Subscriber OnlyYour Family

2021 virtual summer camps in Ireland: Our guide to the best and most popular

Art, science, creative writing, coding, languages, acting, cooking, digital skills – and more

Live online camps for children and teenagers are not new. They did not first appear in 2020 due to the pandemic.

However, they did experience a huge growth in popularity over the past year specifically because of the lockdowns and restrictions.

For camps that were operating online before 2020, they suddenly found a new market. Many others, who were used to running in-person camps, quickly moved their business online.

This summer, while many in-person camps are back up and running, virtual summer camps are expected to continue to be popular.

READ MORE

So here is a list of some of the best available.

Maybe your child or teenager fancies learning to code this summer. These camps are perfect for beginners and intermediate coders. Students follow a 10-grade Pathway to Computer Science program. New coders work with Scratch – creating games, digital projects and more. Older or more experienced students will learn "Processing", a java-based programming language. There are two camp options: Code Daily (Monday-Friday camps) – one-, two- or four-week camps; and Code Weekly (choice of one or two times per week for the whole summer).
Format: Via Zoom (6:1 teacher-student ratio).
Dates: Multiple start dates across the summer. The first Secondary camp (12+) starts on June 14th; the first Primary camp (eight to 12 years) starts on June 28th; the final camp start date is August 9th.
Ages: 8-18 years.
Cost: From €69.
Website: theacademyofcode.com

Alliance Française Dublin is offering its summer camps online through its e-learning platform. Available from the start of June until the end of August, whatever a child's level of French, the classes will be led by native-French qualified teachers. While these holiday programmes are designed to be as lively and fun as possible, their content meet the requirements of the syllabus.
Format: Via Zoom.
Dates: Children: One week, Monday to Friday, 10am-11am or 1pm-2pm (five hours in total). Teenagers: Two weeks, Monday to Friday, 11am-1pm (20 hours in total). Available every week or two weeks from June 8th to August 27th.
Ages: Four to six years old, seven to 10 years old, Junior Cycle, Leaving Cycle, Leaving Certificate exam.
Cost: €65-€250.
Website: alliance-francaise.ie

After a winter of restrictions, Anyone 4 Science is planning a summer with lots of opportunities for fun, hands-on camps. If you fancy two weeks of science, the camp has two different sets of activities. Option one is all about bubbles, geology, separating mixtures, pneumatics and hydraulics and marine biology. Option two has a Roald Dahl theme – the Twits, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, George's Marvellous Medicine and more. For teenagers it is a 2pm start and lots of fun with genetics, electricity, spectroscopy, marine biology and rockets.
Format: Online camps will be held via Zoom. The camp send you a pack with all the key materials and a list of what you need to provide from home. Join their private meeting and interact with everyone.
Dates: Children: Weekly from June 28th-August 20th. Teenagers: Weeks starting June 14th-July 26th.
Ages: Primary school children and teenagers.
Cost: Children: €100 for five-day camp, teenagers: €75 for five-day camp.
Website: anyone4science.com

Artzone is running online art camps this July and August for all ages, covering painting, drawing and collage with qualified art teachers. Six camps over three weeks, each with new and exciting portfolios. Materials are easily sourced locally, or Art Camp Kits can be booked from artzone.ie (to be collected or shipped nationwide).
Format: Live on Zoom for one hour each day (workshop recordings are sent after class to catch-up, finish off or redo).
Dates: Weeks starting July 12th, July 26th, August 16th for all-age art camp. Weeks starting July 5th, July 26th, August 16th for academy camp.
Ages: All-ages art camp, academy camps for 8-15 years.
Cost: €50 for art camps, €50 for academy camps.
Website: artzone.ie

