Timeout New York Kids

Make the most of your city

Spring break 2012 mini-camps for NYC kids

Treat your mini New Yorkers to a weekful of fun at one of these spring-break camps.

  • Photograph: Courtesy Aviator Sports

    Aviator Sports and Recreation Camp

  • Photograph: Courtesy Aviator Sports

    Aviator Sports and Recreation Camp

  • Long Island City Kids camp

  • Long Island City Kids camp

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Kensington Stables

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Kensington Stables

  • Photograph: Courtesy Ms. J's

    Ms. J's Gymnastics and Dance

  • Photograph: Courtesy Ms. J's

    Ms. J's Gymnastics and Dance

  • Photograph: Courtesy AMNH

    AMNH Science Institutes

  • Photograph: Courtesy AMNH

    AMNH Science Institutes

  • Photograph: Courtesy Asphalt Green

    Asphalt Green Camp

  • Photograph: Courtesy Asphalt Green

    Asphalt Green Camp

  • Photograph: Courtesy Brooklyn Design Lab

    Brooklyn Design Lab

  • Photograph: Courtesy Brooklyn Design Lab

    Brooklyn Design Lab

  • Photograph: Elaine Carl

    City Sculpting

  • Photograph: Elaine Carl

    City Sculpting

  • Photograph: CMA/Junenoire Mitchell

    CMA Art Colony

  • Photograph: CMA/Junenoire Mitchell

    CMA Art Colony

  • Photograph: Courtesy 92nd Street Y

    Fantastic Gymnastics Camp

  • Photograph: Courtesy 92nd Street Y

    Fantastic Gymnastics Camp

  • Photograph: Courtesy Intrepid Museum

    Intrepid Camp

  • Photograph: Courtesy Intrepid Museum

    Intrepid Camp

  • New Victory Theater Circus Kids Weeks

  • New Victory Theater Circus Kids Weeks

  • Photograph: NY City Explorers' Summer Adventure Camp

    NY City Explorers

  • Photograph: NY City Explorers' Summer Adventure Camp

    NY City Explorers

  • Photograph: Courtesy of RoboFun

    RoboFun

  • Photograph: Courtesy of RoboFun

    RoboFun

  • Photograph: Scott McDermott

    Chelsea Piers Sports Academy Camp

  • Photograph: Scott McDermott

    Chelsea Piers Sports Academy Camp

  • Photograph: Courtesy Taste Buds Cook

    Taste Buds Cook

  • Photograph: Courtesy Taste Buds Cook

    Taste Buds Cook

  • Photograph: Tada! Youth Theater

    Tada Youth Theater Camp

  • Photograph: Courtesy 92nd Street Y

    Trailblazers

  • Photograph: Toby Tenenbaum

    Super Soccer Stars

  • Photograph: Toby Tenenbaum

    Super Soccer Stars, Kick-it Camp

  • Photograph: Courtesy HiArt

    HiArt Camp

  • Photograph: Courtesy HiArt

    HiArt Camp

  • Photograph: Courtesy Take Two

    Take Two Film Academy

  • Photograph: Courtesy Take Two

    Take Two Film Academy

Photograph: Courtesy Aviator Sports

Aviator Sports and Recreation Camp

Yes, it does seem like the kids just had a weeklong break—they did—but spring break (Fri Apr 6--Sun Apr 15) is right around the corner. Get ready by perusing our list of spring vacation camps, as the break is a great opportunity for kids to focus on the subjects they like best—and have a ball doing so. Whether your child loves to sculpt with clay, clown around circus-style or play soccer, we've got just the camp you're looking for. Don't think about it too long, though, as spots fill up fast. We'll also be adding camps to this list nearly every day, so please check back for more ideas in the coming days.

