Camps, drop-in programs, and career opportunities for young people all summer long

With many area schools adjourning for the summer this week, King County is funding youth programs across the region through the Best Starts for Kids initiative.

“Summer should be a time for growth and exploration for children and young people, and Best Starts for Kids is making sure parents have lots of options throughout the region,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “We have camps, art studios, apprenticeship programs, and many more great ways for kids of all ages to make this a summer to remember.”

active living - children running in park

Best Starts for Kids funds a wide range of programs for kids and families throughout King County. In addition to year-round programming, the initiative provides expanded opportunities for young people to grow and explore during the summer.

“We can’t wait to see our kids play, try something new, and have some fun this summer. From learning through science or art to trying out a career in the trades, there are many amazing opportunities to learn and grow while school is out,” said Sheila Capestany, Strategic Advisor for Children and Youth. “We’re wishing all of our kids, young, people, and families a happy, safe summer from Best Starts for Kids.”

The following Best Starts for Kids-funded programs still have enrollment capacity for summer 2019 programs or are open on a drop-in basis this summer.

Summer Camps and Programs

Tiny Trees Preschool offers a number of week long summer day camp options for children ages 4-6. From nature to art to construction, kids will learn while having fun outside.

Learn more and register at

Geeking Out Kids of Color (GOKiC) empowers kids of color with an education in computer science, programming, and robotics, helping unlock their creativity through technology. Limited spaces are available in the summer program at TAF Bethaday Learning Community Space in White Center. There are separate programs for elementary and middle school youth.

Learn more at
For more information about the summer program please contact

Bellevue Boys & Girls Clubs provides a variety of specialty summer camps, travelling camps, and day programs that focus on keeping kids engaged and active throughout the summer months.

Visit their website to view programs and register online:
Phone: (425) 454-6162 (Bellevue Boys and Girls Clubs administration line. See website for site phone numbers.)

WAPI Community Services’ Level Up Youth Academy Summer Beat Camp provides music education and career exploration for youth ages 10 to 18.

Learn more about WAPI Community Services at
Email to learn more about Summer Beat Camp.
Phone: (206) 223-9578; Toll-Free Number: 844-987-WAPI (9274)

Drop-in Programs

A mother and daughter having fun at a Spanish speaking Play & Learn group

Kaleidoscope Play & Learn groups are weekly play groups for young children and their caregivers. Led by a trained facilitator, children enjoy culturally and developmentally appropriate play activities. Through facilitator guidance and modeling, conversation, peer learning, and hands-on experience, parents and caregivers learn what they can do at home to support children’s learning and healthy development. These free, drop in play groups take place all around King County in a variety of settings.

Click here to find a Play & Learn group close to you.

Visit to learn more
Phone: (206) 329-1011 or Toll Free: 1-877-543-0059

SnoValley Power of Produce (PoP) Club is a summer program that engages children in educational food activities, conversations with local farmers, farm visits, and exposure to new kinds of fruits and vegetables at the Carnation Farmers Market. The Carnation Farmers Market is open every Tuesday from 3-7pm through August.

Visit to learn more about PoP club.

Seattle Children’s PlayGarden Open Play is an opportunity to drop by and play in a beautiful, inclusive park. During Open Play, PlayGarden staff greet your family, answer your questions, help facilitate inclusive play between kids, help you visit with the animals and can work on a construction, art or garden project with your kids. This open play time is provided free of charge. No prior registration is needed.

bubbles in the garden horizontal
Bubble fun at the PlayGarden

Open Play Hours (6/25-8/31)
Tuesday 2 – 6 p.m.
Wednesday 2-6 p.m.
Friday 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Saturday 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Note: the PlayGarden is also open to the public the entire first week of July.

Visit to learn more.
Phone: (206) 325-5576
Address: 1745 24th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144

Gage Arts’ Teen Art Studios is a free, year-round, evening drop-in studio art program for young artists ages 13 to 18 that delivers quality art training to teens from all backgrounds, provides exhibition and portfolio building opportunities and encourages positive social engagement. Each month a different professional working artist teaches a specific art form, engaging teens in learning new skills, making art and developing new friendships in a supportive, safe environment.

Free Fridays are held at the South Park Community Center, Gage Capitol Hill, and Bellevue Arts Museum.
Visit to learn more.
Phone: (206) 323-4243

The Trail Youth Coffee Home in North Bend provides young people with a safe, welcoming space to connect after school and during summer months. Young people can stop by for a free cup of coffee, connect with a volunteer mentor, learn how to be a barista, participate in free music lessons, and organize events that give back to the North Bend community.

Trail Youth Opening
Coffee is free to young people who stop by the coffee house.

Visit to learn more
Phone: (425) 273-4431
Address: 226 E North Bend Way, North Bend, WA 98045

Communities of Opportunity partners are sponsoring activities to engage youth and expand positive experiences for the entire community. For example, June 29 marks the summer opening of the 2019 Rainier Beach Farm Stand. Led by youth, the farm stand offers activities for youth and families while promoting access to healthy food. Young people can visit the farm stand to learn more and get involved.

Farm stand hours: 10 am to 2 pm
Address: Ethiopian Community in Seattle, 8323 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, Washington 98118
For more information on the farm stand contact: Claire West,

Career Development Opportunities
Reconnect to Opportunity supports young people ages 16 to 24, who have not finished high school, and those who finished, but are unsure about the next steps. ReOpp can connect youth with education, employment, and post-secondary training opportunities.

Visit to learn more and connect to resources.
Phone: (206) 263-8244
Address: 645 Andover Park West Tukwila, Washington 98188

Pre-apprenticeship training programs
Direct Access to Laborers Education & Careers (DALEC) is a four-week training program for young people ages 18-24. The program begins on July 8. Trainings are held at Laborers Union Local 242 in Des Moines. Space is still available to enroll.

To learn more or enroll contact Dale Bright,
Phone: (206) 751-3311

ANEW Trades Rotation Program and Pre-Apprenticeship and Construction Education (PACE) are high-quality pre-apprenticeship programs that support young people ages 18-24 to gain the knowledge, physical, and technical trades skills needed to successfully apply and be accepted into an apprenticeship. The 10-week Trades Rotation Program begins July 15 at ANEW’s training facility in Kent. The 11-week PACE program begins August 28 at the PACE training facility in North Seattle.

To learn more or enroll contact Michelle Miller,
Visit to learn more about Trades Rotation Program and PACE.

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Comments (1)

  1. I like that you said that summer camp activities can help kids learn new skills. My wife and I are thinking about taking our kids for a summer camp so they can enjoy relating to other kids. I’m going to look for a summer camp near us.

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