Houston Summer Camps: $100 or Less, Discounts, Free & More

Summer Camp Guide 2014

Kids in Houston have about 6 weeks left of the school year. But don’t despair, parents! There are lots of options around Houston thanks to community groups, churches, art studios, museums, and sports organizations — sometimes even on the cheap!

This 2014 Discount Summer Camp Guide in Houston presents several organizations offering a discount to readers of Houston on the Cheap. I’ve also compiled other inexpensive options to keep your kids engaged and you less stressed. Here is an outline:

  • Camp Discounts
  • $100 or Less Weekly Day Camps
  • Free
  • Scholarships Opportunities


Asia Society Texas Summer CampExploreAsia: Culture Camps for Kids

Want your child to learn more about the cultures of the world’s most populous continent? Then join us at Asia Society Texas Center for an enriching and virtual journey, complete with themed art activities, architectural projects, presentations from experts on Asia, language learning, performances by some of the city’s leading dance and music professionals, outdoor Asian-themed physical activities/games, and an excursion to an Asian cultural site in the Houston area. Recommended for ages 7-13.

Location: Asia Society Texas Center, 1370 Southmore Boulevard

Cost: $225 (one camp), $425 (both camps)

Dates: June 9 – 13 (camp 1), July 7 – 11 (camp 2)

Contact: 713-496-9915, AsiaSociety.org/Texas

Discount offered: $175 one camp, $325 both camps (early-bird pricing through April 28). Plus 20% discount for Asia Society members, 15% discount for multiple children

Asia Society Texas summer camp


Bayou Bend Summer History Camp: A Kid’s Life in Colonial America

Bayou Bend summer campTravel back in time to colonial America! Bayou Bend’s collection of early Americana serves as the jumping off point for exploring how children lived nearly 250 years ago. Become a blacksmith, mold candles, write with quill pens, wear 18th-century clothes, and play colonial games. Activities take place at the 14-acre historic River Oaks estate and in the nearby education center. Designed for children entering or exiting 5th grade during the summer they attend (age 9 – 11). The week culminates in a special presentation for family and friends on Friday afternoon.

Location: Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, 6003 Memorial Drive at Westcott Street, Houston

Cost: $350 for one five-day camp, 9 am – 5 pm

Dates: Choose from four sessions in 2014: June 16–20, June 23–27, July 7–11, July 14–18 (no camp the week of June 30–July 4)

Contact: 713.639.7750 and mfah.org/historycamp

Discount Offered: $25 discount with mention of this Houston on the Cheap listing on the application form (Visit mfah.org/historycamp to download the application form.)

Bayou Bend summer camp photo


HFAC Actors Academy Performing Arts Camps

HFAC logoThis summer the Houston Family Arts Center (HFAC) Actors Academy is offering 29 different one- and two-week performing arts camps for ages 5-11 and 12-19. HFAC camps feature acting, singing and dance instruction as well as performance opportunities in musicals, dramas, and comedies.

For ages 5-11: Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Kids, Disney’s Aladdin Kids, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr. as well as the comedy Rascals Under the Big Top.

For ages 12-19:  The teen two-week performance camps are Xanadu Broadway Jr, Zombeo and Juliet, and Legally Blonde Jr. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet will be a three-week camp.

Location: Houston Family Arts Center, 10760 Grant Road

Cost: 1-week camps $195, 2-week camps $495

Dates: June 9 – August 22, 2014

Contact: 281-685-6374, www.houstonfac.com. Call 281-685-2623 to register.

Discount Offered: $25 off for a single one-week or two-week camp

Houston Family Arts Center


Summer Dance Camps at The Houston Dance Lab

Houston Dance LabDance at the Houston Dance Lab this summer! Its 4th annual Summer Dance Camp for children ages 6-12 is great for dancers of all skill levels. It’s perfect for children that are new to dance or those who just want to dance all day long! New: an open-class schedule, Sizzling Saturdays for kids, juniors, adults and teens. Classes include Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Modern, Body Conditioning, Yoga, Hip Hop and Musical Theatre. Dancing with the Houston Dance Lab will fill your child’s summer break with fun, laughter, fitness, and new friends.