Academic

American Museum of Natural History Spring Break Camps
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13 9am--4pm. Central Park West at 79th St (212-769-5200, amnh.org). Subway: B, C to 81st St--Museum of Natural History. $450.
The venerable kids' destination offers two camps.
* Astrophysics: Kids learn whether life can exist outside the Earth's atmosphere, build and test rockets, and more. Visit amnh.org/education for more info. Ages 6 to 8.
* Fossils and DNA: Campers study human evolution, learning about DNA and fossil evidence along the way. Visit amnh.org/education for more info. Ages 8 to 10.

Digital Field Camp
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13 8:30am--5:15pm. Extend hours available. NYC Seminar and Conference Center, 71 W 23rd St at Sixth Ave (718-578-2614, digitalfieldcamp.com). Subway: F, M, 1 to 23rd St. $700.
Led by instructors with a maximum 5:1 student-teacher ratio, participants work in teams to navigate their way through iconic sites like the New York Aquarium and the Metropolitan Museum of Art following clues with the use of cutting-edge technology. Among the fun 21st-century skills they'll pick up are geocaching, orienteering, digital photography, stop motion and HD video, Web design and game theory. Ages 6 to 12.

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum: School's Out, Ship's In
Mon Apr 9--Tue Apr 13 9am--5pm. Pier 86, W 46th St at Twelfth Ave (877-957-7447, intrepidmuseum.org). Subway: A, C, E to 42nd St--Port Authority. Seven days $630, five days $450, one day $90.
Kids can geek out aboard the famous aircraft carrier in this camp whose theme is "Everything Space." Over the course of the week little ones explore what it takes to be an astronomer or an astronaut. Ages 6 to 13.

New York City Explorers Spring Recess Day Camp
Fri Apr 6--Fri Apr 14 8am--3:30pm. New York City Explorers. $425, one day $100. Late pickup available for an additional fee.
In the span of a week, youngsters take walking tours of Harlem and Gracie Mansion, visit Historic Richmond Town in Staten Island, check out the latest exhibits at the Museum of the American Indian, stop at the Brooklyn Historical Society and finally, take the "ultimate playground tour." Ages 5 to 10.

New York Hall of Science: Robotics Camp and My Carbon Footprint Camp
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13 9am--3pm. New York Hall of Science. Robotics camp $350; My Carbon Footprint camp free.
Third and fourth graders will relish this hands-on crash course in robotics, in which they'll design, construct and program their own robot. Older kids (grades 9 to 12) explore ocean changes, track extreme weather, design alternative energy sources and learn how they can reduce their carbon footprint and that of their community. Ages 8 to 18.

Robofun
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13 9am--noon, 1--4pm. Extended hours available for a fee. 2672 Broadway between 101st and 102nd Sts (212-245-0444, robofun.org). Subway: 1 to 103rd St. Full day $660, half day $390.

Techie tykes can attend one or both of these workshops.
* Robotics: Kids are schooled in basic mechanics and programming before adding light, sound and touch sensors to their bots made from motors, belts and pulleys. 9am--noon. Ages 6 to 12.
* Video Game Design: Instead of playing games all day, youngsters can design their own. They'll create characters, develop player levels and decide on point systems, all while mastering SCRATCH software. 1--4pm. Ages 6 to 12.

Arts

Brooklyn Design Lab: Clay Studio
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13 9am--11am. 413A Seventh Ave between 13th and 14th Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn (917-657-7441, brooklyndesignlab.org). Subway: F to Seventh Ave. $220, includes cost of materials.
In this clay-specific camp, participants work with a variety of clays, each with different properties, like gray, red and modeling. Students use their hands and tools to manipulate and alter their material for projects that include free-standing sculptures and relief works. Ages 5 to 8.

Center for Architecture: Skyscrapers! and Digital Design with Google Sketch
Tue Apr 10--Thu Apr 12 9am--4pm. 536 La Guardia Pl between W 3rd and Bleecker Sts (212-358-6135, cfafoundation.org). Subway: A, C, E, B, D, F, M to W 4th St. $250.
Along with daily arts and crafts, which includes building one's own skyscraper, trips to the Liberty Science Center are on the agenda for students in grades 3 to 5. Older kids (in grades 6 to 9) learn how to use the Google program SketchUp to create their own architectural designs. Ages 8 to 14.

