During a module called M.A.R.S. (Moving at Rocket Speed), Camp Invention participants plan and execute a trip to Mars, becoming the first astronauts to explore the planet. In Art Park, participants attempt to save a museum from the threat of losing donations by designing a new sculpture garden to please the public and the museum’s largest donor. During Saving Sludge City, the Camp Invention team will rebuild and clean a polluted city, making it a more eco-friendly environment for its residents. Open to children entering second through fifth grades, Camp Invention takes place at N.H. Jones Elementary School from June 16-20. The $205 registration fee, due on or before May 31, includes daily snacks and a T-shirt. A discount of $20 per child is offered with early registration by March 31 and the bring-a-friend program after that date. There is also an additional $5 discount for online registrants. Registrations received after May 31 will incur a $20 late processing fee. Each program is limited to 110 children. www.campinvention.org or (800) 968-4332.
OUT AND ABOUT—OPEN RECREATION
Open Recreation is an opportunity for all children to participate in summer recreation activities. There is no charge for participation in open recreation at the locations listed below. All sites are supervised by qualified staff.
E.D. Croskey Recreation Center
1510 NW 4th Street
June 6–Aug. 15
Monday through Friday, 7:30am–5pm
Ages: All school aged youth
(Also offers pay-as-you-go field trips)
Lillian Bryant Recreation Center
2200 NW 17th Place, Ocala
June 6-Aug. 15
Monday through Friday, 8am–6pm
Ages: Elementary- and middle school-aged youth
(Also offers pay-as-you-go field trips)
For 60 years, Camp Kiwanis has offered Ocala’s kids a fun and safe overnight camp to enjoy with their friends. The camp, June 16-July 18, includes a full schedule of activities including swimming, canoeing, archery, art, games, and plenty of good old-fashioned fun in five one-week sessions for kids ages 7-13. Each session’s price includes meals and supplies. $175 for early registration and $200 for late. www.campkiwanisocala.com or (352) 236-5401.
AT THE DISCOVERY SCIENCE AND OUTDOOR CENTER
This camp is open to youth ages 8 to 12 and provides interactive science fun all summer long for the youngest science enthusiasts. The program runs June 16 through Aug. 8 and is open Monday through Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm (before care 7:30am-8:30am and after care 4:30pm-5:30pm is available). The weekly cost is $100 for members and $115 for non-members. There is a non-refundable registration fee of $20. (352) 401-3900.
AT THE DISCOVERY SCIENCE AND OUTDOOR CENTER
Outdoor Adventures is open to youth ages 10 to 15 years. Each day brings new activities in the great outdoors, including camping, swimming, canoeing, beach trips, water sports, and rock climbing. The program runs June 16 through June 27 and July 7 through Aug. 8. Open Monday through Friday, 8:30am-5:30pm. Extended hours are available. The weekly rate is $145 for members and $165 for non-members. There is a non-refundable registration fee of $20. (352) 401-3900.
SUPER SCIENCE SATURDAYS
Explore the fascinating world of science at Ocala’s Discovery Science & Outdoor Center. Weekly summer activities may include live demonstrations, hands-on activity tables, workshops, or guest lecturers. Participation is free with $2 paid admission. (352) 401-3900.
AT THE TUSCAWILLA YOUTH CENTER
This camp is open to youth ages 5 to 11 years (must have completed kindergarten). Funtastic dates are June 9 through Aug. 8 and the cost is $65 per child per week (does not include field trips). A one-time registration fee of $20 is required. CDS vouchers are accepted for full-time participants only. Camp will run Monday through Friday from 7:30am-6pm. Registration begins May 5 at 8:30am and will continue until the program is full. (352) 629-8379.
CROSKEY CENTER SUMMER TEEN PROGRAM
Teenagers need summer fun, too. Kids ages 13 to 17 will partake in team-building sports, swimming parties, state park field trips, and adventure/rope courses. The program runs June 16-Aug. 18, 7am-6pm. Attendance is free. (352) 401-3921.
