Welcome to the Summer Camps 2017 webpage. In addition to traditional day and overnight camps, we also highlight topic-driven camps (nature, gymnastics, theater), sports camps, special needs camps, church vacation Bible schools, summer volunteer opportunities for kids, ways to catch up or get ahead in school, and fun stuff to go to (Rochesterfest, Honkers Baseball) and fun stuff to do (outdoor public pools, boat rides on the Zumbro River). ROCHESTERfamilies.com Advertisers are listed in bold. As always thanks for your continued support!
Traditional Overnight and Day Camps
Camp Olson is a YMCA camp providing horseback riding, sailing, leadership and traditional overnight camps for kids as young as seven. Located in northern Minnesota transportation is available to and from camp, departing from the Rochester Area Family Y. Click here to find out more about the camp’s scholarships and payment plans.
The Rochester Area Family YMCA offers a variety of day camps, for kids going into K through 12, including: Kindergarten Kamp, Stem Camp, Fine Arts Camp, Sports Camp, LIT, CIT, Golf, Climbing Camp with Prairie Walls, Horse Camp, and more. Camp hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with free before and after care available. Financial aid available.
Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch offers day and overnight camps as well as speciaiity camps (family wheelchair camp, grandparent camp, wrangler camp), June through August.
Camp Victory is an ACA accredited camp offering weekly overnight and day camps for kids ages 5 to 18, June through August, including: culinary camp, team paintball, boundary waters wilderness trips, Lego robotics, and more. Free transportation to and from Rochester for day camps with multi-session discounts available. Plan to attend the camp open house, April 30.
Rainbow School Christian Preschool is offering 3 half-day summer camps, Monday-Thursday, 9am-12pm. Camps are open to any preschool child ages 3-5 years old and must be 3 years old before the start of the camp.
Hope Summit Christian Church’s Kids Camp, June 13 through 15, 6:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m, is packed with wild and crazy games, cool music, prizes, lots of fun and it’s free. Open to kids ages 4 through 6th grade. Register here.
Quarry Hill Nature Center offers natural science themed summer day camps, June through August, for kids ages four through high school. Under the guidance of a camp naturalist, campers explore the pond, meadow, and forest in the 329 acre park, meet live animals in Exploration Hall, make new friends and have fun. Camps include Swamp Gas, Amphibious Adventures, Geology Rocks, Whiz Kids, Nature Photography, Adventure Biker, Amazing Race, and more. Online registration for Quarry Hill Nature Center members is accepted Feb. 28 through March 13. Registration for the public begins March 14.
Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center in Lanesboro offers summer camps for kids entering grades 3 through 11. From learning to handle raptors to discovering what it’s like to sleep outdoors in their own shelter, Eagle Bluff campers gain new skills, build their self confidence and foster their relationship with the natural world.
The Minnesota Zoo offers one-day and week long, half-day and all-day zoo-themed summer camps for preschoolers through adults, including Autism Partnership Camps. Financial need scholarships available. Online registration opens Jan. 23.
Located in northeast Rochester, Red Gate Riding offers summer riding lessons and camps.
Located in northeast Rochester, The Stables Equestrian Center offers summer riding lessons and camps.
This is your chance to get a sneak peek and cheats that will help you survive your first year of middle school. Middle School Prep will take place from 8 a.m. to noon, June 12 through 16 at John Adams, Willow Creek, Mayo, and Friedell; 8 a.m. to noon. Middle school prep will give you a taste of what a typical school day looks like as you move from class to class and hit topics such as 6th Grade Survival Skills, The Extras, The CLASSics 101, and Fine Arts. Cost is $75. Sign up through Community Education. Register. Scholarships are available to families in need.
Goodman Productions is putting on a 2-week Sound of Music summer theater camp, July 10 – 22.
Rochester Civic Theatre’s Summer Theatre Academy of Rochester (STAR) offers theater camps for kids ages 5 and older.
