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Happy Campers: Are you ready for some summer fun?

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Posted: Monday, May 29, 2017 11:30 am

It's that time again! School's out and kids are ready to enjoy the long summer days ... but after a week or two of relaxation, maybe the days start seeming a little too long. Here are a few ways to fill the summer vacation with new friends, fun and learning new skills.

At Hutchins Street Square

Once again, Hutchins Street Square will be hosting several summer workshops for kids ages 6 and up.

“A few of them are repeats because they’ve been so popular,” said Krista Peterson, project coordinator with Lodi Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services. “We have the Lego Robotics Mindstorm, WizardBots and BattleBots.”

A new offering this year is Fashion Runway Tween Style, which will let kids design and draw outfits and accessories.

A filmmaking workshop is another favorite.

“What they’ll do is they’ll make a storytelling film, and they will go ahead and develop characters, they’ll develop the script, they’ll shoot their own production,” Peterson said.

The workshops teach kids technical and artistic skills that will benefit them in high school and college, she said.

But more importantly, they’re fun.

“The kids just love them!” Peterson said.

  • Fashion Runway Tween Style Workshop: Ages 6 to 12. June 5 to 9.
  • IntelliBricks Lego Robotics: Mindstorm: Ages 9 to 14. June 12 to 14.
  • TeamWorkz Robotics Workshop: Ages 8 to 15. June 12 to 16.
  • IntelliBricks Lego Robotics: BattleBots Jr. Class: Ages 5 to 9. June 12 to 16.
  • Apps & Video Games Workshop: Ages 6 to 12. June 19 to 23.
  • IntelliBricks Lego Robotics: WizardBots Jr. Session1: Ages 5 to 9. June 19 to 23.
  • MovieWorkz Film Making Workshop: Ages 8 to 15. July 10 to 14.
  • IntelliBricks Lego Robotics: BattleBots Sr. Class: Ages 9 to 12. July 10 to 14.
  • IntelliBricks Lego Robotics: WizardBots Session 2: Ages 5 to 9. July 10 to 14.
  • Ocean Life Pastel Workshop: Ages 6 to 12. July 10 to 14.
  • Video Game Design Workshop: Ages 8 to 15. July 10 to 14.

For more information, including pricing, visit, call 209-333-6742, or pick up a Summer Activity Guide at the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services office at 230 W. Elm St.

The city also offers a number of one-day workshops and activities for kids and teens throughout the summer.

At Micke Grove Zoo

The zoo is offering four camps for kids from ages 5 to 11 throughout the summer, and each one has a unique theme.

The first week, Junior Zookeepers, starts on June 19. This first week is an introduction to what the animal care specialists at the zoo do, from a visit to the medical office to learning how to make the animals’ meals.

The next week, Zoo Detectives, switches from biology to forensic science.

“The whole week is focused on a mystery they must solve,” said Natalie Sauerland, education specialist for the zoo.

The kids will learn how scientists use fingerprints and other forensic techniques to solve a puzzle.

After a week off for the Independence Day holiday, kids will return to test their creativity in Zoo Party Planners.

The zoo is celebrating its 60th anniversary in August.

“The campers will get to help in planning our party,” Sauerland said. They’ll help test out and choose games and activities for the celebration, as well as making enrichment items for the animals that will double as decorations.

The week of July 17 is when they can let loose and have fun during the Wild Water Play Days.

Each of the camps runs from 9 a.m. to noon, and kids receive a T-shirt, water bottle, and healthy snack every day. In addition to themed activities, they get to meet the education animals that are not in the main zoo, and learn about all of the zoo’s different residents.

For more information or to register, visit or call 209-331-2138.

At the World of Wonders Science Museum

At the WOW Museum in Downtown Lodi, kids can get hands on with chemistry, engineering and other types of science.

“So far, the most popular one is our second camp, which is Potent Potions,” said Jen Young, the museum’s educational program coordinator.

But each of the weeklong camps revolves around scientific concepts, he said.

“It’s just about a whole day of hands-on science and labwork,” he said.

First up from June 7 to 9 is the Jr. Super Science Sampler, for kids entering kindergarten or first grade in the fall. Unlike the other camps, this one is a short day more suited for the younger set, from 9 a.m. to noon, and costs $75 for WOW members and $90 for non-members.

Potent Potions — centered on chemistry and creating potions that fizz and pop from basic household materials — kicks off the week of June 12.

Campers in Mini Maker Mania, which kicks off June 19, will have a unique experience. That camp ends the day before the museum’s annual MakerFest, and kids will be able to design and create an exhibit for the public.

“They take a lot of pride in it,” Young said.

After a break for Independence Day, Science MagiCamp starts on July 10, where campers will deconstruct the science behind magic tricks and illusions.

