Holiday Break Camps for NYC Kids in December

Winter recess activities and more in New York City

The holidays are right around the corner and your to-do list is probably overflowing.

It doesn't help that schools across the five boroughs let out for winter break recess from December 24-January 1. If you need to be back to work, or just need a day to catch up, there are plenty of holiday break camps in NYC that offer enriching drop-off programs running until New Year's Day.

Whether they're into art, theater, animals, academic enrichment or sports, there are plenty of options for children of all ages. We've rounded up some of our favorite full-day camps to cover your winter recess child care needs.

General Interest
Backpacks + Binoculars — Downtown Brooklyn
110 Schermerhorn Street
855-687-6923  ext.710
Monday, December 21-Tuesday, December 22 and Monday, December 28-Thursday, December 31; 8am-6pm
$125 per day or $495 per week
Ages 4-10
The brainchild of NY City Explorers, this camp offers kids a chance to traverse the city on field trips. Campers are back at their home base by 4pm and can romp in the play area until 6pm for no additional fee. Holiday-break destinations include Rockefeller Center's dazzling tree, the Bronx Zoo, the American Museum of Natural History, Alley Pond Adventure Center in Queens and more.

Manhattan Youth: School Holiday Camp  Tribeca
PS 89, 201 Warren Street
212-766-1104 ext 265
Monday, December 28-Thursday, December 31; 8:30am-5:30pm $100 per day, price drops to $85 per day if child attends all four days
Ages 5-11
Open to all kids, not just PS 89 students, this camp offers sports, crafts, theater, swimming and more fun.

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NY Kids Club Multiple locations throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens
347-706-4700
Monday, December 21-Thursday, December 24 and Monday, December 28-Thursday, December 31; 9am-4pm
$150 per day
Ages 3½-6½
Days at this enrichment center are packed with gymnastics, crafts, sports, games and cooking.

Performing and Visual Arts
Brooklyn Acting Lab — Park Slope
1012 Eighth Avenue, Brooklyn
718-238-8383
Monday, December 28-Wednesday, December 30; 9am-5pm
$120 per day
Ages 5-10
Each session in this drama camp carries a theme for kids to explore as they build characters and act out stories under the direction of the organization's teaching artists. Winter break's theme is Frozen Fantasia.

Created by Kids — Boerum Hill
592 Pacific Street
718-857-5437
Monday, December 28-Thursday, December 31; 9am-4pm
$125 per day, discounts for multiday packages
Ages 5-15
This children's art studio offers a variety of projects, including designing puppets, use of the potter's wheel and more. The day ends at 4pm, but extended care is offered for an extra fee.

TADA! Musical Theater Camp — Chelsea
15 West 28th Street
212-252-1619
Monday, December 28-Thursday, December 31; 9:30am-4pm
$485
Ages 6-11
Campers at this well-known children's theater company learn, rehearse and perform a mini-musical over the course of the four-day camp. On tap for December's winter break? Frosty the Showman, naturally.

The Fashion Class — Midtown West
21 West 39th Street
888-752-0711
Tuesday, December 22-Wednesday, December 23 and Monday, December 28-Wednesday, December 30; 9am-5pm
$150 per day, $650 for all five days
Ages 6-12
Kids get a crash course in sewing and designing and even walk the runway at this fashionista camp. Projects change daily, making it great for returning campers.

RELATED: One-Day School Holiday Camps in NYC


Art Colony has a camp session to inspire every creative-minded kid. Photo courtesy of the Children's Museum of the Arts.

Winter Art Colony at Children's Museum of the Arts — Hudson Square
103 Charlton Street
212-274-0986
Monday, December 21-Wednesday, December 23 and Monday, December 28-Wednesday, December 30; 9am-5pm
$125 per day
Ages 6-15
One of our favorite places to play offers a variety of mini-camps for kids ages 6-15. Each day covers a different theme or skill, and students can choose from "The Art of the Board Game," "The Art of the Pinhole Camera," "Picasso's Animals" and more. The Media Lab offers six different classes, including "Holiday Gifs" and "The Art of Minecraft." Classes are in session from 10am to 4pm and there is supervised play for an hour on the each end. Two separate teen classes fill each three-day week and include "DIY Instrument Design" and "Crazy Cardboard Constructions."

Nature
Cold Weather Critters — Prospect Park
450 Flatbush Avenue
718-220-5089
Monday, December 28-Thursday, December 31; 8:30am-3pm
$100 per day, $350 for four-day package
Ages 6-11
Young animal lovers explore the Prospect Park Zoo via hands-on activities, animal encounters, art projects and science experiments.

New York Aquarium Winter Camp — Coney Island
602 Surf Avenue
718-265-FISH
Monday, December 28-Wednesday, December 30; 9am-3pm
Ages 6-10
$75 per day, $210 for three days
Here youngsters head out on chilly beach walks, get up close with the aquarium's animals, participate in craft activities and prepare treats for the animals. Snacks are provided, though campers should bring their own lunches.

Winter Wildlife Adventures — Flushing, Queens
53-51 111th Street
718-220-5089
Monday, December 28-Thursday, December 31; 9am-3pm
$300
Ages 5-8
Kids get up close and personal with critters who call the Queens Zoo home. They learn about animal habitats, get behind-the-scenes tours of exhibits and enjoy arts and crafts projects.

Winter Zoo Camp — the Bronx
2300 Southern Boulevard
800-433-4149
Tuesday, December 29 and Wednesday, December 30; 10am-3pm
$175 per day
Ages 5-11
Bronx Zoo campers are divided into two age groups to learn about cold-climate critters. Kids get up close with some of the animals and learn how they thrive during a New York winter.

