Nothing is better than having a week off from school. If you're a kid. For moms and dads, keeping kids from bouncing off the walls can be a chore. So, in hopes of finding fun for kids and peace of mind for parents, we've assembled a sampling of day camps and kid-focused activities to make spring break memorable. Some camps offer day care before and after camp hours. Some have scholarships available.
The Animal Humane Society is perfect for little ones who love pets. Attendees can interact with fluffy friends, learn about animals, play games and make crafts. April 7, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Grades 3-8. $65.
Looking for a wild spring break? Extreme Animals – School's Out Camp at Minnesota Zoo lets kids learn about animals through games, art, stories and activities. March 27-31, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Grades 1-3. $340 or $290 for members.
Nurture and nature
Whether your little ones are interested in critters, crafts, crops or cooking, Spring Break Camps at Dodge Nature Center have something for all in its 10 different day camps in the last week of March. March 27-30, 8:15 a.m.-3 p.m. Grades K-8. $60-65.
Nature Day Camp at Osprey Wilds Environmental Learning Center lets kids enjoy what nature has to offer, including learning about changing seasons and exploring woods, creeks and prairies. Lunch and two snacks a day are provided. March 6-10, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Grades K-3. Pay-what-you-can fee, $300 per camper suggested.
Fun and games
School Break Day Camp–Treasure Hunt by Camp Fire Minnesota is pure gold. Kids will hunt for hidden treasure and make a special chest to store their findings. Other activities include archery, snowshoeing and arts and crafts. April 7, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Ages 5-14. $75.
Spring Break Camps at The Works Museum invite kids to design and build a city of no limits at LEGO City of the Future day camp. Flying cars and rollercoaster roads are accepted, and all imaginative ideas are encouraged. March 22 or April 5, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Ages 5-12. $110 or $99 for members.
Every week, St. Paul's Union Depot offers Games Galore, a chance for the whole family to play popular games on a giant scale. They supply super-sized chess, Connect Four and Jenga — to name just a few — and also invite families to bring their favorite games from home. Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. All ages. Free.
If your child is a mover and a groover, try the all-day camps at Active Solutions. All-day gym camp offers sports, recreational activities and fitness routines. Highlights include walking field trips to Lake Harriet and Minnehaha Creek. Sign up for as many or few days as you wish. April 5-6, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Grades K-5. $64 per day.
Calling all elite youth hockey players: Apex Skating High Performance Hockey Spring Break Camp includes four hours of on-ice skills training, an Apex Skating jersey, and hydration supplements. Come ready to improve your skating technique, movements and skills. March 11-12. Ages 12-16. $200.
School Break Camps at Camp Fire Minnesota offer archery, arts and adventure — oh, my! Spend the week off from school with quintessential day camp activities. March 27-31, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Ages 5-14. $375.
Ready to be hands on? At Sewing Workshop at Fiber Works MPLS kids, tweens and teens can learn how to sew and create something uniquely their own. Sign up for one day or several. March 6-10 or April 3-7 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Ages 8-17. $90 per day.
Spring Break Camps at Minnesota Children's Museum include Sights From Under Water, in which kids create sculptures based off the museum's Shipwreck Adventures, an exhibit that models a sunken ship in Lake Superior. April 3-6, 1-4 p.m. Ages 6-9. $190 or $180 for members.
Twin Cities YMCAs have five different Spring Break camps between March and April at Spring Break at Camp Heritage (March 6-10), Camp St. Croix (March 13-17), Camp Kici Yapi at Gathering Pines, (March 20-24 and April 3-7) and Camp Spring Lake, March 27-31. Activities vary from camp to camp but include indoor and outdoor activities that build skills and self-esteem. Times vary. Grades K-6. $60 per day.
Mary Ellen Ritter is a University of Minnesota student reporter on assignment for Star Tribune.