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East County Wednesday, Jun. 6, 2018 2 years ago

Fun times 10 in Lakewood Ranch

East County packs a punch in summer children's entertainment .
by: Amelia Hanks Community Reporter

A huge fallacy sometimes is uttered by children to their parents during the summer in East County.

"There's nothing to do."

School’s out now and parents can steer their children in plenty of fun directions. They can put the "There's nothing to do" comment to rest, for good.

Here are a sampling of items children would find interesting.


1. Make something icky

Kids Summer Spectrum, 7131 Professional Pkwy E., Lakewood Ranch

The State College of Florida camps, Kids Summer Spectrum, run each week during the summer from June 4 to July 27 with different focuses for children ages 7-14. The camp has morning sessions from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and afternoon sessions from 1:30-5 p.m. Among the sessions is "Gross Chemistry," which allows the children to make gooey, icky things from household items. Another favorite is "My Very Own Story," which teaches children how to write and illustrate their own story. Participants must be registered at least one day before a camp starts. Visit for more information and to register.


2. Come sail away

Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota

Nathan Benderson Park hosts weekly camps for children ages 10 to 18. The seasons are either a full day or half day and cost either $300 or $150. Students can learn all sorts of aquatic skills, such as paddling a canoe or kayak or paddle boarding. The camp runs weekly from June 4 to Aug. 3, except for the week of July 4. For more information or to register,  go to


3. Point the right direction

YMCA, 5100 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Lakewood Ranch

Archery Tag is an innovative new sport where participants score points by shooting arrows. Children will learn the sport and practice their archery technique. Campers ages 8-13 can play this cutting-edge sport. The camp is held every Monday and Wednesday from June 4-July 27, except for the week of July 2, with camp times varying by week. Cost is $20 for members of the YMCA and $30 for non-members. Contact Colby Hall at 798-9622 ext. 341 for more information.


4. Become an ace 

Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club, 7650 Legacy Blvd., Lakewood Ranch

This weekly Tennis and Sports Summer Camp at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club helps children ages 4-12 explore the sport of tennis, along with activities such as swimming and crafts. The camp runs June 4-Aug. 10 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuition for the camp is $170 per week for members, $190 per week for non-members. Email [email protected] to register and for more information.


5. Tee off like a pro

Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club, 7650 Legacy Blvd., Lakewood Ranch

The Summer Golf Camp at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club teaches children ages 6-15 to get into the swing of golf. It's an introduction course for beginners, including swing, putting, etiquette and rules lessons. It runs June 4-Aug. 3, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The registration is $25, and the weekly cost is $250. Contact Dan Knop at 907-4710 for more information.


6. Acting up

Lakewood Ranch High School, 5500 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Bradenton

Budding thespians entering kindergarten through ninth grade will explore the performing arts by studying the basics of drama, dance, voice and art in the Acting Up Camp. The three-week camp runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 4-21 (Monday through Thursday) and concludes with two public performances of the children’s theater version of “James and the Giant Peach Jr.” If your child has a flair for the dramatic, this is the right camp. Registration is $75 and tuition is $425. Call Roxane Caravan at 727-6100, ext. 2189, for more information.


7. Right course for fun

The Fish Hole, 10725 Rodeo Drive, Lakewood Ranch

The 18-hole miniature golf course at The Fish Hole provides rounds of fun. Children can keep cool under the course's mist system and they can enjoy all the exotic sights, such as a 3,000-gallon pond filled with koi and native plants. Afterward, parents can grab lunch with the kids and even do a little shopping on Lakewood Main. The Fish Hole is open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Cost is $8.99 per person. Call 306-5891 or visit for more information.


8. Park it here

Greenbrook Adventure Park, 6655 Greenbrook Blvd., Lakewood Ranch

Greenbrook Adventure Park offers children a playground, a skate park, a community garden and plenty of open space for children to run. The park is open every day this summer from dawn to dusk with pavilions available. Visit for more information.


9. Pool your resources

John H. Marble Park, 3675 53rd Avenue E., Bradenton

Beat the heat at the community pool and under the shaded playgrounds of John H. Marble Park. Whether your child is just learning how to swim or an experienced swimmer, the pool has lifeguards and swim lanes for every level. The park stays open from dawn to dusk, with amenities such as tennis and basketball courts available. Pavilions are available to rent as well. Visit for more information.


10. Check out a book

Braden River Public Library, 4915 53rd Avenue E., Bradenton

Children don't have to sweat to have fun. The Braden River Public Library is hosting youth programs all summer, in the air conditioning. Programs include the Mad Sound of Science on July 23 (10:30-11:30 a.m.), where kids will learn how to make interesting sounds with foreign objects, as well as Tech Toys Petting Zoo on July 20 (2-4 p.m.) where children ages 13-18 will create robots. There will even be an entertaining and interactive show by Elliott the Magician at 3 p.m. on June 14 for children of all ages. All programs are free. The library is open Monday-Saturday each week except July 4. For more information, visit 

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