On the Riviera Maya, summer is now upon us and summer vacation is just around the corner. For many families, the school break means travel! Many will take this time to travel to see their families scattered across Mexico. Others will depart for cooler climates in the US, Europe and Canada. For those staying put, the challenge is always "What to do with the children?". When school is out and most of the extracurricular activities have been suspended for the summer months there is a huge gap to be filled in the daily lives of our young ones. Many families, especially those with two working parents, will be looking for fun summer programs to fill the time for their restless nin@s.

Fortunately, there are some nice options for children of all ages to keep them active and occupied until classes start up again at the end of August. These are a few of the programs and summer camps that  we have found for kids living in Playa del Carmen and all across the Mayan Riviera. Whether your children are interested in sports, nature, the arts or even a traditional sleep-over camp experience, there are a variety of options to choose from.

Summer Camp Riviera Maya 

Parque La Ceiba Curso de Verano (Day Camp)

Dates:      July 11, 2011 - August 19, 2011
Time:        9 am - 2 pm
Location:  Parque la Ceiba - Calle 1a sur and Diagonal 60, Col. Ejido
Cost:        1 Day - $150 mn per student (15% disc. for siblings, 10% disc. for friends)
                 1 Week  -  $ 800 mn    2 Weeks - $1400 mn   3 Weeks - $1800 mn
                 4 Weeks - $2300 mn   5 Weeks - $2600 mn   6 Weeks - $3000 mn

Children ages 5 - 12 are invited to spend the summer break in the jungle at Parque la Ceiba in Playa del Carmen. Students will participate in a wide variety of classes and activities including Huichol art, dance, drama, recycling, gardening, cooking and much more. The children will enjoy field trips to the Xcaret aquarium, a plant nursery, a turtle sanctuary and other fun trips designed to stimulate their minds and bodies and fuel their imagination! Prices include all materials and costs for field trips. Instruction will primarily be given in Spanish providing a wonderful opportunity for children new to Mexico to immerse themselves in the language in a casual and fun environment without the pressures of school. For more information and to sign up, contact Gina Taboada at parquelaceiba@florafaunaycultura.org.

Kids Cooking at UTKids Cancun (Day Camp)

Dates:      July 11, 2011 - July 15, 2011  Ages 5 - 8
                 July 18, 2011 - July 22, 2011 Ages 9 - 13
Time:        9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location:  Universidad Tecnologica de Cancun
Cost:        $1000 per child/per 5 day session

This week-long summer program in Cancun is a great way to introduce your child to the world of cooking! In a fun and safe atmosphere, the children will develop a recipe guided by the Chef/Instructor. While preparing the dish, the children will learn about the origin of the dish, the individual ingredients, the various tools required and some of the skills required to one day become a great Chef! For more information including directions to the University campus, email avela@utcancun.edu.mx or lsolis@utcancun.edu.mx.


A Summer of Dance with In Motion (Day Camp)

Dates:      July 11, 2011 - Aug. 5, 2011 
Time:        9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Location:  In Motion Artes Escenicas. In the Tendenza Building on the corner of Calle 14 bis and Ave. 10.

Cost:        $1800 per child for the entire session

In Motion Dance Academy in Playa del Carmen is offering a summer program for children ages 9 and older. This is a diverse artistic program with instruction in theatre arts, voice, dance, acrobatics, capoeira, theatrical makeup and more! If you have a budding young performer in your household, this is a program they will surely love! For more information email inmotionplaya@hotmail.com.


Summer Programs Playa del Carmen


Agua Azul Camp (Sleep-away Camp)

Dates:     July 11, 2011 - July 16 2011
                July 18, 2011 - July 23, 2011
Time:       Sleep-over camp
Location: Camp Agua Azul, 1 hour west of Cancun, in Nuevo Valladolid
Cost:       $3800 mn per camper/per session

Just because you are in Mexico does not mean your kids have to miss out on the traditional "sleep-over" camp experience! Camp Agua Azul is located just about 1.5 hours from Playa del Carmen near Nuevo Valladolid. Children ages 6 - 15 will spend 1 or 2 weeks sleeping in tents, surrounded by lush jungle and mystical cenotes. Campers will learn about the environment they live in and enjoy all sorts of games and activities including swimming, kayaking, zip-lines, campfires, parties, competitions and all the fun you would expect from a true summer camp. Counselors and lifeguards with paramedic training will be onsite at all times. Cost includes transportation to and from Cancun, lodging, meals, accident insurance and all onsite activities. For more information visit the Agua Azul website or contact camp organizer Marilu Rivera at 998-120-4825 or via email marilu@aguaazul.info.


