It’s unbelievable how quickly the summer holidays come round. If you haven’t had a chance to organise childcare to cover you during the long summer holidays, do not worry – there is still time. We have scoured Tower Hamlets (and a bit beyond) to find the best kids summer camps in Bow, Mile End and surrounding areas, from big arts days to sporting adventures. Thanks to contribution from our readers, we have found something for everyone, whatever your budget.
Big Arts summer school at Chisenhale school house
This summer, let your kids explore their inner artist with a variety of different materials, processes and themes. Taught by a local artist and a schoolteacher, the Big Art summer school is the perfect place for your child to test out their art skills.
Each week has a different theme, and there will be different trips in the local area.
When: 8:30am-5pm, 30 July-24 August, Monday-Thursday
Where: Chisenhale School House, Zealand Road, E3 5QY
Cost: £35 per day
For more information, contact April and Maggie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Queen Mary’s University Summer Sports Camps
Queen Mary Sports Camps offer a great way for kids aged 8-13 to get active during their school holidays. Participants take part in a series of games, challenges and activities in up to 15 different sports throughout the week, including football, netball, basketball and rounders.
Pre-registration not necessary – feel free to turn up and pay on the day.
When: 30 July-24 August
Where: Qmotion Health and Fitness Centre, 15 Godward Square, E1 4FZ
Cost: £10.99 per day
For more information, please visit the QMSU website.
For makers and doers at the Idea Store Bow
Calling all mini artists, creators, makers and doers – the Idea Store Bow is holding a whole summer of messy, wacky classes.
Whether they fancy making animation, want to draw their own comic book, or are into making splat-attack art, there’s something for everyone.
From the end of July and throughout August, there’s an hour’s activity on most days of the holidays.
When: 26 July-30 August, 2.30-3.30pm
Where: Idea Store Bow, Gladstone Place, E3 5EU
To see the full schedule of activities, visit the Idea Store website.
V&A Museum of Childhood summer art camp
Get ready for the V&A Museum of Childhood’s annual Summer Art Camp, a week full of creativity and fun. Choose from different creative media, and work with artists to create music, films and artworks inspired by the museum’s collection.
There will be experimental music and sound workshops, DIY filmmaking and alternative art and design. Every day is designed to allow children to flex their creative muscles and look more closely at the world around them.
Courses run from between one and two days.
When: 30 July-3 August
Where: V&A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Rd, London E2 9PA
Cost: 2 days: £70, 3 days: £95, 4 days: £120, 5 days: £140
See the full V&A Museum of Childhood schedule.
Camp Canary, Canary Wharf
Open to all primary school children, each week at Camp Canary has a different theme. Every day your child will have two sports lessons and two art lessons, as well as music, science, cooking and visual arts activities.
On Mondays and Fridays, the kids go on a trip to places including ZAPspace Trampoline Park or a rainbow rave party during Wild West week. There is also a separate summer camp for children aged 3 to 4, who can come for a half day of fun and games.
When: Camp Canary runs from 9 July to 24 August, 9.30am-4pm.
Where: Canary Wharf College, 197 East Ferry Road, E14 3BA
Cost: 5 to 11 years, 9.30am – 5:30pm for £36 per day (£175 week block). 3 to 4 years, 8.30am – 12.30pm or 9.30am to 1.30pm for £18.50 per day (£85 week block).
To book your place, visit the Camp Canary website.
Pollyanna training theatre, Wapping
This summer camp aims to nurture confidence and social skills in kids aged 2-18 years old. There is something for everyone, with activities including mini musical theatre to LAMDA courses.
For ages 4 and upwards, kids will focus on dancing, singing and acting, all taught by industry professionals. Look out for tap, ballet and jazz classes, alongside voice training and microphone technique.
Children aged 4-11 can enjoy five days of classes (Monday 30 July-Friday 3 August, 10am-4pm).
For ages 11-16, there will be a free summer camp with singing, stage makeup, special effects and documentary filmmaking classes (Monday 23 July-Friday 27 July, 10.30am-4pm).
There will also be individual classes throughout the summer, with two free taster sessions for anyone interested.
When: 23 July-3 August, 10.30am-4pm
Where: Raine House, Raine Street, Wapping, E1W 3RL
Cost: Ages 4-11 is £120 for the week. For children over 11, it is free.
To book your place and see the full schedule, visit the Pollyanna theatre website.
Make a musical in a week at Annan Fiorentini
The Anna Fiorentini Theatre & Film School is offering Tower Hamlets Mums 20% off their summer school fees this year. Each course includes a trip to a West End Musical. This summer, students will see either Aladdin, Wicked or Little Shop of Horrors. The Make a Musical in a Week courses are for 7-16 year olds.
Students will learn new skills in dance, singing and drama, whilst building their confidence and making new friends.
When: 9:30am-4pm, 23 July-24 August, Monday-Friday with one evening excursion per week
Where: Chobham Academy 40 Cheering Lane, E20 1BD
Cost: £210 for the week, with discounts available for siblings or multiple bookings
Call 02076821403 to book and quote Tower Hamlets Mums to receive a 20% discount. For more information, head to the Anna Fiorentini website.
Fit for Sport at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Enjoy a swimming pool, sports space and indoor arena in the Olympic Park with this action-packed summer camp.
There will be healthy drinks and snack provided, alongside swimming, arts and crafts, and lots of super sports.
When: 23 July-31 August, standard day is 9.30am-4.30pm, and an extended day is 8.30am-5.30pm
Where: Copper Box Arena, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, E20 3HB
Cost: £24.72 for a standard day and £29.61 for an extended day.
To book your place, visit the Fit for Sport website.
Tower Hamlets holiday childcare scheme
This Ofsted registered childcare scheme offers kids aged 3-13 a safe and inclusive place to spend their holidays.
The provision takes place in Tower Hamlets schools and offers a huge range of activities, including sports, cooking, creative arts and crafts, street dance, zumba and film making. And to top things off, your kids get to choose exactly which ones they do.
The scheme is totally inclusive, offering places to children who might need additional support, or those referred from social care. Cost per day varies, and depends on whether parents work and where they are residents.
When: 30 July-24 August, 8am-6pm or 9am-5pm.
Where: St Mary & St Michael Primary School, Sutton Street, E1 0BD
Cost: £4.25-£26.25 per day
For more information and to book your place, visit the Tower Hamlets website.
If you like this, you might like our piece on the best fitness classes in the local area.
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