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Central California Life Magazine

2016 Fresno-Area Summer Camps Guide

Jun 24, 2016 04:25PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

Fresno Chaffee Zoo Adventure Camp. Photo courtesy of the Fresno Chaffee Zoo.

Summer is in full motion, and it's important to make sure that not only the kiddos are happy, but entertained as well. We've compiled a list of local Summer Camps that are sure to intrigue.

Have a kiddo that eagerly wishes to be an outdoorsman? We've got you covered. What if they want to be the next sports star? We've got that covered, too. Is the stage calling their name? Have no fear, there are plenty of those, too. 

Get Outdoors    

Is the great outdoors calling your child's name? Or maybe it's time to take a much needed break from technology? Either way, there are some great local Summer Camps that help children reconnect with nature, and even have some fun along the way. 

Adventure Camp

(559) 621-2900

Woodward Park
7775 N. Friant
Fresno, CA, 93720

The Original Adventure Camp is a new adventure every day with theme based activities of sports, games, crafts, nature, science and lots more. Enter your imaginary world and join in on each themed day such as: Pirate Day, Wild Wild West Day, Outer Space Adventures Day, Harry Potter Day, and Sports Day. They provide a safe, fun and educational opportunity for all who will attend Adventure Camp. Adventure Camp is 07/11/2016-07/15/2016 for Ages 5 to 10. 

Adventure Camp is Located at Woodward Park Group Activity Area- Monday-Friday from 8 am to 12 pm for ages 5 to 10. Early Drop off is okay! You will get a free parking pass for the week. Camp is $60. T-Shirt additional $10.

San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust River Camps

559-248-8480 ext 104

River Center
11605 Old Friant Road
Fresno, CA 93730

River Camp, hosted by the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust, provides a fun and safe place for campers of all ages to spend time at the river exploring, playing, making friends and learning about nature. The San Joaquin River is one of the most beautiful and important natural resources in our area-our water source, home to fish and wildlife, and some of our last undeveloped open space. At River Camp, children have the opportunity to experience this treasure right in their own backyard.

Please note the drop off and pick up location for River Camps is at the River Center

River Camp Scout Island

For over 20 years, the River Parkway Trust has been offering an exciting, fun, and safe experience for the Valley’s children at River Camp. River Camp at Scout Island ensure campers enjoy swimming and splashing in cool water, learning to canoe, exploring wildlife habitat, playing games, creating arts and crafts, and building new friendships during their week-long day-camp experience.

Ages: Entering 1st through 8th grade

DatesJune 27-July 1July 11-15July 18-22July 25-29August 1-5August 8-12

Time: Meet the River Camp bus at the River Center between 8:30am and 8:45am. The bus leaves by 9:00am. Campers will return at 4:15pm. Click here for a map.

Cost: $230 or $210 for members ($5 discount if paid in full at time of registration)

Young Explorers Camp

The Young Explorer's program will take place at the River Center, where we'll spend time looking for signs of wildlife, exploring the Hidden Homes trail, and learning about the plants and animals that make this area their home. Each day they'll focus on a theme and the camper will participate in singing, arts and crafts, dramatic play, and other hands on activities led by our experienced staff of Young Explorers counselors. There will be time for water play and nature walks each day.  

Parents and grandparents are welcome to stay and join in the fun. Young Explorers camp is held Tuesday through Thursday mornings.  

Ages:  3 1/2 through entering Kindergarten 

Dates:   June 28-30July 12-14July 19-21July 26-28August 2-4,August 9-11

Time:  9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Cost:  $100 or $90 for members ($5 discount for paying in full at time of registration). 

River Camp Firebaugh

River Camp Firebaugh is a 4-week River Camp program that takes place in the community of Firebaugh.  Each year, over 150 local children have the opportunity to take part in this program, which offers many of the same experiences as River Camp Scout Island in Fresno.  Campers learn about the river and their local ecosystems while engaging in water play, arts and crafts, games and other activities.  River Camp Firebaugh promotes respect for the environment and for one another by offering a unique experIence for participants.