Location: 5535 Richmond Ave

Cost: $175 per week or $400

Dates: July 14-August 1, Monday-Friday (8 am-3 pm) with extended day for $50 from 3pm-5pm

Contact: 713-320-5121, www.houstondancelab.com

Discount: $25 registration fee waived

Houston Dance Lab

Young Artist Art Studio: One of a Kind Art Camp

Young Artist Art StudioFrom Monet Gardens to Louise Nelvelson found objects, bring your imagination to an art camp that can discover many areas of your creativity from painting to clay. Different themes to choose from each week. Camp hours are 9 am to noon for 5-8 year olds and 1 pm – 4 pm for age 9 and up.

Location: 1024 Studewood (The Heights), 8000 McBeth Way, Ste 130 (The Woodlands)

Cost: $150-$215

Dates: June 2 – August 11

Contact: 713-234-6383 (The Heights), 281-645-6580 (The Woodlands)  www.youngartistartstudio.com

Discount: $25 off any camp (can be used for one camp only)

Young Artist Art Studio


Bricks 4 Kidz

Making it move is the name of the game at all our exciting 2014 camps! Each  day, campers will use LEGO® components to create dynamic vehicles, inventions, machines and more in motion. We use Jr. Robotic program as part of our curriculum this summer. We make LEGO® Super Hero short films too!!!


  • The Oaks Adventist Christian School, 11735 Grant Road, Cypress
  • St. Christopher’s Episcopal Day School, 1656 Blalock Road
  • Clay Road Baptist School, 9151 Clay Road

Cost: $165 per weekly session (Morning: 9am – 12pm or Afternoon 1 pm – 4 pm); $295 Full Day Camp (9am – 4pm) + onsite extended child care for morning and afternoon.

Dates: June 9-13, June 16-20, June 23-27, July 7-11, July 21-25, July 28-Aug. 1, Aug. 4-8

Contact: (832) 868-2826, www.bricks4kidz.com/texas-houston-memorial/

Discount: $25 discount for one session or $40 discount for Full Day Camp with mention of this Houston on the Cheap listing during online registration


Houston SPCA Critter Camp

Calling all kids who love animals and all future veterinarians! Have fun with animal education, crafts, guest speakers, and best of all, interact with our shelter animals! Check out all three new camp sessions available this summer: A Voice for the Voiceless Camp, Operation Rescue Camp, and VetCAMP. For kids entering 3rd through 10th grade.

Location: 7007 Katy Rd.

Cost: Minimum $235, cost varies per session

Dates: June 2 – August 15, 2014

Contact: (713) 869-7722 ext. 143,www.HoustonSPCA.org

Discount: Early bird special – 10% off all camps in April.



Destiny Sports Camp
StoneBridge Church is offering a free 3-day sports camp for kids in 1st through 6th grade. This sports-specific camp is led by local coaches or collegiate athletes. Kids can choose from one of many sports.The camp concludes with a Family Awards Celebration June 26 with live music, kid activities and the awards. Go online here for more info. Registration begins May 1.

Date: June 24-June 26, 8:45 to noon
Location: One StoneBridge Church Drive, The Woodlands



Bellaire Parks & Recreation Department
These one-week specialty camps are for kids ages 4 and up. Choose from a range of topics: LEGOs, Barbies, Fashion Designer, Kickstart Kindergarten, and more. Get more info here.
Cost: $100, time depends on class (9 am – 11 am, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, 2 pm 4 pm)

Camp Hope Day Camp
This summer day camp at Messiah Lutheran Church features bible stories, crafts, science, worship, games and songs. Get more info here.

Cost: $85 (first child), $80 (additional)
Dates: July 7-11, July 14-18, July 21-25; 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Location: Messiah Lutheran Church, 11522 Telge Road

Covenant Lutheran Day Camp
The Lutherhill counselors from La Grange, Texas, will be onsite at Covenant for a week to provide kids with an exciting Day Camp where they focus on being a child of God. High-energy fun activities as well as reflective time will round out the experience for kids. Head online here for more info.

