News Release, Smithsonian Institutes

Washington, D.C.- Smithsonian Associates offers one-of-a-kind learning experiences that spark the imagination—and offer plenty of great fun—during Smithsonian Summer Camp, now in its 51st year. A wide variety of camps for children in kindergarten through ninth grade will be held Monday, June 22, through Friday, Aug. 21, at the Smithsonian’s S. Dillon Ripley Center at 1100 Jefferson Dr. S.W.

During summer camp, kids explore, discover, create and go behind the scenes at the Smithsonian. Campers can blast into space, take center stage, create a masterpiece, invent a fantasy world, relive history or learn to shape the future of the planet. The rich and exciting world of the Smithsonian is theirs to discover. More than 90 camps are offered this year; camps are held Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Before-camp (8 a.m. to 9 a.m.) and after-camp (4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.) activities are also available.

For the youngest campers, museum visits, storytelling, art, science, and music are all important parts of the fun—and learning. Camps such as “ABCs of the Smithsonian,” “Smithsonian Sounds,” “Smithsonian Seuss Safari,” “Building Smithsonian City” and “Junior Paleontologists” are specifically designed to introduce the world of the Smithsonian to children ages 5 and older.

Back by popular demand are two-week intensive camps. The two-week camp “Espionage, Infiltration, and Subterfuge” is designed for students (grades 7–9) to explore the art of espionage as they dive into the covert worlds of the American Revolution, the World Wars and the Cold War era. Trips to Mount Vernon, the National Cryptologic Museum and the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center and Air and Space and American History museums help them discover how espionage has evolved throughout history. They also learn how technology has changed the spy game, what happens when spies get caught and why cyber-espionage is now the norm. Campers debrief family and friends and provide intel on their secret missions at the conclusion of the camp.

The popular two-week camp “Hogwarts at the Smithsonian: OWLS and NEWTs” allows campers to delve deeper into the mythology, history, and science behind the Harry Potter books and films. They dig into new and mysterious corners of the wizarding arts, with more hands-on creative projects, science experiments, and magical history. Visits to the National Portrait Gallery, National Zoo and locations beyond expanding their magical studies. This camp culminates in a Triwizard Tournament—for those who dare.

History comes alive in one-week “Soldiers and Dioramas” camps (grades 6–9) where campers find a new dimension—a miniature one—to learning about some of the most important battles in history. Nine camps are offered, each covering a specific battle, and campers make their own terrain boards and lead troops of 1/72-scale soldiers in war games that offer them vivid insights into the military strategies and conflicts that have shaped the world.          

Science adventures are available for all ages. From the deepest oceans to the furthest stars, the vast Amazon rainforest to the smallest backyard insect, campers have a universe of science to discover this summer. The Smithsonian’s museums on the Mall and the National Zoo, Udvar-Hazy Center and Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, as well as the U.S. Botanic Gardens, provide exciting backdrops for all their explorations. Other camp themes this year include video-game design, kitchen chemistry, Smithsonian “Shark Tank,” Smithsonian Folklife Festival adventures, sketch comedy, textile arts, digital photography and more.

Prices for weeklong summer camps are $460 for non-members and $395 for Smithsonian Associates members. There will be no camp Friday, July 3. Prices for summer camp Monday, June 29, through Thursday, July 2, are $368 for non-members and $316 for Smithsonian Associates members. Two-week intensive camps range from $828 to $920 for non-members and $711 to $790 for Smithsonian Associates members. Online and phone registration begins Thursday, Feb. 13, at 9 a.m. for members and Friday, Feb. 14 for the general public. In-person registration at the Smithsonian Associates box office located in Suite 3077 of the Ripley Center begins at 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 13. Donors to Smithsonian Associates at the Contributor level ($300 or higher) are eligible for priority registration Tuesday, Feb. 11 and Wednesday, Feb. 12. All participants are encouraged to pre-register online. For more information, the public may visit or call 202- 633-3030.

Smithsonian Associates—the largest museum-based education program in the world—produces vibrant educational and cultural programming inspired by the Smithsonian’s research, collections, and exhibitions. Each year more than 750 individual programs are presented to spark creativity and excite learning in people of all ages in the Washington, D.C., area and across the country. Smithsonian Associates brings the Smithsonian to life through seminars, performances, lectures, studio art classes, and local and regional study tours, as well as many engaging programs for children, including performances and museum sleepovers.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...