Young American Voices is offering one- and two-week summer theater workshops – musical theater show choir (ages 11 to 18), an acting and theater troupe (ages 8 to 18) and a musical theater show choir (ages 5 to 12).
Youngsters attend the Crossings Summer Camps to learn fine art techniques and to discover for themselves how much fun art can be. At Crossings you’ll find summer camps that you won’t find anywhere else – 20+ camps held at the area’s most vibrant art center. Camps range from $148 to $268 with scholarships available through the generosity of Zumbrota Community Trust. Register online at www.crossingsatcarnegie.com or call 507-654-9545 to register or request a brochure.
Rochester Art Center offers summer art-themed day camps for kids ages 4 to 6 (Kids Art Summer Camp) and grades 1 through 12 (Total Arts Day Camp).
Ballet Blake offers a variety of summer dance opportunities, including: Intro to Ballet, Advanced/Intermediate Ballet Bridge, and the 2017 Nutcracker Workshop.
Allegro School of Dance & Music offers a variety of summer dance opportunities, including: Budding Ballet, Summer Samplers, Polar Express Intensive.
The History Center of Olmsted County offers history-themed day camps including Summer Schoolhouse Day Camp, Carpenter Workshop, Pioneer Life at the Cabin.
The Reading Center offers its Best of Basics, July 10 through Aug. 4. Designed to provide the tools to lay a foundation for lifelong abilities in reading, spelling, writing, math and study skills there are options for preschoolers through high schoolers.
Listos Preschool and Childcare, 1503 2nd Ave. N.E., Rochester, has full and half-day bilingual, Spanish-English summer camps for ages 3 to 7. Experience art, science, music, math and culture in two languages! Register by week online at www.listoskids.org or call (507) 125-9654. Camps start May 30 and run though Aug. 18. Cost: Half-day camps (9 a.m. to noon) $125 per week, Full-day (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) $200 ages 3-5, $175 ages 6-7 per week, includes lunch and snacks.
Take part in a summer full of campfires, swimming, archery, arts and crafts, and more at Girl Scout Camp. Sign up for a camp session or two this summer and you’ll find fun, courage and purpose – and best of all, you’ll find yourself. All girls are welcome – no previous Girl Scout experience required.
Roca’s Summer Climbing Camps build a foundation for strong, fit, goal-oriented, and motivated kids. Daily curriculum includes climbing games and activities, learning to belay, bouldering, fundamental techniques and fitness. Open to ages 7 to 14, camp is offered June, July and August – campers get their choice of a free Roca T-shirt, cool shades, or climbing backpack.
RAL, Rochester Area Lacrosse, offers spring/summer lacrosse youth programs.
RYFSA, Rochester Youth Fastpitch Softball, offers summer youth softball leagues.
RYSA, Rochester Youth Soccer Association, offers several youth soccer camps.
RYBA, Rochester Youth Baseball Association, offers summer youth baseball leagues.
Calvary Baptist Church is hosting an Ultimate Goal Soccer Camp, June 19 through 22. Free for kids entering grades 1 through 6. Register here.
Mega Kids (Sports) Camp, Monday, July 17 through July 20, 8:45 a.m. to noon, Century High School.
Health Care Field
HealthForce Minnesota’s Middle School Scrubs Camp is a two-day medical-themed day camp offered in Rochester and a variety of other Minnesota locations (Dakota County, Winona, Duluth). Camp provides hands-on activities, field trips, and information on health careers such as pharmacy, laboratory, pathology, emergency, therapy, and more. This one fills super fast.
High School Scrubs Camp offers high school students the opportunity to learn about health-related careers and experience college life. Students will learn about more than 30 healthcare careers through many hands-on activities. Nine camps offered in locations including Winona, St. Cloud, and Mankato.
