Kids wearing red aprons work on pottery projects at the popular Santa Barbara's Ceramics Camp.
Ceramics Camp is one of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department's most popular summer programs for kids. Credit: Courtesy photo

Mark your calendars. Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department has released the listing of camps to be offered through this year’s summer camp program, and sign-ups start April 5.

This year’s listing includes more than 15 different camps with various topics, including art, business, engineering, sports, and water safety, for children ages 6-17.

In 2022, the department’s summer camp program served nearly 3,000 individual participants and provided 3.3 million hours of childcare.

Summer camp registration opens at 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 5 for the department’s most in-demand camps (Ceramics, Junior Lifeguards, and Hearts Horse Experience camp), and at noon the same day for the remainder of the camps.

The staggered timing is intended to reduce demand on registration platform servers and provide an easier user experience. Many camps are anticipated to fill on registration day and parents and guardians are advised to set up their accounts in advance.

“Summer is a time when working families need childcare, and it is critical that they have a safe, fun and engaging place to send their children,” said Adam Porte, recreation supervisor. “Each year we strive to provide unique, high-quality camp options with prices local families can afford.”

Parks and Recreation summer camps range in price from $8 to $24 per hour, with most camps averaging between $10 and $14 per hour.

Eligible families can apply for scholarships to send children to summer camp at no cost. The scholarships are funded by donations made to the PARC Foundation and distributed through SBPAL’s Campership Alliance program.

Families interested in scholarship options can learn more about eligibility requirements and how to apply at

In addition to scholarships, the Parks and Recreation Department will continue to offer the Summer Fun program to provide nine weeks of free childcare to families unable to afford summer camp. 

As in years past, the department’s Adapted Recreation program will provide inclusion services to ensure children of all abilities can experience the joy of summer camp. Inclusion staff will work with families to ensure campers with disabilities are accommodated based on their individual needs throughout their time at camp.

“Families value these services because each child is accepted and respected, regardless of their differences,” said Julie Thomas, inclusion coordinator. “We show participants that accepting our differences improves everyone’s recreation experience.”

To see the full 2023 summer camp listing, visit