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Don't Just Lounge … Learn!

It’s day two of summer vacation and you’re already out of entertainment ideas for the kids. How can you offer children a good time, while also enriching their minds? (And who has time for that, anyway?)

We did the legwork for you. Read on to learn what 18 Dallas-area kids want to be when they grow up, and how they can make these dreams come true with summer learning activities.

PAYGE, 12, of Garland
Horse trainer
Horse around — while learning horse handling techniques — with hands-on instruction at Agape Farms camps for kids ages 3-15. Sanger; 940/458-2938.
Daily and weeklong overnight camps available, starting at $50

JORDAN, 9, of Plano

Tumble on Olympic medalist Nastia Liukin’s home turf at the WOG Academy’s Friday Night Out (FNO), an open gym with no instruction for kids ages 5 and up from 7-9:30pm every Friday. Or, sign up to train with world-renowned instructors at a summer camp. Dallas, Frisco and Plano locations.
$20 FNO, summer camps start at $35 per day

OLIVER, 9, of Lakewood

Flex your Flash animation knowledge at a day or extended-stay iD Tech computer camps hosted at Southern Methodist University, which include courses on Web design, graphics and digital art for ages 7-17. Dallas; 888/709-8324.
Tuition starts at $779 for weeklong day camp

PARIS, 7, of Highland Park

Experiment with volcanoes, physics and even DNA in a weeklong summer science course for kids ages 4 and older at Greenhill School’s Summer on the Hill. Dallas; 972/628-5518.
$185 for weeklong session

IZABELLE, 10, of Lakewood

Cook up some fun with celebrity chef Lisa Garza (a finalist on The Next Food Network Star and owner of Suze Restaurant) at her annual kids culinary camp held at Suze for kids ages 9-18. Registration includes a chef’s toolbox and daily take-home dinner meals for the child’s family. Dallas; 214/282-0165.
$400 for weeklong session; $150 for single day (private classes available)

PETER, 6, of Anna
Soccer player

Dribble, juggle, shoot and score at FC Dallas’ Young Player Development training camps for players ages 6-9 with instruction from professional FC Dallas players and nationally licensed staff coaches (3-hour, 4-day format each camp session). Frisco’s Pizza Hut Park; 972/922-3801.
$150 per session

MADISON, 8, of Rockwall
Film star

Sharpen acting techniques specifically for commercials and film at KD Studio’s 8-week-long (weekends-only) professional workshops for preschoolers and older kids. Dallas; 214/638-0484.
$325 per workshop

VICTOR, 5, of Dallas

The next generation of pilots will be inspired at the interactive Flight School for kids 4-8 at the Frontier of Flights Museum, which includes exploration of rocket science, flight control training, visiting aviation facilities at Dallas Love Field and more. Dallas; 214/350-3600.
Day class starts at $20; four-day class $130

SAMIRAH, 7, of Dallas

Get a better appreciation for how bodies work through hands-on exploration of the immune system, DNA and much more at the 2,000-square-foot Your Incredible Body! exhibit at the Museum of Nature & Science. 10am-5pm Mon-Sat, 12-5pm Sun. Dallas; 214/428-5555.
Exhibit-only admission $8.75 adults; $7.75 youth 17-12; $5.50 children 11-3; younger than 3 free.

DEUCE, 6, of Plano
Football player

Get in the (end)zone at a five-day Dallas Cowboys Youth Football Academy summer camp for kids ages 7-17. Camps hosted at the Episcopal School of Dallas, Plano Family YMCA and Frisco’s Liberty High School; 972/556-9947.

TISHA, 5, of Plano
Ice skater

Glide and twirl on ice with the help of Ice Skating Institute-certified instructors at the Dr Pepper StarCenter’s Rising Stars Figure Skating Camp (10am-2pm weeklong sessions). Plano; 972/758-7528.
$125 per session.

CHRISTIAN, 8, of Dallas
Basketball player

Learn to play like the pros at a weeklong Dallas Mavs Hoop Camp for kids ages 8-18. Camps hosted at Collin County Community College, Dallas Christian School, Rowlett Community Center, Richland College, Greenhill School, Prestonwood Church’s Sports & Fitness Center, the University of Texas Dallas and more; 214/747-6287.  
$235 per session.

SYDNEY, 9, of Frisco
Police officer

Young detectives will learn how law enforcement professionals solve crimes at Club Scientific’s weeklong CSI camp for kids 9-13. Park Cities’ Preston Road Church of Christ; 214/530-5979.

KYRA, 6, of Frisco
Piano teacher

Mini-maestros will be introduced to rhythm, note recognition, fingering and more at SoundSteps’ weeklong summer piano camp for kids ages 6-12. Dallas; 214/680-7464.
$105 plus $20 registration and materials fee

CHLOE, 6, of McKinney

Explore exotic wildlife and meet animals face-to-face in hands-on demonstrations at a weeklong Animal Adventure camp at the Dallas Zoo for kids ages 3 and older. Dallas; 214/670-7501.
$200 and up for weeklong session

KIRILL, 9, of Frisco

Take the stage at the legendary Majestic Theatre after strengthening your performance abilities in a course at the Dallas Summer Musicals School of Musical Theatre for kids ages 7-11. Dallas; 214/969-7469.
$500 weeklong camp

ARMANDO, 8, of Garland
Karate master

Get your kicks at the Chamberlain Studios for Self Defense Karate weeklong summer camps for kids ages 4-14 at the Dallas studio. Instruction will focus on skills like sparring, board breaking, karate weapons and more. Dallas; 214/351-5367.

ALYCE, 10, of Garland

Hone your artistic abilities (in the company of world-renowned masterpieces) at a Dallas Museum of Art weeklong camp for young artists age 4 and older. At the end of the week, parents and friends are invited to the participant’s own exhibition. Dallas; 214/922-1200.
Starting at $135 for museum members