102 Ways to Beat the Summertme Blues


The Artist Hub. One-hour, one-and-a-half-hour, and two-hour workshops will be offered throughout the summer at The Artist Hub. All workshops are $15 and include supplies (except photography when the children need to bring their own camera). Workshops will be held in the Hobby Lobby classroom and are open to kids in kindergarten through eighth grade. Artisthubofocala.com or (352) 867-9660.

Little Leonardo’s School of Fine Art. Students ages 3–14 explore various artists and techniques including drawing, painting, and ceramic glazing at Little Leonardo’s. Four different lessons are offered from June 9 to July 30: Under the Sea — Wyland; Art Up Close/Flowers and Landscapes — Georgia O’Keeffe; Mummies and More — Egyptian Art; and Ponies — Franz Marc. Each lesson is four consecutive days of one-hour class from Monday to Thursday; 9–10am, 10–11am, 11am–12pm, and 1-2pm. New location at 3919 SE Lake Weir Avenue. Littleleonardos.com or (352) 351-1670.


Adventure camps–Seaworld and busch gardens. Only at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Adventure Camps will you live, work and play behind the scenes alongside amazing animals, including dolphins and giraffes. Work side-by-side with animal care specialists and learn the rewards and challenges of working in a premier zoological park. Plus, ride world class coasters and make lifelong friends and memories during this one-of-kind Adventure Camp.
(866) Go-To-Camp

Camp Invention. Camp Invention returns to Ocala from June 15–19 at Shiloh Seventh Day Adventist School. The camp’s DISCOVER program features several exciting modules, including Viking Treasure Trek: The Quest Begins; Comic Book Science: FlyJack and Jill; Land Sled X-Treme; I Can Invent: Fantasy Interventions & Complicated Machines II; and Recess Remix. Camp is held 9:00am–3:30pm and open to kids entering second through fifth grades. Registration fee is $180, and space is limited. Campinvention.org or (800) 968-4332.

Camp Kiwanis. For over 60 years, Camp Kiwanis has offered Ocala’s kids a fun and safe overnight camp to enjoy with their friends. The camp consists of four one-week sessions Monday through Friday from June 15 to July 10 and features a full schedule of activities including swimming, canoeing, archery, art, games, and plenty of good old-fashioned fun. Open to kids ages 7–13. Each session’s price includes meals and supplies. Cost is $200 per child per session. Campkiwanisocala.com or (352) 236-5401.

Camp Zone 2009. Kidszone U.S.A. offers a variety of fun activities all summer long for kids of all ages, including swimming, skating, and field trips. All meals are included. Located at 1606 22nd Avenue. (352) 629-5437.

Marty Smith Sports Camps. For years, Marty Smith Sports Camps have been synomous with athletic summer fun for area kids. This year, Marty hosts an All Sports Camp from June 15–18, a Baseball Camp from June 22–25, a second All Sports Camp from July 20–23, and a second Baseball Camp from July 27–30. Baseball Camp focuses on baseball, while All Sports Camp features five different sports with all five played each day. Kids must be 6–12 years old. All camps are held on the CFCC baseball field and the gym. Registration before April 1 is $140 and $150 after. Days start at 9:30am and end at 4pm. Cfcccamps.com or (352) 854-2322, ext. 1571.

Cool Croskey Summer Camp. Come enjoy a cool summer with interactive fun and learning at the E.D. Croskey Recreation Center. Activities include outdoor games, tournaments, sports/wellness, arts and crafts, theater, swimming, and field trips. Snacks and lunch will be served Monday–Thursday (open lunch site). The Cool Croskey Summer Camp is open to ages 5–12 (must have completed kindergarten) and is limited to 160 participants. Camp dates are June 8–Aug. 14, Monday–Friday, 7:30am–6:00pm. The cost is $25 per child per week (does not include field trips). A non-refundable, one-time registration fee of $20 is required. Registration begins May 4. (352) 401-3921.

Discovery Center Adventure Camp. Every week is a different theme and every day brings a new experience at this exciting camp at Tuscawilla Park. The Adventure Camp is open to ages 8–12 and is limited to 30 participants. Camp dates are June 15–Aug. 14, Monday-Friday, 8:30am–4:30pm. The cost is $90 per child per week for members and $100 per week for non-members. A non-refundable, one-time registration fee of $20 is required. Registration begins April 1. (352) 401-3900.

Marion County Day Camp. Sponsored by the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, Marion County Day Camp will be held at Camp Wildwood all summer long. Six-day and three-day camp sessions offered. Activities include Dolphin Tales, SunWise, Art to Wear, More than Mud, CSI-The Investigators, Dance, Dance Revolution, and much more, plus the always-popular equestrian program. Gswcf.org or (352) 694-4425 ext. 1821.

