A summer’s worth of archery and macaroni necklaces? Your tykes would scoff. Here are a few day camps to get you thinking beyond bug juice.
If your fledgling culture vulture is torn between the museum and the kitchen, send her to ArtBites camp. Each weekly session ($300) explores art history and cuisines from around the world through hands-on craft projects and cooking lessons, like perusing Aztec manuscripts while learning to make tortillas and Mexican hot chocolate from scratch (Surfas Restaurant Supply and Gourmet Food, 8777 West Washington Boulevard, Culver City; 310-559-4770).
Cowabunga, Little Dudes
Little surfer girls and boys (ages 3 to 7) hang ten at Aloha Beach Keiki Camp (Paradise Cove, Pacific Coast Highway, at Paradise Cove Road, Malibu; 818-932-4600). Days are packed with surfing, swimming, boogie boarding, and seaside fun like shark tooth hunting and coconut bowling. There’s a five-day minimum enrollment (prices start at $500), but flexible scheduling means you can play hooky on a sunny day.
Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? After a summer at Ninja Training Camp (2130 Sawtelle Boulevard, third floor, West Los Angeles; 310-477-8425), your novice secret agent (ages 7 and up) can answer that. Campers learn fingerprint investigation, how to place and find covert surveillance devices, first aid, and emergency preparedness. They’ll also learn to wield samurai tools while mastering teamwork and leadership skills.
Blue Bird Children’s Resale Boutique
What: Browse the racks at this new consignment shop for scores like baby dresses by Oilily, Polo trousers for boys, and barely worn navy patent girls’ boots.
Why: A little birdie told us this is a great neighborhood for cast-offs.
When: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: 652 Larchmont Blvd., at Melrose Ave., Hancock Park (323-466-0408).
A Child’s Friend: a Look at Vintage Dolls, 1840-1940
What: Intriguing exhibit examines the history of doll-making during the Victorian era with more than 50 examples from the beautiful to the bizarre. Recommended for ages 5 and up.
Why: Hello, dolly!
When: Thru May 23. Fri.-Sun., noon-4 p.m.
Where: Heritage Square Museum, 3800 Homer St., off the 110 Pasadena Fwy., Highland Park (323-225-2700). Free with admission.
Mother’s Day Makeover Event
What: Author Amy Tara Koch schools the knocked-up set on going from fat to fab with her new book, Bump It Up: Transform Your Pregnancy into the Ultimate Style Statement.
Why: Poolside mini treatments from Bliss Spa and Wacoal bra fittings.
When: Tues., 6-8 p.m.
Where: Wet at the W, 930 Hilgard Ave., b/t Weyburn & Le Conte Aves., Westwood (310-208-8765). R.S.V.P. (suggested) at 323-951-9777 ext. 313. Free.
Photo: Courtesy of Ninja Training Camp