Abrons Arts
Photograph: Courtesy Abrons Arts

The best day camps for kids in NYC

There's no shortage of day camps for kids in the NYC area, and now's the time to pick the perfect one!

By Paulina Jayne Isaac

Schools out! No more math homework, reading assignments, or art projects. If the thought of your kids having nothing to do for the summer gives you pause, then consider trying one of New York City’s best day camps for kids.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to summer camps in NYC

Day camp is a win-win for parents and children. Campers get to socialize, learn, and have fun with their peers and camp counselors. Meanwhile, parents can feel good knowing that their kids are making memories that will last a lifetime. 

Best day camps in New York

Photograph: Courtesy Oasis

Oasis Day Camp

Things to do Camps Lower East Side

If you ask your average New Yorker to describe an “oasis” you probably won’t hear someone mention the Lower East Side, Central Park, or Bayside. But, your average New Yorker isn’t a kid and for young campers, the multiple Oasis Day Camp locations are havens where you can play tennis, go on scavenger hunts, and swim. The camps will welcome kids for the 2021 summer season with new safety measures in place. Toddlers and teenagers both will enjoy their time at the camp. Ages 3-15.

Abrons Arts Camp
Photograph: Courtesy Abrons Arts Camp

Abrons Arts Camp

Theater Off-Off Broadway Lower East Side

Camp is still in session at Abrons–pandemic or not. But, there are some changes this year. The camp is operating at a reduced size and capacity and following the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control. This year’s camp theme is The Four Elements: Water, Earth, Fire, And Air. Since it’s an art camp, the theme will translate into the art classes for campers. They also receive daily instruction in dance, music, theater, and visual arts. Ages 5-13.

Photograph: Courtesy Asphalt Green

Asphalt Green Summer Day Camp

Things to do Camps Upper East Side

Your ball of energy can choose between a swim, sports or arts camp with expert instructors. Swimmers can tucker themselves out with endless pool time, young athletes will be in their element as they play basketball, baseball, tennis and other team sports and creatives can express themselves in many media, including the circus arts and film. Each 2021 camp program runs from June 27–August 17. Ages 4.5–13. 

Photograph: Courtesy Jennifer Weisbord

92nd Street Y's Camp Yomi

Things to do Camps

92 Y is a classic choice when it comes to sending your kid to camp in NYC. Starting June 28 and ending August 20, the campers will get transported to a beautiful 50-acre Rockland County campgrounds for a summer full of activities that will even make adults jealous. Horseback riding, martial arts, robotics, rock wall climbing, filmmaking, and cooking are among some of the activities available to the campers. Rockland County is six miles from the Bronx, so kids can be scheduled to get picked up at a city bus location. They’re also implementing the necessary safety protocols to ensure a fun and safe summer. Ages 4.5–9.

Photograph: Courtesy Marmount Manhattan

Marymount Manhattan Summer Camp

Things to do Lenox Hill

Marymount Manhattan summer camp is like the candy store of all camps. There are a bunch of options and you can’t go wrong no matter what you choose. If your kindergartener likes to put on a show, enroll them in Drama Juniors. Have a middle schooler who loves science? Advanced STEAM Camp teaches kids about 3D printing, creative coding, forensic science, surgical techniques, and more. Safety-wise, a cloth face covering (of at least two layers) or surgical face mask that covers the nose and mouth is required for everyone. Ages 4-17.

Photograph: Courtesy Advantage Camps

Advantage Camps

Things to do Camps Hell's Kitchen

Kids are already counting down the days until Advantage Camps reopen their doors to summer campers. The day camp has a west side and an east side location. The east side is located at Roosevelt Island Racquet Club, which is convenient for parents and secluded enough for kids to have an escape from the city. Children will stay busy with the numerous activities available, including swimming, yoga, fencing, kickball, and art. Still need convincing? Call Advantage Camps to schedule a family tour. Ages 5–14.


Beansprout Summer Day Camp

Things to do Camps Park Slope

Yes, the day camp for young children is just as cute as it sounds. Beansprouts Day Camp’s mission is to create meaningful summers for each child by nurturing their imaginations, curiosities, and capacities for friendship. There are four different groups: Intro Camp, Lover Camp, Inter Camp, and Upper Camp. Regardless of the age differences between the four groups, they are all encouraged to embrace their individuality. Parents can schedule an age-appropriate tour of the camp in the beautiful neighborhood of Park Slope, Brooklyn. Ages 3–10.

Photograph: Courtesy Atlantic Acting

Atlantic Acting School Camp

Things to do Camps Chelsea

We’re still in the middle of a pandemic, so it’s understandable that some parents prefer their children to stay home and continue to quarantine. The benefit of that is that those kids can still engage in a camp without having to have any type of commute. Atlantic Acting will give kids the space to play, create, and make friends. It’s also perfect for those kids that show a flair for the creative. Campers are taught how to create characters, write scripts, and learn about musical theater, sketch, improv, film, and TV. Ages 4–18.

Photograph: Courtesy 14th St Y

14th Street Y

Things to do Literary events East Village

Parents can choose between two 14th Street Y Camp options. The New Country Day Camp is located right in the middle of the 75-acre Staten Island Greenbelt. Kids in grades K-8th grade are free to choose to camp outside of Manhattan. While the New Town Day Camp is located 14th Street Y facilities in Manhattan are strictly for children ages 2-5. Both day camps pride themselves on teaching kids creative arts, science and technology, and sports and games in a fun and inclusive space. Ages 2–13.

Photograph: Christina Fotoglou

The Art Farm in the City

Things to do Play spaces Upper East Side

New York City isn’t exactly the place the comes to mind when someone mentions “farm.” Yet, Art Farm Camp still exists in Manhattan. The reason for that is because it offers kids a unique experience. Every day, the campers have the opportunity to interact with live animals in a hands-on animal science lesson or they visit an indoor petting zoo. Growing up in a city has a lot of perks, but sending your kid to Art Farm Camp is a chance to get them to see what it’s like to live in nature. Ages 3-11.


Show more

    You may also like

      Best selling Time Out Offers