May 20, 2013

Hot Summer Programs For Cool City Kids


A preview of great children’s programs for summer fun and learning

By New York Family


Henry Street Settlement

There’s perhaps no better way for children to spend a summer day than learning and growing with friends while immersing themselves in various camp activities. Whether it’s through performing arts programming or extreme outdoor sports, day camps can engage children’s minds and bodies in so many wonderful ways. Here, in Part II of our preview series, we give parents a look at some programs in and right outside of the city that do just that. (See our April issue for Part I.)

The 14th Street Y is teaming up with programming partners Amas Musical Theatre, MCC Theater, and the Red Fern Theatre Company to create a Teen Theater Summer Institute. From July 8-19, students entering grades 6-9 can learn from musical theater, acting, and theater for social justice experts. Classes will include physical theater, script analysis, and training for high school theater auditions. The program will conclude with a presentation of student work for family and friends. 14streety.org/teens

The younger set, ages 2.5-6 years old, can enjoy weekly themed arts and crafts, science, cooking, and story time at 74th St. MAGIC Summer Days Camp. With flexible schedules and half- and full-day options, MAGIC’s programs build upon the nursery school experience with outdoor play on a private rooftop playground and gymnastics in their state-of-the-art gym. Themes range from Take Me Out to the Ball Game to Surf’s Up. 74magic.com

At 92Y’s Camp Yomi (ages 5-12), campers experience a blend of artistic, athletic, and educational activities. And new this summer: fun, hands-on science and history activities, with Liberty Science Center and New-York Historical Society experts! Other offerings include: swimming, zip line, climbing wall, ceramics, digital photography, robotics, and gaga. Sports are taught by Super Soccer Stars, Baseball Center NYC, and BumbleBee Tennis. Yomi Seniors (ages 10-12) choose electives and go on an end-of-summer overnight trip. 92y.org

Camp Applause is taught by professional actors and offers performing arts classes such as singing, acting, improv, dancing (hip hop and Broadway), movie making, and costume and set design. For children entering kindergarten through 11thgrade, the camp brings in a Broadway guest each week for a meet and greet. Younger campers also enjoy weekly themes throughout the summer. applauseny.com

Summer Day Camp at Asphalt Green gives kids ages 4-13 the chance to work on progressive skill development with expert sports instructors. After 25 years on a 5.5-acre campus on the Upper East Side, Asphalt Green is expanding its signature camp to Battery Park City at its new 52,000-square-foot campus. Campers uptown and downtown will get the ultimate experience combining swimming, sports, cultural arts, and more! asphaltgreen.org, asphaltgreenbpc.org

Children can craft, paint, sculpt, design, and decorate at The Craft Studio’s June Art mini-camp. Great for ages 3 and up, the studio also offers summer afternoon programs in July and August in which kids can take part in crafting and games. On Fridays, snack and juice are served to start the weekend right. craftstudionyc.com

NY Kids Club

Discovery Programs has three age-appropriate camps for children 2-10. The smallest campers ages 2-3 enjoy art, gym, movement, and sprinkler and rooftop play along with songs, stories, and games. Ages 3-4 enjoy similar activities, with the addition of science and cooking. Campers 5-10 engage in performing arts including theater, dance, music, gymnastics, and art. The summer session culminates with a performance and reception. discoveryprograms.com

If you’re looking for a great half-day camp, East Side Tae Kwon Do is offering specialty programs like Ninja, Far East Movement, Samurai, and Forms Unleashed, for ages 5 and older. Little ones will learn safe fighting techniques and physical movement in addition to Eastern art such as calligraphy, origami, and zen gardening. eastsidetaekwondo.com

Educational Alliance Preschool has a summer session for children ages 2-5 that introduces little ones to studio arts such as photography, sculpting, and painting; creative movement such as yoga, gymnastics, and martial arts; culinary arts; sensory exploration; music; and outdoor play. edalliance.org/preschool

Where can your child engage in Lego robotics, gymnastics, chess, ceramics, soccer, fencing, cooking, recycle sculpture, and swimming? Empire Children’s Programs (Empire Camp) allows campers ages 3-15 years to choose the classes they’re interested in during registration, so they’re sure to have a summer to remember. In addition to a wide variety of offerings, the camp takes the children on citywide explorations that include visiting museums and zoos, playing in the parks, and attending performing arts events. empirecamp.com

Kids looking to brush up on their academic prowess can enroll at Fusion Academy for summer tutoring and test prep. Offering customized schedules and a one-to-one learning environment for students of all ages (from kindergarten to college), Fusion Learning Center is staffed with qualified, practicing teachers in all subject areas including chemistry, biology, algebra, calculus, English, writing, and more. Students can sign up for a specific subject or fundamental math, reading, or writing skills. Fusion also has a Get-Ahead Program in which students get a head start on textbook reading to enhance familiarity. fusionacademy.com

For up to three days a week in July and August, Gymboree Play & Music will run Bubble Camp for children ages 3-5. This summer’s theme is Global Kids, which means that little ones will explore how children in different parts of the world learn and play. From literature and pre-writing to numbers and scientific exploration, the program’s offerings will help kids master the concepts needed for successful school-age learning. As the program may be the first separation experience for some campers, Gymobree’s well-trained staff of teachers is friendly and warm in creating a caring atmosphere. gymboreeclasses.com

Summer Breeze Camp at Gymtime Rhythm & Glues emphasizes fun! Five days a week, 2.6-year-olds to 5.6-year-olds can enjoy playing actively on a state-of-the-art gym; experimenting culinary wonders in the Gymtime Kitchen; exploring music, arts, and crafts; and spending time in the library. Early childhood experts from York Avenue Preschool will even help the youngest campers through a gradual separation process. gymtime.net

