Winter Break Fun

Posted Friday, December 18th, 2009

Kids make new friends and memories at winter camp
Kidsguide Magazine Online
Dec. 17, 2009

We’re almost at the homestretch! In Part 3 of The Buzz’s Holiday Survival Guide, we help you find the ideal winter camp for your tyke, tween and teen.

Not only are winter camps lifesavers for the busy parent, they are also a productive way for kids to spend their two-week school vacation. Most camps often fashion their activities – sometimes even menus! – around fun themes to maximize the experience for participants.

Here are some stand-out programs that caught our eye. (To learn what else is out there, make sure to check with your city’s recreation department, schools and local YMCAs.)

Alpert JCC Kamp Komaroff (Grades 1-6) & Winter Break Play Days (Ages 2-7). Parents have the flexibility of enrolling their child for one day or for the camps’ 6-day duration. Activities for Kamp Komaroff campers include filming their own mini-movies, the science of snow – including how to make fake snow – as well as an early New Year’s themed day complete with floats (the ice cream-based confection, and the kind that coasts down a parade route). Younger children in Winter Break Days will embark on kid-friendly archaeological dino digs, “travel” to Israel aboard a prop plane, and learn how to be mini-chefs. Dec. 21-23, Dec. 28-30. Sign up for one or more days, $40-$50 per day. (562) 426-7601, ext. 1090.

City of Anaheim Youth Winter Basketball Camp (Ages 7-13). Score! For $35, girls and boys for one week learn new basketball skills at the West Anaheim Youth Center Gymnasium. Beginner and intermediate players will work to improve their skill sets from the city recreation department’s professional and patient staff. Bring water and your game face! Dec. 21-24, 2-hour sessions, $35. (714) 765-4311,

Marine Science Camps. Regional institutions Aquarium of the Pacific and Cabrillo Marine Aquarium have three sea-riffic Winter Camp programs for preschool to elementary school-aged kids.

Children ages 5-6 in the Aquarium’s Sea Squirt Camp for three days learn about birds, underwater critters and marine mammals through games, aquarium visits, biofact discovery touch and crafts. Winter Day Campers (Grades 2-4) learn more advanced topics such as winter migrations, polar bears and cold habitats. In addition to aquarium visits, crafts and biofact touch sessions, they’ll also conduct behind-the-scenes animal observation.
Dec. 21-23, Dec. 28-30. $115-$150 per session. (562) 961-1630.

Meanwhile, kids enrolled in Cabrillo’s Winter Seafari Camp will join the San Pedro-based aquarium’s enthusiastic staff as they explore the seashore. The camp is split in morning and afternoon sessions for Grades K-2 and grades 3-6. Other marine-related activities include ocean projects and crab-fishing. Dec. 28-31. 3-hour session, $68. (310) 548-7562.

Team OC Fun Winter Camp 2009 (Ages 3-12). Jump around! Team OC Fun offers two 3-day Winter Camps this month. The energetic folks at this Costa Mesa-based cheer, gymastics and dance gym will blend gymnastics, cheer, dance, trampoline, sports and art to keep your child’s days full of, well, fun! Kids will also have access to the establishment’s Rockwall, Zipline and mega-bounce house. Dec. 21-23, Dec. 28-30. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., $150. (714) 444-1144,