Cost: $60 (first child), $35 (additional), $15 for pre-K
Dates: July 7-11, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm for K-5; 9 am – noon for pre-K (ages 3 and up)
Location: Covenant Lutheran Church, 3785 Barker Cypress Rd.

Legends Sports Complex
Legends Sports Complex in The Woodlands offers a number of summer camp options. But its All-Sports Camp is the one priced at $99/week for half-day sessions. Kids will play a variety of traditional sports including soccer, volleyball, basketball, dodgeball, and capture the flag. The camp focuses more on play and fun rather than teaching skills and fundamentals. Kids also will participate in fun activities that change week to week. For boys and girls ages 5-13.  Get more info here.

Its Summer Camp Open House is Sunday, April 13, 1 pm – 4 pm. There are many other camps ranging from $115 – $170.

Cost: $99/wk (early bird rate through April 15)
Dates: June 2 – August 22, 9 am – 12 pm or 1 pm – 4 pm (Monday – Friday)

Lone Star College Discovery Kids
One of Houston’s local community college offers an amazing program for kids over the summer. Priced at $89/week for half-day sessions, kids can take classes ranging from cooking to robotics, babysitting skills, art, math, sports and more. The five campus locations offer their own programming. Find the campus course flyers here.

Locations: LCS-CyFair, LCS-Montgomery, LCS-Kingwood, LCS-University Park, LCS-Tomball
Cost: $89/wk, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm or 1 pm – 5 pm (Monday – Thursday)
Contact: www.lonestar.edu/DiscoveryCollege

Mark Kistler’s Summer Art Camp
Emmy-award winning artist Mark Kistler leads a one-week 3D art camp for kids in several locations around Houston. He has written nine book teaching kids how to draw. Mark explores a different theme each day from under sea adventures to medieval castles, to lunar moon modules and drooling dinosaurs. Sign up for a one-hour, 5-day art camp — or two or three sessions and stay half the day!

Cost: $99/session Monday – Friday, Session times are divided by age group all day.
Dates: June 9-13 (Jerry’s Artarama on Willowchase), July 7-11 (Kingwood Christian Church), July 14-18 (Northwoods Catholic School in Spring), August 11-15 (Karate Masters in Spring)

Summer Arts Camp
The Summer Arts Camp is for kids entering Kindergarten through 6th grade.  Kids will explore music, art, dance and drama in a Christian environment. Held July 15-18, 2014. A special Arts Showcase & Performance will be held July 18, 6 pm. Get more info here.

Location: First Fulshear United Methodist Church
Cost: $50, 9 am – noon



Camp Invention
Camp Invention is a week-long adventure in creativity that challenges kids to explore connections between science, technology, engineering, and innovation. It’s geared to kids entering 1st through 6th grades. This summer, participants will build original prototypes, create personalized motor-powered vehicles and more.

Locations: Various schools and churches throughout Houston. Enter your zip code online to find the nearest location.

Cost: $220 to $250,depending on location, then discounts are taken off the price.   $15 spring discount off through May 16, 2 siblings get $25 off each, 3 or more siblings get $50 off, employees of hosting school district get $30 off

Dates: June 9 through Aug 4

Contact: (800) 968-4332, www.campinvention.org

Scholarship opportunity: Most locations have one full scholarship, plus 4 or 5 $100 discounts. Look at www.campinvention.org to find which camp location is best and then call 800-968-4332 to ask about scholarships.

If your organization would like to offer a discount to your summer camp, contact Vicki Powers for more info: houstononthecheap@gmail.com.

Half-Price Events & Fun in Houston

Don’t miss the savings on half-price fun to concerts, sporting events, festivals, and theater in Houston!