DatesJuly 11-15, July 18-22, July 25-29August 1-5

Location: Andrew Firebaugh Community Center & Park

Cost: $45 per child, per week

Fresno Chaffee Zoo Camps

(559) 498-5910

Fresno Chaffee Zoo
894 West Belmont Avenue
Fresno, California 93728

All sessions foster an appreciation and understanding of wildlife and nature through animal interactions and observations, games, arts and crafts, and other exciting activities.

Cubby Camp

Enjoy learning with games, art, projects, and fun. Children will engage in a hands-on learning atmosphere and should bring a change of clothes. Each class will include an educational animal visit. A snack will be provided during the morning. Cubby Camp hours are from 9:00am to 12:00pm only. Must be potty trained.

Ages: 3-5

Times: 9am – 12pm

Cost: Members: $120 per week; Non-members: $130 per week

Additional InfoView Camp Topics

All sessions of Adventure Camp foster an appreciation for and understanding of animals and nature through live animal interactions, animal observations, games, arts & crafts, and many other exciting activities. Each session will include a morning and afternoon snack. Please bring your own lunch. Adventure Camp hours are from 9:00am to 4:00pm with extended care available for an additional fee. Campers will be grouped by age.

Ages: 5-11

Times: 9am – 4pm

Cost: Members: $200 per week; Non-members: $220 per week

View Camp Topics

Older students will enjoy an opportunity for more in-depth explorations with our Young Naturalist program. Scientific zoo-related topics offer hands-on nature study and investigation. Each class will include a behind-the-scenes experience with a zoo keeper or a visit with an education animal. Each daily course includes a morning and afternoon snack, and campers are asked to bring their own lunch.

Ages: 11-17

  • Time: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Cost: Members $275 per week; Non-members $295 per week

  • Time: 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Members $250 per week; Non-members $275 per week

View Camp Topics

Get Active

For the more sports-minded children out there, here is a list of some great local Summer Camps where sports is the name of the game. 

KYJO's Big B.A.N.G. Weekend "Believe & Achieve" FREE Football Clinic

Free football clinic for kids? Yes! That's right.  

KYJO in association with Fresno State Club Red and Athletic Performance will host the largest free football clinic in Central California at the Bulldog Stadium. Hundreds of students around the Valley will have the chance to experience pro level training skills strategically designed to build character and lay a strong athletic foundation. 

On Saturday, July 16th will be KYJO's Big B.A.N.G. Weekend "Believe & Achieve" FREE Football Clinic for  students in 4th-8th grades. The day provides an opportunity for children who may not be able to afford to participate in a football camp. This special day allows children to not only meet, but be mentored by top NFL and Division I football players and learn skills they can use on and off the field. All football participants will be provided a free lunch and t-shirt.

When: July 16th, 2016

Event Begins: 9:00am – 1:00pm: Football Clinic

Where: Fresno State Bulldog Stadium
1600 E Bulldog Lane
Fresno, CA 93710


Walk-up Registrations: 8:00am – 8:30am (If capacity has not been reached)

Junior Triathlon Club

(559) 905-9473

8839 North Cedar Avenue, PMB 41
Fresno, CA

iCAN Junior Triathlon Team is composed of  athletes of all sizes, ages, and abilities. Some of these individuals may be experienced youth and junior triathletes, while others may be participants of other sports, and some have never been involved in sports and are participating in triathlon for the first time. The focus is; creating a safe, fun, encouraging, and inspiring team environment, in which athletes can learn, train, and compete in the sport of triathlon.  Triathletes train to their age appropriate developmental stage, current conditioning, experience, and skill level, to accomplish their individual goals.

Races: Triathletes have the option to compete in any of the scheduled races for each Session and enter other races that they choose or as their coach recommends.

Session Cost: $395.00 per athlete (30 training’s, 5.5 hours weekly for 10 weeks). Cost doesn’t include race entry fees and travel. For flexible training you can purchase a Triathlon Training Card for $200.00. This gives you 10 training’s. The triathlon training card may be used for Session I and II of the current calendar year only. Daily training is available for $25.00 per training.

Prerequisites: Athletes should be proficient in the freestyle stroke.  You must have a bike in good operating condition and a good pair of running shoes.