LILLIAN BRYANT CENTER TEEN PROGRAM
This camp is open to teens only (grades 7-12). Activities will include flag football, soccer, basketball shootouts, group games, guest speakers, swim parties, movies, and field trips. Cost varies depending on activities. (352) 629-8389.
GET FIT AND STAY FIT IN ’08
As part of the Croskey Center’s physical fitness program, kids ages 7-17 choose from a full arsenal of activities to stay healthy over the summer. The center’s facilities include a walking/running trail, cardio machines, universal gym, jump ropes, Swiss ball, and dumbbells, while activities include flexibility, strength, endurance, and cardio training, guest speakers, nutrition, and personal wellness. (352) 401-3921.
SUNNY SIDE SUMMER DAY CAMP
AT THE HERBERT COLEMAN CENTER IN JERVEY GANTT PARK
This camp is open to youth ages 5-9 years (must have completed kindergarten) and will be limited to 30 kids. The program is intergenerational, with senior volunteers assisting with activities. The camp will include activities in the park and optional off-site field trips, and runs June 9-Aug. 8, Monday-Friday from 7:30am–5:30pm. The cost is $65 per week plus field trip expenses. Registration will begin May 5. A non-refundable registration fee of $20 is required. (352) 401-3918 or (352) 629-8351.
MARION COUNTY YMCA
The summer day camp includes a variety of activities including games, sports, educational games, arts and crafts, character development, and local field trips. (352) 368-9622.
MARION COUNTY DAY CAMP
Sponsored by the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, the Marion County Day Camp will be held at the Ocala RV Camp Resort, June 16-20. This year’s theme is Tropical Paradise. Events include swimming, games, a Friday cookout, and crafts. Open to girls entering grades 1-6. $69 ($10 extra for non-Girl Scouts). 8:30am-3:30pm (extended hours to 5:30pm for $20 additional fee). (352) 694-4425 ext. 105.
UNCLE DONALD’S FARM SUMMER CAMP
Summer day camp Wednesdays between June 25 and Aug. 6. 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. Open to children between the ages of 6-12. Uncle Donald’s Farm, Lady Lake. (352) 753-2882.
CAMP ZONE 2008
Kids Zone U.S.A. offers a variety of summertime activities including swimming, skating, and field trips. All meals are included. (352) 629-5437.
THEME PARK THRILLS
BUSCH GARDENS’ JUNGALA
(OPENING APRIL 2008)
Set in the park’s Congo area, the four-acre attraction with its towering trees, lush waterfalls, and hidden village lets families get close to endangered animals like the Bengal tiger and orangutan, and even take a zip-line ride through the jungle canopy. www.jungala.com or (888) 800-5447.
CYPRESS GARDENS’ KIDPALOOZA
(OPENING SPRING 2008)
Your little ones will enjoy hands-on art activities like the giant coloring wall at “Picasso Palooza,” boomerang decorating with “Build-A-Rang,” and sand art at “Sand Blast.” www.cypressgardens.com or (863) 324-2111.
STAR WARS WEEKENDS
(OPENS JUNE 2008)
Star Wars Weekends returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios with a giant gathering of Star Wars’ most popular characters—Wookies, droids, Jedi, Ewoks, Queen Amidala—all roaming the streets of the theme parks for meet-and-greets. www.disneyworld.com/starwarsweekends or (407) 939-6244.
TOY STORY MANIA
(OPENING SUMMER 2008)
Inspired by Disney/Pixar’s popular Toy Story movies, this 3-D attraction at Walt Disney World is completely interactive and merges gaming and storytelling for an all-encompassing kid experience. Games are hosted by favorite characters Woody, Buzz, Rex, and Hamm! www.toystorymania.com or (407) 939-6244.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING
SUMMER FCAT CAMP
School-aged children between kindergarten and third grade prepare for the FCAT, June 6-Aug. 17. Daily instruction will help strengthen your child’s reading, writing, and math skills. All classes are taught by degreed teachers. Fun afternoon activities include water play, sports, movies, game day, and arts and crafts. Counts Early Learning Academy, Ocala. www.countsacademy.com or (352) 351-4738.
