Camp Guide 2019 | Cleveland East Side Moms

Feb 6, 2019

We know finding a great fit for your kid for summer camp can be tough, so we put together a Cleveland East Side camp guide for you!  We broke our guide into three sections:


Overnight camps – these are the traditional camps where your kids pack up for some adventure away from home!  These camps draw from a much broader surrounding area and often attract international campers as well.  We have some fantastic ones in Ohio within 3 hours of Cleveland!


Local day camps – this is the part of the guide that shows the true Cleveland East Side flavor.  This section features local community and day camps that are on Cleveland’s East Side.  These camps vary in duration, but there are great options for everyone listed!


Cleveland-only Camps – In case you weren’t aware of it, there’s a great perk to living in Cleveland, and that’s the history and culture of this fantastic city.  We have so many museums and cultural centers here, and many of them offer summer camp options!  We compiled a list of these for you here.


We hope this guide helps you choose a great place for your kids this summer!  As always, please let us know if we missed your favorite camp by submitting it to us at [email protected] – we’ll make sure to update this as time permits & new camps become known to us.

Overnight Camps


The ultimate in camp experience and the stuff lifelong friends are made of, overnight camp is the ultimate summer experience.  If you’re lucky enough to choose the right one, your children will live for summer, actively track the number of days between leaving camp and going back, and they’ll probably dream of becoming camp directors.  We are really lucky to have some absolutely amazing (and in some cases, very longstanding) overnight camps close to Cleveland.  If you want your kids to have a true Parent Trap summer experience, these camps will deliver!  Plus they’re not too far from Cleveland, so you can make it down for those special parent weekends.  Just beware, you may leave with your own dreams of becoming a camp director … 

Camp Roosevelt Firebird



Target Demographic: Boys and girls ages 7-15

2019 Dates: June 9 – August 3 


Located in Bowerston, Ohio (approximately 2 hours south of Cleveland), Camp Roosevelt Firebird has been showing campers a great time since 1918!  For 100 years they’ve been having a blast, changing lives, staying silly, and having fun – and they’d love nothing more than for your kids to join them this summer.

This camp has all the activities of a traditional sleep-away summer camp, but it sets itself apart in a few key ways that make it a truly unique and amazing experience for your kids.  They’re committed to diversity, sustainability, camper choice, and making the world a better place, all while maintaining a silly and fun environment!  This is a camp for everyone, a place individuals and creative spirits thrive, and a community for people looking to make a difference (or hoping their children will want to).  Campers gain independence through choosing the majority of their activities every day.  A part of these choices are activities tied to various green initiatives (growing produce, raising & caring for chickens, and learning to compost, to name a few). Mornings are reserved for programs that progressively build skills over the course of 3 days. Afternoon activities change daily, and evenings are for togetherness where the whole camp participates in activities together.  The camp curriculum is designed to foster self-confidence, leadership, respect, and a desire to make the world a better place.  Camp Roosevelt Firebird is a multicultural, inclusive, international camp that draws from across the socioeconomic spectrum.  Campers laugh together, learn from each other, reflect together, and appreciate each other.  Every voice matters and everyone has a voice.

To assist with their diversity initiative, Camp Roosevelt Firebird founded a nonprofit with the mission of making camp accessible to everyone.  For qualified campers, this scholarship program can help subsidize the costs.  

This camp has activities for everyone.  Campers can choose to participate in mountain biking, boating, kayaking, swimming, disc golf, archery, soccer, basketball, ropes course, zip lining, knee boarding, tennis, dancing, photography, creative arts (in their historic 1890’s barn) and more…all on 104 acres of shoreline, forest, fields, pasture, creeks, and rolling hills.  It’s a picturesque camp your children won’t soon forget. 

“My greatest hope is that, in a small way, our camp will influence our campers to someday go out into the world and make a positive impact.” – Joe Mendes, Camp Director/Owner


Falcon Camp

Falcon Camp

Target Demographic: boys and girls ages 6-16 for 2, 4, 6, or 8 week sessions (special 1-week sessions also available)