Camp Oasis is the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America’s summer camp. Camp Oasis of Minnesota runs July 31 through Aug. 5, at One Heartland in Willow River.
is open to kids in grades K through 6 (internship opportunities for older kids) and provides fun hands-on activities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Locally, Camp Invention will be held in Rochester, Kasson, Byron, and Stewartville, with the possibility of new locations opening up in the coming weeks.
Maker Fun Factory VBS, June 26 – 30, Christ United Methodist Church (downtown Rochester). Open to pre-K through 5th grade, Maker Fun Factory is a surprising Bible-based adventure your kids will love. Register at www.cumethodist.com/vns-2017. Scholarships.
Homestead Church is hosting FREE VBS June 26-29 from 5:30pm-8:00pm. We will have dinner at 5:30 and a lesson from 6-8pm. Kids ages 3 through 5th grade (just completed 4th grade) are welcome to attend. Homestead Church is located at Bandel Rd NW, Ste, Rochester MN 55901. Register at cokesburyvbs.com/homestead
Outdoor Public Pools
, St. Charles
, and Kasson
offer outdoor public pools. In addition to swimming, the pools offer a variety of options including diving boards, slides, rock climbing walls, zero depth pools, locker rooms, snack bars, birthday parties, and more. Click on each city to see when the pool opens for the season, pool hours, and pool rules.
Whitewater State Park
The I Can Fish program will be offered at Whitewater State Park, Sundays, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Memorial Day through Labor Day Weekend. Rods, reels, and tackle will be provided at this activity designed to introduce trout fishing to inexperienced anglers. Kids must be accompanied by an adult. Bring your own bait – worms. Fishing licenses and trout stamps not required.
Designed for families with zero to little camping experience, I Can Camp is offered at a variety of Minnesota State Parks (including Whitewater). Part of a statewide program, I Can Camp walks families through every step of camping at a State Park. The program lets families borrow camping equipment and provides firewood and a State Park vehicle day pass.
Olmsted County Free Fair
The Olmsted County Free Fair will take place July 24 through July 30. The fairgrounds are located across the street from the south Walgreens. In addition to the midway (rides), 4-H animals, entertainment in the Grandstand, and baby animals in the MIracle of Birth Center, there are also family-friendly special events that will take place during the fair.
The Rochester Downtown Farmers Market is held, rain or shine, Saturdays, May through October, 7:30 a.m. to noon, the corner of Fourth Street & Fourth Avenue.
National Night Out
National Night Out is Tuesday, Aug. 1. Now in its 33nd year, the national event encourages families to lock their doors, turn on a porch light and spend the evening outside with neighbors — small backyard potlucks and ice cream socials to 1,000-plus open-to-everyone events sponsored by churches, youth organizations, and neighborhood associations. Register your party online
All Comers Track Meets
The All Comers Track Meets
are for fun races (everyone gets a ribbon) open to kids ages 2 through high school. Held June 6, 13, and July 11 and 18, 6 p.m., Soldiers Field Track. Free. Make sure you sign the waiver at your first meet of the season.Rochesterfest
is a fun, week-long (June 17 through 25) citywide festival that offers a little bit of everything: a parade (Saturday, June 24), food booths (yay! food on a stick!), tons of kid and family activities, and lots more. Click here for a complete list of Rochesterfest activities and events. Rochesterfest buttons are available for purchase at many local businesses and offer a ton of great discounts.
Rochester Honkers Baseball
The Rochester Honkers Baseball Club, a member of the Northwoods League, is entering their 24th season as Rochester’s and Southeastern Minnesota’s baseball team. The season runs from June through mid-August and home games
are played at Mayo field.
Movies Under the Stars
Movies in the Park
Join us in downtown Rochester for Movies in the Park – Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Cool Runnings, Secret Life of Pets, Rogue One. Bring your lawn chair or blanket and gather in Central Park located in downtown. This is free, fun, and family-friendly outdoor event. Click here for dates and times: https://www.downtownrochestermn.com/events/movies-in-the-park.
Family Summer Series at Wehrenberg
Free Summer Movies at Paragon