French, Spanish, STEAM and creative writing online camps are available for eight to 12-year-olds. Film-making and screenwriting, journalism, creative writing and digital identities are available for teenagers.
Format: These are online programme – two hours live per day, 10 hours per week.
Dates: Weeks starting June 28th, July 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th, August 3rd, 9th, from 9.15am for eight to 12 year olds. Weeks June 14th, 21st, 28th, July 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th, August 2nd and 9th from 9.30am for teenagers.
Ages: 8-12 years, 12-14 years and 15-17 years.
Cost: €75 for eight to 12 years and €95 for teenagers
Website: atclanguageschools.com

If you are looking for a creative way to keep a tech-focused child entertained during the summer, then then BrickFlicks Summer Camp may be for you. Children will learn the joys of animating in Stop Motion, combining tactile and technological skills as they use the Lego Creator Kit to build and animate their own movies captured on their smart device. And participants in the five-day, online camp will receive a Lego Creator Kit to their homes, which includes bricks, base plates, mini figures and a certificate.
Dates and times: 5 days, July 12th-16th and 19th-23rd
Ages: 8-12 years.
Cost: €120.
Website: createschool.ie

Online cooking camp for children and teens – a reason to get the teens out of bed every day for a week. Teenagers will learn how to make family favourites such as chicken nuggets and two-ingredient pizza as well as their own peanut butter and jelly sandwich from scratch. You can book the entire week or just choose one or two days – I'm sure they'll tell you exactly what they want. For the younger ones, the camp does a bit of dancing around the kitchen, some cooking and food exploration and end up with lunch for all the family every day.
Format: Online via Zoom for a week or you can choose daily option.
Dates and times: Children: Weeks starting July 5th and 12th. Teenagers: June 21st-25th from 11am-1pm.
Ages: Children: 8-11 years, Teenagers: 12+ years.
Cost: From €20.
Website: thecoolfoodschool.ie

This five-day summer course is a chance for Junior and Senior Cycle secondary school students to expand on their Gaeilge over the summer. The course promises a first-class learning experience as well as empowering young people to learn while also having fun. Conradh na Gaeilge also offers a mock oral exam at the end of the course to any students interested.
Format: Via Zoom.
Dates: June 21st-25th (Junior Cycle), June 28th to July 2nd (Senior Cycle).
Cost: The five-day course is €175.
Website: cnag.ie/en/colaiste

Megan Wynne is running eight weeks of online summer camps – you can choose a morning or afternoon camp. Each camp runs for five days and will be 1½ hours each day. Each week will focus on a different theme, these include fantasy, time travel, historical fiction and mystery.
Format: Via Zoom.
Dates and times: From July 5th to August 27th, 10am-11.30am or 2pm-3.30pm.
Ages: 8-13 years.
Cost: A five-day course is €80.
Website: meganwynne.com

Dig it Kids are coming direct to your homes this summer for six days in July and August. The short (two-hour) workshops are packed full of their usual magical mixture of fun-facts, craft and story. Each workshop covers a different aspect of archaeology and history and is designed to inspire, engage and enthral kids aged six to 12.
Format: In your home via Zoom.
Dates and times: July 6th-8th and August 10th-12th, 10am-12pm.
Ages: Open to all but aimed at six to 12 year olds.
Cost: €30 for a single day, €25 per day if you sign up for three or more days.
Website: digitkids.ie

Creative by Nature yoga and art summer camp is a fun and interactive programme for children aged seven to 12. It is delivered online over five days from July 19th-23rd. Creative by Nature gives children time and space to move and stretch their bodies, learn about cycles of nature through stories and games, explore imagination journeys, practise breathing for calmness and find moments of silence with mindful drawing and paper crafting. Creative by Nature is designed and delivered by Siobhán Sloane. She runs yoga and nature-based programmes with Find Your Essential Nature in the west of Ireland.
Format: Delivered online via a private link, 1½ hours per day.
Dates and times: Monday July 19th to Friday July 23rd, 10am to 11.30am.
Ages: 7-12 years.
Cost: €80 per child or household.
Website: findyouressentialnature.ie

