The summer camp experience can lead to some of the most cherished memories. From making new friends to learning a new skill, spending time at a summer camp or school will enrich the kids’ vacation in North Carolina. These aren’t the send-the-kids-away-to-camp offerings, but experiences that will fill their days with exciting activities while you all are on a family trip.
And grown-ups, don’t worry – you’ll find several summer schools and camps for adults across our state, in addition to fun kids-only camps that allow parents to enjoy some time for themselves. Don’t wait to book. These activities are popular among locals, too, and many will sell out.
1 North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher Summer Camps
1 North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher Summer CampsKure BeachSee on map
Aquarium summer camps are a great way to nurture children’s love of the water and educate them about this delicate ecosystem. The camps at the North Carolina Aquarium provide specific themes for various age levels, fostering skills such as storytelling, investigation, habitat exploration, animal care, conservation and even an understanding of careers in marine science for older teens.
2 Nantahala Outdoor Center Paddling School
2 Nantahala Outdoor Center Paddling SchoolBryson CitySee on map
With 50 years of experience in all things whitewater kayaking and canoeing, Nantahala Outdoor Center is an ideal place to learn or strengthen your skills in whitewater paddling. The Introduction to Whitewater Kayaking Course covers all the basics then it puts your skills to the test on a whitewater river. Experienced paddlers can try the multiday courses to solidify techniques.
3 CTS Brevard Road Cycling Class
3 CTS Brevard Road Cycling ClassBrevardSee on map
CTS hosts multiday cycling camps throughout the year for riders looking to pedal 40 to 90 miles per day. All camps focus on endurance miles and offer the opportunity to ride in events such as the Assault on the Carolinas, White Squirrel Cycling Classic or the Looking Glass Tour.
4 Flour Power Kids Cooking Camps
4 Flour Power Kids Cooking Camps6 locations statewide
Flour Power Kids Cooking Studio hosts camps for tiny chefs (ages 5-8) and tween chefs (ages 9-12) that include all snacks, lunches, supplies and materials needed for the week. Kids can learn a variety of skills in the kitchen such as whisking, chopping and ingredient measuring, and enjoy classes themed from some of their favorite movies, international destinations and holidays.
5 Adult Summer Camp at the Museum of Life + Science
5 Adult Summer Camp at the Museum of Life + ScienceDurhamSee on map
While the Museum of Life + Science is usually a hotbed of activity for kids, this summer outing is strictly for the grown-ups. Adults (ages 21 and up) are invited to relive the joys of childhood summer camp for one evening by making friendship bracelets, hitting targets in archery practice, climbing wall races, roasting s’mores, playing in the treehouses at Hideaway Woods and riding the Ellerbe Creek Railway old-time train. Plus, you get to sample beer, wine and food truck fare.
6 Surf Camp at Tony Silvagni Surf School
6 Surf Camp at Tony Silvagni Surf SchoolCarolina BeachSee on map
Wannabe surfers of all ages can learn how to ride the waves at Tony Silvagni’s surf camp. The camps run in three daily sessions (morning, afternoon, evening), and there’s never more than a two-to-one student-to-teacher ratio. All students receive a surfboard and equipment to use for the lessons, a Tony Silvagni Surf School swag bag and a certificate of achievement.