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Best of 2020

Congratulations to all the children’s camp and class providers who have been named ActivityHero Best of 2020 Award Winners! 36 businesses across the U.S. received this honor, based on the number of votes, reviews and overall rating from families in 2020. 

1st Place: New York Chess Academy

2nd Place (tie): Cucu’s PlayHouse

2nd Place (tie): 3 O’Clock Rock

Award-Winning Children’s Camp and Class Providers

New York Chess Academy: NYCA organizes programs and services for all levels and ages, which include camps, after-school classes, private lessons, and tournaments. They aim to lead by example and encourage a sense of unity and camaraderie among chess players. By offering services at affordable prices, New York Chess Academy strives to ensure that chess, its undeniable benefits, and its welcoming community are accessible to all. 

Cucu’s PlayHouse: Cucu’s PlayHouse is the premiere space for Music classes, Spanish immersion and Open play for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. The Music and Movement Classes in Spanish are their main activity, and they also offer Open Play Times for children to play in a Montessori-inspired playroom with educational, sustainable wooden toys. Cucu’s PlayHouse is currently offering an online version of their popular Music and Movement Class. 

3 O’Clock Rock: Three O’Clock Rock is an after-school and summer music program for kids and adults.  It is also a record label supporting youth musicians. The program offers a unique approach to teaching music and their own curriculum made for all levels of play.   Start a band, play shows, make records, and go on tour!! 3 O’Clock Rock wants to connect people through a community approach and give them a creative voice through music.

Dan Marcus: After 40 plus years of public and private school teaching in Colorado, Dan Marcus is now an ActivityHero teacher specializing in filmmaking and mathematics. He hopes to see his students begin to develop a pure passion for learning and to truly experience the “Aha!” moment when a previously befuddling concept comes to life in my class.  He holds a current highly-qualified Career and Technical Education credential from the Colorado Department of Education in Secondary Math, Audio, Film and Video Technology, Journalism and Broadcasting.

Mathletes: These programs focus on creative problem solving in Mathematics. Students will tackle fun problems and participate in both formal and informal math competitions. Work starts in class and often continues at home. Online curriculum contains problem sets that vary by theme and difficulty. Their ultimate goal is to help students become tenacious problem solvers who love math. If you like puzzles, patterns, and problem solving, give them a try!

Young Intellects: Young Intellects offers programs designed to provide secure, affordable and efficient options for childcare services after school and are also currently offering online classes. They believe in constructive evaluation and have a transparent structure which enables you to track your child’s progress. Young Intellects programs provide structure, offer academic help, and create occasions for children of any age to develop new skills. They also offer enrichment programs like: Arts & Crafts, Oil Pastel Painting, Science & Engineering Robotics, Coding (Scratch & Python), Scrum & Agile, Public Speaking, Science Experiments, Personal Finance, Creative Writing, Budding Entrepreneurs, and Fusion Dance. 

Camp EDMO: At Camp EDMO®, children are inspired to develop their creative capacity, unleash their inner scientist and technologist, and explore the mysteries of the natural world. Their camps are from ages Pre-K to 8th grade, and offer a huge variety of subjects. They have what parents need: convenience, coverage, peace of mind and Sliding Scale Financial Aid. As campers get older, they are given more challenges and more opportunity to explore the subjects they love. 

Digivations Camp Demigod Institute

Digivations Camp Demigod Institute is a camp and academy fusion where literary and media themes incorporating role play serve as the key vehicle through which students learn. Faculty facilitate learning about ancient cultures, languages, music/composition/sound design, visual arts, and drama/theatre. They use imaginative themes from popular young adult literature to teach many subjects. One of their popular online classes is an innovative and engaging Harry Potter Camp where virtual campers might learn components of chemistry, physics and languages! 

