Summer camps to brighten up your kids' days

Summertime should mean the living is easy – not so if you’re a hassled and harried parent attempting to juggle full-time work with kids freed from school routines. Dealing with the bored, the restless and the plain jaded is another job, and that’s before you throw in the task of keeping them off smartphones. Yet day camps across the land are offering up any activity you can think of. If you’re looking for ideas on how to stave off boredom, help your child develop new skills and keep everyone happy in general, you could do worse than send them to one of these action-packed weeks.

Leinster Rugby Summer Camp

Across Leinster

Reckon you might have the next BOD under your feet? Choose from 19 venues across the province (from Kildare and Laois to Carlow and Dublin) and send your budding prop/hooker/fly-half to the Leinster Rugby summer camp, where (s)he will learn the ropes. Open to boys and girls aged 6-12, the camps are run by fully accredited IRFU coaches. Better still, each happy camper will receive an official Canterbury of New Zealand Leinster pack, which includes a T-shirt, ball, boot bag and water bottle. Weekly camps, that start from June 7, cost from €90 per child (€80 for additional siblings). Places are still available at all locations.

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GoForIt Technology Summer Camps

Trinity College, Dublin 2

Perhaps technology is more your child’s speed… if so, the Go4IT camps will keep young boffins endlessly entertained. Designed for would-be programmers, scientists, and designers, Go4IT helps kids aged 8-13 to edge closer towards building their own app, animation or computer game. As an added bonus, outdoor activities also make up much of the camp’s schedule. Camps run Monday to Friday (9.30am-3.30pm), and there are places still available on the week-long camp starting July 22.


Pine Forest Art Camps

Glencullen, Co. Dublin

Tucked away in the Dublin Mountains, Glencullen provides picturesque inspiration for any youngster wanting to brush up on their creativity. Split into three groups – junior (5-12), senior (13-16) and portfolio preparation (16-19) – the Pine Forest Art camps run for two weeks at a time, and provide private buses from various pickup points in South Dublin. The courses, priced at €265 for juniors, €295 for seniors and €580 for portfolio prep, and run every two weeks during July and August. Pick-up buses can be booked at €95 for two weeks. Places are still available on all camps. | 01 294 1220


Gaiety School of Acting

Essex Street West, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

As the training ground for Olivia Wilde, Aidan Turner and Colin Farrell, it stands to reason that demand for the GSA summer camp is high. As of now, there are places left on most camp courses. Acting/musical skills aside, the GSA camp enables children (aged from 4 to 19) to work on their confidence and communication skills. Weekly camps can cost around €250, and run from 10am-4pm in their Temple Bar studio (last start date is July 29). | 01 679 9277


GAA Kellogg’s Cúl Camps


At hundreds of GAA clubs across the 32 counties, Kellogg’s are running their perennially popular Cúl Camps for young GAA enthusiasts. Open to kids aged 6-13, Cúl Camps promise an action-packed week, covering all aspects of GAA sports. Attendance is on the up across the country from last year… The camps, which run 10am-2.30pm Monday to Friday all summer (until August) are approximately €60, or €55 for a second child.


Whizzkids Summer Camp


Whizzkids summer camps offer activities from web design and film to video game programming and video editing for children aged 8-15 in over 100 third-level college locations across Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Galway, Maynooth and Tralee. They start with the basics, and then progress students depending on their individual ability. There are places available on all courses, and dates vary according to location. Week-long camps run from 9.30am-1.30pm or 3.30pm daily, and cost €165 for full-day attendees (or €310 for two siblings). | 061 339178




Once upon a time, Billie Barry had the monopoly on stagestruck kids… now, they can be found at dozens of Starcamp locations nationwide. Basing its programmes on current movies and TV shows, campers get to reenact dance moves and acting scenes they already know and love. The camp provides focus on hip-hop, social games and audition technique, thanks to a team of drama teachers, choreographers and coaches. Camps run from 9.30am-2.30pm, and are priced at €95 per child with discounts for multiple siblings. They are open to children aged 4-12 and dates vary according to location (most camps run into mid-August). | 021 437 7900



Various locations in Dublin, Meath, Wicklow & Kildare

Run by NCAD teachers, the Artzone summer camps provide a brilliant array of activities. General summer art camps help novices to kick-start their creativity, while enthusiasts can choose from fashion, film, animation or comic book illustration. For older teens serious about getting into art college, academy/portfolio preparation courses are also on offer. Camps are held for kids aged 5 up to 17 at various locations in Dublin, Meath and Kildare, and start from €125 per week (last start date is August 30). | 01 4990614


Parks Tennis


If you’ve got a suitably inspired tennis enthusiast on your hands, make haste to any one of Parks Tennis’ many coaching camps. Children aged 6-17 can not only pick up some skills for the court; an emphasis is also placed on wellbeing and nutrition. Prices, start times and hours vary according to tennis club, but many start from July 1 and can cost around €45 for a month’s coaching (one hour a day). | 01 833 8711


Surfing Camp at the Donegal Adventure Centre

Bayview Avenue, Bundoran, Co Donegal

Bundoran has long been a surfing hotspot (well, as hot as it gets in the North-West), and the Donegal Adventure Centre offers popular daily camps for kids, teens and families (ages 8-17). There are also residential options, so that kids can enjoy a week immersed in the surf with friends. It’s not all fun and frolics in the sea, either; archery, climbing, Jiu Jitsu and skateboarding are also on the menu. Places are available on daily and weekly camps throughout August (last date to book is August 26), but booking in advance is essential. Half-day camps cost from €150 for a full day, to €70 a week for a half day. Residential rates are around €399 for children aged 11-17 and include accommodation, food and 24-hour supervision. | 071 9842418


Astro Park


For footie fans aged 4-13 who prefer a spread of activities, Astro Park (locations at Coolock and Tallaght) runs diverse camps all summer. If they’ve ever been curious about trying Nerf Astro Wars or Bubble Football, this could well be their chance. The five-day camps run from 10am-3pm and cost €80 per child.


Connemara Maths Academy

Achill Island and Tipperary

This one-week residential camp is perfect for young boffins who want to get truly stuck into coding, robotics, 3D printing and film production. There is an emphasis placed on physical activity, too: a genuine all-rounder. Open to kids aged from 8 to 17 across July and August, places can cost up to €850 per child.

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