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A GUIDE TO SANTA BARBARA SUMMER CAMPS

July 18, 2022

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Adventure, Education, and Summer Fun!

A youngster attending summer camp in Santa Barbara with a big smile on her face and her friend by her side

Image courtesy of The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation

Attending one of the Santa Barbara summer camps can be life-changing for children, especially when it comes to making new friends, learning new things, and exploring the great outdoors. Here in our communities, there are more than 150 summer camps to choose from where kids can unplug while learning about teamwork and independence. The Santa Barbara Independent has put together a complete list of summer camps in the area. Here are a few standouts:

Santa Barbara Zoo Camp
Zoo Camps at the Santa Barbara Zoo offer hands-on science activities, games, crafts, and up-close animal encounters. Traditional zoo camps are offered all year long, but during the summer months, specially themed camps, from Conservation Camp to Jr. Zoo Keeper Camp, take center stage to delight and entertain a variety of age groups.

Girls outside in the wilderness wiht masks on doing fist pumps

Summer Enrichment Camp, Girls Inc
Girls Inc. offers exciting summer enrichment day camps created specifically for girls. These camps focus on helping girls develop essential life skills through innovative hands-on experiential learning activities including sports and movement, literacy, art, gardening, cooking, and more. The group also offers a Summer Gymnastic Camp taught by certified gymnastics coaches for beginner to intermediate levels.

Art Explorers Camp
Art Explorers is a local art-enrichment program designed to enhance visual art skills and build self-confidence by igniting a child’s imagination. Here, kids can unleash their creativity through science, technology, engineering, and math. A variety of camps are available. For instance, future movie directors will delight in the Stop Motion Explosion where they will learn the art of filmmaking, while other campers focus on what goes on behind the scenes when it comes to creating special effects. Harry Potter fans will love the All Things (Harry Potter) Magical and Fantastic Beasts camp, and teens can take their creativity to new heights in 2D and 3D Art Camps. There’s even a camp called Extreme Art where kids spend their days drawing, painting, and sculpting. The locally owned team of educators also offers afterschool programs during the year.

UCSB Summer Camps
There are many Santa Barbara summer camp opportunities created by the University of Santa Barbara, UCSB. For boys and girls aged 5 to 14, UCSB’s Summer Day Camp provides a safe, fun, energetic, and active program focusing on the development of a child’s physical and interpersonal skills. Activities run the gamut from pool time, ropes course, arts and crafts, and fun Fridays. Additionally, campers will learn about the environment, protecting our oceans, cultures of the world, and much more. The Summer Literacy Camp features multi-sensory experiences where kids aged 6 to 12 can engage in creative projects designed to foster literacy development. There is also an Aerial Arts Camp for future Cirque de Solei performers. This camp is designed to introduce aerial arts, also known as aerial silks, through a combination of performance, dance, and acrobatics. Kids will receive a full-body workout through exercises designed to increase endurance, cardio strength, and flexibility. UCSB provides other summer camp opportunities including some programs for adults.

MOXI Summer Camp
Kids grade 1 to 6 are invited to the fun, playful and empowering Santa Barbara summer camps at The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, otherwise known as MOXI. Summer programs are designed to empower a child’s curiosity while awakening their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. In addition, kids get access to the many state-of-the-art exhibits and a staff of well-trained science educators.

2 little ballerinas holding roses

Image courtesy of Inspire Dance S.B.

Inspire Dance S.B. — Ballet Intensive
This camp is perfect for kids who dream about becoming professional dancers since ballet is the foundation for all types of dance movements. And the fundamentals of ballet are at the heart of this summer camp for kids aged 7 to 18+. Besides focusing on the latest techniques, the Ballet Intensive from Inspire Dance S.B. teaches set and costume design. There are also field trips to inspire more learning.

Junior Golf Camp at Santa Barbara Golf Club
If your kid is the future Tiger Woods, then this camp is for them. Kids aged 7 to 14 are invited to join the Santa Barbara Golf Club for a fun week learning the great game of golf from local professionals. From beginner to intermediate, campers will improve their swing, and learn the fundamentals and course etiquette while expanding their overall knowledge of the sport.

Cate Summer Institute
Pack your bags and get ready to make friends from around the world. The Cate Institute offers four Santa Barbara summer camps devoted to academics, leadership, and the great outdoors including sleep-away camps where kids stay overnight in dorms that overlook the Pacific Ocean in Carpinteria. 6th and 7th graders who love learning can attend the Academic camp. Cate Sports Academy, designed for 3rd to 11th-graders, offers half-day, day, and sleep-away options. Cate Summer Outdoors sleepaway camp is for 6th to 10th graders who want a residential outdoor experience where they can explore the natural beauty of Santa Barbara County and beyond. And the Cate Summer Mini is a day camp created especially for preschool children.