LA School of Music: The Los Angeles School of Music offers fun and engaging online music lessons and classes on piano, voice, guitar, and more. Their online classes are always live and interactive. Teachers have music degrees from universities and music conservatories, and many of them perform with groups like the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Los Angeles Philharmonic, and even regularly perform at Disney Hall. Most importantly, their teachers are passionate about music education and bringing the joy of music to their students.

Little Champs Learning Center: Little Champs is a STEAM focused after school, summer and online program that provides children with safe, supportive learning environment that enables them to achieve academic success and gain knowledge in areas of interest. These include public speaking, cooking, sports, science, art, and more. Little Champs is your one stop shop for all your enrichment activities and a variety of summer camps for kids aged 5 to 13. 

Top Gun Batting Cages: Top Gun Batting Cages is a Veteran-Owned Small Business dedicated to providing Central Maryland with the very best indoor baseball/softball training experience. Top Gun coaches and staff members care and it shows. Top Gun Summer Camps are the best camps in the area! They keep your kids moving all day with a variety of activities. You don’t have to be a baseball or softball player to love their SUPER Summer Camps!

Future Bytes Tech: Future Bytes Tech is transforming creative young minds into Innovators and Makers by offering Compendious coding curriculum for Grades K-8, specialized in Robotics and Electronic circuits. Kids can learn math, practice coding languages, and face fun challenges with their friends. Future Bytes Tech believes interactive learning and coding allows the students to channel their creativity to create their own world. Come join them as they tap into students’ curiosity about tech and coding through a fun learning environment. 

CD’s Art Studio: At CD’s Kids Art Studio, students get to unleash their creativity using paper-mache, glass, mosaics, paintings, drawing, and much more! Now join CD through her popular online art classes and camps. Helping children find their inner creative artist and to have confidence in their ability is what CD loves best. 

KidzToPros: KidzToPros has built a trusted brand at over 300 schools in the Bay Area, with over 15,000 parents and over 30,000 students who have participated in their programs. From coding in scratch and python to LEGO Masters, graphic design, art skills, sports and more, KidzToPros takes fun and enrichment to the next level! Their STEM, Arts and Sports Live Online Summer Camps & On-site Summer Camps provide the perfect opportunity for your child to develop decision making, critical thinking and creativity skills. Led by top-tier professional instructors who are passionate about teaching and child development, KidzToPros summer camps and programs help your child make the most of their time!

Wizbots: Wizbots combines LEGO robotics, Java coding, and lots of imagination to provide a unique STEM learning experience for kids ages 8-14 all around the San Francisco Bay Area and now available online! Their Robotics & Coding Labs revolve around robotics so as to instantly engage and provide students with a fun, applied way to learn Java programming and creative problem-solving. Perfect for both novices and advanced students, they will all learn coding, engineering, and design in a hands-on, collaborative environment. Campers can join week after week, season after season, and year after year to always learn something new. Parents get to experience all the fun too as their child’s project videos are posted online to see and share!  

Mi Casita de Español: “Mi Casita de Español” is a Spanish Immersion Preschool in Palo Alto. They are a licensed, play-based, and nature-based preschool providing a supportive and engaging environment for children. The teachers work with the children to provide a nurturing, caring, and safe home environment filled with love where the children love to learn in Spanish. Hands-on exploration coupled with loving guidance is how children best learn. Teachers speak Spanish while guiding the children and engage children through interactive activities and allow them to explore and discover the world around them.

Challenge Island – Katy, TX

Challenge Island was founded in 2018 and works on the forefront of S.T.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) education. They provide classes, workshops, camps, parties, homeschooling events, team building, and multi-generational family adventures to children and teens. Challenge Island works to create fun experiences that can engage the playful child and the successful adult of the future.

Seele Stars

Seele Stars offers online and in-person camps in Berkeley, California. Their programs emphasize a multitude of skills including talent development, body awareness, public speaking, cooperation, appreciation of diversity, self-esteem elaboration, and more. Their goal is to continue students’ scholastic-based learning by integrating musical theater into a language arts curriculum. The end of this exciting camp experience can result in a friendship or a showcase for families to view their child’s learning experience. 