Marion County YMCA. The Marion County YMCA will offer its day camp beginning on June 8 and continuing through the Friday before school begins. The camp includes a variety of activities, such as games, sports, educational games, arts and crafts, character development, and local field trips. Camp is open 7am–6pm, Mondays–Fridays. (352) 368-9622.

Open Recreation at Lillian Bryant Recreation Center. Open recreation is an opportunity for all children to participate in summer recreation activities. There is no charge to attend, and the site is supervised by qualified staff. Lillian Bryant Summer Fun will offer an array of activities during the summer such as basketball, flag football, tennis, swimming, movies, and games. Snacks and lunch will be served Monday through Thursday (open lunch site). This program is open to kids in fifth through twelfth grade. Summer Fun dates are June 3–Aug. 24, Monday–Friday, 9am–6pm. (352) 629-8389.

Summer Opportunities at CFCC. Central Florida Community College offers a variety of academic, athletic, and cultural camps for school-age children. In addition, the CF Institute offers driving and language classes throughout the year. Cf.edu or (352) 873-5800.

Uncle Donald’s Farm Summer Camp. Wednesdays between July 1 and Aug. 5, this camp will include a variety of activities and programs with exotic and farm animals. Crafts, hayrides, pony rides, hands-on, and behind-the-scenes activities scheduled. Open to children between the ages of 6–12. Cost for the camp is $20 per child per day and the camp runs from 9:45am–2:45pm. Call to reserve a spot. Uncle Donald’s Farm in Lady Lake. Uncledonaldsfarm.com or (352) 753-2882.


Community Service Opportunties. High school students who would like to earn community service hours this summer are invited to apply for summer intern positions at the Ocala Civic Theatre. Interns are non-paid volunteers whose duties include assisting instructors with class, taking care of student needs, and setting up classroom environments. Applications must be received by Friday, May 15. For more information and an application, contact Tom Whatley, director of education, at (352) 236-2851.

Math Camp at The Reading Clinic. The “Games, Games, and Games” camp takes place June 8-12 and again Aug. 10–14. This camp offers campers the opportunity to master math facts, use critical thinking skills, solve math mysteries, and create their own board game. Thereadingclinicschool.com or (352) 867-0027.

Reading Camp at The Reading Clinic. Reading camps will take place June 1–5 and again Aug. 3–7. The “Readers Theatre” camp offers students reading instruction through drama, technology, writing, and just plain fun. The week concludes with a videotaped reading production. Reading campers will also be evaluated and individually assisted in their areas of reading weakness. Thereadingclinicschool.com or (352) 867-0027.

School Enrichment Programs. A variety of enrichment programs and activities will be available all summer long at select local schools. Some programs are open enrollment and work on a first-come, first-serve basis. Most are free of charge. For a complete listing of available programs and schools, contact the Marion County Public Schools office at (352) 671-7700.

Marion County Public Library. Ocala’s library headquarters will host a slew of summer activities again this year. To learn more about what’s happening each month, visit library.marioncountyfl.org or call (352) 671-8551.

Summer FCAT Camp. This FCAT Summer Fun Camp is for children in kindergarten through third grade. Running from 7am to 6pm (normal childcare hours) each day, this camp will focus on reviewing and strengthening children’s FCAT skills in reading, writing, and math. Hands-on science experiments and art projects are also included. The Counts Early Learning Academy also provides ice cream sundae parties, movie and popcorn days, and pizza every Thursday. Countsacademy.com or (352) 351-4738.

The Reading Clinic Voluntary Pre Kindergarten Program. The summer VPK program has been created to maximize student potential. Students will utilize The Reading Clinic’s curriculum for both reading and math. All teaching will involve hands-on learning introduced in a reassuring and fun manner. Two VPK sessions will be offered: May 1–June 13 and June 13–July 31. There is no cost for VPK. To be eligible, students must turn 5 by Sept. 1 and must be a Florida resident. (352) 867-0027.


Hidden Lark Farm Summer Camps. Hidden Lark Farm offers several day camp programs for both experienced and beginning riders ages 5–15. With an emphasis on safety, these programs have been designed to teach children about riding and horse care in a fun, nurturing environment. Camps take place June 15–19 and July 13–17, Monday–Friday, 8:30am–1:00pm. Sessions include stadium jumping, cross country jumping, flatwork, or trail rides. A pizza party ends each camp, along with a horseshow to display skills learned that week with ribbons awarded to everyone. $250 per week. Freewebs.com/hiddenlarkfarm or (352) 854-5151.

