Summer day camps come in all shapes and sizes, catering to a variety of ages and interests. We’ve rounded up 13 camps in Somerville and Cambridge that focus on the creative pursuits: fine arts, theater, music, and filmmaking. For more ideas, including wicked cheap day camps and theater camps throughout the Boston area, check out our Summer Camp Guide.
Art in the Garden
Ages: 6-11 years old
Sessions and Location: Six week-long sessions in July and August take place at the Somerville Community Growing Center at 22 Vinal Ave.
About: The Somerville Arts Council’s Art in the Garden camp combines art and nature at the beautiful urban oasis that is the Somerville Community Growing Center. Campers participate in art projects, gardening, nature exploration and field trips that relate to each week’s theme.
Ages: 10-16 years
Sessions and Location: Two week-long sessions in August at 111 South St. in Somerville.
About: Kids attending Camp Groove will get to deepen their music education by learning from three Berklee College of Music-educated instructors. Campers take classes in topics like Music Theory and Songwriting, write original songs and play music games throughout the week, which culminates in a performance on Friday. Attendees must have six months of experience on their primary instrument.
Ages: All, preferably with at least one year of experience on a chosen instrument
Sessions and Location: Two-week, half-day session in July will be held at the Kennedy School at 5 Cherry St. in Somerville.
About: School of HONK! holds year-round weekly marching band get togethers and after-school programs that encourage anyone who wants to play music to participate. Camp HONK! is much the same, with anyone who has a year of experience playing an instrument welcome to attend. Campers will hone ear training and instrumental technique and get the opportunity to parade through the streets playing music each day (weather permitting).
Digital Media Academy
Ages: 6-17 years old
Sessions and Location: Camp takes place from late June through August in one- and two-week sessions at Harvard University.
About: Digital Media Academy camps are where art and tech intersect for kids and teens. Younger kids can explore acting and filmmaking, 3D game design and art and digital photography in age-appropriate sessions. Older campers can learn about graphic design, music production and digital film production at the summer day camp.
Musical Theater Camp
Ages: 8-13 years
Sessions and Location: Three-week session in July at the Arts at the Armory at 191 Highland Ave. in Somerville.
About: The Somerville Arts Council’s Musical Theater Camp is designed for kids who may have aged out of other summer programs. Aspiring young actors at the camp participate in three weeks of singing, dancing, acting, set-building, costume creation and much more related to producing a musical theater show. The camp culminates in a live performance of the chosen production for the 2016 season. Registration for 2016 will start in early April, check website for details.
Parts and Crafts Summer Camp
Ages: 7-13 years old
Sessions and Location: One- and two-week sessions in July and August. Camp takes place at Parts and Crafts at 577 Somerville Ave. in Somerville.
About: Parts and Crafts campers will have the opportunity to participate in workshops on topics like music and mechanisms, imaginary worlds and things that move. Last year Parts and Crafts even had a specific camp just for girls (though they are welcome at all of the summer camps) that focuses on invention and creation.
Camp HONK! image courtesy of Leonardo March.
Passport Day Camp
Ages: 21 months-14 years
Sessions and Location: Camp runs from late June through late August in one- and four-week sessions for half and full days at Cambridge Montessori School at 129 Sherman St.
About: Passport Day Camp is run by Cambridge Montessori School and offers a variety of programs for a wide age range. Campers explore visual and theater arts, music, movement and nature as well as take field trips and welcome special visitors like storytellers and musicians. All programs encourage independence, creativity and learning.
Steve & Kate’s Camp
Ages: Pre-K through 7th grade
Sessions and Location: Camps take place from late June through August and there are three area locations: Baker School (205 Beverly Road, Brookline), Cambridge Friends School (5 Cadbury Road, Cambridge) and Mount Alvernia Academy (20 Manet Road, Chestnut Hill).
About: At Steve & Kate’s Camp, attendees are encouraged to self-direct their days, participating in everything from making music and films to crafting clothing and jewelry. The camp is very flexible, allowing parents to purchase all-season or one-off passes that provide the freedom to attend camp as much or as little as desired.
Summer @ BB&N
Ages: Film Academy is for children entering grades 4-7 and Theater Academy is for kids entering grades 8-12
Sessions and Location: Camp takes place from late June through August in one- and multi-week sessions at BB&N’s Upper School Campus (80 Gerry’s Landing Road, Cambridge).
About: In addition to more standard day camps for kids and teens, Summer @ BBN (Buckingham Browne and Nichols) offers camps on specific subjects. Film Academy gives campers the chance to learn everything from storyboarding to editing to final production by creating a completed film by the end of the camp session. Theater Academy is the place for young thespians to improve their acting chops with a multi-week theater camp that ends in a performance.
Somerville String Camp
Ages: 7 and up
Sessions and Locations: The two-week, half-day morning session in July at the Kennedy School at 5 Cherry St. in Somerville.
About: Beginners and experienced musicians alike are welcome at the Somerville String Camp, which is open to Somerville residents as well as non-residents. Daily activities at camp include orchestra rehearsals, chamber music coaching, chorus, music theory, technique and improv classes. The camp is open to violin, viola, cello and bass players.
Tufts Creative Arts Children’s Theater
Ages: 8-11 years (must have completed 2nd grade, but not 6th grade)
Sessions and Location: Sessions in July and August take place at the Balch Arena Theater at 40 Talbot Ave. on the Tufts University Campus.
About: The Tufts Creative Arts Children’s Theater summer camp is a hands-on creative environment for younger children interested in the visual and performing arts. Campers participate in workshops in music, art, creative movement and creative drama. The sessions culminate in an open-house performance.
Tufts Magic Circle Theater
Ages: 11-15 years (must have completed 6th grade, but not 10th grade)
Sessions and Location: The six-week, full-day program takes place in July and August at the Balch Arena Theater at 40 Talbot Ave. on the Tufts University Campus.
About: The Magic Circle Theater, based at Tufts University, is New England’s oldest theater by and for children. The summer program for young actors consists of rehearsals, scenery construction and costume creation with an emphasis on both backstage and onstage roles. Magic Circle Theater culminates with performances toward the end of the session.
Tufts Summer Music Program
Ages: 7-12 years
Sessions and Locations: Two one-week sessions (students may attend one or both weeks) take place at the Granoff Music Center at 20 Talbot Ave. on the Tufts University Medford/Somerville Campus.
About: Tufts University, which straddles Medford and Somerville, hosts a variety of summer camps for area kids, including the Summer Music Program. Campers enrolled in the program get to sing, drum and take instrument lessons taught by a diverse, accomplished roster of regionally based musicians.
Top image of Parts and Crafts courtesy of Dina Gjertsen.