The Best Summer Camps in Northern Virginia

If you’re like me, as a parent you are eagerly anticipating the start of summer; I am just envisioning my children’s laughter while we make unforgettable memories, staying up late and sleeping in. Amidst the myriad of activities available, one timeless tradition stands out—summer camps in Northern Virginia. These camps play a pivotal role in fostering personal growth, creating lasting friendships, and providing a haven for fun and exploration.

One of the key benefits of enrolling your child in a summer camp is the unparalleled opportunity for personal development. Beyond the classroom, children have the chance to explore new interests and hobbies, unlocking hidden talents and passions. Whether it’s arts and crafts, outdoor adventures, or sports, these camps provide a safe and nurturing environment for self-discovery.

Second, the social aspect of summer camps cannot be overstated. In a world increasingly dominated by screens, Northern Virginia’s summer camps offer a breath of fresh air, encouraging face-to-face interactions and the forging of genuine connections. Lifelong friendships often bloom in the midst of shared experiences and interests, creating a sense of camaraderie that extends far beyond the summer months.

Beyond the aforementioned perks, summer camps provide a valuable respite for parents. This allows parents to balance work and family life while ensuring their children are making the most of their summer break. I’m not going to lie – I absolutely take some time for self care during a midsummer camp.

The importance of summer camps in Northern Virginia goes far beyond just keeping children occupied during the summer. It’s about creating a holistic experience that contributes to their personal growth, social development, and appreciation for the world around them.

Today I am sharing a few of my favorites, thanks in large part to the incredibly comprehensive list published by Northern Virginia Magazine. I reached out and asked each camp to provide a description for you to scan.

Sportrock is thrilled to offer award-winning single-day and week-long summer camp programming, indoors and outside!

A brief description of some of the best summer camps in Northern Virginia, as published by Northern Virginia magazine.

Explore movement, theater and visual art at Jane Franklin Dance Summer Camps. Participate in movement classes, art projects, and creative assignments during week-long camps.  By the end of the week you’ll be on stage and be a star!

Be inspired by tasty treats in a unique half-day experience for younger kids, Camp Cupcake, or explore the unknown in UFO No!  In The Big Meow discover your inner cat.  Examine connections in Spirit Animals.  Be inspired by tropical animals, plants, and climate in Rainforest Craft and Create.   Make movement for the camera or for a specific site in Dance in Places. Enjoy a week or more of fun and creativity in a safe, inclusive space.

June 24 – 16, 2024, Monday-Friday, Extended Day AM and PM Options. To enroll and for information: or 703-933-1111

Scholarship, Counselor-In-Training and Volunteer Options.

A brief description of some of the best summer camps in Northern Virginia, as published by Northern Virginia magazine.

Mad Science Camps offer hands-on discovery and exploration of scientific principles. Your child will be able to touch, see, hear, and smell what science is really all about! Campers create a variety of take-home projects while exploring how science affects the world around us.

A brief description of some of the best summer camps in Northern Virginia, as published by Northern Virginia magazine.

Here at Tysons Art Center, we believe in helping our students develop basic skills in visual arts and encourage them to explore their artistic creativity. A strong foundation of artistic skills can help students become more creative and confident artists in the future.

During our camp, students will receive extensive instruction in using various mediums such as oil pastels, soft pastels, acrylic paint, colored pencils, and watercolor. They will learn color-mixing techniques, the proper use of materials, and the importance of shapes, lines, and shading in their artwork.

Whether your child is a beginner or an experienced artist, our camp welcomes artists of all levels to join us for a summer of creativity and fun!

A brief description of some of the best summer camps in Northern Virginia, as published by Northern Virginia magazine.

Summer Cove is a specialty camp program specifically designed with middle schoolers in mind. We provide a variety of experiences that cater to rising 6th – 9th grade students, providing them with opportunities to learn and grow. With camps, like how to survive a zombie apocalypse and cupcake wars, our programs truly run the gamut of every interest and passion. 

A brief description of some of the best summer camps in Northern Virginia, as published by Northern Virginia magazine.

