Winter Camps for Kids in Des Moines

Winter Camps for Kids in Des Moines 2018

Note: This post has been updated to reflect camps for the 2018 season.


Winter, Winter Camps, Des Moines


Making Things Fly

December 27 – 28 

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Held in the Area 515 Maker Space, kids will make a variety of projects to discover the basic principles of flight. We’ll build windmills, balsa wood planes, helicopters, and balloons! Suitable for kids grades 6 – 8. Camp cost: $100

Blank Park Zoo

Antarctic Adventures

December 27 – 28 

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

$72 for members; $104 non-members

This year’s theme is Antarctic Adventures. Brrrr… sub-zero temperatures, ice, snow, and bitterly cold winds – oh my! Let’s explore Antarctica and discover how animals survive in this not-so-pleasant habitat.  Bundle up and join us on a thrilling expedition to the South Pole.  What would you bring along and what would you eat?  Let’s learn from the animals!

Camp Fire Heart of Iowa

Winter Camp Fire Day 

December 26 – 28; December 31; January 2 – 4 

Drop your child off at one of our convenient drop locations and let them experience a day of excitement and learning at Camp Hantesa! Under the supervision of our trained staff, campers make new friends and interact with old ones through engaging programming. Each day includes transportation from one of our drop sites, a hot lunch, and a morning and afternoon snack. Cost: $37/day

December 31st is the NYE Overnight!

Drop Sites & Drop Off Times:
Camp Canwita (Ames): 7:00-8:30 AM
McHose Park (Boone): 7:00-8:30 AM
Camp Fire Service Center (Des Moines): 7:00-8:00 AM

Pick Up Times (All Sites): 4:30-5:30 PM

Chasing Laurels

Winter Break Horse Camp

December 27 – 29; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Christmas time themed day camp! This year they will be celebrating our winter break with a gift swap tree, professional Christmas photos with horses, Christmas time horse crafts and games (including decorating Christmas horse sugar cookies). If there is snow they may even have a sleigh ride! Of course, as always there will be fun both on and off horseback, daily riding, horsemanship lessons, playing games, a winter cookout (dependent on weather), and more. $200. Reservation required.

Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

2018 Winter Break: Stuck on Cacti

These hands-on classes offer a fun, creative experience for families. Workshops are designed for youth ages 4-14 and an adult to build a take-home project together. Please note one adult is required for every three youth participants. Registration is required.

  • Sand Art Terrariums Thursday, Dec. 27, 10:30-11:45 a.m. and 2-3:15 p.m.
  • Succulent Dish Gardens Friday, Dec. 28, 10:30-11:45 a.m. and 2-3:15 p.m.
  • Cooking with Cacti Saturday, Dec. 29, 10:30-11:45 a.m. and 2-3:15 p.m.

Living History Farms

Winter Camp

December 26 – 28 

Camp hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and are offered as 1-day or 3-day experiences.

There are several, fun themed days being offered including Historic Holidays, Iowa Statehood Day, Day in the Life of a Kid, Flynn Family Camp and more. Check the website and register here before all the spots fill up!

Pinot’s Palette

Winter Break Kid’s Camp 

December 26 – 28; 1 to 3:30 p.m. 

Just when the kids are getting tired of their new toys and looking for something different to do let us take them off your hands! Send them in for painting, craft, and snacks! They are offering 3 separate classes: December 26, December 27, and December 28 from 1:00 – 3:30 pm. Children ages 5 and up are welcome!

Real Food 4 Kids

Winter Break Class Series 

December 27 – 28 & 31 

9:30 10 11:30 a.m. or 1 to 3 p.m. 

The kids and teens do all of the work in these classes: measuring, mixing, chopping, whisking, kneading, and stirring on the stove, to name a few! We will practice some science, math, and even art along the way. These classes are all hands on. We will make several recipes as a group and enjoy our meal at the end of class. Take home recipes and any leftovers. Sign up for the 3-day series or choose the classes that work for you. $40/class or all 3 for $110. For children ages 8 through 18 years.

Science Center of Iowa

Winter Camps 2018 

December 27-28 & January 2-4

From studying the science of snow to creating amazing art with 3-D printers, there’s always more to explore with SCI Winter Camps!

SCI offers day-long camp experiences ranging in topic from technology to nature. Camps are open to students in Pre-K through 8th grade. AM camps run from 9 a.m. to Noon; PM camps run from 1 to 4 p.m.

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