Children's Museum of the Arts: Art Colony
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13 10am--5pm. Children's Museum of the Arts, 103 Charlton St between Greenwich and Hudson Sts (212-274-0986, cmany.org). Subway: C, E to Spring St; 1 to Houston St. $595.
Kids choose from two spring break camps. Food Films teaches attendees the basics of stop-motion animation, which they'll use to create a food-centric film. In Design Firm: The Basics of Design, campers learn the essentials of art and design in the environment of a mock firm that gives them assignments to tackle each day. Ages 6 to 12.

Children's Museum of Manhattan: Create and Curate
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13 9:30am--noon. 212 W 83rd St between Amsterdam Ave and Broadway (212-721-1223, ext 225; cmom.org). Subway: B, C to 81st St--Museum of Natural History; 1 to 86th St. $475.
Each day, pint-size art lovers will learn about five American masters, then create their own mini-masterpieces inspired by the legends. The camp culminates in a portfolio presentation for friends and family. Ages 6 and up.  

City Sculpting Spring Recess Program
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13, 9am--3pm. City Sculpting, Sixth Street Community Center, 638 E 6th St between Aves B and C (646-221-8450, citysculpting.com). $425, drop-in rate $85 per day before Mar 26, thereafter $525, drop-in rate $105 per day. Extended-day options are available.
Among the cool 3-D projects on tap for City Sculpting campers are papier mch, life casting, relief tile sculpting and mosaics. Regular painting and drawing are in the mix as well. The day is divided into three art-making sessions, punctuated by lunch (kids bring their own) and a snack. A camp information session will be held on March 23 5--6pm; please e-mail attendance confirmation to vanessa@citysculpting.com. Ages 5 to 17.

Guggenheim Spring Break Camp
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13 9:30am--4pm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. $500.
Finger painting is so three years ago: Now that your child has at least a few years of elementary school under his belt, it's time he tried more exciting mediums. In addition to working with watercolors, modeling clay, charcoal and other materials, Guggenheim campers tour the permanent collection to study works by the likes of Picasso, Kandinsky and Czanne. Ages 8 to 11.

Hi Art! April Shower Me with Art Spring Break Holiday Camp
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13, 9:30am--3pm. Hi Art!. $800, one day $175. Early drop-off and late pickup available for an additional fee.
If you have a mini Mir in your household, get her over to Hi Art! for spring break. Appealing to kids of all ages and abilities, this mini-camp offers art lessons in disciplines ranging from manga and anime to painting, mixed media and sculpture. Gallery hopping and special appearances by guest artists are on tap as well. Ages 5 to 14.

KinderDesignFactory
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13 8:30am--3pm. 384 Waverly Ave between Gates and Greene Aves (kinderdesignfactory.com). $525.
Kids spend the first four days creating functional objects such as ceramics, T-shirts and bags, and, on the last day of class, have the opportunity to sell them in a pop-up shop. Ages 5 to 9. 

New Victory Theater: Circus Kids Week
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13 10am--4pm. 209 W 42nd St between Seventh and Eighth Aves (646-223-3010, newvictory.org). Subway: A, C, E to 42nd St--Port Authority; N, R, Q, 42nd St S, 1, 2, 3, 7 to 42nd St--Times Sq. $500.
Kids who talk of running away to the circus can do just that at the New Vic's spring break camp, which teaches participants theater games, clowning, juggling and more. Campers will also attend a live performance of Ahhh...HA! Ages 7 to 11.