2019 Dates: June 16 – August 10


Also located about 2 hours south of Cleveland in Carrollton, Ohio, Falcon Camp has it all! Widely recognized throughout the midwest as Ohio’s premier summer camp, Falcon Camp offers a beautiful lakefront setting, a talented experienced staff and an extensive variety of activities. “Fun for Now, Skills for Life” is not just a catchy logo but truly defines what happens at Falcon. Campers choose their own schedule within a general framework. Daily activities are gender separate with planned coed events. Riding, sailing, crafts, tennis, drama, archery and so many more activities are offered. Instruction from beginner to advanced is offered in each activity. Falcon has a strong reputation for making sure a camper’s first overnight experience is very positive. The non-competitive environment is inviting to campers who may be hesitant to try something new, while an awards system challenges the most experienced campers. The 1:4 staff/camper ratio allows individual instruction and attention. Most of all it’s great fun! Falcon also has a special one week intro program for campers ages 6 -10. ACA accredited, many references available from all over the United States and the world. A summer at Falcon is a special experience where good things happen by design.

Daily activities are gender separate with planned coed events.  Activities are plentiful, with horseback riding, sailing and other water sports, archery, riflery, tennis, crafts, hiking, biking, and so many more! Instruction for each activity varies from beginner to advanced, and campers choose their own schedule every day within a general framework. This allows campers to try each activity and then get in depth with ones they like most.

For children ages 6-10 who may not be quite prepared for two full weeks away from home, Falcon’s ‘Young Adventure’ one week intro program is a great option. This program is specially designed with more structure and oversight and provides a unique opportunity for younger children to try out a true adventure away from home.


Red Oak, Red Barn, Chincapin Camp



Target Demographic:

Red Barn: day camp for boys ages 6-15
Chincapin: day camp for girls ages 6-15
Red Oak: overnight camp for boys and girls ages 12-15 (separate sessions)

2019 Dates: June 11 – August 3

3 camps in one!  Red Barn, Chincapin, and Red Oak camps are in their 71st season this year! Located in Kirtland, 45 minutes East of Cleveland, they offer transportation from Pepper Pike, with a mission to develop campers’ inner strengths through outdoor exploration and adventure.

Hiram House Camp

Target Demographic: boys and girls ages 6-14

2019 Dates: June 16 – July 12

Ohio’s oldest camp, Hiram House has been hosting campers since 1896.  Located in Chagrin Valley, just 20 minutes East of Cleveland, this camp is both traditional and extremely convenient!  Camp sessions are two weeks long and enrollment is separate by gender, with ‘Camperships’ available for qualified applicants.  Available activities for campers include high/low ropes, alpine climbing wall, boating, archery, horseback riding, farmstead, arts and crafts, nature studies, campouts, cookouts and evening programs with campfires.  See their website for more information and to enroll.

Camp Wise

Target Demographic: boys and girls ages 6-17

2019 Dates: June 11 – July 31

Run by Mandel JCC of Cleveland, Camp Wise is one of the country’s premier Jewish overnight camps.  Located on Cleveland’s East Side in Chardon, Ohio, it features activities from horseback riding to rock climbing and offers financial aid packages to make camp accessible to everyone!  Day Camp and Overnight Camps available.

Local Day Camps


This section features day camps local to Cleveland’s East Side and convenient for families who live or work in Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights, University Heights, or Beachwood.  

Hathaway Brown Summer Camp


Target Demographic: Boys and Girls ages 3-21

2019 Dates:  Assorted camps available for all ages from June 3 – August 9, 2019 

Hathaway Brown offers flexible scheduling options and before and after care to meet busy families’ needs. The online registration platform enables parents to easily browse options and create truly custom summer experiences for one or multiple children. Broad Horizons day camp even allows families to choose the weeks or days their children will participate.

Click HERE to register or call 216.320.8085 to learn more!

Use promo code FLEXIBLE before March 31 to receive $25 off

Nuts and Bolts Academy


Target Demographic: Boys and girls ages: 9-18

2019 Dates: June 3 – August 3, 2019

The Nuts and Bolts Academy provides opportunities for students at multiple grade levels to engage in fun, educational experiences. Our camps expose students to manufacturing and engineering through innovative, hands-on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) activities. View the full catalog of Cuyahoga Community College summer camps by clicking here.

best summer camps cleveland

Tri-C’s Ideationstation

Nature Center at Shaker Lakes Outdoor Adventure Camp


Target Demographic: boys and girls from pre-K through 9th grade

2019 Dates: June 17 – August 15th, half or full-day options

Summer Outdoor Adventure Camp explores a new topic each day. Each week offers a different theme within each age group,, and older children have off-site visits too!  These camps have limited enrollment and are very popular, so register ASAP! 