Innovation for Youth

Innovation for Youth is focused on delivering fun, enriching, and socially engaging online programs during quarantine. They have worked with many talented individuals to develop effective online teaching methods and online curriculum. They currently are offering three amazing online programs that focus on magic and art. Their curriculums are developed with the overarching idea that important life lessons and skills can be acquired through a disciplined approach to learning magic or art. 

Choreography by Rae

Choreography by Rae is a performing arts and creative arts educational center that was originally founded as a way to help people of all ages amplify their voice through dance. They also offer several additional subjects, such as acting, chess, singing, art, yoga, and much more. Through an interactive student program they help students develop leadership and teamwork skills that transcend the classroom. In addition, they have low student to teacher ratios to ensure that their students are getting an excellent learning experience. 

Science Nature Labs

Science Nature Labs was designed to continue to inspire kids and keep them excited about science and technology. They feature year round camps and online classes that combine fun, hands-on science with a safe, practical experience that children will enjoy. Science Nature Labs is passionate about S.T.E.A.M and strives to make it an exciting atmosphere for children to learn and explore science. Their seasoned team of educators are committed to instilling wonder and curiosity as a foundation for lifelong learning in Science and Technology. 

Best in Class Education Center (South San Jose)

At Best in Class Education Center, their mission is to build better teachers and successful students by strengthening their analytic and reasoning skills. They specialize in Math and English enrichment as well as private tutoring for K-12th grads. Furthermore, their curriculum promotes critical thinking, problem solving, and builds strong foundation skills. Best in Class Education Center utilizes university-educated tutors to provide experienced teachers. Their teaching style uses active teaching, individualized curriculum, weekly tests, and small classes to ensure that students are getting the most out of their learning. 

San Francisco Math Circle

The San Francisco Math Circle is an extracurricular math enrichment program that aims to make math accessible and fun. Students are given a supportive, collaborative, and fun environment to develop their mathematical thinking skills. Additionally, the San Francisco Math Circle employs engaging, hands-on puzzles and games that involve creativity and critical thinking. They promote a positive attitude towards math and are committed to making their program accessible to all children.

Tiny Treks

Tiny Treks was developed as a creative alternative to indoor parent participation programs and is a dynamic, innovative program for children who want to explore their natural surroundings and environments. They focus on interactive experiences which build self-esteem and encourage a love of nature by exploring the outdoors. The administrators and teachers are effective, efficient, and competent for a high quality experience. Whether in person or virtual, the curriculum engages children and provides an invaluable experience for them. 

LearningPlay

LearningPlay was founded by Chaia May in 2008 as a comprehensive education program on the joys of learning — particularly music — to all ages of children starting at three months old. Her program is tailored for young learners with unique and special needs. However, she also provides a variety of offerings for adults and families. The staff is led by Chaia May who has been teaching 40+ classes a week, written 25 books, and has been asked to speak at many national education conferences, including NAEYC and CAEYC. With a high teaching experience, LearningPlay provides a quality education for children.

Code for Fun

Code for Fun is a non-profit organization committed to exposing all students, especially girls, to computer science at an early stage, to help grow the next generation of engineers. Code for fun exposes students from Kindergarten to High-School to coding in an interactive way. Code for Fun teaches students a variety of skills that also include mobile app development, Minecraft, Python, Scratch and much more. 

Young Art

Young Art inspires passion, creativity and the power of education for the next generation. Their team is committed to providing creative enriching experiences for young inventors, artists, designers, and entrepreneurs through hands-on learning. The Young Art studio offers ‘drop in’ art lessons and virtual summer camps. Students are able to create artwork with a variety of different compositions to select from. Through detailed instruction in an easy-to-follow format, teachers are able to guide students through the techniques and processes of sketching, cartooning, painting, clay sculpture, and more. 

