Two words that carry completely opposite connotations for children and adults can be heard once again - school's out! Summer break always brings with it the challenge of finding activities for your children during the daytime hours. And more importantly, trying to make these activities include getting outside of the house and exercising.

Summer camps provide much of what you need and there are quite a few different options in and near Tuscaloosa. The University of Alabama runs many different summer camps from athletic to educational and there are a few well-established camps outside of the Birmingham area.

We've put together a list of the best summer camps near Tuscaloosa so that you can get a jump start on planning.

  • University of Alabama Athletic Camps

    Take advantage of one of the best athletic programs in the country by sending your child to one of the many camps being run by The University of Alabama. The details vary from camp to camp, but they all run during June and July and include 16 different sports - football, men's and women's basketball, baseball, soccer, volleyball, softball, men's and women's track, men's and women's swimming, gymnastics, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's golf, and cheerleading.  More information can be found at RollTide.com.

  • Crimson Music Camps

    If music strikes a chord with your child, The University of Alabama offers a music camp with focus on intensive learning.

    There are two different sessions depending on your musical focus:

    June 6 - 9: Jazz/Improvisation and Marching Percussion Camp

    June 9 - 14: Concert Band/Piano Camp

    If you're interested, visit music.ua.edu and select the Crimson Camp link. You can also contact Heath Nails via email - jhnails@music.ua.edu - or (205) 348-6068.

  • Moundville Archeological Park Indian Summer Day Camps

    Explore the history of Moundville, the area that was once the home to an ancient Native American civilization. This day camp will give children a chance to explore the prehistoric Indian mounds, hike, have arts and crafts time, and more.

    The camp will run two different sessions, June 3-9 and July 29-Aug 2, for kids ages 9-13. The hours for each day of the camp are 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

    There will be a shuttle that runs from The University of Alabama to the Moundville Archeological Park. For more information, contact Catie Cooper, crcooper@crimson.ua.edu, (205) 371-2234. Also visit moundville.ua.edu.

  • Camp McDowell in Nauvoo, AL

    Camp McDowell runs multiple summer camps for young children all the way up to high school ages. Activities include hiking, fishing, canoeing, swimming, arts and crafts, and more.

    The camp is about an hour Northwest of Birmingham, but kids can stay in one of the cabins at the camp through the week.

    All the info you need to register your child can be found right on their website.

  • YMCA Camp Cosby

    The YMCA operates this summer camp about 45 minutes east of Birmingham in Alpine. It's well-established having began in 1922. Similar to Camp McDowell, Cosby provides the traditional summer camp activities - swimming, hiking, horses, indoor gym, among other things.

    Camp Cosby entertains nearly 2,000 campers every summer and many of them stay overnight in cabins spread across the 137 acre property.

    All of the information you need about cost and dates can be found on their website, where you are also able to fill out a registration form.

  • Computer Camps

    The University of Alabama hosts computer camps through the month of July for commuters or overnighters. The camp teaches multiple Computer Science topics to middle and high school students.

    Faculty and staff from Alabama spend time in areas such as game programming and robotics at the middle school camps, Java, robotics control and smartphone apps at the high school camps.

    The camps are divided by age as follows:

    Middle School: July 8 - 12

    High School: July 22 - 26, July 29 - August 2

    Further information about the camp can be found at outreach.cs.ua.edu/camps or by contacting Dr. Jeff Gray at gray@cs.ua.edu and (205) 348-2847.