It’s never too early to think about fun in the sun. In the Kansas City metropolitan area, consider exploring new venues, seeking outdoors games and adventures, stepping into the community backyard for some fun or trying a new art project keep boredom at bay.
Christian Youth Theatre:
Act. Sing. Dance. Live!
At a CYT summer camp, including: Pirates & Princesses (ages 4-5), Epic Disney (5-12) and Follow the Yellow Brick Road (5-12). Xtreme camps for ages 10-15 include: Dr. Who, Star Warz, Superman v. Batman and Star Trekkies.
There’s also Camp Willy (Shakespeare, 12-18) and two overnight camps: Unusually Green for middle school (12-14) and high school master camp Crazy for You (14-19), which concludes with three full-length performances July 25-27. CYT is offering 20 weeks of camps this summer at locations across Kansas City, and their HEART program provides opportunity for children with special needs. Call 913-681-3318 or go to cytkc.org for more information.
Kansas City Young Audiences:
Kansas City Young Audiences continues its crowd favorites like Art Sampler, Let’s Put on a Show and Improv Adventure. New programs will include a creative writing camp for teens, a circus arts camp for tweens and an afternoon camp for our littlest campers called Creative Playground, which will dramatize popular children’s stories through Movement, Theatre, or Visual Arts. A three-week theater intensive for 8-18 year olds will perform The Little Mermaid at 7 p.m., July 31.
Creative Dramatics and Arts Sampler Camps for ages 5-7 year olds feature a variety of themes and arts disciplines to introduce younger children to the performing and visual arts. Children eight and up have the choice of camps such as Improv Adventure, Playground Art, Musical Theatre, Puppet Play, Dance Camps and more. Extended day programs and scholarships are available.
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium
The Henry Doorly Zoo offers summer day camps ranging from a day to five days. The single day camps include junior zookeepers, junior vet, big cats, sharks and sea turtles. The two-day camps include photography at the zoo, ocean commotion, and animal training. The four-day camps include top predators and buggin’ around. The five-day camp is called Dirty Jobs where campers explore keep the Lauritzen Gardens and Omaha’s Zoo and Aquarium and the various operations required in working with nature. Other activities include family classes, small group and family campouts and scout outings.
Leawood Cultural Arts
Summer is a busy time in Leawood. The Leawood Oxford House includes an annual reading club during the months of June and July, says April Bishop, the cultural arts coordinator. This year, the focus will be on Little House on the Prairie. “While it may seem like more of a girl’s story, this is a classic for a reason,” she says. “We have had families ask about reading this book in the past and we are going to tackle this during the summer.”
There will also be three American Girl doll events, which is similar to the book club as young participants can learn about a specific time period. June will be focused on Caroline, a story of 1812. Josefina is a young girl in 1824 Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Santa Fe Trail ran by the school house so it is an appropriate story for July. Bishop says. The August story will be Rebecca, a Jewish immigrant in 1914. “Grinnin’ and Groovin’ will be in the lodge this year and the free Tuesday morning events will be morning entertainment for families including Funky Mama, StoneLion Puppets and the Wings of Love bird show.”
The Will’s Players for Camp Shakespeare will be again in Leawood. “We are always happy to have them,” she says. “Plus the Leawood Stage Company will offer Hello Dolly. It’s a great thing for families to do to have a free evening under the stars. This is a great chance to continue to educate the community about the arts. You can come here at no risk and enjoy the show.”
Kansas City Ballet School:
The Kansas City Ballet School with an Academy is aimed at developing young dancers; Summer Intensives take burgeoning dancers and propel them to new heights; and the Studio program, which provides adults a chance to experience ballet, yoga and other movement-based activities. And that unification is created at the Todd Bolender Center for Creativity & Dance, a building designed with ample space and classrooms with proper flooring for dance.
Kansas City Ballet School offers courses designed for age appropriateness from the youngest dancers at 3 years old to pre-professionals at the age of 18. The Studio presents dance and fitness classes for those 12 and up, with most being adult students. The Summer Intensives offer teens from all over the nation who audition and are accepted the chance to work with nationally renowned faculty. This program is aimed to increase a student’s technique and artistry. There are four levels and 25 students per level.
Kansas City Art Institute:
Youth summer camps and high school intensives are part of the summer landscape at the North campus of the Kansas City Art Institute. Youth classes for students from 6 to 14 include a variety of two-dimensional and three-dimensional art projects including large scale sculpture, drawing, print making, photography, fiber arts, illustration and animation.
High schools courses are offered year round. During the summer, high school classes are scheduled as one- or two-week camps. Need-based scholarships are available for these camps. There is also a pre-college art lab that occurs at the main campus. However, at the north campus, find classes in the areas including portfolio preparation, the art of the sketchbook, painting, and photo documentation.
Mid-Continent Public Library:
Libraries are magical places during the summer. Public Relations Coordinator Jessica Ford says this year’s theme is “Fizz, Boom, READ,” and runs from May 19 to July 31. Listeners (0-6) earn a free book for every 24 books they hear aloud, Readers (6-11) can earn a free book for every 360 minutes they read. Up to 3 books can be earned over the summer. Teens earn a Teen Buck for every book review submitted of a book completed. Teen Bucks can be used to pay library fines, make copies, get a replacement card, or choose from a variety of prizes including books, hats, or messenger bags.
“We are also having some special performances this summer with WildHeart, Dino O’Dell and some mad scientists,” she says. Begin with a bowlful of nature, add a backpack, and a walking stick, stir in a summer day and Boom! Join the musical adventure “exploding” with encouragement to get outside and discover nature. WildHeart is the Parent’s Choice and Emmy Award winning family group, conservation educators and entertainers, who have performed at the St. Louis Arch, Silver Dollar City, Missouri State Capitol, and schools and libraries throughout the Midwest. O’Dell provides an interactive music and storytelling adventure that features a pond filled with peanut butter, a plate of pancakes, and a surprise visit from a space alien. WildHeart and Dino O’Dell are shows aimed at all ages. Mad Science is for ages 6 and up. The show is about shocks, states and spectra. Learn about the science of electricity, matter, light, and color. Find dates and register at www.mymcpl.org.