Panama´s summer children’s activities

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Children can learn painting at the Fernanda Cirici Gallery.

Children can learn painting at the Fernanda Cirici Gallery.

In Panama, many schools end their academic year in mid-December, corresponding to the beginning of the Dry Season, the time of year when the humidity drops, the trade winds begin blowing, and little to no rain falls for weeks on end. Until school gets back in mid-February, it is summer in Panama, a time of year increasingly marked by the availability and variety of children’s activities. Here, The Visitor highlights a few options to keep kids mentally stimulated and physically active for the balmy months of summer.

The Parque Natural Metropolitano (National Metropolitan Park), in the heart of the city, is conducting two weeklong workshops for children ages 6 – 12 years old, from January 21 – 25 and from January 28 – February 1. Each week’s session costs $80, or children may participate at the daily rate of $20. Ecological and environmental subjects will be covered with a focus on socializing and play. For information contact 232-5552, -5516, -6713, -6723, or write to pnmetrop@cwpanama.net or grc@parquemetropolitano.org.

The Natural Metropolitan Park is in the heart of the city.

The Natural Metropolitan Park is in the heart of the city.

Summer camps are becoming more commonplace. Granja Alternativa, the agro-tourism reserve located in the town of Coclesito in Colón, is hosting its Summer Camp 2014, consisting of 11 days of activities in a learning environment. The camp costs $300 per child and includes transportation, room, board and most activities. As an option, La Granja offers horseback riding and a rope park for an additional $30.

Departure for the camp takes place at 9 a.m. Friday, January 31. Children are brought back Monday, February 10 around noon. For details call 315-1463, 6612-1463 or visit www.granjaalternativa.com.

Also in Colón Province, on the shores of Gatún Lake in Villa Maela, lies Camp Yeridogued. From Monday, January 13 through Saturday, February 1, children ages 6 – 17 can take part in activities such as kayaking, fishing and archery. Tours of Gatún Lake and the Canal are also available. The staff includes Red Cross trained personnel, psychologists and social workers. For details, Yeridogued can be reached by calling 394-9620, 441-7868, 6623-3579 or through their website at www.eventsandplannings.com and linking to their “Campamento y Talleres” (“Camp and Workshops”) page.

Summer Camp at Granja Alternativa in Colón.

Summer Camp at Granja Alternativa in Colón.

“Social Skills” Workshops for children are being offered at Consultorios Royal Center. Child psychologists Margelis Salerno (Cel. 6619-6865, msalerno@psicopanama.net) and Andrea Broce (Cel. 6638-6880, abroce17@yahoo.com) will head various group sessions for children ages 2 – 10 from Monday, January 20 through Tuesday, February 11. Some topics covered are “I am confident and brave,” “My younger sibling has arrived,” and “Conquering my fears.” Costs range from $200 – $350 with the workshops lasting from 5 – 6 sessions, 1 session per week. For further information visit www.psicopanama.net.

The Fernanda Cirici Gallery (FER) has ongoing art workshops for children ages 4 – 13. The next session, from Monday, January 20 – Friday, January 24, covers Italian art and culture. The weeklong classes take place from 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. and cost $110. Their season will culminate with a look at Panamanian art that will run from Monday,

February 10 – Friday, February 14. Details can be obtained calling 831-7032, 831-7033 or 6248-4673. The gallery can be emailed at infofer@galeriadeartefernandacirici.com or reached through their website at www.galeriadeartefernandacirici.com.

El Cuarto Rojo offers a circus camp that teaches aerial dance.

El Cuarto Rojo offers a circus camp that teaches aerial dance.

The Conservatorio de Danza de Panamá (“Panama’s Dance Conservatory”) is hosting their “Summer Fun” workshop which will run through Thursday, February 6. There are dance workshops designed for girls ages 3 – 5, which focus on coordination, movement, counting and acrobatics. For girls ages 6 – 9, workshops in ballet, tap and acrobatics are offered. For information contact 317-1908, write

conservatoriodedanzas@gmail.com.

For a different twist, El Cuarto Rojo (“The Red Room”) is conducting circus workshops, teaching kids juggling, acrobatics and aerial dance. Their classes will take place Saturdays from January 18 through February 22, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. For details call 6682-0990, 6786-9212, write to fundacion@escenacirco.org or visit www.escenacirco.org.

hildren may learn improvisation techniques in La Quadra Theater.

Children may learn improvisation techniques in La Quadra Theater.

La Quadra Theater is offering workshops for children with a class covering improvisation techniques and another in singing. For specifics on schedules and costs, contact the theater at 214-3695 from 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., write to info@teatrolacuadra.com or visit www.teatrolacuadra.com.

Many other, reputable companies providing great services for children across a range of costs, skill level and age requirements, allowing for everyone to enjoy a safe and fun summer in Panama. For more suggestions, be sure to take a look at The Visitor´s “Events” section under “Activities for Kids.”

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