Best Girls Softball League
Mission Viejo Girls Softball
Mission Viejo Girls Softball is a USA-affiliated Junior Olympic fast-pitch softball league. It’s one of Orange County’s premier recreational leagues that puts instilling good sportsmanship, honesty, loyalty and courage at the center of their program. With the goal of creating well-adjusted, stronger and happier children, young girls between the ages 5 to 15 get the chance to bond with teammates through sports.
mvgs.org | Mission Viejo
Best Baseball Camp
U.S. Baseball Academy Irvine
U.S. Baseball Academy has more than 225 camps throughout the country, and the Irvine camp is part of that network. Players get individual attention and instruction appropriate to their age and skill level. The camp is open for kids grades one through 12 and training sessions are led by local high school and college coaches.
Best Day Camp for Creative Kids
Art Therapy OC
Kids can express their creativity and improve their emotional well-being thanks to the fun, unique and mindful art workshops led by psychologist and certified art therapist Diana Shabtai, known as “Miss Dee.” Children of all ages can create colorful memories in the cheerful environment and possibly find some peace and relaxation in the process.
arttherapyoc.com | Newport Beach
Best Traditional Day Camp
Camp James is once again a favorite with our readers. For decades now, it’s been a place where kids can explore the joys of nature through kayaking, interacting with wildlife and swimming in the Pacific. Campers can take a dip in the camp swimming pool or the ocean lagoon and participate in activities including archery, martial arts, arts and crafts, zipline, rock climbing and more.
campjames.com | Newport Beach
Best Special Needs Camp
The non-profit organization, which aims to make everyone feel accepted, is still a favorite with readers.
RAD Camp is on a mission to offer exciting programs and camps for children and adults with developmental disabilities. RAD, which stands for Rising Above Disabilities, wants every camper to have an exhilarating time while also encouraging independence, growth and respect. RAD Camp went virtual this year, but plans on returning to in-person fun in 2022.
radcamp.org | Orange
Best Camp at Sea
Huntington Beach City Junior Lifeguards
The world-renowned Junior Lifeguard program, which has been around since 1964, focuses on teaching children to recognize hazardous conditions in the water. Participants ages 9 to 17 learn about oceanic environment, first aid, CPR, cooperation and more.
juniorguard.com | Huntington Beach
Best Camp for Girls
Girl Scouts of Orange County Camp Scherman
Readers can’t get enough of this overnight camp where girls in first through 12th grade learn to problem-solve, practice independence and make new pals. Campers can choose from different sessions to explore their artsy side, build their outdoor science skills, horseback ride or cook.
girlscoutsoc.org | Mountain Center, Calif.
Best Ranch Camp
Lazy W Ranch
Campers at Lazy W Ranch go through a traditional camp experience — think campfire, s’mores, team-building and more — alongside Bible study. Sessions are designed for different age groups from elementary to high school. The adventure camp takes kids for rock climbing, paddling, ocean kayaking, hiking and more.
lazywranch.org | San Juan Capistrano
Best Soccer Camp
Orange County Soccer Club
Orange County Soccer Club provides opportunities for boys and girls to learn from the best and possibly get on the pathway to becoming pros. The coaches aim to teach the kids more in a matter of days than they would elsewhere in a year, all while having fun.
orangecountysoccer.com | Lake Forest
Best Surf Camp
Endless Sun Surf School
Endless Sun Surf School, established in 1963, prides itself on being Newport Beach’s original surf school. CPR-certified professional surfers teach people of all ages and abilities at the Newport Pier. Wetsuits and surfboards for all sizes are provided to each surfer. Aside from camps, they also offer private, group and after-school surf classes.
endlesssunsurf.com | Newport Beach
Best Virtual Science/Tech Camp
Coding with Kids
Coding with Kids instructors want to teach as many children as possible so they’re bringing their programs and camps to the kids’ homes via live conferences. By keeping the class sizes small and optimizing break-out rooms, they can give each child as much attention as necessary.
codingwithkids.com | Virtual
Best In-Person Science/Tech Camp
Bionerds welcomes children from kindergarten through eighth grade for fun and hands-on biology activities that will nurture their curiosity. There are after-school programs, camp programs and parties. Little biology buffs will learn to appreciate living things, with the help of Bionerds teachers, who are college graduates with biology or science degrees.
bionerdsllc.com | Multiple Locations
By Magda Hernandez, Jessica Peralta and Shawn Price