WAYAK' Edu-Eco Camp (Day Camp)

Dates:     August 1, 2011 - August 5, 2011
                August 8, 2011 - August 12, 2011
Time:       9 am - 1 pm
Location:  El Papalote School, Ave. 25 between Calles 30 and 32
Cost:        $750 mn per student (1 week) $1250 mn per student (2 weeks)

Boy and girls, ages 3-6 and 7-12, will spend days on the campus at El Papalote School practicing and perfecting English skills through art, games, drama, music and sports! Organized and by Crecer Juntos, the kids at Camp Wayak are supervised by native English speaking counselors, each experienced in the field of elementary education. All levels of English speakers will find a place in this all-inclusive, culturally diverse camp environment. WAYAK' Camp offers opportunities for actively learning English, creative art experiences and physical play, and focuses on the positive development of children by:
• creating an environment that is a safe and activity-oriented learning center
• offering a wide variety of new and traditional activities, sports, and games
• teaching children that learning a language can be fun and useful
• providing positive feedback on the process of doing your best, emphasizing participation rather than winning or being the best

For information visit the Crecer Juntos website or contact Alicia Meno at wayak@crecerjuntosmex.com.


Papalote Summer Camp (Day Camp)

Dates:     July 11, 2011 - July 29, 2011 Monday - Friday
Time:       9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Location: Papalote School, Ave. 25 between Calles 30 and 32
Cost:       1 Day - $250 mn per child
                1 Week  -  $1050 mn   
                Entire Course - $2800 mn 

Children ages 1 - 10 years old will spend the day having fun with old friends and new! Using Waldorf based teaching methods, the children will have the chance to experiment with watercolors and modeling wax, learn a variety of handcrafts, play water games and much more! Instruction will be bi-lingual and provide a great opportunity for both native Spanish and English speakers to practice language skills in a casual, inclusive environment. For more information contact Miss Silvia Leon at 984-111-1134.

Horseback Riding Camp 

Horseback Riding Camp (Day Camp)

Dates:     July 4, 2011 - July 8, 2011
                July 18, 2011 - Aug.26, 2011 Monday - Friday
Time:       8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location:  Hipico Playa del Carmen located behind Rancho Guadalupana, just south of Xcaret on 307 south.
Cost:        $1000 mn per student per 5 day session.

Boys and girls, ages 7 and older, will spend days at the Hipico Playa del Carmen learning all about horses; how to feed and care for the animals and their tack. Riding instruction daily for beginning and intermediate riders. No previous experience required. Bi-lingual instruction. This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce your children to horses and riding in a safe and fun environment under the supervision of experienced equestrian Paco Magellon. For more information, visit the Hipico Playa del Carmen Facebook Page or email hipicoplayadelcarmen@gmail.com.


Harmon Hall English Summer Course (Day Camp)

Dates:     July 11, 2011 - Aug. 5, 2011 Monday - Friday
Time:      11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Location: Harmon Hall, Calle 6 between Ave. 25 and 30
Cost:       $2999 mn per student (plus cost of books)

This will be of particular interest to National families who are looking for an intensive English summer program for their school age children. Harmon Hall, likely the best known English language school in Mexico, is offering a Summer Course for students ages 6 - 14 and older teens 15 - 18. The classes will involve 3 hours of fun English instruction and one hour of activities, also in English. The theme this summer, for the younger group, is "Superheroes" so the classes and activities will follow this theme. The entire course is 80 hours long and tuition includes an official backpack, notebook and school materials. If you call 01-800-HABLA YA, promotional prices are offered. Discounts may also be available through certain companies (all the employees of member hotels and companies of the Hotel Association of Riviera Maya, for example). Call 984-873-2803 for more information and to enroll your child. Sign up here and get a 15% discount!