FREE to Bob Biggerstaff -FREE to Comedian Bob Biggerstaff June 13-14 + $4.75 fee at Hard Rock Cafe ($15 value)

godspellGodspell $10 to Godspell by Houston Family Arts Center April 18, 19, 20 and April 25, 26, 27 ($20 value)

Aerosmith$30 for Aerosmith: Let Rock Rule at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion August 25  (Up to $57.55 Value)

Pop Shop Houston (VIP Ticket or Workshop) — $15 for VIP Pass or Workshop at Pop Shop Houston: Handmade Design Fair ($30 value)

Foster the PeopleFoster the People April 30 at Bayou Music Center (average savings 25%)

Willy Wonka $6 for “Willy Wonka” April 18 & 20 at Lambert Hall ($12 value)

Houston Food Truck Fest VIP$27 ($52 Value) for One VIP Ticket Package to Houston Food Truck Fest May 3 at Stereo Live. Includes one-hour early admission, unlimited bottled water and soda, VIP seating and covered area with DJ.

dynamo logoHouston DynamoHouston Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers April 27 at BBVA Compass Stadium (average savings 10%)

Houston AstrosHouston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics April 24 at Minute Maid Park (average savings 10%)

Moody Gardens$39 for Aquarium Pyramid and Discovery Museum admission for two ($75.80 value) or $77 for Aquarium Pyramid and Discovery Museum admission for four ($151.60 value)

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“Disney on Ice: Let’s Celebrate” Discounts in Houston

Disney on Ice discountsA new Disney on Ice show hits Houston tomorrow, Disney on Ice: Let’s Celebrate, featuring Mickey and Minnie plus a Royal Ball with the princesses, Disney villains at Halloween, and a medley of holiday and birthday celebrations.

There are still a couple of ways to save:

1) Attend April 16 and get the Opening Night discount. Tickets are $14 on opening night plus a service fee of $8.66 per ticket for $22.66. No promo code needed. Go online to Ticketmaster here to get Opening Night discount.

2) ScoreBig is offering 10% – 25% off tickets to Disney on Ice in Houston. (The Friday at 7:30 pm show is 25% off). Performances include matinee and evening shows April 18-20. ScoreBig is similar to Priceline where you bid for your ticket price. Best of all, there are no additional ticket fees added per ticket. That saves a bundle. Purchase your discount Disney on Ice tickets here.

Disney On Ice: Let’s Celebrate will be at Reliant Park April 16-20. Parking is $10.

I partner with ScoreBig to bring you great ticket deals. If you purchase through my link, I get a little something in return.

Sam Houston Race Park Dollar Day, April 19

sam houston $1 dayDollar Day return to Sam Houston Race Park, Saturday, April 19! This is a great chance to bring the family to the race track for cheap family fun. Dollar Day at the Park features tons of stuff for $1: admission, hot dogs, sodas, draft beer (4:30 pm – 10 pm), and live racing programs. Don’t miss the free children’s petting zoo from 6 pm – 8 pm and free parking, to boot. It’s a great deal for everyone! General admission tickets are normally $7 each.

Live horse racing begins at 6 pm with gates opening at 4:30 pm. Sam Houston Race Park is located at 7575 N. Sam Houston Parkway West of Beltway 8.

Houston SPCA: $10 Dog Adoptions April 11-13

Houston SPCA is kicking off $10 dog adoptions this weekend, April 11-13. Prices are usually $95 – $195. Limit two per family. Animals in the Spot Peabody room are excluded. My adorable dog, Ginger, (left) is a shelter dog!

The adoption fee includes everything you need (vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery, complimentary wellness exam, microchip, heartworm testing, and deworm) — a $400 value. Go online here to search for your new forever friend!

