Here is an overview of summer camps and activities that we can recommend or have been recommended by other parents across London:
Multi-activity, exploration and outdoors
If you’re looking for full day activity camps, Camp Beaumont offers summer camps at King’s College Wimbledon, Mill Hill and Colfe’s among others, while Supercamps runs Central London camps at St Nicholas Prep School in South Kensington, Putney High School and Latymer Upper School, among many others.
First Hand experiences offer varied outdoor experiences across London. For the full outdoor experience, Little Forest Folk are the experts but beware, their holiday camps have already sold out. But not to worry, Wild about our Woods offers a forest school experience in Barnet and Haringey. In additional, check out Wild Learning which offers holiday camps in a wide range of locations, including Wimbledon, Sheen, Highgate, Muswell Hill and other camps further afield at competitive prices.
The Richmond Gymnastics Association runs professional summer camps for children from Reception age upwards. There is a junior camp for 4 – 9 year olds and a senior camp for 9+. For tennis, head to the Battersea Park Millenium Arena for junior and senior camps. The tennis pros might well head to Duke Meadows in Chiswick. We are also big fans of Love Swimming fast track courses held at the luxurious Dolphin Square gym in Pimlico. If you are based in Hampstead, have a look at Paul Dillon Swimming lessons at the UCS pool. Those aged 7+ can perfect their swimming technique at the brand new Latymer Upper School swimming pool via Nautilus swimming. Net-it camps for Netball, Hockey and Rounders are highly recommended as well! Those based in SW London can’t go wrong with Fulham FC for their holiday football camps.
If you want a wide variety of ball games and fitness activities, you won’t go wrong with Fit for sport, which run full day camps in a wide range of state schools across London. My kids have tried the one at Bishop Gilpin School in Wimbledon and absolutely loved it! But there is one at St Joseph’s Primary School in Knightsbridge and many others if you need a more Central location. The AM Sports Academy offers full day sports camps in Wimbledon and Wandsworth.
Drama, Music and Dance
For children aged 7+, the best camp in this category is probably the one offered by the Sylvia Young Theatre School in Marble Arch. Other parents swear by the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in Hampstead (ages 6 – 18). For a variety of locations, Stagecoach is a well established drama programme for kids. If you are located in Hackney or Stoke Newington, Showkids is the place to go, catering for ages 4 – 16. While they run term time activities for children aged as young as four, their holiday camps are for children from 8 to 18 only. Group 64 in Putney has come highly recommended for holiday drama projects. They offer tailored weeeks for different age groups from 4 – 16. For the younger children, Perform run drama courses from children 4+ to boost their confidence via fun and games.
The Place near Russell Square runs great Easter dance courses for children of all ages 4+. Or why not join the School of Rock at the Music House for children aimed at 5 – 11 year olds? Or rock music club Upbeat Music Courses in Fulham for those more into electric guitars and drums than violins?
Science, Technology and Chess
Our top pick continue to be the legendary STEM and Robotics camps offered by the London School of Math and Programming in High Street Kensington and South Kensington. This year, they are providing a new STEM camp for 5 – 8 year olds at Baden-Powell House from 23 – 27th of July. There is a choice of morning and afternoon sessions. Activities will include puzzles and problem solving, robotics, and an introduction to computer programming.
There are further two STEM, Olympiad Maths and Programming camps on offer for ages 7 – 17 at their High Street Kensington location. Courses will run from 16th – 22nd July (science camp) and 30th July to 3rd August (Olympiad Maths and Programming). Further information and sign up available here.
I can also personally highly recommend Riva Learning, founded by an IIT and MIT grad with a passion for teaching kids coding. They offer courses in Scratch and Robotics for 8 – 12 year olds and Python for 12 – 18 year olds. Their summer camps will be held at ARK Atwood in Maidavale and The Granville in Kilburn. For the serious techies, FunTech Camps in North London and Westminster offer a variety of summer camps ranging from JavaCoding to Minecraft. Firetechcamp offer technology and coding classes (including Robotics) for children aged 7 – 18 located at Imperial College in South Kensington. Mad Science camps are geared towards younger children from 4 upwards and introduce children to the excitement of exploration and experiments. Camps are offered across London. Little House of Science Easter workshops are another option for budding scientists. Mother Nature Science run fun and hands-on science camps in a variety of prep schools across London.
Code Today offers introduction to Python Programming courses for kids aged 8+ near Finchley Road.
Chelsea Young Writers run acclaimed creative writing workshops run by established children’s authors targeted at age group 6 – 13. For language immersion, head to the Hua Hsia School in Hampstead (Mandarin), Etpatatipatata in Fulham (French) or LingoBros in Notting Hill for the little ones. The London School of Mathematics and Science camps mentioned above offer the option f additional morning Maths sessions before the beginning of the camp, with the option of a 3 hour camp for 5 – 8 year olds or full day camps for those aged 7 – 18.
Of course, you may not actually be looking at camps or childcare and just need inspiration for what to do with your children during the holidays. Here are some of our top things to do with your child this London for the perfect “staycation” in London
- The Royal Institution is running a long list of exciting science workshops throughout July and August. Book early to avoid disappointment!
- Family art workshops at the Royal Academy of Arts are spectacular!
- Head to the “Future Starts Here” exhibition at the V&A Museum, if you have not already
- book a Westend show like “Three Little Pigs”, “Mathilda” or “the Gruffalo”, followed by lunch or dinner in Chinatown
- spend a day outside of London on a farm. Our favourites are Bucklebury farm in Berkshire and Bocketts Farm in Surrey. Horse riding at Vauxhall City Farm also highly recommended, especially their “Own a pony for a day”!
- a day on the Princess Diana Memorial Playground (come early to beat the crowds!) and/or Battersea Park Zoo
- a creepy crawlies session at the Chelsea Physic Garden or any of their other family activities
- for preschoolers, the Music House for Children in Shepherd’s Bush always runs lovely shows and events
- Little Angel Theatre in Islington and Polka Theatre in Wimbledon will spoil you with the breadth of their events
- visit the Museum of London Docklands
- spend a day in Greenwich exploring Greenwich Park, Cutty Sark, the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory…
- what are you planning to do in London over Easter?