Summer Riding Camp. The Owl Hollow Farm offers a summer riding camp for kids of all ages and all riding levels. The week-long camp is Monday-Thursday, 9am–4pm in June and July, with equestrian activities in the morning and swimming in the afternoon. Cost is $250 per week. (352) 237-4132.


Downtown Dance Festival on the Square. Ocala’s downtown square will be jumping to the sounds of music and dance on April 18 during this community celebration of grooves that move us. The fun happens from 4:00 to 8:30pm. (352) 368-5550.

Family Film Festival. Beat the heat this summer at the Regal Hollywood 16. Every Tuesday and Wednesday the theater will feature a “G” and “PG” rated movie for area little ones to enjoy. Movie time is 10am both days and all movies related to the Family Film Festival are free and open to the public! Contact the theater at (352) 861-2692 for details.

Kids, Cops & Firefighters. Celebrate the dedication and bravery of local law enforcement and rescue personnel at MLK Park on May 16. The uniformed men and women will be on-site to connect with the community. 10am–1pm. (352) 368-5550.

Kids’ Fishing Derby. Kids discover why fishing is one of the most popular pastimes during this fun- and (hopefully) fish-filled morning at Tuscawilla Park on April 4, 8am–12pm. The event will also include the inaugural “Quacker Days” program in honor of our feathered friends. Ages 14 and under. (352) 368-5550.

Ocala Arbor Day Festival. Welcome spring and summer at Tuscawilla Park during this celebration of the beauty and importance of trees, including live music, tree planting, and care demonstrations. The April 25 festival takes place from 10am to 3pm. (352) 401-3900.

PAAS Eggstravaganza. This Signature Brands’ sponsored event has become a fun family tradition. Kids will be eggstatic over Easter this year! April 11 from 10am to 2pm at Tuscawilla Park. (352) 368-5550.

Sidewalk Astronomy. The Discovery Science & Outdoor Center is celebrating the International Year of Astronomy 2009 and welcomes your family to its Sidewalk Astronomy session at Tuscawilla Park, which introduces participants to the night sky with telescope viewings, hands-on activities, and a brief educational presentation. April 3 and May 1, 6:30–9:00pm. Astronomy2009.org or (352) 401-3900.

Performing Arts

Jeanne Benson-Smith Academy of Dance. The official classical ballet school of the Marion Ballet Theatre, the Jeanne Benson-Smith Academy of Dance is offering several summer classes during the last week of July for ages 3 and up. Kinderdance, Hour Ballet, tap, jazz, and modern dance classes, and advanced instruction is scheduled for students. Jbsacademyofdance.com or (352) 629-6155

Ocala Models & Talent. Ocala’s popular modeling and talent group offers kids a full schedule of classes this summer to polish their performance and dance skills. A modeling/acting class is offered 6:00–7:30pm on Mondays for ages 5–13 and on Tuesdays for ages 13 and up. Monthly price is $75. The hip-hop class is held 6–7pm on Wednesdays for ages 6–17; $10 per class. Clogging class for ages 6–14 is offered Saturdays from 10–11am; $10 per class. Jazzercise is taught on Saturdays 9–10am for ages 14 and up; $10 per class. Vocal lessons are offered Monday–Friday for ages 6 and up for $17.50 for a half-hour. Ocalamodelsandtalent.com or (352) 369-1212.

A Step Above. Register now for summer-themed camps, summer classes, and fall classes. Kinderdance for three- and four-year-olds and combo for four- and five-year-olds will be offered. Ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, clogging, and adult Zumba fitness classes are also available. Classes and camps begin in June. Astepabovedancestudio.com or (352) 694-7879.

Mary Ellen School of Dance. Aspiring dancers who want to improve their technique this summer or brand new dancers who want to try something unique while school’s out, everyone is welcome at the Mary Ellen School of Dance. Dance camps, which feature all styles of dance, will be held July 6–9 and July 20–23 for ages 6–12. Dance Intensive, for intermediate to advanced students, is scheduled for July 20–31. Maryellendance.com or (352) 732-2030.

The Dance Factory. Need to expend some of your kid’s energy this summer? Enroll them in Ocala’s Dance Factory’s summer camp the week of June 22, which features instruction in jazz and hip-hop dancing, theater, and music. Class for ages 5–8 is from 9am to 12pm; ages 9–12 is 1–4pm; and ages 13-18 is 6:00-8:30pm. Cost is $80 for the week. Dancefactoryocala.com or (352) 368-7616.

