Cool Family Camps
Concordia Language Villages
Put those high school Spanish lessons to work. At this 850-acre educational camp, you'll stay in one of 15 "villages," each modeled after a different country. It's immersion-style instruction, so the counselors speak exclusively in the language campers are studying. You can sign up for programs in Chinese, French, German, Spanish, and more.
Your Bunk: Two to three families share a dorm-like cabin.
Book the Trip: Sessions run from June through August; families with kids under 18 are $475 per person, kids over 18 are $595 per person. Go to concordialanguagevillages.org or call 800-222-4750.For Outdoor Adventurers
Cheley Colorado Camps
Estes Park, Colorado
This five-day camp is great for active families. You can hike to mountaintops and waterfalls, go horseback riding through the backcountry, catch and cook rainbow trout, or learn to rock climb. Before lights out, campers cozy up to the fireside for music, storytelling, and skits.
Your Bunk: Stay in covered wagons just as the pioneers did.
Book the Trip: The camp runs from August 10 to 15. Adults and kids over 9 are $750 each, kids 9 and under cost $450 each. Go to cheley.com or call 970-586-4244.For Water Babies
Camp Sea Gull/Seafarer
Arapahoe, North Carolina
This splashy camp, on the banks of the Neuse River, offers sailing, motorboating, waterskiing, wake boarding, tubing, and more. Landlubbers can play golf or tennis, try archery classes, or ride the zip line. There are even shark-tooth hunting excursions.
Your Bunk: A private cabin.
Book the Trip: Fees vary from $71 per person for a weekend to $652 per person for a week. Go to seagull-seafarer.org or call 252-249-1212.For Born Entertainers
Cazadero Performing Arts Camp
The spotlight is always on at this camp near the Russian River. You can take rock and jazz lessons or learn about sound production, circus arts, and clowning. Also available: photography, painting, and tie-dye classes, improv and mystery theater workshops, and nature walks.
Your Bunk: Tents, cabins, or dorms -- or your own RV.
Book the Trip: Two one-week sessions in August; adults are $700, kids 6 to 18 are $640, 3 to 5 are $400, 2 and under free. Go to cazfamilycamp.org or call 510-658-3257.For Astronaut Wannabes
Parent/Child Space Camp
To the moon! Or at least to Alabama, where you and your little Neil Armstrong will feel the thrill of space flight. Designed for kids between the ages of 7 and 12 and at least one parent, this camp jam-packs your days with rocket building and launching, a stint in the gravity chair, a realistic shuttle mission, and more. If your taste runs more Top Gun, you can also try the pilot/copilot program for simulated jet-fighter-pilot training sessions, including land- and water- survival challenges.
Your Bunk: A dormitory.
Book the Trip: Sessions run year-round. A three-day camp is $798 per pair and a four-day camp is $898. Go to spacecamp.com or call 800-637-7223.For Young Yogis
Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health
Family weekends at Kripalu offer separate yoga sessions for adults and kids, so you can try out classes at different levels. At the CircusYoga family retreat you'll add big-top skills like juggling, plate-spinning, tightrope-walking, and acrobatics to your yoga training. Crave a change from downward-facing dog and warrior pose? Head outside for swimming, hiking, and om-ing on the lakefront beach.
Your Bunk: Choose from rooms with queen-size beds or bunks.
Book the Trip: CircusYoga is held June 27 to July 2. From $355 for kids under 12 and $715 for adults. Go to kripalu.org or call 800-741-7353.
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, May 2010.
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