Introduction

Summer planning during a pandemic has incorporated many more considerations than in years past. As parents and their kids start to determine what to do when school is out in the next few months, here are some key factors ActivityHero has observed in our community of 4 million+ families that may help others start thinking about their plans now.

“This year, families are registering for camps a bit later than usual, but the earliest camp registrations show that families are eager to have kids get outside and be active. We’ve seen a big increase in demand for outdoor specialty camps.”

Peggy Chang
CEO & Co-Founder ActivityHero
Camp Trends Report Based on Q1 2021 data by ActivityHero. 45% of all searched activities are outdoor. Horseback riding and biking classes are filling quickly.

01. 45% of All Searched Activities are Outdoor

Parents want their kids outside. Many continue to struggle with balancing the “new normal” distance learning paired with increased screen time. Outdoor Activities and Non-Contact Sports have much more interest this year, contributing to most of the search inquiries happening on our platform. Horseback Riding and Biking classes, in particular, have been enrolled to capacity with long waitlists. Outdoor Petting Zoos and Outdoor Science Camps also support socially distant learning and have large upticks in popularity too.

Camp Trends Report Based on Q1 2021 data by ActivityHero. Many camps are held at public schools or temporary spaced and these locations are taking longer to confirm this year.

02. Locations

Many camps are held at public schools or temporary spaces and these locations are taking longer to confirm this year. You may see a “TBD address” more frequently, which means that the camp is still working on confirming the exact location.

COVID-Safety: Camps have adjusted many of their programs support their communities and their staff to follow public health guidelines.

03. COVID-Safety

Camps have adjusted many of their programs to support the families in their communities and their staff to follow public health guidelines You may even notice that many have dedicated pages on their websites addressing all the efforts to be taken to best ensure everyone’s safety. Face masks and daily screenings are regularly appearing as requirements with frequent hand washing and sanitizing reminders too

Camp Prices: Camp Trends Report based on Q1 2021 data by ActivityHero

04. Average Session Prices Increased 108%

Average camp session purchase prices have increased from $425 to $888 this year due to longer sessions that have become more common in some areas such as the San Francisco Bay Area. Camp sessions are required to be 3 weeks this summer to support more stable cohorts for COVID-safety. As a result, registrations for 3-week camps have increased by 5,000%, compared to last year.

On the plus side, attending a camp for multiple weeks helps kids make more friends and be more comfortable. 

It also gives them more time to master new skills such as art or coding.

Some camps have the same prices per week in 2021, including:

Camp Trends Report Based on Q1 2021 data by ActivityHero.

05. Updated Cancellation and Refund Policies

Many providers learned from their experiences last year to better apply more manageable and flexible policies this year. Some camps offer credit toward another registration and don’t offer cash refunds. There’s a wide variation of what’s available.

06. More Options for Deposits or Payment Plans

After last year’s unprecedented cancellation of camp, many have adjusted payment policies this year. More flexibility is now being offered as alternatives to only requiring full upfront payments. Families may only have to pay a small deposit to hold their spots. 

This year, 28% of registrations are using a payment plan.

Camp Trends Report Based on Q1 2021 data by ActivityHero.

07. Fewer Add-on Options

Extended care availability may also be limited for the same reasons. Based on ActivityHero’s community, we see a 25% reduction of this offering compared to last year.

Some camps offering extended care in 2021, include:


About ActivityHero

ActivityHero is the leading online marketplace for kids camps, activities, and after-school classes. Families book activities with one easy registration. Activity providers can claim and customize their listing and use online tools to get new customers.