Performing Arts Conservatory. Ocala’s Performing Arts Conservatory is home to a full schedule of summer classes this year. Beginner, intermediate, and advanced level instruction for tap, ballet, jazz, acro, hip-hop, and acting will be offered as well as Tiny Tot Tap/ballet combination classes, conditioning and technique classes, and intermediate and advanced classes in pointe and contemporary or lyrical. The PAC even offers etiquette courses for ages seven and up and private musical instrument instruction. Pacocala.com or (352) 237-5678.

Ocala Civic Theatre. The popular Missoula Children’s Theatre returns to Ocala for another summer with a musical romp through two legendary classics:

The Princess & The Pea. Classes will be held Monday, June 15 through Friday, June 19 from 9:00am to 2:30pm. The performances will take place Friday, June 19 at 7pm and Saturday, June 20 at 2pm and 7pm.

Rumpelstiltskin. Classes will be held Monday, August 3 through Friday, August 7 from 9:00am to 2:30pm. Performances will take place Friday, August 7 at 7pm and Saturday, August 8 at 2pm and 7pm. NOTE: Due to their popularity and the demand for space in each of the above two classes, enrollment will be determined by lottery drawing. Registration for the lottery will begin at 10am on May 11 and will end at 5:30pm on May 15. Registration for the lottery may be done in person or by phone. Lottery results will be announced May 19. For details, call Tom Whatley at (352) 236-2851.

Weekly Ocala Civic Theatre Workshop Classes. For details and further information, visit ocalacivictheatre.com or call (352) 236-2274:

Imagination Players (Ages 4–5). The Imagination Players classes offer unique and creative instruction for the youngest students and performers. Each weekly session offers a new trip to the world of make-believe and imagination, where fun and learning go hand in hand.

Discovery Company (Ages 6–7). It’s creativity and child development through the arts. Each week, Discovery Company classes offer a new and exciting look into the imagination and all-out fun in the world of theater. Suitable for the first-time or returning student.

Theatre Explorers (Ages 8–10). Theatre Explorers classes are designed to enhance students’ sense of discovery, teamwork, and innovation in the world of theater artists, both on stage and backstage. Suitable for the first-time or returning student.

Young Artists Program (Ages 11–18). The Young Artists Program is designed to challenge young performers who are serious about taking their first or next step in theater studies.


2009 Summer Gymnastics Camp. Balcony Gymnastics in Ocala offers a full-filled, overnight summer gymnastics camp July 16–19 for girls ages 8–18, level 2–10. Participants work with some of Florida’s top coaches and bond with fellow gymnasts as they learn new skills and gain confidence. Cost, including housing, all meals, and all training and activities, is $295 per camper. Registration ends June 1. Balconysports.com or (352) 401-3663.

Balanced Way Summer Camp 2009. Kids ages 5–12 are invited to Balanced Way Martial Arts’ 2009 summer camp. Activities during the one-week sessions include martial arts training, martial arts games, novelty games, movies, and more. Camp dates, discounts, and specifics are online. Balancedwayma.com or (352) 351-4408.

Be a Martial Arts Movie Star. Experience the excitement of being in a martial arts movie produced by SuperKicks Martial Arts. Even if your child has no experience in martial arts, he/she will learn the basics of self-defense over the course of the week and participate in the movie, which will then be shown to friends and parents on Movie Night. The week-long program will be held June 14–18, 10:30am–12:00pm, and the movie premiere will be Saturday, June 19 at 7pm. Ages 6-16 welcome, and cost is $79 per child. (352) 861-KICK.

Competitive Swimming at the Ocala Aquatic Fun Centers. Youth ages 5–16 can participate in this competitive swim program at Jervey Gantt and Hampton Aquatic Centers. The program runs May 18–Aug. 1 with tryouts taking place the first week. Participants must be able to swim at least one length (25 yards) of the pool without stopping. Practices are 6-7pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Swim meets are on Saturdays (times and locations to be determined). Cost is $60. (352) 368-5550.

Don’t Forget Swim Lessons! Swim lessons are offered at both of the City of Ocala Aquatic Fun Centers. Lessons are open to kids over the age of 3. The cost is $45 for a two-week session. Morning and evening lessons are available. (352) 368-5550.

Driving Action in Daytona. Fans maneuver NASCAR simulators at speeds of over 200 mph, combining motion, video projection, and sound for the ultimate head-to-head racing experience. General admission is $19–$24. An additional fee may be required. Daytona500experience.com.