Spoke the Hub Dancing: Spring Green Multi-Arts Day Camp
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13 9:30am--5pm. 748 Union St between Fifth and Sixth Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-408-3234, spokethehub.org). Subway: D, N, R to Union St, B, Q to Seventh Ave. Five days $455,
three days $300, $125 per day. Materials cost extra.
Movers can get their groove on at this eclectic program, which offers a plethora of offbeat physical activities, including yoga, dance and meditation, as well as more restful fun, such as arts and crafts and nutrition. This year composting and gardening are in the mix as well. Ages 6 to 12.

Tada! Youth Theater School-Break Camp
Mon Feb 20--Fri Feb 24 9:30am--2:30pm. TADA! Theater. $450.
Budding thespians are divided into two age groups (grades 1 to 3 and 4 to 8) as they create and star in an original mini-musical. Campers collaborate on a springtime plot, then add songs from past Tada! productions and Broadway tuners such as Wicked and Hairspray. At the end of the week, the kids perform the show for family and friends. Ages 6 to 13.

Take Two Film Academy
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13 9am--4pm. Mandell School, 795 Columbus Ave between 97th and 100th Sts (917-546-6816, taketwofilmacademy.com). Subway: 1, 2, 3 to 96th St. $750.
Kids team up to write, act in and shoot their own short films. By the end of the week, participants will have a DVD reel of their work, which will automatically be submitted to the New York International Children's Film Festival. Ages 9 to 16.

Cooking

Taste Buds Spring Break Camp: Around the World
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13 noon--3pm. 109 W 27th St at Sixth Ave, tenth floor (212-242-2248, tastebudscook.com). Subway: N, R, 1 to 28th St. Five days $395, one day $100.
Each day is dedicated to a different country (Italy, China, France and Mexico) and its cuisine. Kids make and eat guacamole, lasagna, spring rolls and noodle salad, to name a few. Ages 4 to 8.

Young Chefs Academy: Cupcake Palooza Mini-Camp for Spring Recess
Mon Apr 9--Tue Apr 10 9am--2:30pm. 108-10 72nd Ave between Austin St and Queens Blvd, second floor, Forest Hills, Queens (718-268-0343, youngchefsacademy.com). Two days $199.
This five-and-a-half-hour mini camp over two days is dedicated to all things cupcakes, from tame cupcake lollipops to savory inventions like Southwest taco cupcakes. Lessons on icing, piping and the like are included too, of course. Ages 6 to 18.

General interest

ACT Spring Break Camp
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13 9:30am--4pm. Extended hours available for a fee. 1047 Amsterdam Ave at 112th St (212-316-7530, actprograms.org). Subway: 1 to 110th St--Cathedral Pkwy. One day $40. Trips and materials cost extra.
Kids engage in a variety of activities, including outdoor sports, planting in the garden, designing stained-glass windows and carving limestone (particularly appropriate since the program is housed at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine's campus). Ages 5 to 13.

Junior Police Academy Spring Recess Camp
Mon Apr 9--Thu 12 9:30am--4pm. New York City Police Museum. $240.
Drop your kids off at the downtown museum for a fun day of investigation and speculation as they explore museum exhibits and participate in science and art activities. Trips to the Burling Slip playground round out the offerings. Pregistration is required. Ages 6 to 10.

Kids Corner
Fri Apr 6, Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13 9am--5pm. Central Queens YM & YWHA, 67-09 108th St, Forest Hills, Queens (718-268-5011, cqy.org). One day $55; extended-day options available.
Each day of this Forest Hills--based program offers a different agenda, from trips to the Bronx Zoo or the New York Hall of Science to "swim, gym & fun" at the Y itself. As the camp takes place during Passover, attendees are asked to bring a bread-free, kosher-for-Passover lunch with them each day. Ages 5 to 11.

New York City Explorers Fri Apr 6, Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13 8am--3:30pm. $425 per week, $100 per day. Extended hours available for $25 per day. 110 Schermerhorn St between Boerum Pl and Smith St, Downtown Brooklyn (718-797-3707, nycityexplorers.com). Subway: A to Jay St--Borough Hall.
Now that the weather's getting warmer, there's plenty to do both indoors and out. Campers spend the week exploring the Big Apple, with outings to museums, workshops and city sights. Ages 5 to 10.

