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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Affordable Summer Camps in the Bay Area

Today we have a guest blog post from our friends at Sign up for Camp. Learn about more than 500 Bay Area camps, and sign up for them on their site. Plus you can coordinate schedules with your friends by sharing information with them through the website. Read their full bio at the bottom.

Summer camps are a necessity for many families. If both parents work, summer camps are a must and parents need coverage for the whole summer. If one parent is at home, summer camps provide some variety and break up the long summer. Yet many families are still feeling financially pinched this year and may be looking a little more closely at the cost of camps for their children.

In addition to cost, there are many important factors to choosing a camp including location, staffing, and your child’s interests, just to name a few. However, one way to assess summer camp value is by examining dollars per hour of camp time.  While most camps list their cost per week, sometimes the camps don’t cover the entire day, so parents need to pay for hourly day care before or after camp.  In the end, some of camps end up being more affordable when you take into account the longer day they provide for your child.

To help you with this comparison, the folks at signupforcamp.com analyzed summer camps on their website and came up with a list of Bay Area camps that cost less than $10 per hour. The prices below are for the camp hours listed, but most camps offer before and/or aftercare for very reasonable rates as well. Except where noted, prices listed below do not include promotional discounts for siblings, early registration, or multiple sessions (so yes, they could be even less expensive!). You can find more information on all of these camps at Sign Up For Camp.

Please post a comment if you know of additional camps which are a great value. What else do you do to stretch your summer budget?

A World of Peace

9 am-4 pm
$465-$520 per 2 weeks (depending on age)

Downtown Oakland YMCA Summer Camp
7 am – 6 pm
$200-$235 per week

Kinetic Arts Center Summer Circus Camp
9 am – 5 pm
$290 per week
$475 per 2 weeks

Park’n It Day Camp
East Bay Regional Parks
9 am – 4 pm
$200 per week

BALL Summer Camp
9 am-4 pm
$275 per week

San Francisco (Bernal Heights)
9 am-4 pm
$250 per week

San Francisco
7:30 am – 6 pm
$350 per week

Camp Doodles
Mill Valley, Larkspur, San Rafael
9 am-3:30 pm
$275 per week
$1600 for the whole summer if registered by 5/1/11  (Less than $6 per hour!)

Community School of Music and Arts (CSMA)
Mountain View
9:30 am-3:30 pm  (half day sessions also available)
$570 per 2 weeks

Multiple Bay Area Locations
7:30 am – 6 pm
$75 per day
$1200 for 20 days
$2100 for entire summer (10 weeks)  (About $4 per hour!)

Summer camp planning made easy! Sign Up For Camp is a website designed by local parents to make it easier to plan children's summer camps. Parents can search for camps by age, location, dates and activities.  There are over 500 SF Bay Area camps for all grades as well as overnight camps. Camps can be saved to a summer calendar and shared with friends. Sign up for our email newsletter (on the website's home page) to hear about camp discounts and other timely information.
(note from Frisco Kids - their email newsletter is great)

1 comment:

  1. Families should check out Camp Edmo (Arts, Science, Animation and Recreation Camp for Pre-K-entering 4th grade) and Camp EdTech (Digital Media Camp for 5th - 9th grade) too. They have 9 Bay Area Locations including San Francisco, the East Bay, North Bay, the Peninsula and South Bay. And offer early bird, multi-week, sibling and referral discounts. My children have been campers at Camp Edmo for five years and love it! The camps are fun and educational with the activities designed in partnership with top Bay Area Museums like the California Academy of Science, the Exploratorium, Zeum and MOCHA.