2017 Northwest Arkansas Summer Camps, Activities & Events Guide for Kids

Summer Camp Guide 2017

Note from the mamas: If you’d like to see your camp or summer activities in the “featured” section of this Summer Camps & Activities Guide, let us know! Contact Gwen and Shannon at mamas@nwaMotherlode.com — or call us at 479-409-0424 — for more information and pricing.

Mosquito-Joe-logoWant a printable list of camps and things to do to stick in your purse or on the fridge for inspiration this summer? Click here to download the printable, which includes camps, activities, getaways and local places to play this summer! The printable is sponsored by Mosquito Joe, a local company that’s committed to helping you live and play in a mosquito-free zone! When your kids say “I’m bored!” you’ll have this printable handy!

Mamas, we’ll be updating this Guide as we receive new information, so check back often!

Featured Summer Camps and Activities:

butterfly icon  Engineering Camp, UofA, Summer Camp 2017 FINAL adEngineering Camp, University of Arkansas campus + other cities

This year the University of Arkansas’ College of Engineering is offering summer programming for students currently in 1st through 11th grade. The camps are designed to introduce engineering through hands-on activities that are fun and educational. Camps are in Batesville, Bentonville, Blytheville, Camden, and Fayetteville. Give students a taste of what it’s like to spend time on the beautiful campus while learning something new to help them in the future.

There are multiple classes to choose from, including:

Discover Engineering Camp

Current 5th and 6th grade students are invited to dream, design, and discover at this week-long camp, offered in 5 locations throughout the state. Students will explore the many exciting areas of engineering with fun, hands-on activities. Camps are half a day, held from 8:00am-11:00am. Camps are offered in Batesville (June 19-23), Bentonville (June 12-16), Blytheville (June 26-30), Camden (June 26-30), and Fayetteville (June 12-16).

Explore Engineering Camp

Current 7th and 8th graders are invited to dive deeper into the different fields of engineering in this week-long camp, offered in 5 locations throughout the state. Students participate in more focused, complex activities that, in previous years, students have included robotics, electronics, roller coasters, chemical reactions, and much, much more! Camps are half a day, held from 1:30pm-5:00pm. Camps are offered in Batesville (June 19-23), Bentonville (June 12-16), Blytheville (June 26-30), Camden (June 26-30), and Fayetteville (June 12-16).

GirlTREC Camp

Current 5th and 6th grade girls are invited to spend a week on the University of Arkansas campus participating in hands on activities related to transportation—from roads to railroads to waterways in a camp funded by a US Department of Transportation grant. In addition to engineering activities, students will participate in field trips and will have the opportunity to meet with women in engineering. This is a full day camp (8:00am-5:00pm) and is offered July 10-14, 2017.

Soaring High in Engineering (SHE Camp)

Current 7th and 8th girls are invited to participate in hands-on engaging activities designed to allow them to explore the many fields of engineering while also working toward solutions for real world problems. In addition to engineering activities, students will participate in field trips and will have the opportunity to meet with women in engineering. This is a full day camp (8:00am-5:00pm) and is offered July 10-14, 2017.

FIRST® LEGO® League, Jr. Camps

Current 1st through 3rd grade students are invited to participate week-long FIRST® LEGO® League, Jr. program from design to competition on the University of Arkansas campus. This camp is offered July 10-14, 2017 and students can choose from a morning session (8:00am-11:30pm) or an afternoon session (1:30pm-5:00pm).

Robotics Engineering Camps

Current 4th through 7th grade students are invited to spend the week designing, building, programming, and testing LEGO® Mindstorms® robots on the University of Arkansas campus. This week-long camp is especially designed for students with little to no experience with Mindstorms® robots or who desire to improve their skills. The camp is offered June 19-23, 2017 and students can choose from a morning session (8:00am-11:30pm) or an afternoon session (1:30pm-5:00pm).

Engineering Summer Academy

Current 9th through 11th grade students are invited to participate in this residential camp that allows students to explore one field of engineering in depth with College of Engineering faculty and students on the University of Arkansas campus. Students will select one of the following courses: 1) Biomedical Engineering, 2) Chemical Engineering 3) Introduction to Computing, or 4) Electrical Engineering. The Engineering Summer Academy will be held July 23-29, 2017.