The acting school are running a variety of performance camps in musical theatre, film-making, acting for camera and casting. The camps will take place online, therefore they are accessible for children countrywide and beyond. The camps are run by industry professionals and have been adapted specifically for Zoom. Camps include The Greatest Showman, Harry Potter: Make a Movie and Bite of Broadway – to name a few. These camps will build your child's confidence, imagination and give them the opportunity to meet new friends.
Format: Live on Zoom.
Dates and times: June 28th-July 30th (new camp each week, all camps run Monday to Friday), 10am-noon.
Ages: 8-12 years and 13-18 years.
Cost: €120.
Website: gaietyschool.com

Family favourites with a healthy twist – Fiona McEvoy runs virtual cooking classes every Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Fiona also offers private cooking classes and ones for birthdays, too.
Format: The classes, via Zoom, take place at 4.30pm, with children guided through a recipe for about 45 minutes.
Cost: €30 every four weeks (for one class a week).
Ages: 8-14 years.
Website: healthyeverafter.ie

The worldwide organisation responsible for the promotion of Spanish language and culture runs weekly online camps for kids and teens. The young participants will have the opportunity to learn and practice Spanish in a fun and friendly atmosphere whilst interacting from home with new friends. There are specific camps for complete beginners and for those with previous knowledge of Spanish. Live sessions are led by highly qualified native teachers in small groups.
Format: Zoom.
Dates and times: Running every week from June 14th (for teenagers) and from July 5th (for children). (10am-11am, 10am-11.30am and 11.45am-1.15pm).
Ages: 1st to 6th class and teenagers from 1st to 5th Year.
Cost: €63 - €94 /week.
Website: dublin.cervantes.es

The Institute of Chinese is running its award-winning live online Mandarin Chinese language summer camps from June to August. The one- and two-week camps provide children and teens with a fun, interactive and educational language learning experience that boosts brain power, linguistic and cognitive ability in addition to cultural understanding. Suitable for learners of all levels, the highly interactive live online small group classes are delivered on their Learn Chinese Plus virtual classroom and are led by native Chinese-speaking professional tutors.

Format: From Monday to Friday, the daily 25-minute live online small group lessons are complemented with a downloadable, fun and educational language learning toolkit which is sent to registered parents in advance.
Cost:€75-€154 (one-week courses cost €75 for a five-day week, two-week courses cost €145 and private tuition starts at €154).
Ages: Six to 18 years (open to primary school students right up to and including Leaving Cert students).
Website: learnchinese.ie

Little Lingua is an award-winning online language school for children. They teach Irish, French and Spanish using a unique Little Lingua method which is fun and interactive. Classes are small and are delivered via a live platform. All course materials are provided.
Format: Zoom.
Dates and times: Five days, 10am-10.40am, June 21st to July 22nd.
Ages: 7-15 years.
Cost: €65-€98.
Website: littlelingua.com

Last year several organisations used to running in-person camps decided to enter the work of virtual camps. Next Stage Theatre School was one of them, and success online has encouraged them to continue this summer. The week involves singing, dance and drama with an at-home performance for families on the final day. The focus is on building confidence, having fun and meeting friends while improving performance skills from the comfort of your own home.
Format: Via Zoom. There are four age groups: Four to five year olds and six to seven year olds (90 minutes each day), eight to nine year olds and 10-14 year olds (two hours each day).
Dates: Four days, August 9th-12th.
Ages: 4-14 years.
Cost: €25-€30.
Website: nextstage.ie

This five-day radio course gives students a chance to learn all about radio presentation and production. It also gives young people the opportunity to record a radio show remotely. No experience is necessary for this course but a USB microphone is the minimum requirement. The radio training camp is taught by professional lecturers and broadcasters.
Format: Via Zoom.
Dates and times: June 14th-18th, 10am-3pm.
Ages: Under-18s.
Cost: €199.
Website: radiotraining.ie

