By Heather Greenwood Davis, Family Travel Expert
With the end of the school year around the corner, chances are that your kids’ yelps of delight as they bound up the steps after school are being met with your overwhelming desire to stick your head in the sand.
Parents everywhere are bracing themselves: In a few short weeks keeping them entertained – 24/7 – will be your responsibility.
And while summer camp is always an option, every few summers your kids will let you know that last year’s camp is yesterday’s news and the hunt for something more adventurous/exciting/cool will begin.
The good news? There are some amazing new camps out there that will make you look like parent of the year.
You’ll just have to decide how much you want to pay for your crown. (All prices in $U.S.)
1. Overnight Adventures, California
With 16 summer camp options that range from Hollywood Stunt Camp to Girl Power Camp to RockStar Academy your kids can spend their summer upping their cool factor in California. Forget the campfires and sing-alongs of yesteryear, here they’ll choose from activities like yoga, ziplining, euro bungee, high ropes courses and more. Rates start at $1615 for a 1-week session that includes room, board and mementos. www.paliadventures.com
2. Biltmore Summer Camps, Florida
You really need a vacation and the kids club isn’t going to cut it for your active kids. Book a trip to Florida and sign your kids up for a week of camp at the swanky Biltmore hotel. Kids can choose from a hands-on cooking camp taught by Biltmore chefs (ages 8-16, $375 including lunch apron and materials) or the golf and swim camp where participants choose from full or half day sessions ($265 -$675). Either way they’ll pick up a skill that you can make use of at home and you can spend your days lounging by the pool. www.biltmorehotel.com
3. Atlantis Fantasy Camps, Paradise Island, Bahamas
The 2011 series of the popular water resort’s fantasy camps promises “edutainment” (educational entertainment) alongside its 141-acre waterscape. Each 4-night/5-day camp allows kids of all ages to find an experience that’s a perfect match for their interests. New this year: the first ever Seventeen Magazine Fantasy Camp for girls aged 15-22 has Seventeen Magazine sylists, hair and makeup pros and fitness experts offering tips and culminates with a cover shoot by a Seventeen photographer. Is your kid more comic than cover girl? The Second City Fantasy Camp is hosted by the famed improve comedy group in Chicago. www.atlantis.com