Arkansas AIMS Prep Boot Camp

Want to get a head start on your AP classes? Are you a current Northwest Arkansas high school student (currently in 9th-1th grade)? Do you plan on taking AP English Literature, AP English Language, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, or AP Calculus? If the answer to these questions is YES, enroll in this week-long, full day camp held on the University of Arkansas campus from July 17-21, 2017.

Note: Need-based scholarships are available. Click here to complete the scholarship application.

Click here for a complete list of all Engineering Camps at the University of Arkansas!

butterfly iconCamp Invention new  Camp Invention

Imaginations get their rocket fuel at Camp Invention®! An exciting, weeklong summer adventure for K-6th graders awaits with activities that explore connections between science, technology, engineering and innovation.

A nonprofit program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame®, Camp Invention allows children to experience real-world problem solving, creative thinking, invention, and teamwork. Modules include challenges and achievements from the brightest thinkers around—the Inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame!

This summer, children will work together to transform the terrain and ecosystem of a distant exoplanet. They will also take risks as budding business owners, blast rockets, fire air cannons, fling rubber chickens, and wire circuits to create their own Spy Gadget Alarm Boxes! Local, certified educators lead this week of hands-on activities that fuel children’s confidence in their natural ability to dream and create.

Early registration discounts are available. Use promo code INNOVATE25 by 3/20 to save $25 on registration or INNOVATE15 after 3/20 to save $15. Availability is limited, so visit www.campinvention.org or call 800-968-4332 to secure your child’s spot today.

Camp Invention Locations:

♦ Holcomb Elementary School: June 12-16

2900 North Salem Road, Fayetteville

♦ Bonnie Grimes Elementary: June 19-23

1801 S. 13th St., Rogers

♦ Butterfield Trail Elementary School: July 10-14

3050 Old Missouri Road, Fayetteville

For more information about Camp Invention camps, click here, call 800.968.4332 or email campinvention@invent.org

butterfly iconMt. Sequoyah ad, Summer Camp Camp Sequoyah

Camp Sequoyah strives to offer a variety of fun activities for children on beautiful Mt. Sequoyah. The goal is for campers to experience a new, fun experience every week, throughout the summer. “We hope they find their new passion at camp and that your child can spend all summer at Mount Sequoyah.Camps are for kids ages 5 – 12 (Camp Sequoyah will accept 4-year-olds who will be entering kindergarten in the fall).

Camp Sequoyah: Sports

June 12 – 16, 2017; Monday – Friday 7:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Camp Sequoyah: Tennis

June 19 – 23, 2017; Monday – Friday 9:00 am to noon

July 24 – 28, 2017; Monday – Friday 9:00 am to noon

Camp Sequoyah: Create 

June 26 – 30, 2017; Monday – Friday 7:45 am to 5:15 pm

Camp Sequoyah: Missions

July 5 – 8, 2017; Overnight Camp

July 12 – 15, 2017: Overnight Camp

*Campers must attend with a group and their own group leaders. 

Camp Sequoyah: Tech

July 17 – 21, 2017; Monday – Friday 7:45 am to 5:15 pm

Camp Sequoyah: World Tour

August 7 – 11, 2017; Monday – Friday 7:45 am to 5:15 pm

Click here for more info on Mt. Sequoyah camps!

butterfly iconjbu summer academy 2017  John Brown University Summer Academy

John Brown University is offering a Summer Academy series for high school students. Students will explore specific fields of study in depth. JBU is also a fun place, so naturally you will experience the fun side of living on campus for a week and experiencing some of the things that make Northwest Arkansas an incredible place to live and study.

Piano Academy - June 18- 24 This one-week intensive program is a great way to see what music study is like at the university level. Each student will receive daily lessons, the chance to perform in masterclasses, and opportunities to attend performances by faculty and peers. Classes topics include theory, jazz improvisation, developing musical taste, and building technique. For high school students: 9-12th grade as of Fall 2017.  **If you register before March 15, 2017, there is a $50 discount.

Engineering Academy - July 16-22 The theme this summer will be Robotics. Students will learn about electrical circuits, programming, computer aided design, 3D printing, motors, batteries, and more. The week will include hands-on project design, building, and testing. For current 9-11th graders* (10-12th grade as of Fall 2017) *Preference will be given to upperclassmen.

