Photo: (Left) Dance Barre dancers enjoying Dance Days Imagination and Tie Dye Day at a mid July 2022 camp. Along with a day of dancing and tie dye, they created heartfelt origami notes for their family and friends. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Case.
(Center) At a Winstars Gymnastics Training Centre camp in July 2022, a young girl strikes a pose. Photo courtesy of Winstars.
(Right) On a farm there are all kinds of animals, including cuddly cats! At a past WETRA camp, two young girls became friends after bonding over their love of animals, cats and horses included! Photo courtesy of Becky Mills.
THE PARENTING BIZ – Where The Cool Kids Spend Their Summer . . .
Summer is here and it’s time to get the kids out of the house and away from computers and video games, so they can enjoy the time away from school!
That’s why this edition of our parenting section lists plenty of fun things for kids to do.
Whether it’s dance, film, technology, horseback riding, art, sports, gymnastics, food prep, exploring nature, history, science, attending fairs or even cosplay, we cover it all! A bonus too is that everything is very affordable and at times . . . free!
Let’s begin now with day camps, and then move to local businesses and organizations you can visit at your own convenience. Lastly we wrap up with some family friendly events in Windsor and Essex County.
Dance Barre, 4530 Rhodes Drive in Windsor, specializes in classes for ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical and contemporary dance.
Throughout July and August they are offering one-day “pop-in” classes and week-long camps.
“Our pop-in, hour-long classes are for ages two to 18 and all skill levels are welcome,” say Lindsay and Blake Angier, Owners and Artistic Directors of Dance Barre. “Kids can expect days filled with music, dance, crafts and meeting new friends!”
Their staff of 20 offer the pop-in classes during the week, between 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.to 2 p.m. Full week camps are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with early drop off and late pick up options available.
“We are very excited to be entering our 16th season at Dance Barre,” states the couple. “To celebrate we are presenting ‘Encampo — the Show,’ a week-long camp running from August 8 to August 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., for ages seven to 12. From start to finish the young dancers will take the lead in the creation of the show; dancers will discover and share their strengths with their fellow dancers through student choreography, program and ticket creation, lighting, makeup, costumes and more!”
The final show is presented at the Dance Barre location on Friday, August 12 at 5 p.m.
Pop-in classes start at $15 per hour and week-long camps start at $200.
Have little ones who love to dance? Then check out their website, where registration for new students is always open!
Film Camp For Kids & Youth
The Film Camp for Kids & Youth — operated by Windsor Centre for Film, Digital Media & the Creative Arts since 2013 — offers 10 to 15 different types of camps, including filmmaking, writing, photography, animation, prop making, storyboarding, visual art, music, acting, graphic design and more, for children ages nine to 12.
Camps run throughout July and August. Week-long day camps ($225 per week) are from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in multiple locations throughout Windsor. Overnight camps ($375 per week) are five days in Harrow at the Kiwanis Sunshine Point Camp.
Participants can sign up for as many weeks as they like as each camp is as different as the films, so it is never the same experience!
Virtual on-demand classes are also available, including customized private lessons with flexible hours and pricing, averaging $10 an hour.
If your kids are interested in these creative arts and digital media camps, visit their website.
Nimble Brain Education Inc.
Nimble Brain Education Inc. (3020 Dougall Avenue, Unit 11 in Windsor), has offered training in Abacus based mental math, robotics, coding, 3D/AR/VR, drone programs and English language programs, since 2012.
Their staff of 10 are offering summer day camps August 15 to 19 and August 22 to 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., for kids eight years old and above.
Their robotics camp is one week ($300) and covers basic electrical circuits, logic gates and electronic components.
The 3D/AR/VR camp is two weeks ($500 plus the costs of the kits) and kids learn about 3D drawing, printing and game building using licensed software, Augmented Reality and desktop game building.
The Drone camp is also two weeks ($500) and kids work on gamification-based patented software to learn various controls of drones — individually and in synchronization with others.
