The countdown to spring break for students in the Washoe County School District is rapidly ticking down. Are you ready? If not, it could be a loooong two weeks ahead for you and your children. Fortunately, it’s not too late to sign up for a variety of camps and activities in Sparks and Reno before vacation time blasts off.
Seize the opportunities for the two-week break that begins March 21. It’s a perfect time for students to do something they can’t always do at home or in the classroom. Case in point: At camps offered at the Nevada Museum of Art where children work with clay, “the whole idea behind it is to get dirty,” said instructor Karen Vetter of Spanish Springs. Working with clay and learning to throw on a potter’s wheel is an activity “they don’t normally get to do.”
Camps and community classes have a social upside as well. New friendships are common.
“They’re (students) very, very focused on Monday and Tuesday, and by Friday they’ve all made new friends, and they play games,” Vetter said of her week-long camps.
This is the first time she is offering an clay workshop for teens, ages 13 to 18.
“There isn’t a whole lot in town for that age group. I’m excited about it,” Vetter said.
Sparks Park & Recreation has you covered no matter if you’re looking for full-day, week-long camps or just some part-time activities. University of Nevada, Reno is offering camps that involve “STEAM” components, that is, science technology, engineering, arts and math, but promise “fun” as well.
If your kids are yearning for some outdoor activities, check out the Spring Exploration Camp at Galena Creek Visitor Center. If you have budding artists or actors in your household, take a look at the art camp offered through Sparks Park & Rec or one of the acting camps run by Reno Little Theater or Kidscape Productions.
Plenty of sports camps are available, too. This helps eliminate ball bouncing inside the house (we can always hope). Sparks Park & Rec camps give kids a chance to learn or improve their skills in volleyball, tennis, or basketball. Jam On It Academy offers a variety of basketball camps.
If the kids are still complaining of boredom, or they’re camp shy, there are a slew of other places to go and things to see that you can schedule on your own time. If the weather is spring-like, visit one of the many parks in Sparks for free, fresh-air fun. If the temperatures are fickle, as they often are in March, take a trip to the library or a local museum. It’s probably been too long since you’ve stepped inside the Sparks Heritage Museum on Victorian Avenue. See how the facelift on Last Chance Joe is coming along, and check out some of the cool state and city artifacts on display inside. The exhibit “Hidden in Plain Sight: The Basques” is on now on display.
If you’re out and about in Reno, don’t forget to take in the Monster Fish exhibition at the Terry Lee Wells Discovery Museum and the SSSnakes Alive! display at the Wilbur D. May Museum. The National Automobile Museum and the Nevada Museum of Art also make good impromptu field trips.
It’s a little early yet for outdoor splashing and swimming, but you can still bowl, play black light miniature golf, try some laser mazes and more at the Coconut Bowl at Wild Island. If stretching back and watching the big screen sounds like a good way to spend a few hours, Sparks has several theaters with ample movies to choose from.
Whatever you decide to do with your kids on break, let’s hope it refuels them enough to get through those last few months of school.
Sparks Park & Recreation – Spring Vacation Fun: This program is for children in kindergarten through 6th grade. There are two sessions: March 21 through 25 and March 28 through April 1. Hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Staff will provide organized games, arts and crafts, and field trips, all of which are included in the registration fee. Cost is $144 or $120 for Sparks residents. The daily drop-in fee is $43 or $36 for Sparks residents. For more information, call (775) 353-2376.
Spring Break Art Camp for Kids: Children get creative as they experience art, theater movement and music in this week-long art camp. Open to youth, 6-10 years old. 3/28-4/1 from 9am-noon. Cost: $95/five-day session. Larry D. Johnson Community Center, 1200 12th Street, Sparks. 775-353-7780, cityofsparks.us.
Spring Break Clay Camp: March 21-25, 8:30 a.m. to noon. Kids ages 7 to12 will have fun exploring the tactile nature of clay. Instruction will encompass basic hand building, throwing on the wheel, and sculpture. Students will learn about the basics of pottery, glazing and the transformation of their pieces from the heat of the kiln. Snack and materials are included. Location: Nevada Museum of Art, 160 W. Liberty St. Cost: $175 General / $155 museum members. Information:
Art High: Clay Intensive: March 28 – April 1, 1 – 4 pm. Teens ages 13-18 will have fun exploring the tactile nature of clay. Instruction will encompass basic hand building, throwing on the wheel, and sculpture. Students will learn about the basics of pottery, glazing and the transformation of their pieces from the heat of the kiln. All levels. All materials are included. Location: Nevada Museum of Art, 16o W. Liberty St. Cost: $175 General / $155 Museum members.
Reno Little Theater Spring Break Camp: March 28 – April 1, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Campers, kindergarten through 6th grade, will have the opportunity to explore creative storytelling. Improvisation, puppetry, creative movement, and musical theater–all while developing self-confidence, responsibility, and character. On the last day, family and friends are invited to the camper showcase to see their actors in ACTion! Cost: $150 per camper. Information/registration: 775-813-8900.