Great Ideas Academy - July 23-29 This year’s theme is “From Plato’s Republic to the American Founding.” Students will receive a one-hour college credit for an Honors Colloquium after completing the readings, academic sessions, and fulfilling the required assignments. The Great Ideas Academy will be instructed by Dr. Jay Bruce. Discussions and activities will be lead by current JBU Honors Students. For current Sophomores or Juniors who meet the following requirements:

  • Have at least a 3.0 GPA
  • Have either a 20 ACT or a 950 SAT

Click here for more on these JBU summer camps for high school students!

butterfly iconPrism Education Center, 2017  Prism Education Center

The school-age summer program at Prism Education Center is a nice blend of both choice-driven learning opportunities and more structured time in the classroom. The learning activities culminate in a family event held at the end of the summer. Throughout the summer program, students may receive academic tutoring in order to prevent student regression over the summer. These are all-day camps as needed.

In 2017, Prism will host two separate programs that differ in content and structure based on the grades served in each program:

Kindergarten – 5th grade: Students will engage in project-based enrichment projects to deepen their understanding and awareness of other nations and cultures. Through field trips, group projects, experiential learning opportunities and guest speakers, students will learn about different culture. The structure of Prism’s summer program ensures that even though it feels like a fun summer day camp, students will still be engaged in learning activities and will grow and develop academically.

5th – 9th grade: The 5th through 9th grade program offers students an opportunity to think critically about global challenges that impact individuals all over the world today and generate their own solutions to these issues. Each week students will be presented with a global challenge and will explore that issue through project-based learning, field trips, and engagements with guest speakers both locally and from around the world. Students will collaborate in small groups with other students to generate meaningful and innovative solutions to these challenges and present them each Friday.

**All school-age summer programs will be held at Prism’s new campus on Joyce Boulevard in Fayetteville

Click here for more info about Prism Education Center’s summer programming and camps!

butterfly iconDesignCamp Fay Jones, UA 2017  Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design Camps, University of Arkansas

Design Camp offers the chance to learn about the design professions through hands-on projects, tours, presentation and discussions led by architecture, landscape architecture and interior design faculty of the Fay Jones School. The camps are in four areas of the state and students will be able to select basic or advanced options.

Students will have the opportunity to work closely with faculty and collaborate with peers in a fun and creative studio environment while they walk with you through the design process. Click here to see a sample schedule, showing what the Fayetteville camp could look like.

The Fayetteville, Hot Springs and Little Rock camps are open to students going into ninth through 12th grades in fall 2017. The Wilson camp is for students going into third through 12th grades in fall 2017.  Each session will meet on location daily, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Supplies and lunches will be provided. **Cost for the Fayetteville, Little Rock, Hot Springs and Wilson day camps is $300 for early bird registration by April 14, or $350 for regular registration by May 26.

Design Camp on Campus
June 12-16  — University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (with overnight option*)
(entering grades 9-12)

  • Design Camp 1
  • Advanced Design Camp

* Room and board for the residential camp in Fayetteville is an additional $300.

Design Camp in the Garden
June 19-23 — Garvan Woodland Gardens, Hot Springs
(entering grades 9-12)

Design Camp at The Delta School
June 19-23 — The Delta School, Wilson
(entering grades 3-12)

Design Camp in the City
June 26-30 — Arkansas Studies Institute, Little Rock
(entering grades 9-12)

**Needs-based full and partial scholarships are available.

Click here for more info about the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design Camps at the UofA. Be sure to register by 5/26!

butterfly iconModMission-Motherlode-2017  Modern Mission Outdoor Laser Tag/Indoor Battlefield

Modern Mission’s first camp in 2016 was a huge hit and they’re super excited to continue this experience for 3 weeks this summer: June 5th-9th, June 19th-23rd and July 10th-14th.

Campers will learn how to shoot a bow, outdoor survival tips (starting a fire in wet weather, edible insects, etc.) and the value of teamwork. Modern Mission will also have a special guest speakers at camp throughout the week, including Sheriff Tim Helder and local K9 unit under Officer Chris Krodell. There will be plenty of time for Archery Games, Bubble Soccer, and play on the Indoor/ Outdoor Battlefields.

Each week of camps will run M-F 8 a.m. to noon. When you make a reservation for your child, they will be registered for the entire week. For ages 7-12.

