The Best St. Louis Summer Camps


Are you ready for summertime? It’s just around the corner for Villa di Maria students – can you believe it’s the very last week of school?! If the end of the school year has snuck up on you (as it has for many of us), and you’re scrambling for summer camp ideas, rest assured that the St. Louis area is full of them. Below, a comprehensive list of the best summer camps in the area. 


Camp Pegnita

We may be biased, but we are very proud of Camp Pegnita- not only its rich history (it has been going strong for 70 years!) but also its dedication to keeping many of the great camp traditions alive over all these years. This is an old-school camp in which children spend nearly every moment of the day outdoors, enjoying archery, games and weekly themes, swimming, and more on the beautiful 6 acres of Villa di Maria’s wooded green campus. This year is going to be even better, with new facilities and a beautiful big playing field!


ArtScope St. Louis’s Art of Noise

ArtScope’s most popular 4-day camp, Art of Noise, will explore sound, the idea of music, instrument making and alternative instruments in Tower Grove Park from 9am to 3pm daily for children ages 5 – 11. Sign up soon, this camp starts May 30th and runs through June 2nd! Check out ArtScope’s other summer camps, including Planes, Trains, and Rickshaws, Magic and Mystery Camp, Printastic, Culture Club, and more here.


The Magic House Summer Camps

The Magic House offers three different summer camp themes from which to choose: Electrify and Energize, Booms and Blast Offs, and Fantastic Feats. They also offer art-based sessions: Camp Artist and Camp Make-It. For the 4-5 year age range, there are Storybook Adventures, Fantastic Five Senses, and Naturally Curious sessions. Check out more here.

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Chess Summer Camp

St. Louis is home to many Grandmasters (the highest level chess players), and we are lucky to be close to the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, a non-profit, educational organization committed to making chess an integral part of the St. Louis community. Chess is a valuable educational tool that helps teach important lessons including problem solving, critical thinking, sportsmanship, patience and goal setting. Camps are offered all day, or mornings or evenings only. Check out the details and register here.


Circus Harmony Performance Camp

Located at City Museum, Circus Harmony Summer Performance Camp
is an amazing experience. Campers learn actual circus arts, including trapeze, juggling, wire-walking, and more! Then, these aspiring circus stars perform in the Circus Harmony ring daily during the second week of each session. After seeing these guys in action at our annual Circus Night, we’re ready to sign up!


COCA Summer Arts Camp

COCA is one of St. Louis’ premiere organizations for new artists and masters alike, creating an innovative environment for campers to learn, perform and appreciate the arts. This summer, the camps available include poetry, dance, drama, sculpture, songwriting, videography and much more. Options include week-long full or half-day sessions. COCA camps are held at two locations: at COCA’s University City campus and in Creve Coeur at Whitfield School. Before and After Care is available. Check out the camp guide here.


Dave Simon’s Rock School

For the musically-inclined, Dave Simon’s Rock School is the place to go! Campers are placed into rock bands as they work together to record and prepare for their end-of-camp concert. Campers take private lessons on their instruments as well as every instrument in the band (guitar, bass, drums and piano). Summer Camp also includes workshops in songwriting, improvisation, and percussion. They have programs for kids ranging in age from 4 to 18. Check it out here.


Endangered Wolf Center Summer Camp

For your animal lover, check out The Endangered Wolf Center for their summer camp program. Located in Eureka, this camp provides children with the ability to explore the world of the wolf by visiting these amazing animals, playing fun games to learn about wolf behavior, and making crafts. Exciting hikes explore nature and some of the interesting places at the Tyson Research Center. There is also an option for younger campers, ages 4 -5, through the new Summer Pup Camp. Read more here.



J Day Camps

In addition to swimming, lunch, field trips, and traditional sports, arts, and gymnastics, the J has added STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) Academies at and in partnership with Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School.  The J offers eleven weeks of camps and programs for kids ages 3-10th grade. Sign up here.


Laumeier Sculpture Park Summer Arts Camp

A place that has become very near and dear to our hearts, Laumeier provides opportunities for campers to learn about artists throughout history, explore Laumeier’s woodland trails and find inspiration in the artworks on view for drawing, painting, sculpting and more.

Each weekly session features a different theme, and an Extended Day option is available for full-day sessions. Summer Art Camps are taught by local, experienced Artist-Instructors and are structured to encourage artistic development and self-expression through social and individual skill-building experiences. Check it out here.


Summer Science Blast at St. Louis Science Center

Summer Adventures include flying a real airplane, building a robot, developing your own video game and much more! They offer eight weeks of programming for Pre-K through 10th grade. Half-day, full-day, and flexible extended care options.

Whatever you decide to do this summer, be assured that there is plenty to do in our neck of the woods!