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2016 Family Favorites – Lessons & Camps

From acting to zip-lining, extracurricular activities play an important role in a growing child’s life. Here are the standout programs and lessons our readers suggest.

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Children’s Acting Lessons

Top Five*

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Aurora Fox Arts Center

Christian Youth Theater (CYT)

Colorado Children’s Theatre

Denver Center for the Performing Arts

Denver Children’s Theatre at Mizel Arts and Culture Center

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Rocky Mountain Conservatory Theater

*Tie occurred in this category

The Winner

Colorado Children’s Theatre

Three metro locations

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720-255-1228 | coloradochildrenstheatre.org

Let your children act up at Colorado Children’s Theater, where fun-filled acting classes and camps help kids fine-tune their individuality while building important attributes such as discipline and perseverance. Participants will perform in top-notch shows, including The Sound of Music and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Private lessons taught by experienced thespians are also offered.

Children’s Art Studio or Craft Center

Top Five

Art Garage

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Arts On Fire

Crackpots

KidzArt

Lalu

The Winners*

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Art Garage

6100 E. 23rd Ave., Denver

303-377-2353 | artgaragedenver.com

The Art Garage specializes in art classes and community activities led by local practicing artists. One-day workshops and weeklong summer camps with small student-teacher ratios are offered for kids ages 3 and up, teens and parents. Students will learn fundamental art elements, along with art vocabulary, artistic styles and more.

Arts on Fire

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9358 Dorchester St., Suite #101,

Highlands Ranch and 316 4th St., Castle Rock

303-470-0530 | artsonfirestudio.com

With a massive selection of pottery pieces starting at only $12, this welcoming neighborhood pottery lab is an ideal spot for unleashing your creativity. Arts on Fire doesn’t charge studio fees, and it offers glass fusing workshops and canvas painting classes, too. Try a summer camp for kids 6 and up, or an artsy birthday party.

*Tie occurred in this category

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Dance Studio

Top Five

Colorado Conservatory of Dance

Danse Etoile Ballet

Denver Academy of Ballet

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Dual Star Academy of Dance

Park Hill Dance Academy

The Winner

Denver Academy of Ballet

6874 S. University Blvd., Centennial

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303-723-4203 | denveracademyofballet.com

Whether your child is pursuing a professional career in dance or just wants to have fun, the Denver Academy of Ballet’s classes in ballet, jazz, tap and modern dance encourage technical skill and enjoyment while bolstering self-esteem and developing musicality in students ages 3 to 18.

Musical Instruction

Top Five*

Altitunes Neurologic Music Therapy

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Gymboree Play & Music

Prelude Music

Rocky Mountain Aardvarks

School of Rock

Swallow Hill Music

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*Tie occurred in this category

The Winner

Rocky Mountain Aardvarks

Seven metro locations

720-515-VARK | rockymtnaardvarks.com

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Music for Aardvarks isn’t your typical parent-child music class. The songs are original, the vibe is funky and the mood is pure fun, as caregivers and kiddos ages 3 months and up rock out to original songs. Participants try a variety of age-appropriate musical instruments, all with the goal of introducing kids to music while getting them moving.

Overnight Camp

Top Five

Blue Mountain Ranch Youth Camp

Camp Chief Ouray YMCA

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Camp Timberline

Cheley Colorado Camps

JCC Ranch Camp

The Winner

JCC Ranch Camp

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21441 N. Elbert Road, Elbert

ranchcamp.org

When it’s time for overnight camp, the Jewish Community Center nurtures and stimulates campers entering grades 2 through 11 with a western-inspired experience in Colorado’s Black Forest. Over the past 60 years, JCC Ranch Camp has established itself as a place where lifelong friendships emerge and children are challenged to grow as they try their hands at an array of experiences.

Ski Lessons for Kids

Top Five

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Breckenridge Ski Resort

Eldora Mountain Resort

Keystone Resort

Loveland Ski Area

Winter Park Resort

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The Winner

Winter Park Resort

85 Parsenn Rd., Winter Park

970-726-1564 | winterparkresort.com

At Winter Park, families have their pick of seven territories spanning four mountains piled with 3,000 acres of snow. The resort hosts a robust ski and ride school for kids ages 3 to 14. Whether your child is a beginner or double black diamond rider, she”ll love making friends and learning new skills in day-long sessions led by friendly, knowledgeable coaches.

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Sports Camp

Top Five

Air Force Academy Sports Camps

Colorado Soccer Buddies

P.A.S.S. Camp at the University of Denver

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South Suburban Parks and Recreation

Tiger Kim’s Academy

The Winner

Tiger Kim’s Academy

1480 Steele St., Denver

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303-388-1408 | tigerkim.com

For four decades, Grandmaster Tiger Kim’s award-winning studio has incorporated the three major Korean martial arts of Taekwondo, Tang Soo Do and Hapkido into exceptional classes and camps that teach physical technique, along with age-old traditions of respect and discipline. Weekly summer camps run 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and include one or two classes daily, field trips, indoor and outdoor activities and lunch.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Camp

Top Five

Camp Invention

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Colorado Math Camp

Colorado School of Mines Summer Camps

Play-Well TEKnologies

Silicon STEM Academy

The Winner

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Play-Well TEKnologies

Dozens of metro locations

720-515-7309 | play-well.org

This national organization specializes in LEGO-inspired engineering classes for kids, ages 5 to 14. Summer camp curriculum is designed by engineers to build on the math and science skills your children learned during the school year, but in a fun and engaging way. While creating elaborate objects, structures and vehicles, they”ll explore fundamental principles of engineering and physics. They”ll learn about teamwork, too, as they collaborate with new friends.

Summer Day Camp

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Top Five*

Avid4Adventure

Colorado Academy

Colorado Conservatory of Dance

Denver Zoo

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School of Rock

The Urban Farm at Stapleton

*Tie occurred in this category

The Winners*

Avid4Adventure

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Seven metro locations

800-977-9873 | avid4.com

This day camp celebrates all that’s good about Colorado, with weeklong adventures designed to get kids excited about the outdoors. From rock climbing, stand-up paddleboarding and mountain biking to multi-experience sessions that expose preschool-aged explorers to a variety of activities, there’s a thrill for all ages and ability levels. Healthy lunches are provided, or campers can pack their own.

School of Rock

Five metro locations

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866-695-5515 | schoolofrock.com

For a rocking good time, try a day camp at School of Rock, a national leader in music education. Suitable for musicians of all skill levels, comprehensive weeklong summer camps school kids on the instrument of their choice in a fun, creative environment. Campers get a chance to perform at a live rock show for family and friends.

Swim Lessons

Top Five

Ocean First

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SafeSplash Swim School

Swim Otters Swim & Fitness School

SwimLabs

Swim Safe Academy at the JCC

The Winner

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SafeSplash Swim School

Ten metro locations

303-799-1885 | safesplash.com

With its intimate class sizes, warm in-ground pools and UV-purified water, SafeSplash is an ideal place to introduce beginners to the water. Our readers appreciate the organization’s patient, experienced instructors and its affordable group classes; customizable private and semi-private lessons are available, too, along with camps, parties and special needs programming.

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