Winter Zoo Camp — Upper East Side
64th Street and Fifth Avenue
718-220-5089
Monday, December 28-Wednesday, December 30; 9am-3pm
$350
Ages 4-9
Head to the Central Park Zoo for another WCS-sponsored animal camp, where kids meet the animals, take in theater performances and prepare winter treats for their furry friends. Snacks are provided, though campers should bring their own lunches.

RELATED: 7 Picture-Perfect Holiday Day Trips From NYC

Academic Enrichment
82nd Street Academics — Jackson Heights, Queens
81-10 35th Avenue
718-457-0429
Monday, December 28-Wednesday, December 30; 8am-6:30pm
$45 per day
Ages 5-11
This school opens its doors to all during public school breaks for just $45 a day, meals included. Kids enjoy group projects, drama workshops and outdoor play.

Brooklyn Robot Foundry — Tribeca and Gowanus
72 Warren Street, Manhattan
303 Third Avenue, Brooklyn
347-762-6840
Monday, December 28-Wednesday, December 30; 9am-3pm
$125-180 per day
Ages 5-10
Kids create a new, winter-themed techy project each day. On tap for the "Winter Wonderland" camp are snow globes, snow mobiles, snowflakes, sleighs and a confetti-throwing robot.

Chess NYC — Multiple locations
Visit the website for all locations.
866-321-2437
Thursday, December 24; Monday, December 28-Thursday, December 31; 9am-5pm
$100 per day, $395 for five-day session
Ages 4 and older
This popular program runs camps at four NYC locations throughout the school year, where kids participate in at least three hours of daily chess instruction. True fanatics can play more, but the program offers alternate activities to give kids a break.

ConstructionKids — Brooklyn Navy Yard
Building 92, Brooklyn Navy Yard, 63 Flushing Avenue
718-522-2902
Monday, December 21-Wednesday, December 23 and Monday, December 28-Wednesday, December 30; 9am-4pm
$150 per day
Ages 4-8
This popular after-school program offers full-day camps on most public school holidays. The day ends at 4pm, but extended care is offered for an extra fee.

NYChess Kids Camp — Chelsea
191 Seventh Avenue
Monday, December 21-Thursday, December 24 and Monday, December 28-Thursday, December 31; 9am-4pm
$85 per day
Ages 4 and older
There's more than chess at this camp, where kids also enjoy art, STEM activities and playtime breaks. The day ends at 4pm, but extended care is offered for an extra fee.

RoboFun — Upper West Side
2672 Broadway
212-245-0444
Monday, December 21-Wednesday, December 23 and Monday, December 28-Wednesday, December 30; 9am-4pm
$175 per day
Ages 6-12
Kids keep their brains alert while constructing robotics projects with LEGOs in the morning. Afternoons are filled with Scratch programming. Lunch and snacks are eaten at a local playground, weather permitting.

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Sports


Asphalt Green offers a full-day of multi-sport fun at each of its locations. Photo courtesy of Asphalt Green.

Asphalt Green  Upper East Side and Battery Park City
555 East 90th Street, 212-369-8890
212 North End Avenue, 212-298-2900
Monday, December 21-Wednesday, December 23 and Monday, December 28-Wednesday, December 30; 8:45am-3:15pm
$135 per day
Ages 4-12
The uptown and downtown athletic centers group campers by age (4-5, 6-7 and 8-12) for a variety of sports, including soccer, baseball and basketball plus swimming in their Olympic-size pools. The camp day ends at 3:15pm, but extended care is offered for an extra fee.

Aviator Sports & Events Center Holiday Break Camp — Marine Park
Floyd Bennett Field, 3159 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn
718-758-7500
Monday, December 28-Thursday, December 31; 9am-4pm
$88 per day, with discounts for multiple days.
Ages 5-13
Kids can have all kinds of fun at this massive Brooklyn facility, where ice skating, sky-jumping, sports, games and movies are among the offerings. Sign your children up for one to four days. Lunch and snacks are provided. There is an extended-day option for an added fee.

Chelsea Piers Junior Golf Camp — Chelsea
23rd Street and the Hudson River
212-336-6400
Monday, December 21-Thursday, December 24; 8:30am-4pm.
$135 per day with a three-day minimum
Ages 6-16
Serious golfers receive instruction in full swing, short game and golf etiquette. Students work in swing simulators and play putting games and have access to other sports in this massive complex.

Chelsea Piers Multi-Sport Camp & Gymnastics Camps — Chelsea
23rd Street and the Hudson River
212-336-6520
Monday, December 21-Thursday, December 24 and Monday, December 28-Thursday, December 31; 8:45am-3:30pm
$135 per day per day with a three-day minimum
Ages 5-12 years
Kids play soccer, baseball, handball and basketball, as well as bowling, skating and rock climbing. In the gymnastics camps, children hone their skills on the facility's state-of-the-art equipment.

The Baseball Center NYC — Upper West Side
202 West 74th Street
212-362-0344
Monday, December 21-Thursday, December 24 and Monday, December 28-Thursday, December 31; 9am-3pm
$135 per day, $599 per week
Ages 6-12
Little sluggers can hit this popular baseball spot for camp whenever public schools are closed. Campers hone their skills performing drills and swinging in the batting cages. Half-day options are available and full-day pickup is at 3pm.

For more camp options, visit our Camp Guide. If holiday fun is on your to-do list, check out our Holiday Activity Guide.

Top photo courtesy of The Fashion Class.

This post originally published in December 2011.