Camp will wrap up the week of July 17 with a Super Science Sampler for the older kids.

The skills kids learn during the camps will give them hands-on lab experience that most don’t see until middle or high school.

“Every camp has an aspect of creativity and application,” Young said. “They’re going to be using that for the rest of their lives.”

With the exception of the Jr. Super Science Sampler, all of the camps are intended for kids ages 7 to 12, and run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The main camps cost $200 for WOW members and $230 for non-members, which includes the full week of camp and healthy snacks. Extended care, which begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m., is an extra $15 per day or $70 per week.

For more information, call 209-368-0969 or visit

Get outside and get active

Not interested in a summer camp focused on science or tech? There are plenty of options for athletes, too.

Lodi’s Temple Baptist Church will be the home base for a few camps more active kids are sure to enjoy.

First up is the Mega Sports Camp. This week-long sports clinic will be from June 5 to 19, and will allow kids from first through sixth grade to explore soccer, basketball or cheerleading. Older kids can also try some baseball.

The camp will be held from 9 a.m. to noon each day, and trained teens and adults from Temple Baptist will act as coaches.

The camp costs $25, which includes snacks, sports instruction, Christian-themed sports stories and a T-shirt. Email Dottie at dottie [at] or call 209-369-1948 to register.

Challenger Sports will host a British soccer camp at Temple Baptist from 9 a.m. to noon each day from June 19 to 23. Experienced international coaches will teach kids from ages 5 to 14 the finer points of the game. World Cup-style games where kids are assigned to “countries” will be held each day.

The weeklong camp costs $134, which includes a replica jersey while supplies last. For more information, visit

San Joaquin Delta College will also be hosting sports camps for kids.

Delta’s camps will include basketball and soccer, and are open to boys and girls ages 5 to 13. Each camp will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and there will be three sessions: June 5 to 9, June 12 to 16, and July 24 to 28.

Costs run from $160 to $185. For more information about the basketball camp, call 209-954-5726 or visit For soccer camp, call 209-954-5166 or visit

And private gyms in Lodi, including Impact Sports & Play Center and Twin Arbors Athletic Club, offer active day camps for youngsters during the summer. For more information, call Impact at 209-369-2436 or visit; or call Twin Arbors at 209-334-4897 or visit

At the Lodi Public Library

The library’s Code{STEAM} tech camp is already full, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had at the library this summer.

The Summer Reading Club kicks off on June 1 and run through July 31. Children up to age 12 are invited to come to the library and get a reading log. For every 15 minutes they read, they can put a sticker in their log. Every 12 spaces, readers earn a prize. After their third prize, they can earn a ticket to the World of Wonders Science Museum, while supplies last.

The library is hosting teen and adult Summer Reading Clubs as well.

All of the library’s programs are free unless otherwise stated.

Other summer programs for kids and teens:

  • Summer Breeze Homework Help, June 6 to July 26, 2 to 5 p.m. Extra practice with math and reading, plus board games and Wii U.
  • Bristle Bots: Design and create your own toothbrush robot. Grades 3 to 6. Materials provided. 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. June 5. To register, call 209-333-5503 or email referencelib [at]
  • Magical Moonshine Theater: Come see Chaucer’s Canterbury tale about a rooster who is caught by the flattering fox ... but foxes can be fooled. 3 p.m. June 12.
  • Traveling Lantern Theater Company: Soon after their lovely insect nuptials, Mr. and Mrs. Ribble are expecting a baby Ribblet, and they need a new home for their family! 6 p.m. June 19.
  • Craftastic Hour: Make a fun summer craft. Ages 13 and older. Materials provided. 11 a.m. to noon June 24. To register, call 209-333-5503 or email referencelib [at]

Galt’s Marian O. Lawrence Library has joined in the fun.

The Galt branch of the Sacramento Public Library will kick off their own summer reading program with a Pixie Tribe event. Fairy special guests will offer a face painting extravaganza. All ages are welcome. 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. June 13. The Marian O. Lawrence Library is at 1000 Caroline Ave., Galt.

  • Caterpillar Puppets: Joe Leon’s Caterpillar Puppets offers a new bilingual variety show full of songs, finger plays and stories guaranteed to generate giggles from children and families of all ages. 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. June 20.
  • Xtreme Science Show with Don O’Brien: Fast moving, interactive and upbeat with lots of humor to get kids hooked on science. All ages. 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. June 27.

Fun at Lodi's churches

Want summer camp with a wholesome, Christian twist? Many of Lodi's churches are offering Vacation Bible School or summer day camps, with sports, science and religious themes. A listing will be printed in our Religion section each Saturday until all of the Bible school sessions and camps have passed. Check there for more information.

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