School holidays seem to pile up this time of the year. You've just gotten back into your routine following February break and it's already time to plan for spring break, which runs from Friday, March 30 through Friday, April 6 for public school kids in 2018.
Whether your kid wants to spend his or her break in the arts or honing sports skills, is obsessed with all things STEM, or all of the the above, New York City seemingly has a camp for every interest. In fact, we've rounded up more than two dozen NYC camps across the five boroughs that are open for spring break and many other school holidays.
Check out our Summer Camp Guide if you're planning for summer's much longer school break!
Here's a sampling of the school holiday camps available around NYC. It's always worth checking with your local play space or other neighborhood kid spot to see what's on offer. Be sure to click through to the camps' official sites for more details, including hours and pricing.
Academic Enrichment Camps
Adventures in Science at AMNH – Upper West Side
Children are introduced to a range of science topics at these American Museum of Natural History camps. Kids are divided into grade-level groups to explore the week as scientists. Selections change with every break, and programs are offered on select weekends, so there's always something new to explore.
Backpacks + Binoculars – Multiple locations, Brooklyn
The brainchild of NY City Explorers, this program takes kids on excursions across all five boroughs. Art and science experiments, scavenger hunts, and nature explorations challenge kids to problem solve and think critically about the world around them.
Brooklyn Robot Foundry — Manhattan and Brooklyn
Spring springs eternal at this camp, where robot creations abound with the springy parts, such as a homemade bobblehead and an accordion. Check your nearest location for details about summer sessions for 2018.
Camp Intrepid – Midtown West
Head to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum to spend a week immersed in themes relating to the museum's collection of aircraft, spacecraft, and watercraft. This year's theme for spring break camp is "A Pilot's Life," and kids will explore the science of flight, navigation, aerodynamics, and design.
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Popular Brooklyn after-school spot ConstructionKids offers a different building project each day. Photo by Paul Takeuchi.
ConstructionKids — Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn
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. Each day of spring break focuses on a theme, from wind chimes to birdhouses to planter boxes.
NYChessKids Camp – Chelsea
Ages 4 and older
Chess players of all levels, even beginners, are welcome at this program, which includes art, Legos, robotics, and coding, in addition to the namesake game. You don't need to be a master of chess to enjoy it: My son has attended NYChess Kids camps several times; he's had a blast and improved his game to boot.
Pixel Academy — Multiple locations
At this spot's spring break camps, kids can choose week-long sessions focused on mobile app coding or modding. If you only need a day of coverage here or there, consider signing up for single-day maker space camps where kids use 3-D printers, laser cutters, and more. Camp runs from 9am–3pm, but after-care is available. Lunch and snacks are also included.
RoboFun – Upper West Side
Students in kindergarten through sixth grades build working Lego robots in the morning and work on video-game design in the afternoon. RoboFun also offers half-day camp options, but you'll need to choose between robotics or coding.
Taste Buds Kitchen – Chelsea
Little foodies can get their game on at this spot's cooking camp. Taste Buds offers half-day programs divided by ages 4–8 in the morning and ages 9–13 in the afternoons. There's also an Urban Foodies Camp from 10am–1pm for ages 11–16, and an Advanced Camp for ages 13–17 in the afternoons. No matter their age, kids will go on a culinary adventure learning how to make delicacies like cardamom pastries from India, soda bread from Down Under, and Japanese-inspired sushi rolls.
Spring Wildlife Science Camp at the Queens Zoo – Corona, Queens
Young animal lovers spend four days exploring nature at the Queens Zoo. Campers go birding on the marsh, look for native wildlife, and learn about the importance of wildlife around the world and in their own city.
Zoofari at the Staten Island Zoo – West Brighton, Staten Island
Students in pre-K through first grade spend a week behind the scenes at the Staten Island Zoo. Kids experience up-close animal encounters, go on special tours, and take a spin on the carousel.
Asphalt Green – Upper East Side & Battery Park City
This popular pair of athletic complexes groups kids by age (4–5, 6–7, and 8–12) and lets them play all kinds of sports, including soccer, baseball, basketball, and gymnastics. Campers also spend time swimming.
