It may seem impossible to think about this right now, but now is the time to consider summer vacation plans. Summer camps fill up fast, so we are going to highlight a few. In addition, we have some general tips for summer planning. 

Summer Camps

Portland Summer Camps

Portland Summer Camp is a great one-stop place to plan for summer camps in the Portland area. They cover art, sports, academic, and specialist camps. 

Portland Parks and Recreation

PP&R is a fan-favorite source for summer camps and activities—Community Centers rock. Registration starts for camps from June 26–July 28 and June 21 for camps from July 31–August 25. 

Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District

THPRD is another hot one for summer camps. Camp registration starts on Saturday, April 13, 2024, for in-district patrons. Registration continues until the last week of camps, typically at the end of August. 

iD Tech

iD Tech camp is all about STEM activities and trying out Lewis and Clark College. They have day camps and overnight camps from June 17, 2024, to August 9, 2024. 

Trackers Earth

Trackers Earth is an organization that offers outdoor education and adventure programs for children. They focus on fostering independence, competency, and connection with nature. They have tons of camps for the summer.

Northwest Children’s Theater and School

Northwest Children’s Theater and School offers creative play, theater exploration, performance camps, and skills camps. Harness your child’s dramatic side and check out these fun camps. 

Audubon Portland

The Audubon of Portland has a cool SWIFTS program. SWIFTS is an acronym that encompasses much of what makes camp here so unique: Science, Wildlife, Imagination, Friendship, and Taking a Stand. The camp combines art, science experiments, and games with nature explorations in the Pacific Northwest. 

Engineering for Kids

Engineering for Kids offers summer camps that have both directed and open-ended projects. The campers will explore everything from aerospace engineering to electronic game development.

Summer Vacation Tips

As you fill your summer with camps and sports, you might also want to squeeze in a trip or two. Planning summer vacation with children requires careful consideration to ensure a fun experience for the whole family.

Choose a family-friendly destination

Look for destinations that offer a range of activities and attractions suitable for children. Consider factors such as safety, accessibility, kid-friendly accommodations, and the availability of amenities like playgrounds, pools, or family-friendly restaurants. Popular options often include beach resorts, theme parks, national parks, or cities with family-oriented attractions.

Involve your children in the decision-making process

Discuss vacation options with your children and ask for their input. Consider their interests, preferences, and any attractions or activities they would like to experience. Taking their opinions into account will make them more excited and engaged throughout the planning process.

Set a budget

Determine your vacation budget early on. Consider travel expenses, accommodation costs, meals, activities, and any other associated costs. Research and compare prices to find the best deals and discounts. Remember to allocate some budget for unexpected expenses or souvenirs.

Plan age-appropriate activities

Consider the ages and interests of your children when planning activities. Find a balance between activities that are suitable for both younger and older children. Look for attractions, tours, or events specifically designed for families or kids, such as children’s museums, water parks, or interactive exhibits.

Consider travel logistics

Plan your travel logistics carefully, including transportation to and from your destination. If flying, check the airlines’ policies regarding traveling with children and any specific requirements. If driving, ensure that you plan for frequent breaks to stretch and entertain the kids. Consider the duration of the journey and pack snacks, toys, and entertainment options to keep the children engaged.

Research accommodations

Look for accommodations that cater to families with children. Consider options like family suites, vacation rentals, or hotels with kid-friendly amenities such as play areas, pools, or organized children’s activities. Read reviews and check if the accommodation is located near attractions or has easy access to public transportation.

Plan for downtime and for flexibility

While it’s important to have a well-structured itinerary, allow for some downtime and flexibility. As we know, children (and parents) may need rest periods or time to explore at their own pace. Leave room in the schedule for spontaneous activities or simply relaxing and enjoying the vacation destination.

Have fun and create lasting memories

Remember that the purpose of the vacation is to have fun and create lasting memories as a family. Embrace the joy and excitement of your children and be open to new experiences. Capture special moments through photos or a travel journal to document the vacation and create mementos for the future.

As we approach the summer season, it’s never too early to start thinking about vacation plans, including summer camps for the kids and a family getaway. Ultimately, the goal of a summer vacation is to have fun and create lasting memories as a family. By embracing the joy and excitement of the children and being open to new experiences, parents can ensure a rewarding and unforgettable summer vacation. So start planning now, in January, and prepare for an incredible summer filled with adventure, learning, and quality time with loved ones.