Summer vacation is going to be very different this year for everyone, but especially for school age children.  Baristanet has shared lists of activities for breaks before, but summer is a bigger challenge than spring break. The Montclair Public Library is holding its Summer Reading Challenge, and you can always send your kids to learn vocabulary and COVID19 facts at, but filling the hot days without the myriad options of in-person camps will be tough. Thankfully, local camps and artists are adjusting to make sure there are socially distant options for families to consider by going virtual.

Succeed2Gether has a variety of workshops for all ages via Zoom. Choices include paper craft, the Mechanisms of Memory, painting, poetry, and more.

Surf & Turf Camp (ages 8-15) has pivoted to offer classes ranging from science experiments, music lessons, Spanish conversation, cooking and baking, and more. Some will be held outside and others will be over Zoom.

Keiki Explorers Club (ages 7-11) is offering daily two-hour zoom camps that include an assortment of fun, interactive activities to encourage socializing and  over Zoom. There are mysteries to solve, rooms to escape, experiments to science, superheroes to build and so much more.

Luna Stage has adapted to a Virtual Theater and Film Camp with a pay-what-you-wish structure to allow all children to have access to creativity and connection. Workshops include on-camera acting, screenwriting, create-your-own-mystery and humanimation for Grades 3-12.

Essex Youth Theater is holding its one-week musical camps on-line. The EYT activities, prop making, costume creation, improvisation and theater games emphasize self-confidence, social skills, and fun!

The Gas Lamp Players is offering an online junior and a teen set of camps for aspiring performers. Singing and acting, crafts, and traditional themes like “crazy hair day” and more are included.

MADLOM is offering Zoom classes for acting, dance, and djembe drumming in both private coaching and group capacities. July classes are online, and August classes aspire to be outdoors. Ages 9 and up. Email for specifics.

SMAPA is offering summer sessions split by age including a combination of art, dance, and music. Themes include Disney and Fairly Tales for preschools as well as a dance intensive for ages 13 and up.

School of Rock is running camps via zoom. Songwriting, performing, and camps aimed at beginners as well as aspiring Legends of Rock are offered. Lessons are available as well.

Montclair Learning Center is hosting virtual summer camp. Little Engineers (ages 3-5) and a variety of workshops including chess, coding, robotics, 3D design, animation, and more are available.

Bass Arts Studio has camps for fashion lovers and artists ages 9-17. Broken up by age, the classes include choices between monsters, Matisse, and Merlin. An Art Supply Kit is available for an additional fee to make sure all materials are at the ready.

The Montclair Art Museum’s SummerArt program is offering virtual classes with a box of art materials included. Digital photography, mixed media, graphic design, and crafting are just some of the options available.

Montclair Film is offering classes to teens (and adults!) focused on all aspects of filmmaking including screenwriting and sketch comedy writing, editing, on-camera auditioning, visual effects and more. If you’re a member at the family member or higher, make sure you’re logged in for a 10% discount!

Playfully Posh Pixels continues their graphic novel classes which allow children in grades 1 – 5 to write and illustrate their own graphic novel fantasy adventure.

Essex International Select is offering month-long Zoom-based virtual soccer training programs for boys and girls, 10-16 years-old in both July and August. Virtual sessions are 3x a week and include soccer drilling, conditioning, goal setting and competitive mindset sessions.

DNC Fitness – Private Soccer Lessons: Donato Curci, an Italian former professional soccer player and certified professional soccer coach, has over 20 years of coaching experience in Italy and the U.S. He is offering private and semi-private training sessions for soccer players of any age/level. Training sessions are customized to each players skill level and personal goals. Sessions are held outdoors in either a local park or at your home/backyard. Donato is also a Montclair resident and has young children/budding soccer stars! Please contact via email or text: 862-944-7356

Paul Solomon, a local dad and physical education coach, is offering his expertise in fitness and strength training in your backyard or in a public park for children in Kindergarten through 8th Grade.

Want to get away with the family? Fairview Lake Camp isn’t running their overnight camp, so their cabins are available for family rentals. This allows families to take a week (or more) to relax with activities and two meals a day covered.

Do you have other suggestions? Add them in comments!