Click here for more info on Modern Mission’s summer camps. Be sure to save $25 by using the code mama25!

butterfly icon  The Movement Dance Studio, summer camp guide 2017 USE THISThe Movement Dance Studio

The Movement Dance Studio in Springdale is offering classes for a variety of age groups this summer. From the littles, all the way up to teenagers, there’s something for everyone!

“A Dream is a Wish” Dance Camp, ages 3-5

Come dressed as your favorite Disney Princess or Character for a fun filled week of Ballet, Tap & Jazz, Arts & Crafts, Snacks and Games! This camp is for ages 3-5 and all materials and snacks included in the price of the 5-day camp. $12

Dates: June 12th-16th (Session 1) & July 10th-14th (Session 2)

The Movement Dance Studio will also offer Hip Hop Dance Camps for ages 7-9 and 10-up and a Broadway Bound Dance Camp for ages 10-up!

Click here for more info on the Movement Dance Studio’s summer camp classes!

butterfly icon jones center hockey summer camp 2017The Jones Center for Families

The Jones Center will host ice skating and hockey camps this summer in addition to all the other fun events planned for kids and families!

Basic Skills Ice Skating Camp

June 12-16, 2017

July 17-21, 2017

Half Day Camp, 8:00-12:30pm

Cost: $100/week or $175 for both weeks

Full Day Camp, 8:00-4:30pm

Cost: $150/week or $250 for both weeks

Summer Hockey Camp

July 10-14, 2017


8:00-12:30pm | Cost: $489/week

Click here for  more info on Jones Center events and summer camps!

butterfly icon  Amazeum Summer Camps, 2017The Scott Family Amazeum Camps

Amazeum Summer Camps specialize in curiosity. The Amazeum’s unique week-long summer camps are the perfect place to unleash your child’s curiosity to explore and make new discoveries. Summer Camps offer hands-on STEAM-focused fun that encourage your camper to be a creative explorer. Experience one camp or experience them all.

Sweet Science

Candy + Science = FUN!

June 12-16, 2017
Age Groups: 6-8 years & 9-11 years

Imaginate & Create

Enjoy the unique opportunity to travel between two museums for a one-of-a-kind summer camp experience hosted by the Scott Family Amazeum and Crystal Bridges.

June 19-23, 2017
Age Groups: 6-8 years & 9-12 years


Adventure! Exploration! Investigation! Join us as we uncover the dirt on Arkansas. Who knows what you will encounter along the way? Volcanoes…Earthquakes…Dinosaurs…Oh my!

June 26-30, 2017
Age Groups: 6-8 years & 9-11 years

Gadgets and Gizmos 

As creative engineers, you will explore how things work and why sometimes they don’t. Gear up to take things apart, reuse the pieces, and create your own invention as you earn the basic skills and processes needed to be a successful maker, inventor, and tinkerer. 

July 10-14, 2017
Age Groups: 6-8 years & 9-11 years


Lights! Camera! Action! Here’s your chance to produce your own movie. Throughout the week, campers will write a story, build props, practice intergalactic accents, and learn how to plan a film. Invite your family and friends to see the world premiere of your movie on Friday.

July 17-21, 2017
Age group: 9-11

3D Animaker 

The Amazeum is teaming up with New Design School’s Nerdies program to present 3D Animaker! This unique camp will be taught by David Kersey, executive director of New Design School and former Disney digital artist.

July 17-21, 2017
Age group: 12-16

Girls STEAM: Dream Big 

Designed especially for girls, Girls STEAM: Dream Big, will ignite wonder and fascination in girls as they make discoveries with the help of our MakeHER Squad, Amazeum’s team of young female makers.

July 24-28, 2017
Age Groups: 6-8 years & 9-11 years

Superhero Academy 

It’s a bird!…It’s a plane!…It’s a Superhero Training Academy! Tap into your unique powers with us as we train to be superheroes. We will harness and test your powers of strength, super speed, element control, and more during this SUPER camp!

July 31-August 4, 2017
Age Groups: 6-8 years & 9-11 years

Click here for more info on Amazeum STEAM camps!

