2018 Summer Sports & Outdoor Recreation Camps & Classes 4 Des Moines Kids

2018 Summer Sports & Outdoor Recreation Camps & Classes 4 Des Moines Kids

Find 2020 Summer Camp info. here.

Kids can enjoy a summer filled with athletic activities and outdoor adventures. Des Moines offers many opportunities for kids to learn team sports and to try tennis and golf, learn about nature, furry friends and more.  Below you’ll find a roundup of summer sport and outdoor recreation camps for kids in Des Moines.

Note: This is a working list, so check back often for new listings.  If you know of a sports themed summer camp or clinic that you would like to have included to this guide, please email the listing information to nicole@dsm4kids.com or leave a comment below.

Please contact the specific venue or organization hosting the camp to register.

Sports Camps & Classes in Des Moines

Multiple Sport Summer Camps & Clinics

Drake University

At Drake summer camps, young athletes not only learn to become better players but also will be challenged with motivational lessons on sportsmanship, leadership and teamwork.  They will be hosting camps for football, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, volleyball, and  tennis.

Grandview University

Grand View offers a variety of camps and clinics during the summer for young athletes.  In the past they’ve offered boys’ and girls’ basketball, football, golf, soccer, volleyball and wrestling camps.  New information is posted on their athletics website as it is available.

Iowa State University

Each year, Iowa State hosts a variety of Summer Sports Camps. This website gives parents, educators, and pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students a chance to learn about the youth programs available through Iowa State University. You can also find information and contacts for the sport you’re interested in by visiting their individual websites.

Simpson College

Simpson College hosts a number of sports camps over the course of the summer. Kids can participate in volleyball, football, soccer, and wrestling camps.  You will need to visit each individual site for program information and registration details.

Courage League Sports

Courage League Sports is a non-profit adaptive sports and recreational facility that offers year-round programming.  CLS typically offers a number of summer camp and class opportunities for school aged kids with special needs.

Summer Baseball & Softball Camps in Des Moines

Game Ready Training

Game Ready Sports Training specializes in providing indoor and outdoor team practice space, hitting & pitching indoor leagues and private & small group instruction for baseball and softball. They also provide camps and clinics run by Game Ready coaches. They have two facilities located in the Ankeny/Johnston area and on the South side of Des Moines.

SportsPlex West

Baseball and Softball camps, clinics and classes at SportsPlex West are designed for every age and every skill level from beginners to the professional player. Additionally they offer monthly sessions on catching, hitting, fielding and pitching.  Visit their website for a list of their offerings and to register.

Summer Basketball Camps in Des Moines

Des Moines Christian School

Basketball Fundamentals related to ball handling, footwork, defense, shooting, and spacing on the floor will be taught by Todd Miller, DMC Varsity Boys Basketball Coach.  Fun games are also played throughout the camp. For boys entering grades 3-8, June 4-7, 2018. T-shirt included with registration.

Court Time Basketball

Court Time Basketball camps work to develop each player and touch on the intangible qualities that are an important part of being a person of character as well as a good teammate and player. Basketball is a sport that requires these elements to produce winning teams and winning citizens for life. They offer a number of camps for both boys and girls entering third through eighth grades.

Summer Football Camps & Clinics in Des Moines

Central College

Central College offers a number of football camps and clinics.  Instructors will include members of the Central College football coaching staff and outstanding high school coaches from throughout the Midwest. Camps offered include Lineman Camp, Skills Camp and Team Camps.  Camps kick off in July.  Brochures and registration info. are available on-line.

Summer Golf Camps & Classes in Des Moines

The First Tee of Central Iowa

The First Tee of Central Iowa conducts summer instruction sessions in June and July.  Golfers are grouped by age and experience level. Golf equipment (starter set of clubs with bag) is provided, if needed, as long as supplies last and “scholarships” are available to help cover program costs.  Each lesson covers: life skills, rules and etiquette, full swing, short game and putting.

West Grand Golf

Junior Camps offered at West Grand Golf provide a complete introduction to the fundamentals of the game, rules and etiquette. Professional instruction covers basic full swing fundamentals and short game techniques. Lots of games and prizes make learning the game fun! Each Junior Camp consists of two hours of instruction for three consecutive days. Camps are designed for youngsters 8 to 12 years old and are limited to six students per camp.

Summer Gymnastics Camp in Des Moines

Mid-Iowa Gymnastics

Have your child start their summer off with Friendship Summer Gymnastics Camp a four-day gymnastics camp filled with friends, fitness, and fun! Activities during this camp will include obstacle courses, bouncing on our trampolines, tumbling down our Tumble Trak, races and games, making friendship bracelets, arts & crafts, and more. This is a great chance for your child to meet new friends, improve their fitness, and start their summer off with some fun. No previous gymnastics experience required. Ages 5+.

Summer Soccer Camps in Des Moines

Des Moines Menace

The Des Moines Menace offer soccer camps in June and July for boys and girls ages three to 14.  Menace Camp provides a fun mix of games and drills for players of all abilities and experience levels.  Counselors are top-level soccer players, who share their love for the game.  Each camper receives a Menace Camp t-shirt, and four tickets to catch the Menace in action at Valley Stadium.

Johnston Urbandale Soccer Club

JUSC’s Summer Training Program are directed to the developmental age and abilities of the participant.  Coaching staff will look to improve and develop participant’s ability through a variety of activities including: passing, receiving, dribbling, decision-making, awareness, and player movement with and without the ball.

Summer Tennis Camps & Classes in Des Moines

Aspen Athletics Clubs

This fitness center offers tennis lessons, camps and clinics through its Aspen Academy/Junior Clinics.  Both members and non-members can take advantage of their youth tennis program.  Aspen Athletics Clubs’ “Pee Wees” class is for tots ages 3-6, focuses on hitting tennis balls, motor skill development, group socialization skills and exercise. Higher development classes go up from there.