Jump Start Day Camp


Target Demographic: Boys and girls from 3 to 13 years of age 

2019 Dates: May 28th through August 30th 

At Jump Start Camp your kids will spend the summer learning new skills and have fun doing it with a different theme each week!  They’ll be introduced to ball sports (baseball, soccer, t-ball), vault, bars, beam, and floor. They will also participate in Arts & Crafts and Group games and wind down at the end of each day with a story-time. 


Summer at Laurel


Target Demographic: Boys and Girls pre-school to grade 12

2019 Dates: June 10th – August 2nd; offered at the Shaker Height and Russell Township campuses

An exciting summer awaits for those spending their summer at Laurel.  Here, your kids will experience sports, theater, drone, and other specialty camps.  Lunch is provided at this camp and extended care before and after camp is also available. 


Shaker Rec Day Camp


Target Demographic: Boys and girls grades K-8

2019 Dates: June 17th – July 26th

The Shaker Heights Recreation Department offers all the fun of a traditional summer camp with activities including swimming, t-ball, soccer, basketball, and arts & crafts and field trips are scheduled every other week.  Half day camps as well as before and after care are also available.  See their website for other sports and specialty camps offered

Beachwood Summer Camp


Target Demographic: Boys and girls grades K-8

2019 Dates: June 10th through July 26th

Beachwood summer camps are divided by age and theme into a kidz camp, bison camp, theater camp, sports camp, and teen travel camp.  Visit their website to learn more about each camp.  They also offer before and after camp childcare for the duration of the program. 



Summer Ruffing It


Target Demographic: Boys and girls grades K-8

2019 Dates: check website for updates

Ruffing has been offering dynamic camp programs for children since 1980.  They feature an extensive playground, access to Shaker Lakes and a private children’s garden.  Camps have waste-free lunches and take place in a LEED certified and environmentally conscious environment.

J-Day Camp at Mandel JCC


Target Demographic: Boys and girls grades K-9

2019 Dates: June 3rd through August 16th

The JCC offers a variety of programs so you can mix and match camps and weeks to give your child the ultimate camp experience.  All camps offer AM & PM care and kosher lunches are available for purchase daily. 

Arts, History, Culture, Science, and Museum Camps in Cleveland


Looking to expose your child to something completely new this summer?  Take advantage of the rich cultural tapestry that is Cleveland, Ohio and check out some of the camps offered by our museums!  

Holden Forest & Gardens Summer Camps


Target Demographic: boys and girls ages 5-9

2019 Dates: half and full-day options from June 10 – August 9

A day camp experience for children interested in nature-based activities and exploration! Some overnight options are also available.  camp is also available.

Cleveland Playhouse Theatre Academy


Target Demographic: boys and girls ages 4-18

Duration: half-day, week long, or two-week intensives throughout the month of June

Do you have a little thespian or a creative child in need of a new outlet? Cleveland Playhouse has course offerings for a wide range of theatrical talents, including improv, classical performance, and musical theater to name a few!  Classes are open to students of all abilities and experience levels, and scholarships are available.  However, they’re capped at 15 students, so register today to reserve your spot!

Cleveland Museum of Natural History Summer Camp


Target Demographic: boys and girls ages 6 – 18

2019 Dates: assorted week-long sessions from June 10 – July 19th

Museum or University Circle centric camps for children interested in being enriched in the arts and culture of University Circle.  Depending on which session is chosen, campers conduct hands-on science experiments, get closer to nature on outdoor adventures, and explore the Universe.  Exceptionally popular with limited availability, the spaces fill quickly, so register ASAP!

Great Lakes Science Center Summer Camps


Target Demographic: boys and girls ages 4 – 14

2019 Dates: June 3 – August 16

So many different week-long camp themes, you’re sure to find something of interest to your children!  These camps offer awesome challenges and unforgettable learning/adventures for kids of all ages.  All camps have a strong focus on building skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). 

Zoo Summer Day Camp


Target Demographic: boys and girls ages 5-14

2019 Dates: June 10 – July 26, full-day(9-4PM) and half-day (9-12:30) options

Attention budding zoologists!  Did you know your child can spend their summer days at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo?  They can!  Our zoo offers full day and partial day camps all summer long for kids of all ages.  This year, they’ve introduced a new Conservation Leadership Camp for kids 10-14 that even includes an overnight at both the Zoo as well as Rising Waters Safari Camp!  You can learn more about this new option by clicking here.

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