Directory of 2017 Northwest Arkansas Camps:

Art Camps

Community Creative Center, Fayetteville (see above)

Scott Family Amazeum, Bentonville (see above)

Community Creative Center’s Time for Art Camps (Fayetteville)

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (Bentonville)

Sports Camps

Rogers Activity Center, Rogers (see above)

The Jones Center, Springdale (see above)

Camp Sequoyah, Fayetteville (see above)

Fayetteville Athletic Club Camp

Camp Bentonville: Archery, fencing, lacrosse, tennis, mountain biking, badminton, etc.

Unique Camps

Engineering Camp, Fayetteville, Bentonville (see above)

Camp Invention, Fayetteville, Rogers (see above)

Camp Sequoyah, Fayetteville (see above)

Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design Camps (see above)

Scott Family Amazeum Bentonville (see above)

Modern Mission Indoor Battlefield/Outdoor Laser Tag Fayetteville (see above)

John Brown University Summer Academy Siloam Springs (see above)

Prism Education Center Camps, Fayetteville (see above)

Northwest Arkansas Community College’s Kid’s College, Bentonville

Young Chefs Academy, Rogers

Spanish Immersion Classes, Casa Castillo, Bentonville

Dance Camps

The Movement Dance Studio  Springdale (see above)

High Pointe Performing Arts Studio

The Williams Center

Kaleidoscope Dance

Academy of Dance

The Art of Motion

Theatre Camps

Theatre Squared

Trike Theatre

Arts Live Theatre

Annual Summer Activities/Events

Benton County Fair (Bentonville)

Washington County Fair (Fayetteville)

fair logoFayetteville Farmer’s Market (Fayetteville Square & Botanical Garden of the Ozarks)

Bentonville Farmer’s Market (Bentonville Downtown Square)

Star-Spangled Summer Festival (Branson)

Gulley Park Summer Concert Series (Fayetteville)

Fayetteville Roots Festival (Fayetteville)

Firefly Fling: Botanical Garden of the Ozarks (Fayetteville)

Rogers Farmer’s Market (Cherry Street, Rogers)

Frisco Festival (Rogers)

Fireworks at the Crosses (Cross Church, Rogers)

Fourth at the Field (Arvest Ballpark, Springdale)

Rodeo of the Ozarks (Springdale)

Springdale Farmer’s Market (Jones Center, Shiloh Square)

Tontitown Grape Festival (Tontitown)

Local things to do this summer

Devil’s Den (West Fork)

Botanical Garden of the Ozarks (Fayetteville)

Terra Studios (Durham, outside of Fayetteville)

Hobbs State Park (Rogers)

fun ahead signTrike Theatre (Bentonville)

Terra Studios (Durham)

Walton Arts Center (Fayetteville)

Theatre Squared (Fayetteville)

Rogers Historical Museum (Rogers)

Rogers Little Theatre (Rogers)

War Eagle Cavern (Rogers)

Arts Center of the Ozarks (Springdale)

Shiloh Museum (Springdale)

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (Bentonville)

The Amazeum (Bentonville)

NWA Naturals baseball games (Springdale)

Arkansas Air and Military Museum (Fayetteville)

Public Library Summer Reading Programs (Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville, Siloam Springs)

Places to cool off

Melvin Ford Aquatic Center (Bentonville)

Wilson Park Pool (Fayetteville)

sunglasses in waterParrot Island Water Park (Fort Smith)

Prairie Grove Aquatic Center (Prairie Grove)

The Rogers Aquatic Center water park (Rogers)

Skate and Splash Park (Rogers)

Springdale Aquatic Center (Springdale)

Swim lessons (See our list by clicking here)

Nearby Getaway Destinations

Silver Dollar City (Branson)

Fritz Adventure (Branson)

fritz adventure

New Branson attraction, Fritz Adventure

Bigfoot on the Strip (Branson)

The Runaway at Branson Mountain Adventure Park (Branson)

Showboat Branson Belle Cruise (Branson)

Great Wolf Lodge (Kansas City)

Tulsa Zoo (Tulsa)

Oklahoma Aquarium (outside of Tulsa)

Mount Magazine State Park Butterfly Festival (Paris, Ark.,)

Click here for more getaway ideas and links!

Be sure to check back often, mamas! We’ll be adding more camps, activities and events as we head into Summer 2017! CLICK HERE to download the printable with even more ideas for things to do!