Aviator Sports & Events Center Holiday Break Camps – Marine Park, Brooklyn
Kids can have all kinds of athletic fun at this massive Brooklyn facility. Ice skating, rock climbing, soccer, basketball, gymnastics, arts and crafts, and film screenings are just some of what's on tap. Lunch and a light snack are provided.
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Try out gymnastics at Chelsea Piers’ camp where kids work to master age-appropriate skills.
Chelsea Piers Holiday Sports Camps – Chelsea
The massive athletic complex offers a variety of specialized sports camps throughout the year, though April break is limited to its popular gymnastics camp, where children hone their skills on the facility's state-of-the-art equipment. There's also a half-day program for the preschool set and early- and late-care options for older kids.
Kids of Summer Sports – Upper West Side
Campers test out their baseball, dodgeball, soccer, and basketball skills at this outdoor sports camp. In the event of bad weather, the camp moves to nearby West End Presbyterian Church.
The Baseball Center NYC — Upper West Side
Little sluggers can hit this popular baseball venue 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.
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At Brooklyn Arts Exchange, it's truly a variety show with kids trying activities like dance, circus skills, and tumbling.
Performing and Visual Arts Camps
Brooklyn Arts Exchange School Breaks Art Programs – Park Slope, Brooklyn
Each day, campers explore a different theme—from robots to legendary leaders and earth/wind/fire—through visual and performing arts workshops led by BAX educators. Register for a single day or the whole week. Older campers, ages 10–14, can take master classes from BAX educators in disciplines like dance, theater, and AcroBax.
The Children's Museum of the Arts camp goes beyond at-home crafting by letting kids create and present interactive art projects.
Spring Art Colony – Hudson Square
The Children's Museum of the Arts offers four spring break programs at its state-of-the-art space. The two camps offered in March focus on Photography and Illustrating Stories. The April camps' themes are Paint Your World and Claymation.
TADA! Musical Theater Camps – Chelsea
Aspiring Broadway hoofers work with theater pros to create a mini-musical in just four days. The production is staged to an audience of families on the final day.
The Fashion Class campers experience fashion life from creating the illustration to walking the runway.
The Fashion Class — Midtown West
Kids get a crash course in designing, sewing, and even walking the runway at this fashionista camp. Field trips and face time with professional models are on tap. Full-week campers will come away with three newly sewn garments. Projects change daily, making it great for returning campers.
ACT Holiday Camp – Morningside Heights
Kids enjoy arts and crafts, cooking, circus arts, sports, and playing in the iconic cathedral (or on the grounds, weather permitting). On Wednesday there's a field trip to the Uptown Sports Complex for gymnastics, batting cage, and dance.
Bronx House – Morris Park, the Bronx
Kids enjoy a mixture of trips to popular museums as well as plenty of on-site swimming, sports, and arts and crafts.
Greenwich House – Greenwich Village
A community institution, Greenwich House's camp features artistic activities, field trips, games, and sports.
Get a jump on the summer swimming season by splashing around at Manhattan Youth school holiday camp.
Manhattan Youth: School Holiday Camp – Tribeca
Though campers split their time between PS 89 and the Downtown Community Center, this camp is open to all kids and offers sports, crafts, theater, swimming, and other fun.
Mini Camp at the Kings Bay Y – Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn
Kids at this local Y camp create art and films, work on greening projects, play music and sports, cook, swim, and go on local field trips.
NORY – Various Manhattan locations
This camp offers a little bit of everything, which makes it hard to define! Choose from combo swim and STEM programs to soccer and STEM. Kids will learn everything from a backstroke to robotics at this break camp. Half day, full day, and extended day options available.
Riverdale YM-YWHA – Riverdale, the Bronx
This Y camp offers themed activities, specialty classes, and swimming, keeping your kids entertained with physical fun, plus Lego Robotics, arts and crafts, and field trips.
Top photo: Adventures in Science Camp at the American Museum of Natural History. Photos courtesy of the camps.
This post, originally published in March 2010, is updated annually.