Winter Camps for Kids on Holiday Break
Words Jessica Myers, Alexis Manrodt, Photography ISTOCK
Published November 2018
Updated December 18, 2018
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Even kids need a break from their holiday break (and so do you). Enroll your cookie-munching, cartoon-watching, pajama-wearing kids in a winter camp to feed their minds some much-needed stimulation before school starts again in January. These programs offer full- and half-day curriculums that teach kids useful new skills like coding, crafting and stirring up savory holiday treats.

Dallas Cowboys
Kids in grades 2-8 can enroll in a one-day skills and drills camp through the Cowboy’s Football Academy. Want to get involved with the game off the field? Dancers ages 6-16 are welcome to learn from Cowboys cheerleaders at the Dance Academy. For more information, contact twheatley@dallascowboys.net.
Cost: $125
When: Dec. 30, 9am-3:30pm
Where: Ford Center, 9 Cowboys Way, Frisco; 972/497-4272; dallascowboys.com

Fort Worth Zoo
First through sixth graders are welcome to walk on the wild side at the Fort Worth Zoo’s one-day winter break camps. Register for a single day, or all five sessions. Campers will design their own gingerbread zoo exhibit, study native wildlife in Texas and even learn about why some animals hibernate this season during a pajama party camp day. Early dropoff from 8-9am and after care from 4-5pm are available for $15/day or $25/day for both care services. Register online.
Cost: $85 per day or $285 for all 5 days
When: Dec. 27, 28; Jan. 2, 3, 4
Where: Fort Worth Zoo; 817/759-7200; fortworthzoo.org 

Infinite Bounds 
Visit the website to enroll your child in one of two winter sessions at Infinite Bounds. The Plano play space features 10 trampolines, a foam pit, air slide and plenty of arts, crafts and games. Once your tykes will be tuckered out from all the fun, they can enjoy daily movie screenings and munch on popcorn. Please provide lunch, a water bottle and snack for your child. Regular camp hours at 9am-2pm; Early drop-off at 8am and extended care Stay n Play from 2-5pm are available for additional costs.
Cost: $40 per day; $5 per day for early drop-off ; $15 per day for extended care
When: Dec. 26-28; Jan. 2-4 & 7
Where: Infinite Bounds, Plano; 972/491-1916; infinitebounds.com

Irving Parks and Recreation
Children in kindergarten through 5th grade are welcome at the city’s winter break camp. From 7am-6pm, kids will enjoy arts and crafts, local field trips and plenty of opportunities to burn off some excess energy playing games in the indoor gymnasium. Two daily snacks are provided, but campers are required to bring their own lunches (inquire about the free lunch program, available at certain recreation centers). Register online; must have a valid Irving Parks & Rec ID card to enroll your child. For more information, contact Recreation Services Manager James Smith at jamsmith@cityofirving.org.
Cost: $190 per camper
When: 2 weeks during Irving ISD winter break; no camp on Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Day
Where: Irving Recreation Centers; cityofirving.org

Kidventure 
Kids can choose between a single day and the entire three-day session at camps in Preston Hollow and Frisco. Campers ages 3-5 can battle it out at the “discoverers” level adventure camp, Dr. Chaos & Big Freeze, while bigger kids ages 6-12 can tackle the challenge at the “explorers” level. The many games and activities planned for the Mt. Venture camp makes it a perfect match for those kids who just never seem to run out of energy. And your mini dancing queen or king should definitely shimmy on over to Kidventure’s annual winter dance party, Polar Bear Express, on Jan. 4. Special guests throughout the camp include Professor Brainius and Skate Buds. Early dropoff at 7am and extended care until 6pm are available for an additional $8 each.
Cost: $75 per day
When: Jan. 2, 3, 4, 9am-3:30pm
Where: Dallas and Frisco, 214/303-9789; kidventure.com

Oil and Cotton
Artists and crafters ages 5–12 find something new to do every day from Oil and Cotton’s slate of one-off morning and afternoon camps. For two weeks, kids pick and choose the activities they like best or want to try out, be it sketching and painting, sewing or collaging. Sign up online for one or all of the three-hour sessions to craft a reindeer decoration (Dec. 21), collage a Christmas cactus (Dec. 27), weave a wintry art (Jan. 3) or save all their creative juices for the “holiday explosion” event (Jan.4) — and that’s just a small sampling of what’s on the agenda. Visit Oil and Cotton’s website for the full calendar of events and to register for one of the 8–12 available spots per session.
Cost: $50 per camp; siblings receive a 10% discount
When: Dec. 21–22 and 27–28, Jan. 2-4, 9am–12pm and 1–4pm
Where: Dallas, 214/942-0474; oilandcotton.com