The Houston SPCA is located at 900 Portway Drive. Hours are Monday through Friday from 11 am – 7 pm and Saturday & Sunday from 10 am – 6 pm.

photo courtesy Robyn Arouty Photography

Discount iFest Tickets: Half-Price VIP for $30

iFest AustraliaIf you want to attend 2014 Houston International Festival spotlighting Australia, this is the way to go! Get a Houston Press Prestige Pass at half price

Save 50% on the Houston Press Prestige Pass to iFest. $30 for one admission ($60 value) including:

  • access to a private hospitality area with seating
  • private air-conditioned rest area
  • light lunch provided by Boheme (weekend 1) and Listos Restaurant (weekend 2)
  • free beer, wine and soft drinks from noon – 7 pm

Only 50 tickets are available for each day. Head online here to buy your VIP Prestige Pass. Select your date at check out (April 26, April 27, May 3, or May 4). These will sell quickly so don’t wait!

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$5 Sensory-Friendly Day at Children’s Museum April 21

Children's Museum of HoustonKids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) get a special day just for them at the Children’s Museum of Houston. The museum is closed to the public, Monday, April 21, and the museum is inviting families affected by Autism to its Sensory-Friendly Day. What a wonderful opportunity for these kids to explore the museum in their own way and time.

The event from 10 am – 2 pm features on-going activities focusing on Earth Day and science. No music will be played during this event. Sound-reducing headphones will be available, as well.

Admission is just $5 for Sensory-Friendly Day April 21. Reservations are required. Contact Lydia Dungus (713) 535-7238, ldungus@cmhouston.org. The Children’s Museum is located at 1500 Binz.

SeaWorld San Antonio: Free Admission for Preschoolers + BuyOneGetOne Free Fun Card

Teachers aren’t the only ones who get free admission at SeaWorld San Antonio! Here are a couple other free options:

seaworld preschool pass1) Free Preschool Pass: Texas kids ages 3-5 can get a free Preschool Pass for the 2014 season. This qualifies for free admission for preschoolers for the 2014 season through December 31, 2014. Families must register online by May 31 and redeem first visit by June 30, 2014. Register online here to participate.

2) Buy One, Get One Free: For a limited time, families can take advantage of Buy-One-Get-One free 2014 Fun Card. Prices are $65 for adults and $55 for kids ages 3-9. The Fun Card provides unlimited admission through December 31, 2014. Buy these BOGO passes online here.

3) As mentioned earlier in the week, Texas teachers get free unlimited admission during the 2014 season. Check out more details in this post.

50% Off Papa John’s Pizza on Rockets’ Wednesdays

papajohnsPapa John’s is offering a special half-price deal tied to its partnership with the Houston Rockets. Customers can get 50% off their pizza every Wednesday when the Houston Rockets play. April is a great month to enjoy this deal since Houston Rockets play April 2, April 9, and April 16.

Head online to papajohns.com and use promo code ROCKETS. This is valid at participating Houston-area Papa John’s.

67% Off CitySolve Urban Race Houston April 5

CitySolve Urban Race It’s not too late to sign up your team!

Think you know everything Houston has to offer? Gather a few friends for the ultimate urban race — and  save $40 off the $60 registration thanks to me!

CitySolve Urban Race Houston is a unique urban adventure that takes a lot of brain, a bit of brawn, plus tons of fun. More than a scavenger hunt — but less physical than a 5K road race — this unique race combines trivia with a team-oriented adventure. Add in the occasional checkpoint challenge throughout Houston, and you’ve got the best of CitySolve Urban Race. Top three finishing teams win cash: $300, $100 and $50. Or try for Best Costume, Best Tweet, and Facebook Raffle.

CitySolve Urban Race Houston
Saturday, April 5, 2014, 11:30 am
Celtic Gardens, 2300 Louisiana
$20 fee for Houston on the Cheap readers ($60 retail)

Best of all, a portion of each donation is given to local charity, H.E.A.R.T. Houston.

Thanks to a partnership with CitySolve, Houston on the Cheap readers can save 67% off registration — just $20 instead of $60. Register online here and get your free Urban Race t-shirt. No promo code is needed, but be sure to select the last option, Houston on the Cheap Insider Discount. A $1.39 fee is added per registration. Sales end April 4.

Houston on the Cheap has partnered with CitySolve to offer this deal for my readers. I get a little something when you purchase through my link.