Here's your annual reminder that winter break is quickly approaching. And for working parents or families looking for fun ways to keep their kids active during their time off from school, it's time to start making plans to fill those days.
Luckily, so many Tucson places offer day camps, with themes including science, arts and crafts and horseback riding. Plus, they can make a great holiday gift.
Making new friends, exploring a new interest and fun-filled days? Sign us up!
Little Buckaroos and Horsemanship Winter Riding Camps
What: Kids ages 5-7 will learn about animals that live on the ranch, make crafts, play games and have hand-led riding lessons as part of the Little Buckaroos session. The Horsemanship Camp is for ages 8-14 and includes daily riding, barrel racing, pole patterns practice and learning how to ride and care for a horse. Beginners are welcome.
When: Little Buckaroos is on Monday, Dec. 23 and Friday, Dec. 27, 8:30-11:30 a.m. The Horsemanship Camp is Monday, Dec. 30- Friday, Jan. 3, 8 a.m. to noon.
Where: TRAK, 3250 E. Allen Road
Cost: $125 for Little Buckaroos; $300 for Horsemanship Camp.
What: Kids will spend the day participating in active, age-appropriate games, activities, sports and creative play. Playformance is a parkour gym downtown.
Ages: Kindergarten through eighth grade
When: Monday, Dec. 23; Thursday, Dec. 26; Friday, Dec. 27; Monday, Dec. 30 and Thursday, Jan. 2.
Where: Playformance, 119 E. Toole Ave.
Cost: $70 per day. Early and after care available for $10 per hour
Reid Park Zoo camp
What: Children will learn about what the zoo does to keep animals warm and safe during winter. Each day, camp will focus on a different theme with animal encounters, zoo tours, crafts and hands-on activities.
When: Dec. 26-27 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Reid Park Zoo, 3400 E. Court
Cost: $55 per day; $45 members
UA Fusion Camp
What: Children can sign up for different themed camps including Lego Engineering, space science and sharks, where they'll participate in hands-on activities, games and more.
Ages: Kindergarten through sixth grade
When: Dec. 30-31 and Jan. 2-3, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium, 1601 E. University Blvd.
Cost: $55 per day. Early care and after care are available for an additional $5 per day.
Jewish Community Center Winter Camp J
What: The Jewish Community Center offers camp themes which include cooking, art, sports, and Lego engineering plus field trips.
Ages: Kindergarten through fifth grade
When: Week 1 is Dec. 23-24 and Dec. 26-27. Week 2 is Dec. 30-31 and Jan. 2-3. Camps run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free early care begins at 7 a.m. and after care is as late as 6 p.m.
Where: Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Road
Cost: $60 per day for non-members; $50 for members.
UA Campus Rec “A” Camp
What: Campers will participate in winter-themed games, arts and crafts, STEM activities and an exploration of the UA campus.
When: Jan 2-3, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can drop them off as early as 7:30 a.m. and pick them up as late as 5:30 p.m. for no additional charge
Where: University of Arizona Student Recreation Center, 1400 E. Sixth Street.
Cost: $100 or $55 per day. Discounts are available for members, siblings, returning campers, and UA staff.
Ott Family YMCA Winter Camp
What: Fun-filled days that include art projects, crafts, games, field trips and more.
Ages: Kindergarten through sixth grade
When: Weekdays from Dec. 20-Jan. 3. No camp on Dec. 25 or Jan. 1. Camp runs from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. except on Dec. 24 and Dec. 31 when camp ends at 2 p.m.
Where: Ott Family YMCA, 401 S. Prudence Road
Cost: $35 per day.
Kidco SchoolzOut Camps and In-Betweener's Club
What: The City of Tucson Parks and Recreation Department hosts camps during school breaks for children ages 5-11, and In-Betweener's Club for ages 12-14. Activities include games, sports, arts and crafts, nutrition-based learning, performing arts, field trips and more.
When: Weekdays from Dec. 23-Jan 3. No camp on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Camp is from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day except Dec. 24 and Dec. 31 when the centers close at 2 p.m.
Where: Various recreation centers in Tucson
Cost: $40 for City of Tucson residents; $50 for non-residents.
Info: Registration begins Dec. 9. Go here for more information.
Sew Hip Kids Winter Break Camp
What: Kids ages 8-13 will spend four days sewing their own quilt. No experience necessary. If your child has a sewing machine that is in good working order they can bring it to use.
When: Dec. 31-Jan. 3, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Where: Sew Hip, 3400 E. Speedway Blvd. Suite 120.
Hi-Five School Break Camps
What: Campers will learn the fundamentals for a variety of team sports and games and then get to compete.
When: Dec. 20 and Jan. 2-3, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with after care until 5 p.m.
Where: Maracana Indoor Sports Arena, 555 E. 18th Street
Cost: $50 per day or $45 for the two-day pass for the January session.
Tucson Racquet and Fitness Club Holiday Camp
What: Choose from Tennis Camp for ages 7-17 and All-Sports Camp for ages 5-14 which focuses on developing athletic skills for a range of sports.
When: Session 1 is Dec. 23-27(no camp on Dec. 25); Session 2 is Dec. 30-Jan. 3 (no camp on Jan. 1). Camp runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with early care and after care available for an additional fee.
Where: Tucson Racquet and Fitness Club, 4001 N. Country Club Road
Cost: $160 per four-day session or $50 per day. Extended care available for an additional fee.
Oro Valley Parks and Recreation Winter Break Camp
What: Kids stay active with golf, tennis, games, arts and crafts.
When: Dec. 30-31 and Jan. 2-3
Where: Oro Valley Community Center, 10555 N. La Canada Drive
Cost: $130 for all four days, or $40 per day.
This list was updated from a list published in 2018 by Angela Pittenger.