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. If you (or your child) aren't quite ready to head out of the city, there are three camps in NYC proper that approximate the country day camp experience.
Oasis Camp – City Wide
Visit the website for a location near you
Kids spend almost the whole day outside, learning to swim in neighborhood pools and playing sports in city parks. Kids also participate in a full spectrum of camp activities like environmental studies, orienteering, rock climbing, arts and crafts and more. Expect your kids to come home dirty, tired and sun-kissed. Each location has a nearby indoor spot where children are dropped off and picked up, which can also be used in case of inclement weather.
Downtown Day Camp – Battery Park City
Entering kindergartners-eighth graders
Downtown Day Camp is the largest day camp in downtown Manhattan. Run out of PS 234 and PS/IS 89's lovely facilities as well as the Downtown Community Center, Downtown Day Camp offers swimming in the Community Center pool, sports at the Battery Park City fields, karate and other indoor gym activities, plus musical performances, arts and crafts and more. While kids get out and enjoy a lot of active time, they also have a good amount of indoor time to give them a break from the heat and sun. Camp sessions are 4 or 8 weeks, with an additional add-on week option. Buses are available in select Lower Manhattan neighborhoods. They do offer some bus transportation for kids who live south of 23rd Street.
Poly Prep Summer Experience Day Camp – Dyker Heights
Entering Pre-K through 10th graders
Poly Prep's day camp experience is more convenient for Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan children than bussing outside of the city. The Poly Prep summer program is situated on its 25 acre campus in Brooklyn. At Poly Prep, kids swim twice a day. Other sports offered include volleyball, softball, basketball, karate and tennis. Though sports are a big focus, there are many other specialty programs like music, yoga, dance and more to broaden campers' interests. Bus service is provided from Lower Manhattan and most of Brooklyn.
For more New York City Camps, check out our Summer Camp Guide!
This post originally published in January 2012.