Find summer camps, courses and resources for kids through the UW

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Summer camps and courses offer numerous benefits for children, fostering personal growth, social development and academic enrichment in a supportive and adventurous environment. The good news is that here are numerous convenient options at the University of Washington. Here are some resources to help you decide on summer care, camps and courses:

UW Youth & Teen Program courses

The University of Washington Youth & Teen Programs offer enrichment opportunities during the school year and summer for grades 4-12. There is a wide variety of summer courses for your student, from writing to game design to photography to acting to coding to architecture to engineering to debate and much more.

Start times for these UW Summer courses vary to fit your needs. Locations also vary, including in-person courses at the UW Seattle Campus and in downtown Seattle, plus remote courses. Summer registration has already opened.

You can find all summer courses at the UW Youth & Teen Programs website. Here are just a few examples of the offerings:

Introduction to Block Programming for Grades 4-5

This remote course is taught via Canvas and/or Zoom video conferencing. Classes meet in real-time and are not recorded.

  • 9 a.m. – noon, Jul 15-26, 2024
  • Cost of the course: $760
  • Learn more or register here

NanoCamp! For Grades 6-8

This in-person course is taught on the UW Seattle campus.

  • 1 – 4 p.m., July 1-12, 2024
  • Costs of the course: $600
  • Learn more and register here

Introduction to Astronomy for Grades 9-12

This in-person course is taught on the UW Seattle campus.

  • 9 a.m. – noon, July 1-12, 2024
  • Costs of the course: $760
  • Learn more and register here

Financial assistance for UW Youth & Teen Programs

The cost of each course varies and payment is due upon registration. UW employees and students receive a 15% discount on all these diverse courses that give your kid the ability to learn something new or hone their interests. When you register, sign in with your UW NETID.

There is limited financial assistance available quarterly. Kids must meet free/reduced lunch criteria for the current academic school year (September-June) and may qualify for one award every 12 months. Awards are made on a first-come, first-served basis until funds have been exhausted. To apply or check availability, email

Alternative UW Youth Programs

The UW Youth Program Directory offers an expansive directory of UW camps, online classes and activities for children grades K-12. You can find classes from STEM to art to exploring the outdoors and everything in between. Here are just a few of the many interesting options for summer, including many free activities.

Changemakers in Computing (CIC)

Changemakers in Computing (CIC) is a 4-week in-person summer program from July 8-August 2, hosted by the University of Washington’s Allen School of Computer Science. This free program aims to serve Washington state high school students who are future first-generation college students, economically disadvantaged, underrepresented minorities, and/or from other traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. This program offers breakfast and lunch, a $1,500 education stipend, and a $250 Safeway gift card for students throughout the program who are eligible for free or reduced lunch. Application opens March 6, 2024. Learn more here.

UW Nurse Camp

UW Nurse Camp, a free week-long camp running from July 15-19, is geared toward increasing access and opportunities in nursing to a more diverse population of high school sophomores and juniors who are at least 16 years of age by the first day of camp. Students from all backgrounds are welcome and encouraged to apply. Applications require a letter of recommendation, a school transcript and a written essay. The deadline is April 15, 2024, 11:59 p.m. Learn more and apply here.

Other summer camp options

Benefits-eligible UW employees and students receive a discount through Bright Horizons on many other summer camp options.

Right at School summer camps

To access this benefit for these neighborhood school-based camps, log into the Bright Horizons UW website and click on: “Find before- and after-school care.” From here, you can search for your school from among the districts served in the Puget Sound region. When registering your child, you will need to create a Right at School account that is separate from your Bright Horizons login or UW NetID.

Steve and Kate’s Summer Day Camps

For 43 years, Steve and Kate’s Camps have given kids the encouragement and initiative they need to learn, explore and have fun. Through Bright Horizons, camps are discounted by $300 per summer session or $10 a day.

WA Employee Assistance Program

WA EAP is a free resource available to all benefits-eligible UW employees that can help in the search for summer options for younger children. EAP’s childcare specialists will consult with you and provide you with a list of options based on your preferences.

Seattle Parks & Recreation

Seattle Parks & Recreation provides a variety of summer camps that range from rowing and boating Camps to Discovery Park nature camps. Every summer they also offer free lunchtime recreational programming. This meal and snack program is for children ages 1-18 and operates Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There is financial aid (scholarships) available for qualifying families. Scholarships are based on income and family size and are available to anyone who qualifies, including seniors and people with disabilities. It takes 15-20 minutes to apply. You must have your income and household size (proof of dependents) documentation ready to upload. Page one and two of your IRS 1040 form is the preferred document. The Seattle Park District provides more than $47 million a year in long-term funding for Seattle Parks & Recreation — so it’s worth seeing whether you’re eligible!

Want more summer care options?

Join The Whole U’s free panel discussion, “Summer Care Strategies: Empowering UW Families for a Season of Success,” featuring experts from UW WorkLife, UW Youth and Teen Programs, KinderCare and Bright Horizons. Wednesday, March 27,  noon-1 p.m. on Zoom.