“Classes are run by trained professionals,” explains Amit Modi, Director of Nimble Brain Education Inc. “Children will not only learn the technical curriculum, but also develop soft-skills to demonstrate the project and present to other children and the course instructor.”
All programs are also offered in regular classes throughout the year.
Windsor-Essex Therapeutic Riding Association
Opened in 1963, Windsor-Essex Therapeutic Riding Association (WETRA) provides many types of therapy utilizing horses and other farm animals to build confidence, self-esteem and a sense of belonging.
Located at 3323 North Malden Road, RR#2 in Essex, their summer camp program is for all abilities and runs Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., for children ages five to 14, with seven weeks to choose from in July and August.
“Children can expect to meet their equine ‘partner’ for the entire week on day one,” says Executive Director Becky Mills, one of nine multi-faceted employees of WETRA. “They will learn to groom, saddle, ride and care for their assigned horse. Our afternoons consist of fun games involving the farm animals and informative lessons about the life of horses.”
They have many air-conditioned spaces to interact with the horses, so an entire day on the farm is comfortable in any weather.
“As well, we invite special equipment and guests to our farm, such as a fire truck, veterinarian and blacksmith,” Mills indicates. “Many children make lasting friendships and return to the camp year after year.”
The camp costs $350 per week and you can fill out an online form for your child to attend.
Located at 401 Riverside Drive West in Windsor, Art Windsor-Essex has harnessed the power of art to open minds and hearts to new ideas, perspectives and ways of thinking that inspire people to grow emotionally and intellectually, since 1943 (previously named the Art Gallery of Windsor).
For 2022, summer art camps ($250 per week with one exception) operate July 25 to 29, August 2 to 5 ($200 only due to Civic Holiday) and August 8 to 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., for children ages seven to 12.
“We are seeking creative explorers to come spend the summer at Art Windsor-Essex,” says Sophie Hinch, Education and Public Programs Coordinator at Art Windsor-Essex. “During this five day camp, campers will explore their surroundings and discover hidden gems in the city. From painting to drawing and sculpture to photography, campers will create unique works of art inspired by city landscapers and Art Windsor-Essex’s current exhibitions.”
Located at 7654 Tecumseh Road East on the Tecumseh Mall property, Aerosports Windsor is an indoor trampoline park, specializing in ways to get kids active while also having fun.
Opened in June 2022, attractions include open jumping, aero hoops basketball, aero foam pit, dodgeball, ninja warrior course, aero ladder, aero joust, warped walls, aero drop, aero bags and more!
Their camps are open to kids six to 12 years old and take place August 1 to 5, August 15 to 19 and August 29 to September 2 — the cost to attend is $65 per day and $300 for the week.
“Whether it’s with friends or family, it’s the perfect way to stay active and cool on a hot summer day,” comments Kayla Lumley, General Manager of the Windsor location. “Campers will dive into sports, team building, crafts, outdoor play, cooperative games, and of course, tons of bouncing!”
Winstars Gymnastics Training Centre
Since 2000, Winstars Gymnastics Training Centre’s 23 employees have been dedicated to teaching children essential life skills through the sport of gymnastics.
Situated at 8400 Twin Oaks Drive in Windsor, their camps for 2022 take place Monday to Friday throughout July and August. The morning camp is for children aged three to five and runs from 9 a.m. to noon; full day camps run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for kids three and up.
“Our tagline is — Sports start right here; Be a part of it,” says Carey Vigneux, Owner and Director of Winstars Gymnastics. “That’s why our camp activities include gymnastics, trampoline, arts and crafts, yoga, outdoor water games, cooperative games, and a different theme each week.”
Morning camp is $110 per week and full day camp is $210 per week, plus a $25 registration fee; siblings receive a 20% discount.
“Our successful camp is full of non-stop activity all day, organized by the best staff,” Vigneux remarks. “Kids will be in bed early after a day spent at Winstars camp!”
Read more about their summer camps, regular programs and birthday party options on their website.