Kidscape Improvisational Acting: Offered through TMCC Community Education. March 21-25, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Ages 6-9. KidScape Productions will take campers through the professional process of Improvisational Acting as taught around the world. Location: Spanish Springs High School, Sparks. Register by March 22. Information: 775-829-9010.
Great Basin Naturalist at Galena, Spring Exploration Camp: March 28 through April 1, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ages 8-12. $175. Campers spend the day outside learning outdoor survival skills, exploring forest and water ecosystems, hiking trails, playing group games, creating art, and making new friends. The camp provides participants with the joys of hiking, exploring, and learning in a forest environment with qualified and dedicated Great Basin Institute at Galena Naturalists. (Extended hours, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., available for an additional $10. Scholarships also available.) Location: Galena Creek Visitor Center. Information: (775) 849-4948.
NNJ Volleyball – Spring Break: Children will receive quality skill instruction and participate in drills during this spring break activity. 3/21-3/24 from 9-11am. Cost: $82/$68 Sparks residents. Open to 4-18 year olds. Alf Sorenson Community Center. 1400 Baring Blvd., Sparks. 775-353-2385, cityofsparks.us.
GHT Basketball Camp: Whether it is to learn how to compete in basketball or to make their junior high or high school basketball team, former Wolf Pack and Reno Bighorns basketball player Gary Hill-Thomas (GT) hosts this basketball camp that will teach children key fundamentals, character and values on how to achieve their goals in sports and life. 3/21-3/24 from 2-5pm. Cost: $72/$60 Sparks residents. Open to 6-14 year olds. Alf Sorenson Community Center. 1400 Baring Blvd., Sparks. 775-353-2385, cityofsparks.us.
Spring Break Tennis Camp: Join tennis professional Mark Humes as he teaches children how to play tennis. 3/28-3/31. Times vary depending on program selected. For more information, contact 775-353-2385 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost: $38/$32 Sparks residents. Open to youth, 6-12 years old. Pah Rah Park Tennis Courts. 1750 Shadow Lane, Sparks. 775-353-2385, cityofsparks.us.
Jam On It Basketball Academy, K-6th Grade Spring Break Camp: Jam On It Camps combine basketball fundamentals with a flare of street basketball. The focus is on teaching fundamentals to all levels by creating a fun, competitive atmosphere through skill stations and games. March 28 to 31, 9am-4pm. Open gym begins at 8am, Camp begins at 9am. Camp concludes at 4pm each day, open gym is conducted from 4pm-5pm during child pick-ups. Cost: $100 per child, $50 per additional family member. Drop ins welcome – $30.00 per day. All campers will receive a camp T-shirt. Bring your own lunch & snacks. Camp Facility: Reno-Sparks Convention Center – Hall 5, 4590 South Virginia St., Reno. Information hotline: (503) 891-4771. Jamonitacademy.com
Jam On It Basketball Academy, Middle School Spring Break Camp: March 28-31, 1-4 p.m. Location: Reno-Sparks Convention Center – Hall 5, 4590 South Virginia St., Reno. Cost: $60 per child, $30 per additional family member. Drop-ins: $20/day. Information hotline: (503) 891-4771. Jamonitacademy.com
University of Nevada, Reno Spring Break camps: The university is offering themed camps combining the academic STEAM components — Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. The sessions: Health Care Heroes Break Camp, March 28 to April 1, grades 5 to 12; CSI: The Science of Justice Break Camp, March 21-25, grades 5 to 12; Like a Pro: Web Design and Computer Logic Break Camp, March 21 -25, grades 5 to 8; and Totally Drones: All About Aerial Robotics Break Camp, March 28-April 1, grades 9 to 12. Cost: $275 per week-long camp. Information: (775) 784-4062. http://www.kidsuniversity.unr.edu/
Bricks4Kidz: Animal Grossology Camp at Bud Beasley Elementary (Sparks): Mar 21 through 25. Full-Day Camp (8am to 3pm), 3/21-3/25, $195; Morning Half-Day Camp (8am to 11am), 3/21-3/25, $110; Afternoon Half-Day Camp (12pm to 3pm), 3/21-3/25, $110. Camp includes all the LEGO® builds, projects, games and challenges that go along with the camp theme. All half-day and full-day campers will receive a Bricks 4 Kidz acrylic Mason jar mug. (NOTE: Pirate Quest camp, Mar 21-25, and Bricktopia camp, Mar 28-April 1, available at Reno locations.) Information: 775-200-0445
Terry Lee Wells Discovery Museum: A variety of week-long camps for students in K through 7th grade. Topics include the physics of sound, properties and uses of water, exploring optics, game design and filmmaking. Prices vary from $112.50 for half-day camps to $225 for full-day camps. Discounts for museum members. Information: 775-398-5954. Schedule: https://nvdm.org/learn/camp-discovery/spring-break-2016-camp-discovery-schedule/