KINDEROO CHILDREN’S ACADEMY SUMMER ENRICHMENT & VPK
Where learning and play become one! The academy combines a variety of projects to further develop gross and fine motor skill coordination. In addition, activities are designed to enhance social skills using arts and crafts, exercise, music, games, and storytelling. Space is limited; dates vary. www.kinderoo.com or (352) 854-3800.
MT. TABOR SUMMER ENRICHMENT PROGRAM
Mt. Tabor’s enrichment program provides tutoring to improve FCAT skills in reading, writing, math, and comprehension. Dates vary. (352) 732-5834.
DATE DRIVERS EDUCATION/DRUG, ALCOHOL AND TRAFFIC EDUCATION
This four-hour course at Central Florida Community College is offered May 8, 17, and 22, as well as June 5, 14, and 19. Classes will also be available in July. $35. (352) 873-5804.
LEARNER PERMIT PREP
Give your teen some extra help reviewing for the written portion of the driving exam. The one-hour course on May 17 at Central Florida Community College is $18. (352) 873-5804.
IN-CAR DRIVING LESSONS
Applicants must be permitted to participate in this ongoing program offered seven days a week at Central Florida Community College. Various packages and pricing plans available. (352) 873-5804.
SCHOOL ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS
A variety of enrichment programs and activities will be available all summer long at most 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 HEADQUARTERS
Here’s the schedule for programs at the Headquarters Library this summer:
Mondays (June 23-July 28): Movie day. 2pm.
Wednesdays (June 25-July 30): FLYP Program, The Whole Wide World @ Your Public Library. Kids will “visit” a different continent each week.
Fridays (June 27-July 25): Craft activities. 2 pm
Fridays (July 18, Aug. 1): Library Day at a County Park (one at Horseshoe Lake Park and one at Carney Island Recreation Area)
Saturdays (June 28, July 12, July 26): Family-friendly entertainment.
For more information call the Marion County Public Library Headquarters in Ocala at (352) 671-8551
THE READING CLINIC
The Reading Clinic of Central Florida offers therapy sessions for children and adults in the areas of math and reading. The sessions are presented in a multi-sensory method which allows students to grasp learning through their senses. www.thereadingclinicschool.com or (352) 867-0027.
GIANTS: AFRICAN DINOSAURS
Come face-to-face with some of the fastest and largest dinosaurs that ever roamed the African continent 90 to 135 million years ago. Exhibit runs through April 13 at Silver Springs. www.Silversprings.com or (352) 236-2121.
TUSKS! ICE AGE MAMMOTHS & MASTODONS
Created by the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, this traveling exhibit offers guests the opportunity to see and learn about pre-historic American Mammoths and Columbian Mastodons. The exhibit, running May 17 to Sept. 7, also showcases fossils of other Ice Age animals including carnivores, birds, and reptiles. (352) 846-2000.
Dinosaur World is an outdoor dinosaur museum in Plant City with over 150 life-size dinosaurs. Visitors can dig for authentic fossils to take home at the Fossil Dig, uncover a life-size dinosaur skeleton at the Boneyard, see exhibits in the Indoor Museum, and watch educational films on dinosaurs and enjoy a subterranean picnic in the Caves. (813) 717-9865.
JURASSIC PARK RIVER ADVENTURE
Take a river raft ride and see dinosaurs in their natural habitats, but be careful! The fences are down, the Raptors have broken loose, and the only escape from the terrifying jaws of a hungry T-Rex is an 85-foot plunge in total darkness! www.universalorlando.com.
SPORTS AND EQUESTRIAN
AQUATIC FUN CENTERS
Ocala’s Jervey Gantt and Hampton Aquatic Fun Centers, open May through September, offer many activities for water-loving kids. Swimming lessons, lifeguard training certification, swim teams, teen nights, and family nights are just a few of the ways to get your kids out of the heat this summer. (352) 624-2410.
