Sounds like people are very happy with their lab programs, but I do have to say that extracting DNA from a strawberry is a very easy lab that can be done with inexpensive stuff from the drug store. I did it with my kids more than once, and I'm usually super-lazy about getting labs together.
Okay, gram staining not so much... but I was able to find local universities that offered this kind of stuff to kids.
Local universities offered this to 2nd and 3rd graders? To my knowledge, we have no such thing here in San Diego.
And, it's not so much that extracting DNA is difficult, it's that people don't normally allow 2nd graders to do that kind of stuff. The science center here is still teaching 2nd graders about seasons and gravity. Here, CTY is the only program that allows young kids to actually do stuff in the lab. At the earliest, you might find this kind of thing for middle schoolers around here. Maybe.
For example, we have a program here, offered through UCSD, that is a coding camp (Minecraft Modding in Java). Sacha really wanted to do it when he was in 1st or 2nd grade -- I can't recall which. They wouldn't let him in until he was in 4th (I asked). So, we did the same class online through Youth Digital instead.
So, yeah. I could have done these labs with him myself. But, he is an extrovert, and loves being with other kids in the classroom. So, we are both really thankful that we have CTY Camp here in SD to provide these types of experiences for him.