The Mason Space Exploration Center camp will inspire the next generation to “launch” their curiosity and creativity about space. Campers will get fun and engaging hands on training in STEM activities from experts in working with programming and electronics (arduinos), generative AI tools like ChatGPT, mathematics, the physics of motion and gravity, creating a scale model of the Solar System, touring the 2nd largest on campus Observatory on the East Coast, a small-sat development lab and radio dish, using a Solar Telescope, experience robotic food delivery, and much more! Over the course of a week, students will plan a launch, and “visit” the Moon, Mars, the outer Solar System and explore Exoplanets.

A brief description of some of the best summer camps in Northern Virginia, as published by Northern Virginia magazine.

Pinecrest Pavilion offers rising K-6th grade campers a fun-filled day of in-person play and learning, with a mix of indoor and outdoor activities, arts and crafts, STEAM experiments and nature discovery, games and puzzles, making and building, and more! Preschool campers will enjoy a morning of in-person fun as described above (with after-care available as needed). Pinecrest Pavilion is open to children who are rising kindergarten through rising 6th grade in the upcoming school year for full-day programming and after-care until 6 p.m.. Preschool camp is open to children who will turn age 4 by September 30 of the upcoming school year (or who attend Pinecrest School preschool already), who are toilet-trained, and who have previously attended a preschool; preschool camp is morning-only with after-care is available until 6 p.m. Learn more here.

A brief description of some of the best summer camps in Northern Virginia, as published by Northern Virginia magazine.

NYSA Summer Camps offer a variety of fun and creative art camps in NOVA. We provide various art camps including fine art, sewing, comics, digital art, animation, and pottery camps over a span of 10 weeks from June 17th to August 16th.

Camp Hours:
9:00 am – 3:30 pm

Extended Care:
Morning: 8:00 am – 9:00 am
Afternoon: 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Camp Fees: $285 to $510 per week

For more information, please visit our website:

A brief description of some of the best summer camps in Northern Virginia, as published by Northern Virginia magazine.

Speech of Cake Summer Programs offer a delightful blend of enriching, play-based speech, language, and literacy activities, creating a vibrant learning environment for rising kindergarteners to fifth graders each summer. Through engaging activities and interactive sessions, children are immersed in a supportive setting that nurtures their communication and literacy skills while fostering a love for learning. The programs are carefully crafted to be both educational and enjoyable, providing a balance that keeps young minds eager to participate and grow. From developing foundational language skills to enhancing literacy through creative expression, Speech of Cake Summer Programs empower children to thrive both academically and socially, setting them on a path to success. Please contact our Client Concierge, Rebecca Chadwick, to sign up today!

A brief description of some of the best summer camps in Northern Virginia, as published by Northern Virginia magazine.

Camp Sarraka is all about getting kids outside, running around, and working together in an inclusive environment that makes every camper feel special. Each day is packed with sports (like street hockey and Capture the Flag), art projects (like T-shirt designing and comic book making), and creative challenges (like team obstacle course relay races) that are perfect for kids of all athletic and artistic abilities. Campers will be moving, creating, and having so much fun that they won’t even realize they’re learning about leadership, teamwork, sportsmanship, and treating others with kindness and respect.

Check out this video to get a sense of what it’s like to spend a day at Camp Sarraka:

Check out this video to hear parents share what makes Camp Sarraka so special:

To register for this summer and get more information, head to We can’t wait for you to join us!

A brief description of some of the best summer camps in Northern Virginia, as published by Northern Virginia magazine.

Boolean Girl, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is educating girls and underrepresented youth to code, build, invent, and animate. We provide girls-only and co-ed summer camps in an inclusive, welcoming environment. With separate programs for elementary and middle school students, your child will learn computer science and engineering fundamentals through a series of unique projects, hands-on challenges, and play. Our programs include coding, robotics, AI, engineering, teamwork, and digital citizenship, all taught by rockstar instructors. At Boolean Girl Summer Camp, your child will learn coding and engineering  while making new friends and having fun!

Grades 3-5: Learn Scratch coding with four camp options! Start with Storytelling in Scratch and progress through Building Games and AI.

Grade 5-9: Choose from two engineering camps: traditional robotics (things that move), and wearable machines.