PERRY’S SWIM SCHOOL
For $57, kids ages 6 months and up receive eight half-hour classes in the 88-degree heated pool. The schedule runs from March to late September. (352) 732-5540.
MID-NIGHT BASKETBALL LEAGUE
Three age divisions of kids take to the court for a game of basketball in this six-week league from June 23 to July 31, hosted by Croskey Center. Registration for the mini division (5-7 years olds), elementary school division (grades 3-5) and middle school division (grades 6-8) is open May 19-June 20. (352) 401-3921.
JUNIOR GOLF CAMPS AT PINE OAKS GOLF COURSE
Kids of all ages learn the fundamentals of golf including proper swing technique and course etiquette. In the pee-wee division, golfers age 4 to 7 meet June 30 from 9am to 11am and for various hours through July 3. In the older division, kids age 8-16 sign up for two-week sessions between June 16 and Aug. 15. Registration begins in mid-May. (352) 401-3909.
FIND THE BALANCED WAY
All kids ages 5 and up can participate in the weapons-training camps from June to August at Balanced Way Martial Arts in Ocala. The safety-conscious classes use Bo, Bo-ken, and Nun-cha-ku weapons in their instruction. The two-week sessions also include field trips, games, and movies. Space is limited. www.balancedwayma.com or (352) 351-4408.
BRUNO’S MARTIAL ARTS
Bruno’s Martial Arts offers something for everyone during the summer months like the Little Dragons program for ages 5-6, Tuesday and Thursday at 4pm and Saturday at 9:30am, and the Tiger program for ages 6-12, Monday-Thursday at 5pm and Saturday at 9:30am. Don’t forget about the special Tae Kwon Do event, “Bring a Buddy and Break a Board,” on July 12 for ages 6-16. (352) 861-5425.
USA TEAM TENNIS 2008 AT THE FORT KING TENNIS CENTER
Team tennis offers children 18 and under the opportunity to play in a fun, team atmosphere against competitors of similar skill level. The six-week season starts June 16 and will run through July 30. Cost is $200 for Tuesdays and Thursdays or $275 for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. (352) 629-8453.
COMPETITIVE SWIMMING AT THE OCALA AQUATIC FUN CENTERS JERVEY GANTT AND HAMPTON AQUATIC CENTERS
Youth ages 5-16 can participate in a competitive swim program. The program runs from May 19 through July 25 (first week is tryouts). The cost is $60. Participants must be able to swim the length of a 25-yard pool without stopping. (352) 624-2410.
JUNIOR GOLF CAMP AT PINE OAKS GOLF COURSE
Golf enthusiasts ages 8-16 will learn the fundamentals of play including swing development and rules of the course. Kids are then given the opportunity to demonstrate their newly developed skills on the course. Each two week camp session runs Monday through Friday, 9am until 3pm from June 16 to Aug. 15. There are four separate sessions to choose from. The cost for a two-week session is $175. (352) 401-3909.
OCALA REGIONAL SPORTSPLEX SPORTS CAMP
This camp is open to youth ages 8-13 years. The camp runs for nine weeks from June 9 through Aug. 8 and features various sports themes (football, baseball, basketball, and cheerleading) with a focus on the conditioning and nutrition needed for athletic fitness. The cost is $75 per week. Children can be dropped off as early as 7:30am and need to be picked up no later than 6pm. Lunch will be provided. Space is limited. A non-refundable registration fee of $20 is due at the time of registration. (352) 873-6569.
ALL SPORTS CAMP
These camps feature an emphasis on sportsmanship, good attitudes, and team playing. Campers will compete in baseball, flag football, soccer, basketball, and kickball. Includes a daily lunch, a T-shirt, all activities, instruction, and awards. CFCC’s Marty Smith All Sports Camps are for boys and girls ages 6-12. The cost of camp is $165, but is only $155 if registered before May 1. Dates vary, 9:30am-4pm. (352) 427-8372.
