In just six short weeks, kids will be out of school. Even the most serendipitous summer calls for a bit of structure. If you are looking for ideas that reach beyond sports, the pool, local parks and hanging out with friends and family, there are many interesting options right here in town. How about sharing Benicia’s rich history with your kids with a tour of the museum or State Capitol? Or look into Arts Benicia, Artcentric, the Benicia public library and independent businesses; all offer some pretty cool programs for kids. Are your young ones interested in theater? Do they love creative endeavors or wacky science? From day camps to book clubs to archery and more, here are some resources that will keep kids of all ages entertained.
In June and July, Arts Benicia is offering their Summer EcoArt camp for kids in grades 3-5. "I'm very excited about Arts Benicia's EcoArt Camp this summer. There's a fantastic variety of art making to pique kids' curiosity and ignite their creativity. They will have a chance to build, sculpt, carve, draw, paint, make prints, mosaics, collages and cartoons. While learning about tools and different media, kids will also explore the imaginative uses of working with recycled and sustainable objects in combination with traditional materials,” says Celeste Smeland, AB’s Executive Director. The four theme-based sessions run 8:30-12:30am; prices range from $175-185. Arts Benicia is also offering their popular Family Art Day (free), June 25 at the Arts Benicia classroom and there’s a free art project at the library July 21. Artsbenicia.org, 707.747.0131.
Artcentric Pottery and Glass Fusing Studio
In addition to painting your own pottery, Artcentric offers programs for kids and families, but call ahead for schedule changes. Pajama Night, 5-8pm, is the last Friday of the month, and if dressed in pajamas the studio fee is waived. Family Sunday and Wacky Wednesdays offer a discounted price, and there’s a Mom & Me class on selected Tuesdays from 11:30am. For pricing and other information, go to artcentricbenicia.info or contact Aline at 707.745.9553.
Benicia Public Library
The Benicia Library has many programs for kids from babies to teens, most of which are free. Too numerous to list—here are some highlights: Kite Making, Free Comic Book Day, kid’s book clubs, Board Game Evenings, Latin Dancing and Chocolate Tasting. Tails and Tales, on Wednesdays at 2:30pm starting June 15, children 1-5 years old can have ten minutes each with Honey the dog and her handler. Benicialibrary.org, 707.746.4347.
Fat Shafts Archery
Fat Shafts offers kids archer lessons and party opportunities at their Business Park location. The archery’s Open Range hours are Monday through Friday 12-8pm and Saturday 12-5pm. $15 per hour includes equipment; $10 per hour with your own equipment. For the Jr. Olympic Archery Development program, Saturday morning classes for 8-20 years old are Saturday, 9am, 10am and 11am; $10 per hour with equipment and $7 per hour with your own. Fatshaftsarchery.com, 707.745.0447.
Brick Space Lego Learning Center
In addition to their many educational programs for kids, Brick Space offers drop-in build and play and a multitude of summer camps, including a Girls S.T.E.M. camp, Chess camp, Spy Academy camp, Medieval Castle and Knights camp and a Train your Dragon camp to name just a few. According the website, LEGO building is a hands-on activity encouraging creativity and teamwork using LEGO bricks and educational products to introduce science, technology, engineering and mathematics (S.T.E.M.) concepts in a fun way. For kids 3-12, camps run all summer and prices range from $25-$166. Brickspacebenicia.net, 707.745.8088
According to the website, Flying Monkey Theatre Arts “Exists to provide children in the community with opportunities to learn life skills through dramatic art. Summer camps begin June 20 and run weekly through July 15 at Robert Semple Elementary School (no camp July 4). Each week-long themed camp includes supplies, professional teaching artists, live performances and complimentary recording video link and. Themes range from Musical Madness to Fairy Tales Alive with prices ranging from $100 to $120. Flyingmonkeytheatrearts.com, 707.373.7388.
Hyland Teen Center, 707-315-3065, 1315 Military West
City of Benicia Summer Guide, 707.745- 4200, 250 East L Street
Benicia Makerspace, 707.654.4131, 4592 East Second St., Suite O&P
Benicia Historical Museum, 707.745.5435, 2060 Camel Road
Benicia Capitol State Historic Park, 707.745.3385, 115 West G Street
James Lemos Pool, 707.746.4286 181 East J Street