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School's Out for Summer! Now What?

Updated: May 29

(This article was written by Lisa Campos and appeared in the June 2024 issue of Explore Harlingen Magazine.)

Children with their ostrich paintings at painting camp at Artsycolor Splash. Photo courtesy of Lisa Campos.

It’s June and school is out! Although kids may be rejoicing at the thought of a break from school, the arrival of summer can cause stress and anxiety for some working parents. This guide is meant to help those parents find ways to occupy their kids’ time this summer with activities their kids will love. Whether your child is athletic or artistic, Harlingen has many options this summer.


Sports and Outdoor Camps

For active kids, consider enrolling them in the Boys and Girls Club of Harlingen summer program or one of their camps. Activities include inflatables, swimming, arts and crafts, game room, movies, carnival days, and more. Their fishing camp is free, but other camps such as the volleyball and cheer cost $10. The basketball camp costs $30. Our San Benito neighbors also have a Boys and Girls Club with enriching activities. Call 956-428-4183 to register for the Harlingen club.


Big Red’s Ranch of San Benito is holding four camps in June: 1) preschool week camp, 2) Boggus family kids camp, 3) Sam’s camp (in memory of the owner’s late brother), and 4) Las Huellas camp. Campers will enjoy archery, nature hikes, swimming, bazooka ball, water slides, farm animals, games, crafts, and more. Local pickup is available for families in Harlingen and Brownsville. The price per week was $195 before May 1 and is now $220 per week, still about half the cost of an average day camp in the U.S. Register online at bigredsranch.com.


Harlingen Parks and Recreation is hosting two summer playground programs: session 1 from May 28 to June 20 and session 2 from June 24 to July 18. The cost is $60 per child. Call (956) 245-1222 for more information on how to register.


The HEB Tennis Center is having a summer camp four days a week for eight weeks this summer, for kids aged 6-18. Cost for the week is $75; drop ins are $20. For more information, contact the pro shop at (956) 216-5958.


Harlingen High School Summer Volleyball Camp will be held June 3 and 4 for incoming first through ninth graders. Cost is $40. Contact coach Joslynn Torres at joslynn.torres@hcisd.org for more information.


For aspiring cheerleaders, Harlingen All Stars Gym is having its first annual Cheer Summer Camp on June 15. Campers will learn jumps and tumbling. Cost is $45. Text (956) 778-5187 for more information.



School District Camps

Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District (HCISD) Afterschool Centers on Education (ACE) Summer Camp will occur at select elementary schools (Bonham, Crockett, Long, Lamar, and Dr. Rodriguez) and middle schools (Coakley, Gutierrez, Memorial, Vela, and Vernon) for six weeks this summer. Campers will participate in creative design, culinary, STEM, sports, music, academics, and more. Contact your child’s campus for more information.


HCISD has another program called Beyond the Bell where students can attend various courses tailed to their interests. Classes range from arts and crafts, yoga, cooking, painting, theatre, graphic design, volleyball, computer science, chess, and many more. There is no cost, but parents must register their kids online before classes fill up. Registration is now open. Check for updates on their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/HCISDBTB.


For those interested in theatre, HCISD offers an acting program called Summer on Stage. Students are grouped by age to participate in different plays. These productions allow students to learn dancing, acting, and singing, with public performances at the end of the program. This year, Summer on Stage will be held from May 28 through June 13. Cost is $225 per child. Register online at www.hcisdpa.org.


Arts and Theatre Camps

Local painting studio Artsycolor Splash will hold Kids Summer Camps for those aged 6 and older. Camps will be held on four different weeks in June, each week with its own theme. Campers will receive step-by-step instruction on their paintings. Cost is $140 per child. Register online at www.artsycolorsplash.com.


Rio Grand Valley Arts Studio is holding various dance camps in June and July for kids as young as age 2 up to age 10. Camps cost between $100 and $150. Register online at rgvas.com.


Harlingen Community Theatre is hosting a Summer Youth/Teen Intensive featuring Disney’s Moana Jr. Camp runs from June 3 through June 27, with public performances on June 28-30. Cost is $200 per participant. Email the camp director at alcantu2020@gmail.com to register.


Church Camps

For young children, St. Anthony Eagle’s Nest is holding a Toddlers Summer Camp (ages 12 months to 3) from June 3 through July 26. This is an all-day camp with creative activities, storytelling, outdoor/water play, and more. Contact St. Anthony’s for pricing at (956) 230-0113.


Additionally, St. Anthony Catholic School is having a Summer Camp for those aged 3 years to 6th grade on June 3-21 and a Montessori Camp for children ages 3-5. Contact St. Anthony’s for pricing at (956) 230-0113.


First Methodist Church will have its Journey Day Camp for kids ages 5-12. Campers participate in several activities such as sports, art, science experiments, Bible lessons, and more. Journey Day Camp starts in May and runs weekly through August. Call (956) 412-4011 for information on how to register.


Vacation Bible School

Several Harlingen churches host Vacation Bible School (VBS) programs throughout the summer. Most are free of charge, while some have a slight charge. The VBS programs typically include arts and crafts, meals, and a musical performance. At the time of the writing of this article, only three churches had announced their VBS programs. Logos Community Church will hold theirs on June 3-7; Church of Christ will have theirs on July 8-12; and St. Paul Lutheran Church will hold theirs June 24-27. Be sure to check Explore Harlingen on Facebook for more VBS programs to be announced. Two posts are pinned to the top of the Explore Harlingen Blog Facebook page for summer camps and VBS.

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