Taste Buds Kitchen
Aspiring bakers ages 4-8 and ages 9-13 can enroll in a variety of camps as sweet an assortment as the holiday cookies they will learn to make. At Taste Buds, kids can take part in the single-day workshop, Holiday Cookies Galore Camp, and learn recipes for snickerdoodle cookies and snowman bread. Three-day camps include a Chocolate Lovers Camp, which covers both sweet and savory dishes, and the Winter Mystery Basket Camp, for the adventurous kid in the kitchen. Early drop-off for morning sessions is available.
Cost: $49/per day or $145/3-day week for ages 4-8; $60/day or $180/3-day week for ages 9-13
When: Dec. 1, Dec. 26-28, Jan. 2-4; 9am-12pm for ages 4-8 and 1-4pm for ages 9-13
Where: Taste Buds Kitchen, Southlake, 817/488-0538; tastebudskitchen.com 

Tech EdVentures 
A custom video game, their own personal robot — if either of these were on your kid’s Christmas wish list, then sign them up for Tech EdVentures’ winter camps in Preston Hollow. During the Thymio Robotics-themed Visual Programming camp, children in kindergarten through second grade learn about basic electronics (such as how batteries power motors) and program robots to say hi, draw pictures and navigate around obstacles using sensors that detect infrared light. In Design Studio, tiny techies in 3rd-5th grades collaboratively design and develop digital games. Budding gamers learn their way around Click Team Fusion, the same programming software used by professional game inventors, to add sound and special effects and code animated characters and backgrounds. Sign up for all camps online; space is limited, so avoid the waitlist by registering early. Extended care and early drop-off options available for additional cost. For more information, contact winter camp coordinator Anne Mitchell at the phone number below or at anne@techedventures.com.
Cost: $229 per session
When: Dec. 26-28 and Jan 2-4, 9am–2pm
Where: The Winston School, Dallas, 972/905-1777 (ext. 104); techedventures.com

YMCA
Work up an appetite while you’re at the office because you may come home to homemade polar bear dip (a high-protein white bean hummus) or snowman bark (frozen yogurt bark with pretzel stick arms and raisin buttons) courtesy of the YMCA’s Holiday Camps for ages 5–12. Culinary explorations are just some of the activities curriculum planned for campers, along with making snow, conducting a hot chocolate science experiment and building igloos from Styrofoam cups during daily STEM challenges. Register online by Dec. 18. Before- and after-camp care available at no extra cost. ymcadallas.org

Coppell
Cost: $30 per day per child
When: Dec. 27-28 and Jan. 2-4, 7am–6:30pm
Where: Lakeside Elementary, Coppell

Dallas
Cost: $30 per day per child
When: Dec. 20–21, 27-28 and Jan. 2-4 & 7, 7am–6:30pm
Where: T Boone Pickens Family Y, Dallas

Frisco
Cost: $25 per day per child
When: Dec. 26-28 and Jan. 2-4 & 7, 7am–6:30pm
Where: Comstock Elementary School, McKinney; Robertson Elementary School, Little Elm

Irving
Cost: $25 per day per child
When: Dec. 26-28 and Jan. 2-4 & 7, 7am–6:30pm
Where: Irving Family YMCA, Irving

Young Chefs Academy
The answer is yes, your kid can cook — or they will after attending Camp Can-I-Cook’s mini winter sessions for chefs-in-training ages 7 and older. Choose a week of sweet or savory holiday traditions in Thyme to Impress or The Cupcake Shoppe, or both. During each three-hour session, kids whip up and eat fare inspired by your family’s holiday favorites (both camps’ full menus are under wraps until the first session). And to ensure kids don’t get too hangry waiting for their kitchen timers to ding, instructors prepare snacks for the midday break. Campers aren’t the only test-tasters — kids take home their self-made dishes and a copy of every recipe so you can indulge too. Register online for camps.
Cost: Camps, $60 per day or $150 per session
When: Thyme to Impress, Dec. 26-28, 9am–12pm or 1–4pm; The Cupcake Shoppe, Jan. 2-4, 9am–12pm or 1–4pm
Where: Young Chefs Academy, Frisco, 972/335-4449; youngchefsacademy.com

 

This article was originally published in the December 2016 issue of DallasChild. Additional reporting and updates were completed in November 2018 for the digital version. 

Tags: Holiday, Camps