Queens Zoo Spring Mini-Camp
Thu Apr 12, Fri Apr 13 10am--3pm. Queens Zoo. $150.
All kinds of changes are afoot at the zoo in springtime: animals wakening from a winter rest and birds returning home or passing through on their northward migration after wintering in warmer climes. Campers learn all about the season through animal presentations, arts and crafts and walks through the zoo during this two-day camp. Ages 6 to 10.

Sleepaway Spring Camp at Trail Blazers
Wed Apr 11--Thu Apr 12. 210 Deckertown Tpke, Montague, NJ (212-529-5113, trailblazers.org). Two days and one night $250; includes transportation from NYC, food, lodging and activities.
Not only is this the rare overnight spring-holiday camp but it is also one of the few that embraces the budding season. On the camp's forested, 1,100-acre site, kids fish on Lake Mashipakong, hike through the wintry terrain, make shelters and complete a low ropes course. Campers must come equipped with adequate clothing; consult the website's checklist for more information. Time Out Kids readers get a 50 percent discount when they mention Time Out Kids when registering. Ages 7 to 13.  

Super Kickers Spring Break Mini-Camp
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13 9am--5pm, 9am--1pm or 1--5pm. One week $300 (9am--5pm), $200 (9am--1pm) or $175 (1--5pm). 7702 37th Ave between 77th and 78th Sts, Jackson Heights, Queens (718-3501535, superkickers.com). One day $60 (9am--5pm), $40 (9am--1pm) or $35 (1--5pm).
Flexible scheduling is a hallmark of this Jackson Heights camp, which offers kids an array of diversions. Each day is divided into 45-minute sessions where kids focus on activities like soccer, yoga, dance, music, and art and crafts. Other offerings include a storytime, playtime and use of a commercial bounce house. Ages 2 to 10. 

WorldPlay
Fri Apr 6--Fri Apr 13 8am--6pm. One week $350, one day $65. 7734 Austin St, Forest Hills, Queens (718-520-5444, world-play.org).
The world culture--themed camp teaches mini New Yorkers that they are not the only inhabitants of Earth by "visiting" a new country each day: immersing kids in the customs, clothing, food and pastimes of such far-flung locales as China, Switzerland and Ethiopia. Puppet shows, arts-and-crafts projects and short language lessons all bring the culture of various countries to life. Ages 4 to 12.

Sports

Asphalt Green Spring Fling Camps
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13, Mon 8:45am--3:15pm. 555 E 90th St between East End and York Aves (212-369-8890, asphaltgreen.org). Subway: 4, 5, 6 to 86th St. Five days $500, one day $115.

One of the few camps that lasts the entire public-school break, the Upper East Side sports hub certainly keeps the kids from turning into couch potatoes. Basketball, soccer, baseball and football are rotated, while gymnastics and karate are offered every day. Campers bring their own lunch, but snacks are provided. Ages 4 to 12.

Aviator Sports & Events Center
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13. 5 Floyd Bennett Field, 3159 Flatbush Ave near the Belt Parkway, Marine Park, Brooklyn (718-758-7500, aviatorsports.com). Travel: 2 to Flatbush Ave, then bus Q35 to Flatbush Ave and Belt Parkway. Five days $385, one day $88.

Divided into half-day and full-day programs based on age, participants engage in a variety of athletic activities, including gymnastics, soccer, ice-skating, rock climbing and lacrosse, to name just a few. Ages 3 to 15.

Bija Kids Yoga
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13 9am--3pm (full day), 9am--noon (half day). 900 Fulton St between Washington and Waverly Aves, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn (718-483-4795, bijakids.com). Subway: A, C to Clinton--Washington Aves. One week $475 (full day), $240 (half day); one day $100 (full day), $55 (half day).
In addition to limbering up with yoga practice, little ones participate in eco-friendly art projects, play in the studio's loft space, partake in gardening and music sessions, and go on trips to nearby destinations, such as Greene Playground. Ages 3 to 8.