A wide range of educational and enrichment activities make for an unforgettable summer at Camp Henry Day Camp. With affordable options for children ages 4.5-13, daily activities include arts and crafts, music, drama, sports, and swimming, in addition to museum visits, amusement park trips, bowling, and other adventures around NYC. Early drop-off and late pick-up are available for an additional fee. The six-week program is also offered as weekly sessions with various discounts for families. henrystreet.org

Asphalt Green

With three Manhattanlocations at Columbia University, New York Institute of Technology, and New YorkUniversity, iD Tech Camps offer day programs for beginner through advanced learners ages 7-17. Courses include computer programming, apps, video game design, and web design to foster STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning. Sports, creative games, and life skills round out the camp’s offerings for children. internaldrive.com

The half-day summer camp program at Jodi’s Gym offers flexible scheduling for ages 3-5. Children spend the morning learning the fundamentals of gymnastics while also enjoying music, art, story time, games, and lunch. From air castle bouncy time to parachute play to freeze dance, kids will develop motor skills and confidence throughout the summer. A Tiny Dancers Camp is also available. jodisgym.com

Offering both morning workshops and drop-in afternoons, as well as a new full-day program that combines art with musical theater, Kids At Art has summer programs for children throughout the season. Fun, hands-on projects including mask making, puppet making, drawing, painting, and sculpture. kidsatartnyc.com

Kids At Work has a gentle separation program for ages 2.3-3.5 years that will take place Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings from June through the end of August. Little ones are never required to sit during art sessions, which also include hands-on science and sensory projects. Once a week, campers will take part in soccer and dance activities with partners Super Soccer Stars and Creation Station Dance. Plus, weekly trips to the playground and other outdoor adventures round out the interactive fun. kidsatworknyc.com

For 80 years, Mohawk Day Camp has helped make unforgettable summers for children ages 3-13. On its 40 acres of sports fields, farm, heated pools, craft and hobby areas, tennis courts, and more, campers can enjoy an environment of inclusiveness and exploration. Beyond the traditional sports, Mohawk offers circus skills, cheerleading, rocketry, doll making, songwriting, and guitar lessons. campmohawk.com

Mount Tom Day Camp is all about sports and the arts for ages 3-14. Activities include basketball, softball, baseball, soccer, volleyball, kickball, gaga, archery, horseback riding, and more. During choice time, kids can also take part in rugby, cricket, squash, and lacrosse. As far as the arts goes, there’s music, drama, dance, crafts, t-shirt art, juggling, and cooking, and during choice time, kids can engage in magic, cartooning, ballroom dance, yoga, jewelry making, and zumba. mounttomdaycamp.com 

Does your child want to learn chess? This summer, NYChesskids is hosting weeklong camps at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan for ages 3-6. This beginner program is also suitable for kids who know a little about the game and will foster creative thinking, concentration, logic, and analytical skills. nychesskids.com

74th St. MAGIC

Summer Adventure Camp at NY Kids Club is an exciting journey across America from Niagara Falls to the Everglades to the Golden Arches of Missouri and beyond! Children 2.5-6 years old will participate in thematic activities including art, gymnastics, dance, science, sports, cooking, martial arts, and yoga. Parents can choose to enroll children in either two, three, or five days per week. nykidsclub.com

For a tailor-made summer camp experience, check out Private Picassos and their in-home programming. During the summer months, Private Picassos brings all the artful fun directly to the camper at home, a museum, or a local park, for children as young as 18 months. Built around the child’s age, interests, and schedule, this individualized camp offers families the convenience of 45-60 minutes of camp on their own schedule. privatepicassos.com

Super Soccer Stars is offering a wealth of programs this summer, including outdoor flexible drop-in classes and four-week mini sessions for ages 2-8, indoor mini camps for ages 2.5-5, full-day camps for ages 6-12, a parent-child pre-soccer program for 12-24 months, and an advanced camp for premier-approved players ages 6-14. Plus, check out their soccer in the Hamptons this summer! supersoccerstars.com

For a lip-smacking and culinary-focused summer, check out one of the 13 week-long camps at Taste Buds Kitchen. Little ones are divided into age groups 4-8 years, 9-13 years, and 10-15 years and make up to four recipes each day. The budding chefs receive aprons, custom recipe books, and diplomas upon graduation from the program. On Monday and Wednesday afternoons, Taste Buds also hosts classes for children ages 2-3 in which they can make cupcakes (Mondays) and savory dishes (Wednesdays). tastebudskitchen.com

Offering half- and full-day creative writing summer camps for students ages 6-18, Writopia Lab workshops are led by published, award-winning authors and playwrights who guide peer-driven conversation during class. Campers choose from either Fiction and Fun—where the focus is on short stories—or Playwriting and Performance, which involves theatre workshops and culminates in a performance. Activities include graphic novel writing, songwriting, trips to publishing houses, poetry in the park, acting workshops, and original writing games such as Character Kickball and Steal the Story. writopialab.org

Serving kids 2-16 years old, YMCA Summer Day Camp operates out of 20 branch locations throughout New York City. With offerings ranging from Kindercamp for littlest ones to dedicated sports (basketball, soccer, tennis, gymnastics) and arts camps, children can enjoy active and creative activities all summer long. Counselors may also bring campers to offsite facilities such as local parks and schools. ymcanyc.org

For more information on summer camp programs, visit therightcamp.com

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