None of us wants another summer of staring out the window waiting for everything to pass, but a few short weeks ago, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham set June 30 as a target date for re-opening the state on a broader level. And classic summertime activities are on the rise too, especially the age-old fun of getting your children out of the house and sending them into the wilderness with strangers! Behold! A mini-list of summer camp activities!
A Bunch of Focus-Schmocus
After more than a year of health protocols and doomscrolling, taking a breath to focus on the steps before you is kind of exhilarating. We’ve all been forced into self-discovery, what could be more empowering than kids discovering that inner acrobat with Wise Fool New Mexico (1131 Siler Road, 992-2588)?
The company recognizes everyone is capable of the extraordinary with just a little focus and, as Santa Fe’s finest social circus troupe that also advocates for social justice and individual wellness via the circus arts, Wise Fool not only shapes its students physically and emotionally, but with a sense of justice.
“Our summer camps allow your kiddos to run away with the circus,” says Kristen Woods, youth activities organizer at Wise Fool. “Students learn stilt-walking, unicycling, aerial fabric, trapeze, juggling and puppet-making.”
Woods further describes the nonprofit’s Midtown location as a safe and non-competitive environment which focuses more on the mental aspects of acrobatic movement.
“It helps kids gain confidence and resilience [with] active and fun activities,” she continues. “Circus fosters human connection and belonging. It’s collaborative and interdependent.”
Wise Fool’s youth summer camps are open to all experience levels. Wee Kids Camp (ages 5 to 7, $260) safely teaches little ones how to fly on the trapeze, do some of that stilt walking, make some circus-y art and
Wise Fool Summer Youth Camps: $260-$285. 992-2588.
Climb and Dime
If acrobatics don’t appeal, the Santa Fe Climbing Center (3008 Cielo Court, 986-8944) offers another avenue, and it’s not just climbing one wall after another for hours. The center offers skill-building sessions like belaying, rappelling and lead climbing for 5- to 15-year-olds, along with yoga, obstacle courses, zip-lining, advanced knot tying, slacklining and even first aid. Kids are grouped ages 5 to 8, 9 to 13 and 12 to 15, and morning and afternoon sessions are available.
Santa Fe Climbing Center Sessions: $149-$250 per week.
Like Hitchcock, Minus the Terror and Tippi Hedren
If your little one seems fascinated by flying beasts, the day camp programs from New Mexico’s Audubon Society at the Randall Davey Audubon Center (1800 Upper Canyon Road, 983-4609) might tickle their fancy. Curriculum ranges from learning about our feathered friends, a deep dive into the brains of birds, being little nature detectives and more. Any and all animal lovers from the ages of 5 to 12 can get their kicks here.
New Mexico Audobon Society Day Camps: $265 per week.
Rocks, Water, Mud and Magic
For kids working off that nervous pandemic energy, Mountain Kids! takes care of the gritty stuff while keeping it outdoors. With sessions on archery, camouflage, wilderness survival and even a few dedicated to witchcraft and wand-making, the various programs run from May into August with a handful offering overnight opportunities and/or after-program care. This one’s for the mountain biking and kayaking kids and teens.
Mountain Kids! Sessions: $250-$550.
Ho-Hum for Little Drums
For youths who prefer the artsy or musical path, Queen Bee Music Association has three options. The Summer Jam Camp (Aug. 2-6) is for beginner or intermediate players who want to write songs, dabble in electronic music and participate in group concerts with a focus on guitar or ukulele. If bluegrass is big in your household, the Bluegrass Camp (July 12-16) should unlock the mysteries of acoustic stringed instruments courtesy of working bluegrass musicians. Finally, for the little ones, the Impact Music Camp (July 26-30) teaches music fundamentals that’ll stick with them for a lifetime. Locations haven’t been locked down just yet, but slots are already available.
Queen Bee Music Association Summer Youth Camps: $275-$300.