Grades 6-8: Learn more advanced coding with Python, Web Development and Artificial Intelligence.

Camps are held at Marymount University in Arlington (Ballston). They run June through August, Monday through Friday, 9AM-3PM with before and after care available. Learn more and sign up here:

A brief description of some of the best summer camps in Northern Virginia, as published by Northern Virginia magazine.

Cupcakes and Lace Sewing Studio offers year round sewing classes, private lessons, school holiday camps, birthday parties, Girl Scout Badge Classes and craft/sewing kits. They are located in Aldie, VA. 

Each summer they offer tons of fun sewing and crafting summer camps! Classes, camps and lessons are offered for age 5 to age 18.  This summer camp themes include Fashionista 4 day camp where kids/teens can come make fun wearable accessories like purses, bags, skirts and more. They also offer many one day camps with other fun themes like Dollhouse Painting Camp, American Girl Doll Beach BBQ Crafting Camp, Beach Bag + Sunhat Camp and more! Some camps are for small groups of 4 kids and some are for 8-12 kids. No prior sewing or crafting experience is needed in order to participate. They also offer sewing and craft kits “made to order” and deliver to free to Aldie and for a small delivery fee to many surrounding areas. So if you are far away from their studio, or unable to attend camps you can have fun with kits at home.  

C&L loves to inspire kiddos and teens through art and sewing!   You can check out their full list of camps, dates, pricing and registration online at:

Unlock a summer of discovery at TIC Summer Camp! 

Enrich your child’s journey with creativity and collaboration. From coding to athletics, art to technology, TIC Camp sparks curiosity and builds confidence and growth. Our safe, inclusive space is led by a staff of passionate mentors, many who were once campers. With over 40 years of excellence, three convenient locations in the DMV, and a perfect balance of body and mind, TIC Summer Camp is where possibilities unfold. Register at using the code Fun@TIC2024 and receive a $100 discount at our McLean, VA location!

Summer camp at the Little Theatre is all about encouragingchildren to use their imaginations. Through play and theater, campers improve skills they will use for the rest of their lives, including critical thinking, collaboration, and problem solving. Performing arts camps are excellent for building confidence and verbal skills. We provide an environment where campers feel safe to share their ideas and take risks. Our camps give children the opportunity to bring their ideas to life, whether it’s through writing their own stories, creating new characters, putting on a show, or arts and crafts.

As a former camper and counselor and the current summer camp coordinator, I have so many fond memories of summersspent at LTA and valued the community most of all. I used to look forward to seeing my camp friends, finding out which musical numbers I’d be learning, and playing games year-round! As a counselor, I really appreciated the community building exercises during arrival and dismissal. Coming together before splitting off into various camps for games, sing-alongs, and silliness makes everyone excited for the day ahead.

Something we consider important is time outside, and many of our camps take advantage of the theater’s Shakespeare Garden. Campers eat lunch there, and we conduct activities outside whenever possible. Children love to learn more about the herbs and get an opportunity for hands-on learning, and we love to think up creative ways to take advantage of this outdoor space. 

We understand that being in the spotlight can be intimidating for newcomers to the arts, and strive to create an environment where children feel safe to try new things. One of our favorite testimonials from a parent reads: “We liked that camp was an open space for the kids to share creative ideas freely. It’s important for kids to experience situations outside the home where they can and should speak up, and to know their ideas will be considered and they won’t be criticized.”

Our Facebook page:

Registration link:

Will you be enrolling in any of these Northern Virginia summer camps? Any favorites that I missed? Tell me in the comments!

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Hi! I'm Blaire.

I'm a beach bum from New York, living life with a cup of coffee in one hand and a camera in the other.




Blaire is a premier Northern Virginia photographer serving: Great Falls; Fairfax; McLean; Arlington; Vienna; Clifton; Alexandria; Ashburn; Oakton; Chantilly; Round Hill; Hamilton; Aldie; Herndon; Haymarket; Manassas; Springfield; Bristow; Sterling; Broad Run; Purcellville; Reston; Gainesville; Burke; Leesburg; Falls Church; Warrenton; Lovettsville; Centreville; Dunn Loring; Waterford; Paeonian Springs; and Washington DC.


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