HIDDEN LARK FARM SUMMER CAMPS
Each week-long camp at Hidden Lark is for both experienced and beginning riders and emphasizes riding, safety, and horse care. Cross-country, stadium jumping, flatwork, and trail ride lessons are all available. Classes are Monday-Friday, 8am-1pm, June 16-20 and July 14-18. (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 to 4pm in June and July, with equestrian activities in the morning and swimming in the afternoon. Cost is $250 per week. (352) 237-4132.
CFCC’s Marty Smith Sports Baseball Camps is for boys and girls ages 6-12. This camp is for the beginner, average player, or all-star who loves baseball and baseball instruction. Activities will include instruction, fundamentals, and several baseball games each day. Skill days will include teaching hitting, baserunning, and basic baseball skills and drills. $165. If registration is received before May 1, the cost is $155. Dates vary, 9:30am-4pm. (352) 427-8372.
BALCONY GYMNASTICS SUMMER CAMP
Gymnastics, karate, fieldtrips, and crafts are just a few of the daily activities each child will experience. The camp is open to kids 5-12 years of age, Monday-Friday, 8am-3:30pm. Extended care until 5:30pm is also available. www.balconygymnastics.com or (352) 401-3663.
OCALA TENNIS & SWIM CAMP
Youngsters ages 7-12 will learn proper grips, strokes, and serving techniques at the week-long tennis camps running June 9 to Aug. 1. Swim sessions at the Aquatics Center are also open to campers. Lifeguards will be on duty, but kids must know how to swim. $95 per week for tennis only, $115 per week for both. (352) 629-8453.
TAKE THE PLUNGE!
Swim lessons are offered at both of the City of Ocala Aquatic Fun Centers. Lessons are open to anyone over the age of 3. The cost is $45 for a two-week session. Morning and evening lessons are available. (352) 624-2410.
XTREME KIDS SUMMER CAMP!
Children ages 6 and up 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, kayaking (in the pool), and field trips. The schedule also promotes academic readiness with courses in computer skills, tutoring, and self-esteem building. Lunch is provided. $100 per week. Monday-Friday, 6am-6pm, June 8 to Aug. 15. (352) 861-9474.
KARATE SPORTS CAMP
Ocala Karate Dojo offers youngsters ages 6-12 the opportunity to learn Karate, Kobudo, and self-defense from master instructor Bill Woodard and his assistants. $130 per week or $95 per week for four weeks. 6:30am-7:30pm, June 8-Aug. 15. Class size is limited. (352) 237-9076.
THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN (MAY 16)
The Pevensie siblings return to Narnia, where they are enlisted to once again help ward off an evil king and restore the rightful heir to the land’s throne, Prince Caspian.
KUNG FU PANDA (JUNE 6)
A computer-animated comedy about a slacker panda, Po (voiced by Jack Black), who must somehow become a Kung Fu Master in order to save the Valley of Peace from a villainous snow leopard, Tai Lung.
WALL-E (JUNE 27)
A trash-compacting robot sets off on an adventure to discover the meaning of life.
KIT KITTREDGE: AN AMERICAN GIRL MYSTERY (JULY 2)
Ten-year-old Kit lives in a boarding house her parents own in Cincinnati. She has a passion for writing and dreams of having something of hers published in the local paper someday. With the help of her friends, Sterling and Ruthie, will her dream finally come true?
OCALA CIVIC THEATRE
Kids ages 14 and up can try out for a fully staged Broadway musical. There are performance classes for ages 8-18 who want to delve into character analysis, development, movement, vocal projection, and technical production. Imagination Players for ages 4-6 offers games, music, and movement, while Discovery Company lets kids ages 7-9 play theater games, learn voice and movement training, and tell stories. Theatre Explorers for ages 10-12 is a step up with its technique-centered workshops to develop singing and acting. The Young Artist Program is for kids ages 13-18 who want to stay ahead in the competitive world of theater. Magic classes are for ages 8 and up and all experience levels, and teach simple tricks to complex slight-of-hand illusions. Class sizes are limited and dates vary. (352) 236-2274.
