Current Currency

  • Canada Flag Canada | $ CAD

Change Currency

Summer Camps in Vancouver

summer camps in vancouver

Summer Camps in Vancouver: 8 Things You Should Know

June is just around the corner! While my kids scream in excitement about their summer camps in Vancouver, it’s often filled with mixed emotions for parents. For some, filling up (or not) that time is exciting. For others, it’s daunting. However you feel about summer, it helps to have a plan! Here are my 8 tips to tackling summer camps.

Create a Vision

Create a vision of what you want the summer to look like. For us, every summer is different, depending on how much I’m working and what ages/stages my three kids are at. So, I like to think of the big picture. Do I want to have a lot of unscheduled time, or would I rather keep the kids busy? Are they at a stage where they’re getting along together and will be happy on adventures with our immediate family? Do I have friends who have time off at the same time as us to do activities with? Every family’s situation will be different. Thinking ahead and creating an overall plan helps us decide what to book.

Plan Early

Print off a calendar. First, write in all your non negotiables – whether that’s work, vacations, dentist appointments, whatever can’t be changed. Then keeping your summer vision in mind, start looking at which weeks you want to fill up.

Ask Around

One of my favourite things to do is find local parents whose kids are a few years older than mine. I ask them which summer camps in Vancouver are their favourite. Let others do the trial and error for you!

Try New Things

Put kids in camps with activities they want to do but haven’t done before. My son has been asking me to sign him up for the basketball team. Other than bouncing the ball around at school, he’s never played before. So, before we commit to a whole season of basketball, I’m signing him up for a summer camp. After a week of trying it out, we can have a better discussion about registering him for a whole season.

Find Affordable Options

With three kids, I can’t afford to drop $500 per kid for one week. Luckily, there are a lot of affordable options too. Check out the recreation guide for your city, or if you live close to a YMCA or community centre. My kids have had tons of fun at the rec centre camps. If you need more help, many also offer financial assistance. Google the centre’s recreation phone number and ask – it never hurts to ask! Many school districts also offer summer learning at no cost. My son attended last year for three weeks and he loved it!

Note Registration Days

Once you’ve decided where you want your kids to go, figure out the registration date(s). Then set a few reminders in your phone. One for a week ahead so you can plan out which specific camps you want to register for. One for a day before and one for 10 minutes before (I’ll explain why in the next part). This year, I wanted to register my kids in an outdoor camp, only to discover that registration was last December! So instead of cursing myself (or them, ha) I set a reminder in my phone for NEXT year’s registration.

Get Ready

I’ve lost out on getting my kids into camps because I wasn’t prepared the day of. There are some summer camps in Vancouver that fill up within minutes. Now I’ve learned my lesson! Now I look up the activity numbers and add them to a wishlist if that’s an option. I add a credit card on file ahead of time for quick check out. And occasionally if we really need to get into something (like the next level of swimming) my husband books in one kiddo while I book in another.

Get Comfortable

If your child has a hard time with new things, think of what will help comfort them at camp. Coordinating with the parents of your child’s good friend so they can attend camp together is helpful. Booking the same camps every year is a great option, so they get to know the facility and the staff. Or if your child already attends an activity such as martial arts or dance, see if they offer camps. Using a child’s same school backpack, lunch bag and any other familiar items may help too.

Whether your summer is going to be chill or action-packed, I hope this was helpful! Planning summer activities can be daunting. I encourage you to take the time to plan ahead and save yourself some stress in the future! And remember that your kids don’t need to go to the fanciest camps to have a memorable summer. Take it one step at a time and you’re well on your way!

Alex Turner is a journalist turned stay-at-home mom. Read more about her adventures on her blog!

Back to Blog

Free Shipping

On all orders above $75

Easy Returns

Shop with confidence

One Year Warranty

Play on Rain or Shine

Secure Checkout

MasterCard / Visa