Chelsea Piers Holiday Camps
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13, hours vary. Chelsea Piers Field House, 23rd St at Hudson River Park (212-336-6520, chelseapiers.com/camps). Subway: C, E to 23rd St.
The massive recreational complex offers four different camps guaranteed to tire out even the most energetic kids.
*
Multi-Sport Camp
Not only are basketball, soccer, volleyball, baseball and handball on the agenda, but so are ice-skating, rock climbing and bowling. 8:45am--3:30pm. Pier 62. Five days $590, one day $135. Ages 5 to 12.
*
Little Athletes Half-Day Camp
Tots tumble, roll and swing, and participate in soccer, art and dance. 9am--1:20pm. Pier 62. Five days $360, one day $75 (minimum of two days required). Ages 3 to 5.
Gymnastics Camp
All the usual gymnastic activities, as well as rock climbing, are on tap. 8:45am--3:30pm. Pier 62. Five days $590, one day $135. Ages 5 to 12.
*
Junior Golf Camp
Aspiring golfers get individual instruction, play courses on full-swing simulators, and participate in putting games and golf contests. 8:30am--4pm. Pier 59. Five days $575. Ages 6 to 16.

LIC Kids Camp
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13, 9am--6pm (full day), 9am--3pm (half day). 5-02 50th Ave at 5th St, Long Island City, Queens (718-392-5437, lickids.com). Subway: 7 to Vernon Blvd--Jackson Ave. One week $550 (full day), $440 (half day).

Kids get a chance to exercise their minds and bodies with gymnastics, arts and crafts, soccer, music and storytelling. Ages 4 to 10.

Ms. J's Gymnastics and Dance
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13, 9am—3pm or 9am--1pm. Full day $87, half day $65. 289 Kent Ave at South 2nd St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-218-7065, msjsgym.com). Subway: L to Bedford Ave. Two-day minimum and $15 registration fee for nonmembers.

The morning is devoted to games (such as hide-and-seek), gymnastics, and arts and crafts. Later, kids venture out to the park (weather permitting) before wrapping up with indoor activities such as building forts. Ages 3 to 11.

New York Fencing Academy Spring Break Camp
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13 10am--3pm. Extended hours available upon request. 2896 W 12th St between Neptune and Surf Aves, Coney Island, Brooklyn (718-996-0426, nyfencingacademy.com). Subway: D, F, N, Q to Coney Island--Stillwell Ave. Five days $450, one day $100.

Keep your kids en garde over their spring break by encouraging them to check out the fine points of old-school combat and athleticism. Beginning fencers will learn to combine exercise and fun by working on footwork, bladework and bouting. If you bring lunch money, sweatpants and sneakers, NYFA will take care of the rest. Ages 6 and up. 

Spring Break Pony Club at Kensington Stables
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13, 10am--2pm. Extended hours available for $15 per hour. Call for information on parent barter discount. 51 Caton Pl between Coney Island Ave and E 8th St, Kensington, Brooklyn (718-972-4588, kensingtonstables.com). Subway: F to Fort Hamilton Parkway. Five days $400, one day $85.
Young equestrians will learn to ride and care for horses through hands-on experience. In their small groups (five kids per counselor), kids can participate in horse-themed arts and crafts and games. Ages 6 to 11.

Super Soccer Stars Kick it! Camp
Mon Apr 9--Fri Apr 13. Kick It! 1--5pm. Various locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn (212-877-7171, supersoccerstars.com). $360.
Hope Solo wanna-bes work with coaches to hone their soccer skills. Your little football star will participate in soccer-themed games, as well as daily arts-and-crafts sessions. Older kids get four hours of soccer-technique instruction each day. Ages 2 to 12.

RELATED 

Share your thoughts
  1. * mandatory fields