Youth: Ages 6-12 and Junior 13-18: In this group of entry level athletes, the inherent emphasis is on safety, fun, and fundamentals. 
Prerequisite: Athlete should be proficient in the freestyle stroke.  Must have a bike in good operating condition.

Youth Elite: Ages 13-15: This goal-oriented group of triathletes usually has several years of training and racing experience. While still in a developmental stage, these triathletes are mastering swim, bike, and run techniques, building base, and speed to advance in future years.

Junior Elite: Ages 16-19: This higher and usually more experienced level of goal oriented triathletes has usually developed from the Youth Elite and has been training and racing for a number of years.  They are furthering their mastery of swim, bike, and run techniques and are training specifically for future opportunities within the highly competitive ranks of national and international competition.  

Gymnastics Beat Camps

(559) 271-9400

Gymnastics Beat Inc
5620 W. Barstow #103
Fresno, CA 93722

Gymnastics for older children is available in a variety of formats including recreational classes and competitive team participation. This allows all children to participate in the sport regardless of their size and/or ability. Each child can advance at his/her own speed as he/she learns new skills. Gymnastics not only increases strength, grace and flexibility, but also encourages hard work, discipline and determination. 

For kids ages 6 and up. In our recreational classes, your child will explore the basics of gymnastics on every apparatus as they progress and become proficient in basic core gymnastics skills. Our recreational classes are non-competitive and are designed to build strength, flexibility and self-esteem. Students will be evaluated every three months to check their progress and see if they pass to the next level. 

For more information please see their schedule.
  • Skills learned through level 2 Gymnastics per USA Gymnastics regulations
  • Students will practice and learn skills on all Olympic Events
Ages: Varied 

Times: See their camp & classes schedule

Cost: Visit their website

Nike Golf Camps


River Park Golf Center
41445 Avenue 9 

Fresno, CA 93720

US Sports Camps is proud to once again host junior golf camps in Fresno, CA this summer! River Park Golf Center, a top-50 practice facility in the United States, offers half-day camps to junior golfers of all ability levels. Enroll in camp today and get better this summer!


Our half-day programs are available for golfers ages 7 to 15 of all ability levels. Enjoy three hours of instruction each day under the direction of our staff, led by Director of Golf Gary Green, which incorporates focus on all aspects of the game including putting, chipping, pitching, and full swing.

On the final day of each camp session, Nike campers participate in nine holes of course play followed by a pizza party a graduation ceremony. During course play, campers have the opportunity to implement what they've learned throughout the week in scoring environment. Staff members will supervise campers during course play and help with shot selection, course management and rules. 


  • Instruction with low student to teacher ratio from experienced golf professionals
  • Three hours of morning instruction covering putting, chipping, pitching and full swing
  • Course play under staff supervision on the final day of camp
  • Nike amenity package including hat, dozen golf balls, camp workbook, water bottle, and bag tag
  • A healthy and positive learning environment designed to help every camper get better
  • View more details »
Ages: 7 to 15

DatesJUN. 27 - JUN. 30, 2016, JUL. 11 - JUL. 14, 2016JUL. 25 - JUL. 28, 2016AUG. 8 - AUG. 11, 2016

Cost: $199.00

The Grizzlies Baseball Camp

(559) 320-2547

Chukchansi Park
1800 Tulare St
Fresno, CA 93721

Want to learn from the pros? The Grizzlies Baseball Camp is the best place in the Central San Joaquin Valley to improve your skills in a fun environment with professional baseball players as instructors!

Boys and girls, ages 5 to 14, will have the opportunity to work with and meet Fresno Grizzlies players (Houston Astros prospects) and coaches during the two-day Fresno Grizzlies Baseball Camp on June 24th-25th, 2016 at Chukchansi Park. Day one will include a stretch-run-throw, offense and defense fundamentals, and hitting, while day two will include pitching and catching instruction, baseball games, autographs and an awards ceremony. Instructors include Grizzlies manager Tony DeFrancesco, Grizzlies coaches, and a group of Grizzlies players.

To register, please download the registration form and email it to Whitney Campbell at with the payment information filled out. The form and payment can also be mailed to ATTN: Whitney Campbell 1800 Tulare Street Fresno, CA 93721 or faxed to 559.264.0795 ATTN: Whitney Campbell. 