This relaxed and fun speech and drama workshop will run over three mornings on Zoom and will include drama games, action poems, improvisation, relaxation techniques, Mime and much more. The workshop is all designed to keep children active, engaged and most importantly, feel really confident in their abilities. Children from all over the country will be getting out of their comfort zone from the comfort of their home.
Dates and times: July 5th-7th, 10am-11am.
Ages: 6-9 years.
Cost: €40.
Website: realtadrama.com

Offering STEM Summer Camps online through Platform and Zoom, SMART Edu Club is designed by experts to provide a fun, learning experience and an opportunity to connect with like-minded peers in a friendly environment. A great opportunity for parents looking to keep children engaged while allowing them develop a passion for STEM subjects.
Format: Week-long Zoom lesson and icebreaker at 10am-11.15am followed by hand-on activities. 
Dates: Space Travel & Exploration (July, 5th-9th), Coding & Robotics (July, 19th-23rd), Science & Sustainability (August, 9th-13th)
Ages: 8-12 years.
Cost: €75.00 
Website: https://smarteduclub.com/camp

Suzanne Stevens is planning three virtual camps over the summer weeks. The first camp is titled Picnics and Party Food. Picnics are going to be even more popular than usual this summer. The second camp is Fun Food – including Buffalo Turkey Burgers, Crunchy Seven-Layer Salad and Cookies 'n Cream Milkshakes. The third camp is Modern Favourites – Fancy Katsu Nuggets with Asian Greens and Peach Melba?
Format: Via Zoom (replays available within 24 hours and for a month afterwards).
Dates and times: July 12th-16th, 4.30pm to 6.30pm.
Ages: 9-13 years.
Cost: €85 per household for the week.
Website: rozannestevens.com

Starcamp's Summer Club will release one new show every week for six weeks from July 1st, which can be watched at any time and as often as desired. Each show focus on a different theme, including books, comedy, magic, jungle, under the sea and Hollywood.
Dates: From July 1st.
Cost: €45.
Website: starcamp.ie

Artist Kevin McSherry will host a week-long drawing camp for young artists. There are various weeks to choose from, starting in June. The camp will allow young people to expand their creativity and imagination, gain new skills and think like an artist.
Dates and times: June 8th-11th, June 14th-18th, June 21st-25th and June 28th-July 2nd, from 11am-1pm.
Ages: 13-17 year olds.
Cost: €125.
Website: mcsherrystudio.com

Tutti Music Ireland is running choral and orchestral courses for teenagers.  These fun and dynamic courses include singing, solo performance, conducting, performance platforms and many other interactive music activities with professional musicians. The orchestral course features a masterclass given by Martin Johnson of the RTÉ NSO and the Choral Course features Lucy Champion of Anúna. Both courses are delivered on zoom and as always, they welcome students from Ireland and abroad. Tutti Music Ireland is run by Ciara Harrington and Isabel Ryan, who between them have 30 years' experience working with youth orchestras and ensembles.
Format: Zoom
Dates and times: July 19th-21st. Further dates to be announced (Orchestral Course 10am-12.30pm; Choral Course 1.30pm-4pm).
Age: 11-16 years.
Cost: €110.
Website: tuttimusicireland.com

WhizzKids Virtual Camps are digital skills classes delivered by experienced teachers to small groups. WhizzKids have been teaching digital skills in Ireland since 2003, so virtual camps are second nature to them. Topics covered range from web design to 3D modelling, game design to character design, coding to animation. Designed for children of all abilities, each week they will focus on two new topics with two one-hour lessons each day. Each camp is stand alone, so you just pick the topic that's right for you.
Dates: June 21st (HTML and 3D Modelling), July 5th (Scratch Coding and Animation), July 12th (Video Game programming and Backdrop and Character Design), July 19th (Machine Programming and 3D Modelling), July 26th (HTML and Python Coding).
Ages: From seven years old.
Cost: €99 per week.
Website: whizzkids.ie

Read: 2021 In-person Summer Camps guide