still has its icy grasp on Minnesota, but it’s never too early to start thinking about options for the summer—specifically for young ones. With school being the main course on their plates right now, summer brings longer days and more free time to do what comes best: being a kid. Plenty of spare time and minds free to roam can leave parents wondering what to do in order to make summer fun for their kids, and also let themselves get through the kids’ summer vacations without constantly having to think up activities.
If you’re worried about kids being at loose ends this summer, fear not. Whether it’s picking up a new hobby, honing existing skills, or sharpening their minds for the upcoming school year, there’s something for everyone within easy reach of Plymouth. With choices both in Plymouth and around the Twin Cities, there are plenty of options for every kid this summer.
Kids wanting to release their inner Picasso should look no further. Founded in 2002, Abrakadoodle offers visual art classes for kids in preschool and elementary school. Instead of having a fixed classroom, Abrakadoodle brings itself to different areas in the community, wherever kids are ready to get their hands dirty.
“We offer about 15 camps throughout the metro area,” says Gertrud Luer, the educational director of Abrakadoodle’s Minnesota branch. “All of our programs are art-based, with different kinds of media being explored.” On top of the different art camps kids can sign up for, some are themed around specific interests, like the hit video game Fortnite.
Check out Abrakadoodle’s website to find classes nearby. This summer, Abrakadoodle will be holding workshops through the Wayzata school district and Plymouth’s park and rec department.
Sometimes, the quintessential summer camp experience is what kids are looking for—and if learning about the environment, getting up close and personal with nature and making memories that are sure to last a lifetime is something that sounds exciting, look no further than Plymouth’s own French Regional Park. There are sailing classes, opportunities to fish with professionals, log rolling and more. You can also check out other programs Three Rivers Park District has to offer throughout the Twin Cities.
12605 Rockford Road, Plymouth
A staple of Minneapolis’s non-profit art community, the Minnesota Textile Center offers much more than beautiful textile art for passersby to feast their eyes upon. For any kids who are interested in creating textile art of their own (Project Runway fans, take note), the Textile Center offers 25 different camps for students ages six through 16. Last year’s variety of classes included an advanced fashion camp for teenagers. Come with sharpened shears and a creative mind.
3000 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis
Set in a variety of parks and playgrounds in Plymouth, recreation professionals are on deck to make sure little ones have the most fun possible. There are morning, afternoon, and all-day options available. Nearly every park in Plymouth provides this service, so check out different parks on different days, or find one that feels like a perfect fit and become a regular.
For those who want to get a leg up on the upcoming school year or who may be struggling behaviorally or socially, the Brain Balance Achievement Center in Minnetonka might be the answer. Offering personalized support for each kid that comes through their doors, the center offers structured programs for children living with attention deficit disorder (ADD), autism spectrum disorder and a variety of learning disorders. With programs broken down into six components, kids work towards holistic wellness while learning about what works for them and what doesn't.
4745 County Road 101, Minnetonka
Bill Nunn is the owner of Skyrock Farm in Hamel, and has hosted kids every summer since 1985. The secret to having kids come back year after year? Hands-on experience with the horses. “The kids ride every day,” Nunn says. “They’re not just riding either—they’re doing crafts. If it’s hot, they’ll wash a horse.” While horseback riding lessons are taught year-round, day camp opportunities are focused more on the care of a horse and understanding the part horses play on a farm. Kids learn through being a helping hand during this unique and exciting experience.
2825 Willow Dr., Medina
Kids have the opportunity to go on nature quests, enjoy naturalist programs, play games, and participate in lifeguard-supervised activities down by the water. For kids ages six to 11, the city of Plymouth offers different themed camps held at the Parkers Lake Log Cabin from Monday through Friday. With options like “Creatures of the Water” and “Jungle Safari,” there’s sure to be something for everyone at this inclusive, activity-packed day camp.
City of Plymouth
Have a kid who’s more interested in athletics? Preparing young dribblers for life both on and off the court, 43 Hoops Basketball Academy court offers classes and clinics being taught by the best trainers Minneapolis has to offer. There’s something for everyone, whether kids are trying to brush up on their skills for next season or have dreams of being the next LeBron James. Summer offerings include camps and clinics for fourth through eighth graders at all skill levels, and are mainly held in West Lutheran High School in Plymouth.
1002 Second St. NE, P.O. Box 157, Hopkins