No matter a student's age, he or she loves hearing the final bell ring before summer break. While your little ones spend their days doing fun outdoor activities, these summer camps for teens will win over your older children. From sports to performing arts, our roundup of camps for teens have a little something for everyone.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to summer camps in NYC
There's plenty to do even though school isn't in session. Grab the whole family and enjoy these summer activities for kids, explore a few kids' attractions or try your hand at one of these outdoor games for kids.
Best summer camps for teens
This behemoth sports facility is a go-to spot for active kids throughout the year, and summertime is no exception! Chelsea Piers has a variety of specialty sports camps to offer, including great picks like Ice Hockey and Ice Skating camp, Elite Soccer camp, Gymnastics, Basketball, Performance Golf and Urban Adventure for Teens (think rock-climbing, sailing and kayaking). Ages 3–16.
Kids are sure to find a program they'll love with Camp Intrepid! Offerings including Spy Science (which focuses in on the concept of cracking codes like Sherlock Holmes, James Bond and Nancy Drew) and What’s Out There? (which focuses on the solar system) are hits among the attendees. Cool! Ages 5–11.
For six decades, children have escaped sweaty summers in cramped NYC apartments for 25 acres of mountains, lakefront and air-conditioned cabins. While certain activities are a given—lunch (of course) and swim periods (excellent instructors are on hand for beginners and for experienced kids looking to perfect their strokes)—a wide range of other activities spanning arts, sports, recreational fun and outdoor adventure leave lasting impressions. Ages 3–15.
Though this camp is just a 90-minute drive from NYC (well...on a magical day with no traffic) the majestic Catskill Mountains couldn’t feel further away from the bustle of Manhattan. Two hundred scenic acres are filled to the brim with activities your child won’t be able to fit in that letter they send home. Kids can choose their own adventure: There are seemingly endless trails to explore by horseback, high-speed zip-lines, craft classes in jewelry design and candle making, wakeboarding on Lake Masten, heated pools perfect for swimming even on chilly nights and so much more. Campers come together each night for dances, talent shows, theater productions and other special events. Ages 6–16.
With two huge locations—the original five-and-a-half acre Upper East Side campus and the 52,000-plus-square-foot Battery Park City location—active children can look forward to a summer filled with every sport under the sun at Asphalt Green. Plus, there are event ways to show off their creative sides with circus arts, theater, music, yoga, creative writing and arts and crafts. Kids who think of themselves as more shark than human will be in an aquatic paradise, as each day includes swim sessions, one with instruction and another for free-swimming. Kids also show off their camp spirit during special events like talent shows, crazy hat day and color war, while older campers can sign up for field trips such as seeing the Mets play at Citi Field. Ages 4.5–13.
Step right up! Now's the time for kids to be part of their own amazing three-ring circus. Young acrobats will swing on the trapeze, flip the day away on the trampoline and balance on a tightrope. They will learn the techniques of real-life action hero (and Macarthur Grant Winner), Elizabeth Streb, whose motion lexicon POPACTION combines stage and street performance art. Ages 6–13.
The 200-acre camp is perfect for exploring the great outdoors. Kids get their hands dirty roaming and working in the farmland, gardens, fields and ponds—plus they master valuable farm skills such as harvesting crops and taking care of cute little chickens. Art projects, noncompetitive sports, hiking, music and a hilarious storyteller further round out the experience. Farm and Garden Days offer your children even more opportunities to help with the harvest and animal work. Ages 4–16.
Whether your kids' creativity is focused in one area of the arts or if their passion for performing, creating and imagining cannot be contained, Usdan allows campers to curate a program that is right for them. From a variety of classes in music, dance, theater, creative writing and visual arts, children choose a major and minor to fill their days at the beautiful Wheatley Heights campus. Classes appeal to both traditionalists and contemporary performers, with options that include ballet or hip-hop for dancers or musical theater and game-heavy actor’s craft for thespians. For kids who want to work with their hands, classes in metalworking, archery, organic gardening and LEGO design keep their bodies and minds occupied. Ages 7–18.
At this camp, children can learn the design skills needed to create anything—from a soaring tower to a magical shop befitting the Potterverse. Middle and high school campers can take a stab at using digital 3-D renderings and other tools used by professionals to envision small projects. Teenagers who are serious about their ambition can also work on preparing a portfolio. Ages 8–18.