Ages: 5 to 14

Cost: $100 per camper

Get On Stage

If your child has been waiting to get in the limelight, here are a list of Summer Camps sure to please! 

The Artist in Me Camp

(559) 367-2084

The Artist In Me
1085 E Herndon Ave, # 108
Fresno, CA

The Artist in Me Camp meets all 5 days that week from 9am to 12pmThe young artists will create four 16x20 acrylic on canvas paintings, 2 air dry clay animal scuptures of your choice and paint them, and then create crafts. 

The best age group to participate is 6 years old and up. At 6 years old, they have good hand and eye coordination and can pay attention in a school like setting for two hours with step by step instructions.

See videos of their previous camps: VIDEO

Ages: 6 and up

Times: 9:00am to 12:00pm; See Schedule 

Cost: $125.00 per seat

California Arts Academy Camps

(559) 222-6539

California Arts Academy
4750 N. Blackstone Ave.
Fresno, CA 93726

Toddler Arts Camp
Our Toddler Arts Camp is a gentle introduction to the summer camp experience. Classes are smaller and the students experience fewer teacher changes. Quiet activity time is incorporated into the camp to reserve energy and focus for the learning sessions. Classes include Gymnastics, Art, Music, Dance, Acting, and Crafts.

Ages: 2-3

Tuition: $275

Preschool Arts Camp
Joyful, fun classes teach movement and expression. We stress good manners, polite behavior, and we always teach our campers to be "cool, kind kids!" Campers will enjoy a morning of activities that include Creative Dance, Art, Crafts, Gymnastics, Music, Singing, Drama, & Etiquette. 

Ages: 3-6

Tuition: $250

Talent Team
Our Talent Team is one of the most ambitious summer camps in Fresno. Students enjoy classes in Acting, Dance, Singing, Stagecraft, Music, & Etiquette. Their skills are immediately put to use in creating a staged drama complete with sets, props, and costumes. Each 2 week camp will culminate in a performance for family and friends. Each student will gain valuable skills and have a great time!

Ages: 7-13

Tuition: $275

For more information on other Summer Camp classes they offer, visit their website

Fresno Art Museum's Summer Art/Theatre Academy

559-441-4221 x 101

Fresno Art Museum
2233 North First Street
Fresno, CA 93703

Their workshops are taught by working professional artists who bring their special talents and knowledge to every session they teach. All of their teaching artists have had training and experience in working with children or are paired with an artist with teaching experience. All strive to transfer their own love of the arts to each of their students in a lively, engaging, and exciting way.

Workshop themes include:

  • Printmaking/Bookmaking with artist and printmaker Linda Zupcic
  • Exploring Fiber Art - be inspired by Fiber Art Master Works exhibition
  • Drawing From Your Head & Comic Book Design with concept artist/illustrator Andrea Ruiz, formerly with LucasFilm Animation (ages 10 to 16 only)
  • Mural Making Workshop with Eric Gonzalez, muralist, graffiti artist, educator, and founder of the Urbanists Collective - help create a mural that will be shown in a main gallery at FAM during the Fall 2016 exhibition season 
  • Drawing & Painting with FAM teaching artist staff 
  • Costume Creation - in the Trashique tradition - create your own unique Halloween costume
Click here to download a registration form.

Ages: 8 to 16

Times: July 11th to August 5th

Fresno Pacific University Summer Music Camp


Fresno Pacific University
1717 S. Chestnut Ave.
Fresno, CA  93702 

For students entering grades 6 -12, ages 11 - 19 FPU summer music camp students study with outstanding university music faculty, students and other Central Valley professionals for a week of intensive music making and learning about music. We seek the development of personal responsibility, including effective practice habits, mutual respect and conceptual education, as opposed to mere rote learning.

Ages: 11 - 19

Cost: Resident camper (tuition, room, board, insurance): $515 
Day camper (tuition, insurance): $320
Resident camper, early bird: $490 
Day camper, early bird: $295 
Siblings: First camper pays the full fee; subsequent siblings attending together receive a 10% discount.

their website for a full list of programs offered.