Montessori Selvamar Summer Camp (Day Camp)

Dates:     July 11, 2011 - August 4,, 2011 Monday - Friday
Time:       9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Location: Colegio Montessori, Fracc. Selvamar, Playa del Carmen
Cost:       $800 mn per child per week

The Montessori School in Selvamar welcomes children ages 2 - 12 years old to spend their summer days learning and having fun in a safe and well supervised environment. Using Montessori supported learning methods, the children will create their own individual works of art using a variety of materials. They will be introduced to theatre arts including singing and dancing. They will also be able to dabble in the culinary arts, learning to prepare fresh delicious food that they will all enjoy! For more information and to enroll your child, call 984-118-5866 or send an email to montessoriplaya@hotmail.com.

Summer Camp Playa del Carmen 

Summer Camp at Centro Cultural Caracol Marino (Day Camp)

Dates:     July 11, 2011 - August 12, 2011 Monday - Friday
Time:       9:30 am - 1:30 pm (after-care also available)
Location: Caracol Marino, Calle 80 between 5th and 10th Playa del Carmen
Cost:       $2500 mn per child for the entire 5 week session

The Cultural Center Caracol Marino is a special place that to me is uniquely Playense! After school and special programs are available year round but the summer camp wraps all of the fantastic activities that Caracol Marino offers into one 5 week package. Children ages 2 - 12 are welcome and will be divided into groups by age. Activities will be eco-artistic in nature and will include circus arts and clowning, theater, music, dance, fun recycling projects, art, meditation, gardening, singing, games and more! There will field trip every Friday. Children can either bring a bag lunch or parents can pay for a a delicious healthy meal prepared in the onsite kitchen ($30 mn). Discounts are available for families with multiple children and package rates can be arranged with lunch included every day. Working families will be pleased to know that after-care is also offered. For more information and to sign up contact Hena Iris Moreno Corzo at henamoren@gmail.com or call any of the following numbers 984-267-3136, 984-147-0267 or 984-116-8439.

PLAY TENNIS Camp for Kids (Day Camp)

Dates:     July 11, 2011 - July 15, 2011
               July 18, 2011 - July, 22 2011
               July 25, 2011 - July 29, 2011
Time:       8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location: RIU Lupita Hotel/Colegio Manuel Acosta, Playacar
Cost:       1 week:  $1800 mn
               2 weeks: $2900 mn
               3 weeks: $3500 mn

PLAY TENNIS has organized a wonderful summer tennis camp for kids ages 6 - 12. Fun and learning guaranteed! Using the new "Play + Stay" method, kids of all skill levels will learn the proper technique and form for each of the strokes used in the fast paced game of tennis! Children will develop important motor skills with the racket in a manner suitable for children at all levels of play. Each day will be split between court time and swimming lessons in the pool at Manuel Acosta School. There will be all sorts of fun games, educational activities, raffles and prizes with a mini-Olympics at the end of the week!

  8:00 am   Classes begin at the Hotel Riu Lupita in Playacar
10:30 am   Students transported from Hotel Riu Lupita to Colegio Manuel Acosta
11:00 am   Swimming lessons in the pool at Colegio Manuel Acosta
12:00 pm   End of day. Children can be picked up at Manuel Acosta

This summer course is organized and operated by PLAY TENNIS ACADEMY. Clinics will be taught by Facundo Fernandez, Professor of the PTR (Professional Tennis Registry) certified by the ITF (International Tennis Federation), certified by Play & Stay, Instructor High Performance Tennis Federation of New Zealand, Director High Performance Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Intensive specialized clinics will also be available in the evenings for advanced teen and adult players. For more information and to sign up contact Alvaro Flores at tenisproalvaro@gmail.com or call 984-806-4666.

If you know of any additional summer programs being offered in Playa del Carmen or anywhere in and around the Riviera Maya, please let us know so I can add them to the list! Send me an email at michelekinnon[at]gmail.com.