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{May 22, 2012}   Sure Cure For Those Summertime Blues…

Summer’s coming…that time of year school kids count down to with great anticipation.  After the initial elation of “No more pencils, no more books”, summertime boredom sets in.  But with this fun assortment of summer classes and camps for kids and teens, you may never have to hear “I’m bored” even once!

With interactive, kid-friendly exhibits and activities, it’s no surprise that The Children’s Museum of the Upstate is a favorite with kids year-round. When the temps get warmer, the fun factor gets amped up…BIG TIME! Offering weekly day camps that have delightful themes such as “Build It”, “Let’s Move” and “Passport to Fun”, kids of all ages will happily discover something to spark their interest! Camp sessions begin mid-June and the cost ranges from $125 for the Lil Sprouts Camps (ages 4 & 5) and $250 for the Big Kids Camp (K5-5th graders). Pre-registration is required. For more information, visit: www.tcmupstate.org.

The Greenville Zoo is another wonderful place for kids anytime of the year. Like the Children’s Museum, when summer comes, the Zoo offers exciting and educational camps for kids from pre-school to middle school. Camps are scheduled for several weeks, starting in early June, with morning and afternoon sessions available. There is even an overnight camp for teens. Rates range from $45 – $105 for Zoo Members and $50-$115 for Non-Members. Pre-registration is required, and some dates may be already be full. This year’s theme is “Animal Mythbusters: Truth or Myth”. With behind-the-scenes adventures, exciting games and crafts and discussions with zookeepers, kids will have so much fun, they won’t realize they’re learning! For more information, visit www.greenvillezoo.com

For the future Oscar winner in your family, Greenville’s theatre community offers several opportunities for your young thespian to earn their acting chops. The South Carolina Children’s Theatre has long been a source for theatrical entertainment and education for theatre enthusiasts of all ages. Summertime is no different. Preschool and young elementary schoolers can discover their hidden fairy selves or release their inner pirate with fun day camps that encourage young ones frolic in their imaginary worlds. 1st-5th graders will get to don their superhero capes and save the world in SCCT’s Superhero Camp and Teens and Tweens will have the chance to creatively “think on their feet” in a fun and exciting Improv Camp. The cost for these camps vary, starting at $150, and pre-registration is required. To find out more, visit:  http://scchildrenstheatre.org.

The Greenville Little Theatre has been the “jumping off point” for many talented young actors, including Oscar winner (and Greenville native) Joanne Woodward. GLT strives to continue that impressive tradition with theatre classes for teens and tweens that cover such important subjects as movie-making, musicals and play-writing. Classes begin in June with “Let’s Make a Movie”. Costs vary from $150-$200 and pre-registration is required. To learn more about GLT’s programs, visit www.greenvillelittletheatre.org.

For your budding Monets and Picassos, the Greenville County Museum of Art offers an array of imaginative art classes in many mediums. K5 – 5th graders will be encouraged to explore the watercolors of Andrew Wyeth, make a hamburger bigger than their head, and learn about 3-dimensional art, all under the tutelage of some of the Upstate’s finest artists. Teens will have the opportunity to fine-tune their drawing skills with Bruce Bunch, dabble in fashion design with Emily Clarke, and tap into the wonders of wool and fiber art with Deb Potter. Classes begin in June and the cost is $99 per class. Pre-registration is required. For a list of classes and more info, visit: http://artclasses.greenvillemuseum.org.

Children with autism often have difficulty expressing themselves and also find it difficult to locate summer programs that fit their unique needs. A new writing program, Ugly Words, inspires and empowers Upstate children ages 8-18 to write frequently and with confidence through a combination of workshops and tutoring. This unique program encourages these kids to explore their imaginations and write about their experiences in THEIR words, without fear of being corrected.  Three pilot programs have been scheduled for this summer to take place at Hughes Main Library and cover a broad range of subjects from fort-building and urban archaeology to teen literary favorite, “The Hunger Games”. These workshops are free, but registration is required and opens May 31. For more information about this wonderful program, please visit: http://HYPERLINK “http://uglywordsgreenville.tumblr.com/”uglywordsgreenville.tumblr.com.

In addition to the Ugly Words programs, the Hughes Main Library offers many activities for kids of all ages. From Summer Reading Programs and Storytime to Craft Time and Theatrical Productions, the library offers a little something for kids of all ages. For a schedule of programs and classes, visit the Greenville Library System’s website at www.greenvillelibrary.org.

Greenville’s Parks and Recreation also has a variety of fun activities designed just for kids. Their Super Summer Day Camp for boys and girls age 5-12 takes place Monday-Friday at each of the City’s Community Centers. The campers get to enjoy arts and crafts, fitness and sports, music, field trips and much more. Cost is $225 for this 10-week camp (Greenville residents get a 20% discount) and pre-registration is required. In addition to the Summer Camps, the Community Centers also offer an eclectic mix of activities and classes for kids and teens that range from Art & Design and Music Classes to Tennis and Fitness Camps. Cost varies depending on the class. For more information, visit the Greenville City page at: http://www.greenvillesc.gov/ParksRec/CommunityCenter.

Well, there you have it – plenty of activities to keep little hands busy and young minds focused. And Downtown Greenville also has many other attractions that thrill the little ones. From the Upstate History Museum to the Mice on Main, and all the fun and funky shops and restaurants, parents will find a plethora of family-friendly activities that are fun for kids and kids at heart. Have fun!

 

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