Ask any kid what their favorite season is and they will assuredly say Summer. Schools are out until the fall, ice cream is abundant, and the beach is only a car ride away. West Michigan summer camps are packed full of nonstop fun and outdoor adventures, making them the perfect place to make the most of warm summer days. We have compiled a list of West Michigan summer camps that focus on hands-on learning, arts, and adventures of a lifetime.
South West Michigan
At the Air Zoo in Portage, you’ll find a wide selection of in-person science-based day camp programs that engage and inspire children to learn about the exciting world of science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Utilizing fun, exciting, and highly interactive programming, the Air Zoo guides young minds through creative and inquiry-based experiences that instill a lifelong passion for learning.
The Saugatuck Center for the Arts in Saugatuck/Douglas offers a number of summer camps and classes from June through August for kids ages 3 – 14. Each class is taught by professional artists and includes experiment-based art projects, multidisciplinary learning, outdoor kinesthetic activities, and healthy snacks to keep both mind and body active and creative. There are 4, 2, and 1-day camps available focused on drawing, painting, planting, theater experiences, and more.
Explore nearly 1,000 acres of West Michigan woodlands, wetlands, swamps, and meadows while learning about ecology and natural history at Sarett Nature Center. With a range of programs designed for kids of all ages, get a closer look at what makes West Michigan a wildlife haven.
Looking for something fun and educational this summer for your child? Sign them up for the South Haven’s Michigan Maritime Museum STEAM Summer Camp, focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. STEAM Camp is open to 3rd-5th graders. The day camp, held on the Michigan Maritime Museum campus, will feature a maritime themed program through engaging STEAM activities and lessons. The camp includes activities aboard the tall ship Friends Good Will, campus tours, and a paddle on the Black River in a voyageur canoe. Registration opens in March.
The Woods Fitness Park is the ultimate destination for summer camps and get-togethers. This 40-acre outdoor adventure area is nestled in Benton Harbor, with great activities like monkey bars, tunnels, ropes, walls, a zip-line, and other fun and challenging obstacles. Their “boot camps” are scheduled during the summer, offering your kids a fun opportunity to learn about fitness and make new friends. They also have picnic tables and a grill so you can plan a day and enjoy lunch right here on the property.
Summer is on its way and Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek offers a unique alternative to summer day care – Summer Day Camp! Your child will be so busy exploring the world of nature they won’t even realize they’re learning. Children who attend camp will have many opportunities to shape and expand their knowledge of plants, animals, and conservation, all while enjoying a summer they won’t soon forget.
Allegan Event is a unique, exciting venue for all ages and groups, including summer camps, field trips, youth groups, teams, scouts, large families, and more. Navigate the facility at your own pace while you get physical, encourage your peers, push your limits, bond and explore with your group, and most importantly… have fun. Check out their website for more information about their many attractions.
Art on the Meadow at the Ox-Bow School of Art in Saugatuck offers creative workshops that are affordable, multi-level, and intergenerational for their visitors. This year’s workshop offerings are designed to spark the creative process in new and exciting ways. Check out their website for more information and dates.
Students interested in all things theatre, both on stage and off, are encouraged to attend the week-long summer workshops at Tibbits Opera House in Coldwater. Acting sessions, available to students are performance focused, with students honing their acting skills through acting games and collaboration exercises. Students will gain confidence on stage before quickly transferring into ‘rehearsal’ mode to work on the camp’s performance showcase. The technical theatre session, for students grades 6-12, explores technical theatre and the world of theatrical design. From lighting to props, and sets to sound design, the camp will give a well-rounded, hands-on technical education where camp members will work on becoming the crew for the performance showcase.
Central West Michigan
The Critter Barn is an amazing place to have hands-on experience with animals you’d find on any farm in West Michigan this summer. Have the chance to handle chicks and bunnies, walk goats and donkeys, or feed bottles to calves. With activities for kids between the ages 3-16, there are things to do at the Critter Barn that everyone can enjoy.
Cranhill is West Michigan’s choice Christian summer camp that offers youth a transformative experience unlike any other. Where fun meets faith – participate in activities ranging from everything to biblical teachings to rock climbing and horseback riding.
Bring the whole family to the city of Mears and experience all that the Dunes Harbor Family Camp has to offer. Take part in staff led activities like archery and pool trivia, or make your own family fun at any one of the amenities the grounds has available.
Camp Curious is back at the Grand Rapids Public Museum this summer from June 10th to August 2nd. Experience the museum in a way you’ve never seen before with behind the scenes activities, science experiments, and artifact explorations.
School may be done for the summer, but learning never stops at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum. Children are encouraged to be curious and learn through play with a number of activities and events. The museum offers hands-on experiences in STEAM, arts, slime-making, music, and sensory friendly activities.
Located in Grand Rapids, the Blandford Nature Center Is the city’s nature playground. Intended for children ages 4-10, explore the grounds during the summer group guided programs. Have the chance to go bug netting, pond dipping, and bird watching.
At the John Ball Zoo summer camp, young children can connect with nature and participate in amazing activities. With experienced professionals guiding every step of the way, wild adventures are bound to happen. Register on March 9th to secure your spot.
North West Michigan & Upper Peninsula
Enjoy the full benefits of fun and educational activities for children and adults at Raven Hill Discovery Center in East Jordan. Choose from activities to fit your interests or put together a custom hands-on class to meet individual needs regardless of age. Classes for children and adults are available any time by appointment year-round. Choose your focus and explore a variety of hands-on lessons on a particular topic over the course of four days—Monday through Thursday. Suggested ages are five to 14 and activities will be age-appropriate for those signed up in a class.
Young golf enthusiasts can unlock their full potential this summer at Shanty Creek Resort’s Junior Golf Camp. Located in Bellaire, Shanty Creek Resort offers an unparalleled opportunity for junior golfers to hone their skills on some of the finest courses in the state. Spanning over 5,500 acres, Shanty Creek boasts an impressive collection of five 18-hole championship courses, totaling a remarkable 90 holes in one destination. Motivated junior golfers are invited to embark on a transformative three-day journey at the Junior Golf Camp, June 25-27, 2024. Don’t miss out on this extraordinary opportunity to elevate your golf game and create lasting memories at Shanty Creek’s Junior Golf Camp. For more information and to secure your spot, visit us at ShantyCreek.com today.
Catch salamanders in West Michigan’s wetlands, dip nets into Finch Creek, build shelters in the woods and more at Bellaire, Grass River Natural Area. This camp offers kids a unique opportunity to experience West Michigan’s outdoors in a way rarely done. Over the span of four days, children can have one on one experience with naturalists to interact with the amazing wildlife home to the Grass River. Register online beginning March 13th for this amazing opportunity.
Join the magic of the Annual Grand Princess and Superhero Package at Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel. Your own princess or superhero will have a grand time dressing up as their favorite princess or superhero for two days filled with fun activities and entertainment. Featured characters may include: Anna, Elsa, Rapunzel, Belle, Ariel, Tiana, Black Widow, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, and Batman. Book your stay here.
Dedicated to inspiring, entertaining, and educating students of Northern Michigan, the Great Lakes Center of the Arts provides the opportunity to learn from world class performing artists free of charge. Offering a variety of lessons ranging from traditional string instruments to performing on stage. Learn from talented professionals to elevate your current skills.
Immerse yourself and kids in traditional marine travel of the great lakes at the Inland Seas Education Association, located in Suttons Bay. Learn about the ecosystem of the great lakes and even get the chance to set sail on the water. Most importantly however, the Inland Seas Education Association provides individuals to learn how to become good stewards of the lakes and help preserve and protect our state’s greatest resource.