Children grades K though 2 can participate in dance activities that will help them explore both theatrical movement and the ability to tell a whole story without saying a word. Tuition is $30. The group meets from 3:30-4:20pm, April 23-May 21. Ocala Civic Theatre. (352) 236-2274.
Students in grades 3-5 create an entire production using nothing but newspapers for inspiration. The class culminates in a “sharecase” for family and friends. Cost is $30, and the group meets 4:30-5:30pm. April 23-May 21 at the Ocala Civic Theatre, (352) 236-2274.
THE DANCE FACTORY
Need to expend some of your kid’s energy this summer? Enroll them in Ocala’s Dance Factory’s summer camp which features jazz and hip hop dancing, theater, and music. Class for children ages 5-8 is from 9am to 12pm, ages 9-12 is 1-4pm, and ages 13-18 is 6-8:30pm. (352) 368-7616.
A STEP ABOVE
Summer dance classes will be offered beginning in July for ages 3 and up. Styles include Kinderdance, combo, clogging, ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and lyrical. Beginner through advanced level classes will be available. Registration for summer and fall classes starts April 28. (352) 694-7879.
MARY ELLEN DANCE CAMPS
Kids ages 5-11 will participate in weekly dance camps from 9am-3pm for all styles of dance. Beginner dancers ages 3-18 are offered classes in ballet, tap, acrobatics, jazz, and hip hop, and intensive weekly evening classes for intermediate and advanced students are offered in ballet, jazz, lyrical, acrobatics, stretch, and conditioning. Mary Ellen School of Dance’s classes run June to August. (352) 732-2030.
READ ALL ABOUT IT
SECRET BOOK CLUB: MAIN STREET SERIES
BY ANN M. MARTIN (JULY 1)
Flora and Ruby are about to start their second summer in Camden Falls. It’s a mystery when someone leaves copies of a very special book on their doorstop, with instructions to read and discuss it. (Appropriate for ages 9 and up.)
MERCY WATSON THINKS LIKE A PIG
BY KATE DICAMILLO (JULY 8)
From the author of Because of Winn Dixie comes Mercy Watson Thinks Like A Pig, which introduces us to Eugenia and Baby Lincoln. They may live next door to a pig, but that doesn’t stop them from living a gracious life. (Appropriate for kids ages 4-8.)
LIVE ON STAGE
THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR (APRIL 6)
Eric Carle’s beloved story jumps off the pages of his book and onto the stage. Large, colorful puppets depict the classic tale of the hungry caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a beautiful butterfly. The performance takes place at Ferguson Hall at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. (813) 229-7827.
DISNEY ON ICE: PRINCESS WISHES (APRIL 10-13)
Magical and enchanting, Disney’s Princess Wishes features all the beloved princesses your little one loves, including Ariel, Snow White, Jasmine, Cinderella, and Belle. Tinker Bell is there to guide the audience on this delightful journey on ice. For tickets, call the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. (904) 353-3309.
ARTHUR LIVE! (APRIL 11-12)
An all-new musical adventure with Arthur, D.W., Buster, Francine, and the rest of the gang from Elwood City. Kids will be amused as their favorite characters take a trip to the museum where dinosaur bones come to life. It’s 70 minutes of pure fun at the Youkey Theatre in Lakeland. (863) 834-8111.
RUSSIAN AMERICAN KIDS CIRCUS (APRIL 24)
“Performed by kids, for kids, but not just for kids,” that’s how the Russian American Kids Troupe describes its highly popular and imaginative show. Acrobats, trapeze artists, jugglers, and other talented performers ages 6 to 16 create a dazzling theatrical experience for the whole family to enjoy. The circus arrives at The Florida Theatre in Jacksonville for one performance only. www.ticketmaster.com.
