It’s time to book summer camps, and the BEST recommendations are always the ones you get from other parents.

Check out the winners of our annual readers’ poll in the Classes and Camps Category below. Then download our Free Summer Camp Planner to get organized. Can’t get enough camp content? Find even more camps listed in our Summer Camps Directory, or pick up a copy of our print Summer Camps Issue.

Congratulations to these fabulous winners!


Outdoor Adventure Classes/Camps

Image courtesy Trackers Earth

WINNER: Trackers Earth Portland 

Archery, blacksmithing, farming, fishing, boating, rock climbing. Kids can learn all these fun, outdoorsy skills and more at Trackers Earth. And this repeat PDX Parent Reader’ Favorites winner not only offers classes and camps year-round, but also has flexibility in terms of length, from after-school, to day camps to overnight options.

Audubon Society of Portland
Avid 4 Adventure
Boy Scouts of America
Friends of Tryon Creek
Alpengirl Camp

Arts & Crafts Classes/Camps

Image courtesy Children’s Healing Art Project

WINNER: Children’s Healing Art Project (CHAP)
After going virtual throughout the pandemic, the Children’s Healing Art Project Art Club is back! (But don’t worry, there are still virtual art classes, too.) Classes take place on Thursdays, at the CHAP studio in Sellwood. The club’s caring teachers provide a general theme each week, but kids can let their creative juices flow. Bonus: Siblings are invited to participate, too, both for in-person and virtual classes. Art Workshops are also open to the public for a reasonable fee.

Art World School
Grace Institute Home of Grace Art Camps
Owl and Bee Clay Company
Vibe of Portland
Willowbrook Arts Camp

Climbing/Obstacle Classes/Camps

Image courtesy Circuit Bouldering Gym.

WINNER: The Circuit Bouldering Gym
Got a kiddo who is bouncing off the walls? Have them harness that energy with a youth indoor bouldering class. Kids ages 5 to 18 can learn the technical skills, and strength and problem-solving skills to maneuver up and across walls. The gym — with three Portland-area locations— also has after-school clubs, a competitive team, winter and spring break camps, and hosts birthday parties.


Parkour Visions
The Movement Park
Portland Rock Gym
Skyhook Ninja Fitness
Revolution Parkour

Dance Classes/Camps

 Photo: Jingzi Zhao, courtesy Oregon Ballet Theatre School

WINNER: Oregon Ballet Theatre School
For children dreaming of being a sugar plum fairy gliding across the grand stage of the Keller, have them learn from the best during a class at the Oregon Ballet Theatre School. The youngest of dancers enroll in the pre-ballet classes, and there are also more intensive classes and summer programs for older, experienced dancers. 

Moonstar Dance Studio
NW Dance Project
The Portland Ballet
Westside Dance & Gymnastics Academy

General Day Camps

Image courtesy Trackers Earth

WINNER: Trackers Earth 
Kids can choose their own adventure when participating in one of Trackers’ day camps. During Basecamps, which are located in Portland neighborhoods, kids do both indoor and outdoor activities. And during Adventures, youth are bussed to the wilderness, where they learn hands-on outdoor skills.

Mittleman Jewish Community Center
Portland Parks & Recreation
Tualatin Hills Parks & Recreation District
Sellwood Community House
Steve & Kate’s Camp

Gymnastics Classes/Camps

Image courtesy The Children’s Gym

WINNER: The Children’s Gym 
At The Children’s Gym, little gymnasts can somersault, handspring and backflip their way to strength, flexibility and coordination, all while having fun and making friends. Littles as young as 18 months to teens are welcome; The Children’s Gym offers classes grouped by age, and also has a structured, non-competitive, invitational team for older kids.

Echo Theater Company
My Gym Happy Valley
Oregon Gymnastics Academy
Westside Dance & Gymnastics Academy
OMEGA Gymnastics

Animal Classes/Camps

Image courtesy Oregon Humane Society

WINNER: Oregon Humane Society
The Oregon Humane Society summer camp is super popular with animal-loving kids. The largest animal welfare organization in the state loves to bring shelter pets and campers together because youth who learn to be kind and compassionate to animals grow into more compassionate adults. Campers can expect to interact with companion animals; learn pet care and training techniques; make animal-based crafts; bake treats; and build a warm and welcoming camp community.


Horse Sense Riding School
River Ranch Horse Camp
Triskelee Farm
Royal Ridges
Wilsonville Equestrian Center

Inclusive Camps

Image courtesy Mt. Hood Kiwanis

WINNER: Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp
The Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp seeks to help kids and adults with developmental disabilities access and enjoy the outdoors. It offers week-long, overnight camps for kids 12 and older, and young adults with disabilities. And there is also a family camp for ages 9-14. In this supportive environment, campers can make friends, fish, swim, ride horses and more, all in the beautiful forest setting.

