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Act fast parents, summer camps filling up fast in St. Louis

Programs are back to pre-pandemic capacity and some popular ones are already sold out.

ST. LOUIS — Gone are the days of pandemic restrictions on summer camps, but the demand to get into certain programs still remains high.

"Camps are, in fact, sold out," said Michael Macek, the director of the Saint Louis Zoo. "A lot of organizations have opened up their camps again. We did virtual camp last year, like many places did. This year I think everybody who has camp is going whole hog."

The St. Louis Zoo is a very popular summer camp spot. Pre-pandemic, Circus Harmony was also a hot spot, selling out their camps in March. In 2020, the summer roster at Circus Harmony was full and had to be canceled. Getting classes and camps back up and running was a slow grind.

RELATED: Website helps parents find affordable summer camp options in St. Louis

"We had like three-person classes at first," Circus Harmony Artistic and Executive Director Jessica Hentoff said. "then six and then nine and now 12."

Circus Harmony released its summer camp dates in early spring and Hentoff said enrollment was slow. 

"It was like at first not so much and then boom they were filling."

On May 1, three of the five sessions at Circus Harmony are fully booked. Hentoff is hoping to add more spots.

"We are actually looking at can we make them a tiny bit bigger?" Hentoff said.

There aren't many places or programs like Circus Harmony Hentoff said. 

"I think this is the coolest camp you could possibly go to in the City of St. Louis," she said. "To actually run away and join the circus but still be home in time for dinner."

Summer camps at Circus Harmony could lead to the big top. A few members of the St. Louis Arches got their start in summer sessions. The current troupe will show off their stuff under the big top when Circus Flora opens on June 9.