DISNEY’S THE LION KING (MAY 8–JUNE 22)
Kids and adults of all ages will marvel as The Lion King comes to life onstage with amazing costumes and sets, an extraordinary cast of singers, dancers, and actors, and all the beloved songs from the movie. Tickets for this award-winning production at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center will go quickly. (813) 229-7827.
THE ARTIST HUB
The Artist Hub of Ocala hosts a slew of week-long art classes at Ocala Elite, Monday-Friday, 12-4pm from June 16-Aug. 1. Cost is $85 per week with a $10 one-time registration fee. Courses include the DaVinci Creative Camp, Monet: Watercolors, Illustrations and Writing Journals, Flip Book Animation, Matisse: Acrylics, Drawing with Charcoals, Pastels, Colored Pencils, and 3D Illustration. www.artisthubofocala.com or (352) 867-9660.
THE ARTIST HUB
The Artist Hub of Ocala hosts classes at Hobby Lobby from June 18 to Aug. 5. Each two-hour course is $15. Includes classes on watercolors, stamping and printmaking, mosaic glass beads, acrylic paint, and clay work. www.artisthubofocala.com or (352) 867-9660.
THIS, THAT ‘N THE OTHER!
June through August, arts and crafts classes are available for kids ages 4 and up on Thursdays and Saturdays at 2pm. (352) 671-7878.
LITTLE LEONARDO’S SCHOOL OF FINE ART
Students 3 to 11will explore various artists and techniques including drawing, painting, collage, and ceramic glazing. Classes offered: June 9-12, In the Garden with Claude Monet; June 16-19, Down on the Farm with Grandma Moses; June 23-26, Treasure Hunt with Louise Nevelson; and June 30-July 3, Paul Klee’s Pirates. Classes will be offered from 9-10am, 10-11am, 11am-12pm, and 1-2pm. (352) 351-1670.
FIREBRICK CERAMICS STUDIO
A variety of family-friendly camps and workshops will be offered throughout the summer months. June 24-27, Camp Clay offers different hand building and clay activities all week long. July 22-25 will feature the Master All Mediums Week Workshop and will include mosaic, fused glass, and mixed media. The Decorate & Celebrate End of Summer Camp will be held Aug. 12-15. For summer camps/workshops all children must be at least 7. Class size will be limited, so early registration is recommended. Sign up begins March 1. (352) 369-3473.
CHECK-IN FOR FUN!
GAYLORD PALMS LA PETITE ACADEMY KIDS STATION (ORLANDO)
La Petite Academy Kids Station, a special resort within the main resort, caters specifically to kids. Kids can stay and play for one to four hours or make a day of it during a planned, full-day group activity. www.gaylordhotels.com.
NICKELODEON FAMILY SUITES (ORLANDO)
Two- and three-bedroom suites feature bunk or twin beds, video games, and murals depicting Nick favorites like SpongeBob SquarePants and Jimmy Neutron. Two outdoor swimming pool playgrounds include water slides, a sandy play area, and water flumes. www.nickhotel.com.
UNIVERSAL’S HARD ROCK HOTEL (ORLANDO)
Kid suites are 800 square feet with twin beds, table, chairs, and TV just for kids. Camp Lil’ Rock is a supervised children’s program. Outside, a 12,000-square-foot swimming pool includes a sandy beach, water slide and interactive fountains. A water taxi takes guests to the theme parks. (800) BE-A-STAR.
SUMMERTIME PLACES AND EVENTS
SHARK FEEDING: BEHIND THE SCENES
Experience the life of a shark biologist! Help prepare the shark’s favorite food and try to feed three fish to a shark while learning about these amazing animals, how they are cared for, and what threatens wild populations. Participants must be at least 12. $65. www.flaquarium.org or (813) 273-4015.
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE DAYTONA 500
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. www.daytona500experience.com.
Visit Wild Waters this summer and try out the new Alligator Ambush ride. The fun is located in Silver Springs, www.silversprings.com or (352) 236-2121.