B’nai B’rith Camp
Camp Yakety Yak
Spectra Gymnastics
Tucker Maxon School Arts Camp
Upward Bound Camp

Overnight Camps

Image courtesy OMSI

With two exceptional destination sites — Camp Gray on the Oregon coast and Camp Hancock in Oregon’s high desert — it’s no wonder OMSI takes this year’s top spot for sleepaway camps. Each location allows for specific activities like surfing or stargazing as well in-depth explorations of STEM topics such as natural habitats; tidepool wildlife and plants; fossils; and astronomy.

Camp Howard
Camp Namanu
Camp Tilikum
Camp Two Roads
Trackers Earth Portland

Performing Arts Classes/Camps

Image courtesy Northwest Children’s Theater and School

WINNER: Northwest Children’s Theater and School
Drama kids love the camps and classes at Northwest Children’s Theater & School (NWCT) with locations throughout the Portland metro area. Kids as young as 4 can play silly theater games, while kids up to age 14 can delve into stage combat or theater design. And this summer, camps will be offered at NWCT’s new home, The Judy Kafoury Center for the Arts, or The Judy.

Broadway Rose Theatre Company
Echo Theater Company
Oregon Children’s Theatre
Acting for Kids & Teens
Lovegood Theater

Science/Math Classes/Camps

Image courtesy Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

WINNER: OMSI – Oregon Museum of Science & Industry
OMSI camp staffers know the coolest ways to engage kids in science — LEGO robotics, animation, building rockets and even exploring the science behind gross things like burps, mold and scabs! Pro tip: OMSI offers camps for kindergarteners to eighth graders, which makes scheduling siblings a lot easier. Camps are offered at OMSI and at Portland Community College Rock Creek in the Bethany area.

Code Ninjas
Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum
Math Gamers
PJA Summer Discovery Program
Saturday Academy

Sports Classes/Camps

Image courtesy Portland Parks & Recreation

WINNER: Portland Parks & Recreation 
There’s so much to love about Portland Parks & Recreation’s sports summer camps! The full-day, weeklong camps give kids a taste of a variety of different sports while promoting teamwork and good sportsmanship. The camps are held at parks all over the city. And the price is affordable ($210 per week), especially if families have signed up for the Access Pass additional discount, which aims to increase access for families who would not normally be able to afford summer camps.

Portland Ultimate
Rose City Futsal
Soccer Shots
Tualatin Hills Parks & Recreation District

After-School Classes/Camps

Image courtesy Trackers Earth

WINNER: Trackers Earth Portland
PDX Parent readers love Trackers Earth Portland. Not only are they a repeat 2023 PDX Parent Reader Favorite winner, they won in four camps and classes categories this year! One reason Trackers is a perennial favorite is they make after-school activities easy for parents and fun for kiddos. Trackers has options to pick up your child from school, making scheduling a breeze.

Northwest Children’s Theater and School
Little Kitchen Academy
Oregon Children’s Theatre
Engineering for Kids
Saturday Academy

Swim Instruction

Image courtesy Portland Parks & Recreation

WINNER: Portland Parks & Recreation
Sure, it seems like sign-ups for Portland Parks & Recreation’s kids’ swim lessons are a bit like winning the lottery. But parents who score a spot, appreciate the chance for their kids to learn this essential skill at an affordable price.

Children of the Sea Swim School
North Clackamas Parks & Recreation
Farber Swim School
Emler Swim School

Music Classes/Camps

Image courtesy Music Together of Portland

WINNER: Music Together of Portland
Babies up to 8-year-olds can start a lifelong love of music and movement at Music Together of Portland classes. The littlest students enjoy singing and swaying with their grown-ups while bigger kids can learn basic reading of music notation and rhythmic drumming.

Ethos Music Center
School of Rock
Youth Music Project
Bridgetown Conservatory
Backbeat Music Academy

Spring & Winter Camps

Image courtesy Trackers Earth

WINNER: Trackers Earth Portland
Take advantage of the spring and winter breaks from school — and get some much needed peace and quiet — by booking week-long camps at Trackers. Kids can learn engaging outdoor skills like wilderness survival, or immerse themselves in arts and crafts like sewing, ceramics, theater and more.

Northwest Children’s Theater and School
Portland Audubon
Vibe of Portland
Tualatin Hills Parks & Recreation

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