Hooked Up — An Angler Adventure Program. “Keepers” and “Minnows” alike will enjoy this camp designed for junior anglers at Tuscawilla Park. Campers will learn about fish habitat and handling, safety, code of ethics, tackle box basics, casting techniques, knot tying, rigging, and more. The “Keepers” program is open to middle schoolers and limited to 24 participants. In addition to regular “clinics,” Keepers will participate in Gone Fishing Excursions that include half- or full-day road trips to area fishin’ holes. Camp will meet on Thursdays, June 11–Aug. 13, 3:00–5:15pm. The cost is $50 per participant and will include clinics, excursions, and a Catch of the Day fish fry. The “Minnows” program, a “scaled” down version of the Keeper program, is open to kids in fourth and fifth grade and limited to 24 participants. Minnows will meet on Tuesdays, July 14–Aug. 11, 3:00–5:15pm. The cost is $20 per participant, and a non-refundable, one-time registration fee of $20 is required. Registration opens April 1. (352) 368-5550.

Karate Sports Camp. Ocala Karate Dojo offers youngsters ages 4–12 the opportunity to learn Karate, Kobudo, and self-defense from master instructor Bill Woodard and his assistants. Field trips, movies, games, swimming, and other activities also scheduled for participants. $95 per week; discount offered for additional children. June 8–Aug. 21. Class size is limited. Ocalakarate.com or (352) 237-9076.

Midnight Basketball League. This league runs June 29–Aug. 7 at the E.D. Croskey Recreation Center and provides boys and girls, ages 5–14, the opportunity to participate with a team to develop athletic and social skills. (Participant cannot be in or entering high school and/or turn 15 prior to Sept. 1.) The cost is $25 per participant, which includes a free four-day clinic. Registration is April 27–June 19, 10am–7pm. (352) 401-3921.

Ocala Regional Sportsplex Summer Sports-O-Rama. The Ocala Regional Sportsplex will offer a youth summer camp for ages 8–13. This 10-week program is designed to get the kids off the couch and out playing a variety of sports. The camp takes place from June 8-Aug. 14, and the cost is $50 per child per week. A non-refundable, one time registration fee of $20 is due at time of registration. (352) 401-3926.

Perry’s Swim School. For $64, kids ages 6 months (Mommy & Me) and up receive eight half-hour classes in the 88-degree heated pool. The schedule runs from March to late September. Morning, afternoon, and evening classes are available, and lessons are open to beginner, intermediate, and advanced swimmers. Classes are twice weekly. No registration and no membership fees. Class size is limited! Perryswimschool.com or (352) 732-5540.

Pine Oaks Junior Golf University. The Pine Oaks Junior Golf University at Pine Oaks Golf Course includes golf instruction, range balls, golf course experience, lunch, and awards. This program is open to ages 8-14 and limited to 30 participants per one-week session. Each session runs June 8–Aug. 14, Monday–Friday, 8am–2pm. Six separate sessions to choose from. The cost for a one-week session is $100. (352) 401-6940.

Pine Oaks Pee Wee Golf Camp. The Pine Oaks Pee Wee Golf Camp is an introduction to the game of golf. Instruction will include the basics of putting, chipping, pitching, and full swing as well as the rules and etiquette of the game. Pee Wee Golf Camp is open to boys and girls ages 5–7 and limited to 40 participants. Camp dates are June 29–July 1, Monday–Wednesday, 8:30–11:00am. Fee is $40 per child. (352) 401-6940.

Team Tennis 2009. Team tennis at the Fort King Tennis Center offers boys and girls ages 9–18 the opportunity to play in a fun, team atmosphere against competitors of similar skill level. A variety of drills and games will be used to build skills that sustain rallies and improve match play. The dates are June 16–July 23 with classes held 11:30am–1:00pm. Cost is $225 for Tuesdays and Thursdays or $300 for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Registration opens May 18. (352) 470-3172.

Tennis & Swim Camp at Jervey Gantt. Participant’s ages 6–13 will receive professional tennis lessons (for beginning- and intermediate-level players) each morning and participate in recreational swimming programs each afternoon at the Jervey Gantt Aquatic Fun Center. The program will run Monday through Friday from 9am until 1pm. The cost is $115 per week. Camp starts June 8 and ends Aug. 14. Contact the Fort King Tennis Center at (352) 629-8453 or (352) 470-3172.

Xtreme Kids Summer Camp! Children ages 6–12 are invited to attend the all-day Too Your Health Xtreme Kids camp featuring a wide variety of age-appropriate activities such as swimming lessons and open swim, rock climbing, boot camp, and field trips. The schedule also promotes academic readiness focusing on staying sharp over the summer and self-esteem building. Includes morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack. $100 per week. Monday–Friday, 6:30am–6pm, June 8–Aug. 21. (352) 861-9474.






















































































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