The educational opportunities here, including our diverse Santa Barbara summer camp offerings, play a key role in creating a vibrant future for our children. And studies show proximity to good schools and recreation contribute to the value of a home. So, if you’re considering a move here, please check out my comprehensive website then call me at (805) 886-9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com.


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“Cristal Clarke has conducted numerous real estate transactions for me beginning 13 years ago with the purchase of a Lemon Ranch. She has handled both large and small purchases and sales with equal dedication. As a negotiator, you can’t find anyone better. Her transactions are always conducted in the most appropriate and professional manner. Cristal has considerable knowledge of the Santa Barbara market.”

- S.N. Decker Ph.D.

“Living in Europe, we were to say the least, unaccustomed to the nuances of Real Estate acquisition in California and Cristal steered us through the process with absolute professionalism and personal attention to detail at every turn. Her in-depth knowledge of the market place combined with enthusiasm and drive was the only reason we secured the property of our dreams and will be forever grateful. If you are looking for personal discrete and private representation of the highest quality we suggest you look no further than Cristal Clarke.”

- Johan and Paula van den Berg

“Cristal is very straightforward, cheerful, helpful, professional and trustworthy….we felt very lucky to work with her.”

- John and Lacey Williams

“After considering our many choices, we are grateful it was Cristal Clarke of Sotheby’s International who represented the sale of our Montecito cottage. We are familiar with Cristal’s reputation of hard work and dedication to clients, but it was her attention to detail that made our experience so positive. She offered suggestions for staging the property, worked in harmony with potential buyers and was even able to secure back up offers. The sale of our cottage was completed much sooner than we expected, due in great part to Cristal’s professional skills and support. We highly recommend Cristal as a first choice for anyone needing representation with real estate.”

- Michael & Nancy Lee

“Our experience in working with Cristal Clarke resulted in the successful and discrete acquisition of a property which was not yet on the open market. Her knowledge of the Montecito/Santa Barbara area and vast expertise blended with her passion for real estate and architecture, provided us with the very highest level of professionalism and personalized services. Cristal exhibited a rare combination of excellent communications, attention to detail, creativity and patience.”

- Richard and Catherine Frinier

“Cristal really breaks the mold. She knows every nook and cranny of this real estate market, understands value, and follows up on everything, all the time. She was incredibly patient with our two year quest to find the perfect house. Every house hunting trip from across the country was well planned, and our time was never wasted. On top of her professionalism and expertise, she is delightful to spend time with. We are thrilled with the home we purchased, and grateful to Cristal for so wisely advising us through this process, right through to the close and beyond.”

- Laurie Siegel

“We met Cristal first in the course of renting a winter home (for three years), then buying a house using her as our agent. She was amazingly good at listening to our wants and showing us homes that fit our needs. Her mastery of the paperwork was perfect. Most importantly, there was never a situation where we doubted her straightforwardness or integrity. If we do another real estate transaction in Montecito (which I doubt, we’re happy with what we purchased), without question we’d use Cristal again.”

- Ken Saffir

“Susan and I just want to thank you for your efforts in the sale of our home. You are really quite amazing. Your competence, persistence, optimism and humor made the entire process effortless. Every problem that arose, you somehow fixed; any obstacle, you overcame. We have bought and sold many homes. It has never been such a painless and enjoyable process!”

- Michael & Susan Marquart

“A little something about “our” realtor, Cristal Clarke. My wife and I came to Santa Barbara about fifteen years ago looking for a seasonal home from which to enjoy the weather and amenities of the central coast. Being in the real estate business myself I was familiar with agents and brokers so entered the market with open eyes. We “flipped” a few houses in the early years, dealing with various agents and finally ended up in Montecito. That’s when good fortune put us together with Cristal. To say we were impressed is to put it mildly. Cristal really knows the market. She is familiar with the area, its history and trends. When we have questions about a particular property she either has the answers immediately or gets back to us by phone or email. There is no waiting or wondering with Cristal. She is an agent who is “on top of it.” Her recommendations as to price points, contractors, inspectors and title agents have proven to be exceptional, showing great insight and the highest professional standards. We consider ourselves exceedingly fortunate to say that Cristal Clarke is our realtor and would recommend her services to any serious buyer or seller.”

- Rob & Judi Kelch