Des Moines Parks & Recreation

The Des Moines Parks and Recreation department offers a variety of tennis lessons through the United States Tennis Association (USTA), tennis tournaments, and youth tennis leagues. They also offer FREE tennis lesson through the United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Junior Tennis League (NJTL) program for children ages 9 to 14.

Summer Track Camps in Des Moines

Grimes Parks & Recreation

Grimes’ Run for Fun in the Sun program gets kids interested in the sport of running in a fun and positive way.  Camp will begin with a team builder warm-up, then go through dynamic warm-ups, followed by running drills, stretching, instruction/pointers, and end with fun games.  For Boys & Girls entering Grades K-5.

Summer Volleyball Camps in Des Moines

Ohana Volleyball Club

Clinics are held year-round at the Ohana Volleyball Club’s facility in Grimes. Their clinics are designed to provide players instruction on various volleyball skills Summer camps will sharpen your player’s volleyball skills and prepares them for their high school tryouts and season.

Summer Wrestling Camps in Des Moines

High Altitude Wrestling Club

High Altitude Wrestling Club trains hundreds of wrestlers each year at their different training locations across Iowa. They offer numerous camps throughout the year.  They will host a “National Champ” Wrestling Camp on May 26, 2018 at Southeast Polk High School and their summer camps are at Wesley Woods Camp & Retreat Center in Indianola.  Summer camps start June 4th and run through August 8th, 2018.

Outdoor Recreation Camps & Classes in Des Moines

Animal Related Summer Camps in Des Moines

Blank Park Zoo

The Blank Park Zoo offers a number of camps throughout the summer for kids ages three to sixth grade.  The zoo’s weekly Safari Camps are a great way to experience animals and all the Zoo has to offer including science experiments, crafts, and so much more.  Kids in seventh grade can attend a Junior Zookeeper or Animal Careers camp.  Pre-registration is required for all classes and must be received at least seven days before class starts.

Jester Park Equestrian Center

JPEC offers a number of Equestrian Camps throughout the summer.  Equestrian camps are a wonderful way for a child to discover the world of horses. Classes are offered for beginner to intermediate riders.  They also offer an overnight camp the first week in June.  Kids as young as five can participate in their Tiny Tots programs.  All other classes are for campers eight and up.

Valley Park Stables

Valley Park offers full day horse camps during the summer.  Their day camps offer a wide range of equestrian activities throughout the day including daily lessons on horseback, horsemanship, barn chores and other fun activities. Horse camp is open to campers ages 6-14. Camp is geared toward the beginner and intermediate rider. No riding experience required. Camps run from 9:00 am until 2:30 pm.

Outdoor and Nature Summer Camps in Des Moines

Brenton Arboretum

Brenton Arboretum offers a wide variety of youth and family classes and expeditions.  Their programs have a focus on wildlife and nature. Experience the great outdoors during a stream hike, observing pond life or taking a closer look at bugs and insects.  Classes are offered throughout the summer and children of all ages are welcome.

Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

A day camp designed for children ages 6-8 to explore the wide world of plants through innovative, hands-on learning. Using the Greater Des Moines Botanical Gardens as unique classrooms, children are inspired to create and explore.  Week long day camps are scheduled for June 18th through August 13th, 2018 and are from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Living History Farms

LHF’s outdoor day camp setting provides a fun and unique way for children entering kindergarten through 12th grade to experience day-to-day farm and town life from the years 1700 through 1900. History will come to life as campers fill their days with outdoor, hands-on activities, games, crafts and visits to Living History Farms’ historic sites.

Polk County Conservation

Polk County Conservation offers a variety of programs for youth throughout the summer and the rest of the year.  Programs include: Junior Naturalist, Nature Friends for preschoolers, day camps, Story Hour, Princess Adventures and Nature Playdate.  Classes focus on nature, outdoor activities, and basic animal groups native to the area.

West Des Moines Parks and Recreation

West Des Moines Parks and Recreation offers camps and classes to give children opportunities to learn about Iowa’s natural resources, environment and outdoor recreation.  Offered throughout the summer to kids ages three and up Nature Friends, Nature Explorers, Camp Fish, Water Adventure Camp, Archery Classes and Explorers teach them about native insects and animals.

Warren County Conservation Board

Warren County Conservation Board Naturalists provide quality outdoor recreation, conservation and environmental education programs throughout the year.  They also offer Summer Nature Day Camps that allow children to explore and enjoy nature up close. The camps are a week-long and are for four to 15 year olds.  Parents may register children for camp beginning Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at 8:00 am. You can register at the Annett Nature Center or call (515) 961-6169.  Space is limited.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources

The Iowa DNR offers overnight summer camps for 12 to 15-year-old girls through its Outdoor Journey for Girls.  Campers get hands-on experiences including canoeing, water safety, camping, survival, hunter education and fishing. Held annually in June, July and August.

Additional Places to Find Sports and Outdoor Recreation Summer Camps and Classes in Des Moines

Local High Schools, Community Education Departments, Parks & Recreation Departments, County Conservation Offices, Sports Clubs and Youth Organizations all offer sports and outdoor recreation camps and classes, clinics and classes throughout the summer. If you’re looking for even more summer camps and classes options, we will be updating our Summer Camp Guide over the next few weeks to keep you up-to-date on the latest summer camp offerings.




Got a favorite sports or outdoor recreational summer camp or class for kids in Des Moines? Share it with us in the comments!

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1 Comment

  1. My son loves to do anything outdoors. This summer, I’m planning on signing him up for a summer camp. Knowing that there are a lot to choose from, I’ll have to see which ones he’ll like the most.

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