Country Day Camps Right in the City
[UPDATED: February 24, 2013] Sunshine, fresh air, plenty of running around and sports. Those are some of the great reasons to send your child out of the city to one of the many wonderful country day camps that surround the city. However, if you don't want to send your child out of the city, there are some camps in the city that approximate the country day camp experience right here in New York City.
Oasis Camp in Central Park
Oasis offers two programs, one uptown and one downtown. The uptown camp uses Central Park as its country setting. Kids spend almost the whole day outside, learning to swim in Lasker Pool and playing sports in Central Park's fields and courts. Kids also participate in a the full spectrum of camp activities like environmental studies, orienteering, rock climbing, arts and crafts and more. Expect your kids to come home dirty and tired and sun-kissed as you would expect from a day outdoors. Kids will walk all over the park from one activity to another. Some younger children may find it a bit too exhausting, but I have heard many rave reviews about Oasis Camp in Central Park.
Oasis offers sessions from 2 weeks to 8 weeks. Camp hours are from 9am to 5pm. For families that do not live near one of the many drop off points, some bus service is available for children who live in Manhattan. For kids aged 4-11.
Downtown Day Camp
Downtown Day Camp is the largest day camps in downtown Manhattan. Run out of PS 234's lovely facilities and the brand new downtown community center, Downtown Day camp offers swimming in the new community center pool, field sports in Battery Park City fields, karate and other indoor gym activities, plus musical performances, arts and crafts and more.
Downtown Day Camp really has the feel of a traditional country day camp with everything from Crazy Hat Wednesdays to Carnival. And while kids get out and do plenty of sports, they also have a good amount of indoor time to give them a break from the heat and sun.
The Downtown Day Camp day runs from 9am to 5pm, but they also offer extended hours for working parents (one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening). Camp sessions are 4 or 8 weeks. They do offer some bus transportation for kids that live south of 23rd St. Children entering kindergarten-8th grade may attend.
Poly Prep Summer Experience Day Camp
Poly Prep is another big day camp experience that is more convenient for Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan children than busing to outside of the city. The Poly Prep summer program is situated on their 25 acre campus in Brooklyn. One nice thing about Poly Prep is that the kids swim twice a day. Some other sports activities include volleyball, softball, basketball, karate, and tennis. Sports is a big focus, but there are other activities too.
For more New York City Camps, check out our Summer Camp Guide!