Bay County Youth Summer Camps Keep Kids Active: Cooking, Art and More


BAY COUNTY – Summer vacation means school kids are looking for fun and a summer camp just might solve the problem.

Local groups and organizations have created an incredible range of camps to ensure that students are not bored while waiting for the next school year. Summer programs are full of great ways to keep kids busy.

From aerial dancing to cooking classes to art camps, here’s where the fun will be this summer:

Events of June 16: The June 19 festivities begin Friday in Bay County. Find out when and where to celebrate.

Art exhibitions in June:Bay Arts Alliance unveils 3 new Arts Center exhibits. Learn more about the artists.

artistic internship

The Bay Arts Alliance Summer Art Camp takes place weekly at the Panama City Center for the Arts and is packed with art projects, games, and other artwork.

The Bay Arts Alliance Summer Art Camp takes place weekly at the Center for the Arts, 19th E. Fourth St. in Panama City, and is packed with art projects, snacks, games, and other artwork .

Each day follows a theme: Mondayclay hand construction; Tuesdaycalligraphy; Wednesdaywatercolor; Thursday, still life in acrylic; and FridayCharcoal drawing.

Students will interact with two instructors who will learn about different artistic mediums, color theory and techniques. All sessions will include an art lesson followed by a snack break and recreation, then another art lesson.

Choose between a morning session from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., an afternoon session from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. or a full day session depending on your child’s availability. Cost is $135 for members ($150 for non-members) for full-week morning or afternoon sessions; and $35 for members ($40 non-members) for one-day sessions.

Camp dates for children ages 7-12 are June 6-10, June 13-17, July 11-15, and July 18-22. Additionally, an art camp for teens ages 13-18 is taking place June 20-24 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with prices set at $150 for members and $170 for non-members.

Register online at, in person, or call the Center for the Arts at 850-640-3670.

“Little Chef” Cooking Camp

Something is brewing in the plans for Panama City "Little Chef" summer camps for children who want to explore the culinary world.

After a successful first year, Somethin’s Cooking, 93 E. 11th St., will bring back its “Little Chef” summer cooking camp program. The camp offers cooking classes for children ages 7 to 12, alternating Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:30 p.m. throughout June, with the exception of June 15 and 29, which take place on Wednesdays. Children will have the opportunity to create and taste their dishes, then leave with the recipes. The camp should offer flavors of soups, quesadillas, pancakes, pizzas and calzones.

Register early for as many classes as you want. However, reservations are required as class sizes are limited. For more information, visit or call 850-769-8979 for reservations.

“Just Breathe” Youth Camp

Kingdom Life Ministries will host ‘Just Breathe’, a free junior summer camp for ages 8-12, teaching youth ministry classes in crafts, drama and media. Plus, the camp includes five days of prep for a talent show where kids show off everything they’ve learned during the program.

Camp begins July 20 at 8 a.m. and runs until July 23 at 1:30 p.m. at 306 Spikes Road in Southport. Meals and snacks will be provided for children during camp. In addition, a lunch will be offered to families attending the talent show.

To register, go to For more information, contact Kingdom Life Ministries at 850-814-0974 or 850-628-4994.

Theater internship

The Kaleidoscope Theater will host its 18th Summer Theater Camp June 6-11 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Downtown Mosey, 435 Grace Ave. The program targets students in grades four to twelve and campers will be introduced to many aspects. of theatre, including onstage and offstage techniques. In addition, each camper will be part of a short play and musical production, presented on June 11 at 1 p.m.

The cost of camp is $175 per child ($140 for each additional child in the same family) and includes a t-shirt, daily snacks and beverages, and pizza dinner on Saturday. Campers should bring their lunch each day and are asked not to bring anything that needs to be refrigerated or microwaved.

Science and Discovery Center

Students work on STEM activities at the Science & Discovery Center of Northwest Florida in 2017. Camps this summer are held in June and July.

Discover the wonderful world of science at the Science and Discovery Center in Northwest Florida. The program welcomes children ages 4-12 to explore the world of science with plenty of educational and fun opportunities throughout the summer.

Topics and dates include ColorificJune 6-10; kitchen scienceJune 13-17; Ahoy Ye, Pirates and MermaidsJune 20-24; Reptiles and AmphibiansJune 27-July 1; Wizards, spells and fairy talesJuly 11-15; Dino digging, July 18-22; and Palooza FarmyardJuly 25-29.

Full-day camps are 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at $170 per week for members or $185 per week for non-members. Early and late care is available at an additional cost. A $50 non-refundable deposit is required for each week, which is applied towards camp fees.

Pick up registration forms at the drop box in front of the facility, 308 Airport Road in Panama City, or print one from the website.

Call 850-769-6128 or email [email protected] for more information.

GCSC Youth Programs

Registration is now open for the Gulf Coast State College Summer Youth Programs. The GCSC offers a wide range of camps and academic enrichment activities throughout the year for youth in Bay, Gulf and Franklin counties.

The majority of these activities are offered during the summer, with other activities on certain days throughout the school year. Camps and activities are designed for young people who are enthusiastic about learning, having fun and participating in stimulating hands-on activities using the latest technology. Subjects include environmental science, engineering, biology, robotics, and technology.

Camp tuition fees range from $50 to $149, with a $28 meal plan offered each week. If students do not purchase the meal plan, they must bring a packed lunch.

All summer camps/activities will be held at GCSC Panama City Campus, 5230 US 98. Check camp specific information for exact location/room number. To enroll a student in GCSC youth programs, go to

aerial dance CP

Watch your child dive into the joys of circus life and unleash their inner circus star during Aerial Dance PC’s summer youth programs. Children will have the pleasure of flying on a trapeze, twirling on the aerial hoop and dancing in the air on aerial fabrics.

Summer camp dates and themes include Air ninja warriorJune 6-10; star warsJune 13-17; Cheer Dance and AerialJune 20-24; camp pokemonJune 27-28; Air ninja warriorJuly 11-15; circus camp, July 18-22; and Harry Potter, July 25-29. The camp is best suited for children ages 6-12 and costs $200 per child.

Due to limited seating, seating is not guaranteed until payment is received. Payment can be made at Aerial Dance PC, 653 Jackson Way. Drop-off will begin at 8:50 a.m. and pick-up will be at 2:00 p.m. Before and after treatments are available at an additional cost. Children are asked to bring a nut-free lunch with a bottle of water.

For more information, email [email protected]

Oceans of Possibilities

The Northwest Regional Library System will have a summer filled with educational programs that encourage discovery in the young to aspire and help students prevent the “summer slide”.

Bay County Public Libraries will feature content on pirates, sea creatures, mermaids, and more, for students ages 5-18, through books, movies, artwork, and activities practices related to this summer’s theme, Oceans of Possibilities.

For the full schedule of upcoming programs, visit

Library locations:

  • Bay County Public Library, 898 W. 11th Street, Panama City; Hours: Monday-Wednesday (9am-7pm), Thursday-Saturday (9am-5pm)
  • Panama City Beach Public Library, 12500 Hutchison Blvd., Panama City Beach; Hours: Monday to Wednesday (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Thursday to Friday (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Saturday (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
  • Parker Public Library, 4710 Second St., Parker; Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

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