A Lotte Horses

A Lotte Horses is a camp led by Lotte Swauger and Sushila Wood to explore the outdoors and how to utilize the outdoors to create fun activities. A Lotte Horses is a hands-on experience that allows children to interact with plant dyes and pigments, learn about working with metal and wood, and examine how to use leather and wool. Additionally, A Lotte Horses includes arts and writing activities, such as drawing and poetry. There are currently two sessions per a day to keep the camp size small and safe. 

CodeREV Kids

CodeREV Kids Tech Camps delivers a one-of-a-kind camp experience and is a wonderful way for campers to learn important technology skills and still have a fun-packed time that will create long-lasting memories. CodeREV mixes project-based coding, programming, digital art, design, and team building activities in their teaching style. Project-based learning ensures that students are applying computational thinking to each coding skill they learn and are comprehending the material. Furthermore, CodeREV kids was founded with the goals of providing a comprehensive technology education in a fun, stress-free environment. Their courses aim to give a deeper education than what students learn in schools through highly experienced instructors.

Discover Science Center

Discover Science Center is an informal science education enrichment lab whose purpose is to amplify the S.T.E.A.M curriculum being taught in K-12 schools or homeschool programs. Their classes feature a variety of topics that range from space to marine biology. Their programs were developed by scientists and science educators to take advantage of students’ natural fascination with science. Each exciting, fun session interweaves knowledge development, hands-on learning, and experimentation and creative activities. 

SeaTrek BVI

SeaTrek is a summer camp at sea and features an all around summer adventure program for junior high, high school, and college-aged students in the British Virgin Islands. Lessons revolve around hands-on sailing, learning to scuba dive, and instruction on marine science. In addition to scuba and sailing instruction, naturalists and marine biologists will introduce students to the tropical ecology and wildlife of the islands or reefs. Additionally, interested students can choose exciting community service opportunities and academic credit options. 

AK Martial Arts & Fitness

AK Martial Arts and Fitness provides themed camps, martial arts, agility, tournament, and boot camp training for ages three and up. In addition, they also specialize in an award-winning summer, spring, and winter camps for ages five and up. Their instructors are extremely professional and help create a fun and creative environment with structure. Furthermore, they have online opportunities for classes and continue to help children learn the martial arts with discipline. AK Martial Arts and Fitness prides itself on supporting the community and providing donations for auctions, schools, and non-profits. 

Chiquiticos

Chiquiticos was founded in 2018 by Maria Huertas after she recognized the important psychological and social functions of music in human linguistics. Chiquiticos is an early development organization and has the goal of promoting the integral development of children. They mainly work using music and playful learning to contribute to the development of memory and to facilitate the expression of feelings or ideas. Through their program, students are given the tools to critically assess concepts, favor their socio-cultural integration, and expand on their linguistic possibilities. 

The ZenTotz Program

The ZenTotz After School and Summer Camp Program presents the building blocks of mindfulness and meditation.  During camps and classes, participants will learn and practice how to breathe, walk, eat, and move mindfully.  

Founded in 2016, it is ZenTotz mission to liberate young minds from future depression, anxiety, addictions, and excessive stress.  They wish for every child to recognize the importance of non-judgment, self-acceptance, grounding, patience, letting go, and gratitude!  

Maker Nexus

Maker Nexus grows makers through education, practical experience, and fostering innovation. Maker Nexus provides the tools and space a person needs to make things – from simple hand tools to complex, state of the art CNC machinery. They provide training classes so that someone with no experience using tools can learn to use them safely. Their programs encourage a love of creating and an ongoing interest in solving problems.

ATX Kids Club

ATX Kids Club has a mission to inspire inspire youth to fearlessly explore and become independent, self-confident individuals through year-round educational and health-minded field trip adventures. Through their field-trip experiences, children learn about their region’s history, art, culture and environment.