50 All-Star Family Camps
It's just like traditional summer camp, but adults are allowed. That means meals in a dining hall, campfire sing-alongs and the chance to meet a lot of neat people. Pass the bug juice!
Idyllwild Arts Summer Program, Idyllwild
Creative camp at 5,000 feet in the San Jacinto Mountains. Classes on digital photography, wood carving, yoga, painting, and creative writing. Kids rehearse and perform a musical. LODGING: Dorm rooms with private bathrooms sleep four on bunks. FOOD: Three buffets daily. CONTACT: June 30-July 6; $2,900; 951/659-2171 ext. 2365, idyllwildarts.org.
Lark Camp, Mendocino
On 700 acres in Mendocino Woodlands State Park. More than 100 daily workshops in world music and dance, from Cajun accordion to Renaissance madrigals. LODGING: Redwood cabins (with no electricity) with shared bathhouse sleep four; RV and tent sites. FOOD: Three cafeteria-style meals daily (with à la carte options); 24-hour coffeehouse. CONTACT: July 27-Aug. 4; $2,768; 707/964-4826, larkcamp.com.
Montecito Sequoia Family Vacation Camp, Sequoia National Forest
At 7,500 feet, between Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Watercolor classes, tennis, archery, riflery, swimming pool, horseback riding, waterskiing on private lake. Theme nights (luau, Western roundup, etc.). LODGING: Lodge rooms with private bath sleep 2 to 11; wood cabins with electricity and shared bathhouse sleep four to eight. FOOD: Three buffets daily; weekly prime rib and king crab dinner; full bar nightly. CONTACT: June 18-Sept. 3; $3,570; 800/227-9900, mslodge.com.
Shady Creek Family Camp, Nevada City
On 130 acres in the Sierra Nevada foothills. High and low ropes course, excursions to a historic gold mine, basketball and volleyball taught by university coaches. Limbo contest, treasure hunt, outdoor movie night, wine tasting, talent show. LODGING: Wood cabins with electricity, decks, and shared bathhouse sleep four; adobe-dome cabins with electricity, patio, and shared bathhouse sleep four; lodge rooms with shared bathroom sleep two to six. FOOD: Three buffets daily (vegetarian meals available); steak cookouts. CONTACT: June 17-Aug. 25; $2,650; 800/826-7310, shadycreekcamp.com.
Wonder Valley Family Camp, Sanger
In the foothills of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Petting zoo, skateboard park, go-kart and minibike tracks. Sailing, waterskiing, horseback riding, tennis, ropes course. ACA accredited. LODGING: Hotel-style rooms sleep seven. FOOD: Three buffets daily; Thursday is parents' night, with child care and themes such as prime rib dinner. CONTACT: Aug. 5-11, Aug. 12-18; $4,766; 800/821-2801, wondervalleyfamilycamp.com.
Cheley Colorado Camps, Estes Park
Two camps adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park and Roosevelt National Forest, at 8,000 feet. Horseback riding, rock climbing, fishing, skit nights, talent show, archery, riflery. ACA accredited. LODGING: Thirty-two covered wagons sleep four; shared bathhouse. FOOD: Three family-style meals daily; snacks throughout the day. CONTACT: Aug. 7-12; $2,700; 800/226-7386, cheley.com.
Colorado Heritage Camps, Denver
Ten camps for multicultural families with internationally adopted children. Each camp celebrates a different culture, from African/Caribbean to Vietnamese. Teachers and counselors are the same ethnicity as the kids. LODGING: Lodge rooms with private bath sleep six on bunks; cabins with kitchen and shared bath sleep 7 to 12; RV and tent sites. FOOD: Buffet breakfasts and dinners; culture-specific cafeteria lunches. CONTACT: June 21-Sept. 3; $680; 303/320-4234, heritagecamps.org.
Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Cortez
Near Mesa Verde National Park. Excavate Pueblo Indian artifacts alongside archaeologists, learn Native American history, throw traditional Pueblo spears. LODGING: Navajo-style log cabins with electricity and shared bathhouse sleep up to five. FOOD: Three cafeteria-style meals daily (vegetarian options). CONTACT: Aug. 12-18; $3,800 (plus $85 membership fee; kids must be 12 or older); 800/422-8975, crowcanyon.org.
Club Getaway, Kent
On 300 acres in the foothills of the Berkshires. Waterskiing, water trampoline, sailing, and banana-boat rides. Fitness program, wine tasting, cooking classes, golf, trapeze, mountain biking, rock climbing. Movie theater. LODGING: Wood cabins with A/C and private bath sleep two to four; towels and linens provided (housekeepers clean rooms and change linens). FOOD: Breakfast and lunch buffets and restaurant-style dinner (with wine); full bar. CONTACT: Aug. 20-23, Aug. 24-26; $2,412; 877/746-7529, clubgetaway.com.