By Meghan Gearino, Kat Harrison and Elizabeth Raymond
We doubt that anyone thinks of New York City as a summer camp mecca—but by most standards, it really is. Consider all the children’s activity centers and enrichment programs that the city is blessed with. Some go on hiatus and some slow down in the summertime, offering the same programming but less of it. But many others take what they do best and build wonderful day camps around their core offerings.
If you tally all of the day camps in the city along with all of the day camps within an hour’s drive, you have an extraordinary menu of summer experiences. From traditional day camps that offer a mix of sports, crafts and field trips, to camps that devote more of their day to culture, science, music and other specialties—chances are, you can find a camp that’s a good fit for your child depending on their age and interests.
If you have a child who is four years old or younger, who may not be ready for a full day of camp much less a full summer, day camps typically offer scheduling options, including camp sessions that are just a few hours a day and one or two weeks long. If you have an older child, they might be ready (and you might be, too) to put them on a bus in the morning to a camp outside of city, so they can have camp fun in a more rural setting—and perhaps take the first step in the direction of a sleepaway camp experience.
Whatever you decide is right for your child, there is one standard where you should not compromise: Camp should be fun, and your child should feel like he or she is making friends. If that’s not happening, it ain’t the right camp—keep looking!
GENERAL INTEREST DAY CAMPS OUTSIDE THE CITY
Quintessentially summer, Woodmont Day Camp offers performing arts, athletics, and arts and crafts for each of its age-appropriate “villages”. Looking for a nurturing Jewish environment? The Neil Klatskin Day Campwill take your kiddo boating, hiking and even host a few carnivals. If your child is ready to unleash their creative side, don’t miss Gate Hill Day Camp for jewelry-making, tie-dye and ceramics. North Shore Day Camp also provides woodworking and leather arts. For something off-the-wall, Buckley Country Day Camp offers special events such as a camp-wide talent show, Olympics Week and pony rides.
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