photo by Tammra McCauley

Longer days and warmer temperatures mean one thing: it's time to make plans for Spring Break. Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas offer an array of day camps that will keep your kids busy and enriched all week long. Many of the camps have a limit on the number of kids they can accept, so if you're interested, be sure to call for more information soon.

Kendall College of Art & Design (Ferris State University)

Kids can unleash their inner artist at this week-long day camp, Drawing Across The Universe, that encourages kids to create their own masterpiece. The camp is run by one lead artist, but each day a different artist visits and instructs kids on different drawing techniques and styles. They'll explore themes as diverse as drawing galactic warriors (cartoon), fashion for video and animation, interior design (home layouts) and Greek gods.

Age: 8-12

Time: 9:00-3:30 (can drop off as early as 8:30)

(Bring a sack lunch. Lunchtime is supervised and includes activities.)

Dates: April 2-6

Cost: $295, includes all supplies

The Courthouse of Grand Rapids

616-878-7600

At this camp, young basketball players can take to the courts and develop their game while having lots of fun. The Courthouse offers a 2-part day camp for budding hoopsters. The morning camp centers on developing specific skills (shooting, ball handling, etc), while afternoons feature individual and team contests, group competitions, games, and a 3-on-3 tournament. Kids can sign up for mornings, afternoons, or all-day camp.

Age: Grades 3-9

Time: 9:00-12:00 Shooting and Ball Handling

1:00-3:00 Games and Competitions

(If you sign up for both, the lunch break is from 12:00-1:00. Pack a lunch or bring money for pizza.)

Dates: April 2-5

Cost: AM (Shooting and Ball Handling): $79

PM (Games and Competitions): $59

All-day: $119

Soccer Zone

616.667.1919

The Soccer Zone is running two different camps for sports-minded kids. The first, for soccer lovers, will focus on a different set of skills each day. The second is a second multi-sport camp for kids who prefer a variety of activities including football, dodgeball, wiffleball and more.

Age: 8-14 Soccer Camp

5-12 Multi-Sport Camp

Time: 9:00-12:00 or

1:00-4:00 (either camp is available both times)

(If you enroll for both morning and afternoon camps, you can purchase lunch for $5/day or bring a sack lunch.)

Dates: April 2-5

Cost: $30 per camp (morning or afternoon)

One camp (morning or afternoon), all week: $100

Both camps, all week: $175

Camp Manitou-Lin (through the Southeast YMCA)

616.285.9077

This all-day camp remind me of what camp was like when I was a kid. The YMCA buses kids to Camp Manitou-Lin, on the shores of Barlow Lake in Middleville, MI. Kids spend their day enjoying nature and participating in a variety of activities, like creating crafts, archery, and rock climbing.

Age: 5-14

Time: 9:00-4:00 at Camp Manitou-Lin

AM Bus: 7:40AM kids picked up at David D Hunting YMCA

8:00 AM kids picked up at SE YMCA

PM Bus: 5:00 PM kids dropped off at SE YMCA

5:30 PM kids dropped off at David D Hunting YMCA

Dates: April 2-5

Cost: One day, $27 members, $32 for non-members

All five days (2-5): $x members, $x for non-members

Six days (for kids who are out of school Friday, March 30)

A hot lunch and snack are included.

Busing costs an additional $8 each day.

**Note: Each local YMCA sets its own prices. The above prices apply when you sign up through the SE YMCA. Please contact your preferred YMCA for other prices and options.

SE YMCA Spring Break Horse Day Camp

616.285.9077

The YMCA of Grand Rapids also offers a horse camp through Camp Manitou-Lin. In addition to riding, your camper will learn about grooming, tacking and feeding horses. Children are grouped by experience level, so the camp appropriate for riders who are just beginning as well as those who are more advanced.

Age: 5-14

Time: 9:00-4:00 at Camp Manitou-Lin

Bussing: 7:40AM kids picked up at David D Hunting YMCA

8:00 AM kids picked up at SE YMCA

5:00 PM kids dropped off at SE YMCA

5:30 PM kids dropped off at David D Hunting YMCA

Bussing costs an additional $8 each day

Dates: April 2-5

Cost: One day, $27 members, $32 for non-members

All five days (2-5): $x members, $x for non-members

Six days (for kids who are out of school Friday, March 30)

A hot lunch and snack is included.

Bussing costs an additional $8 each day

**Note: Each local YMCA sets its own prices. The above prices apply when you sign up through the SE YMCA. Please contact your preferred YMCA for other prices and options.

Bricks4Kids

616-438-9993

At Bricks4Kids the focus is Legos, Legos, Legos. Instructors help kids explore their creative side with two different camps. In the morning, kids have create wireless remote control vehicles at Remote Control Mania Camp. In the afternoon Lets Build session, kids construct all sorts of vehicles and buildings. Each day at camp focuses on a different theme. Campers who sign up for the entire week receive a Lego mini-figure and camp t-shirt.

Age: 7+ for Remote Control Mania

5+ for Lets Build

Time: 9:00-12:00 Remote Control Mania

1:00-3:00 Lets Build

(Half-day campers should bring a peanut-free snack; full-day campers should pack a peanut-free lunch.)

Dates: April 2-6

Cost: AM (Remote Control Mania): $138

PM (Games and Competitions): $138

One-day: $35 for each session (AM and PM)

Gymco Sports

616.956.0586

Gymcos Spring Break camp keeps kids moving, whether theyre jumping on the trampoline, climbing the rock wall, or testing their footwork on the balance beam. The camp includes plenty of organized activities as well free time for kids to explore new activities. Gymco offers a half-day camp, a full-day camp, and a 1-hour open gym. Children under the age of 6 are only eligible for the half-day and open gym options. Kids 6-years and older can participate in any of the sessions.

Age: 3 12 (most kids are between 4-8)

Time: 8:30-6:00 full-day

8:30 12:00 half-day

12:00 1:00 open gym

12:00 4:00 half day (early afternoon)

3:00 6:00 half day (late afternoon)

(The camp kids break for lunch at 1:00. Kids enrolled in the full day or early afternoon session are asked to pack a lunch or snack to eat at this time.)

Dates: April 2-6

Cost: Full-day $50 members / $60 non-members

PM (Games and Competitions): $138

One-day: $35 for each session (AM and PM)

These are just a handful of the Spring Break camps offered in Grand Rapids this year. Here are a few more your kids might enjoy:

  • Meijer Gardens offers several camps with different themes, from learning about bugs to playing with paint. More information here, or call 888.957.1580.
  • Camp Kroc features swimming, drama, music and more. See a summary here; call 616.588.7200 for more information.
  • Animal, crafts and nature are the focus at the John Ball Zoo camp. Call 616.336.4301 for more info