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 NYC's extra long spring break, which runs from Monday, April 10 through Tuesday, April 18 for public school kids in 2017.
Whether your kid wants to spend his or her break performing center stage 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 over two dozen NYC camps across the five boroughs that are open for spring break and many other school holidays.
Looking for more spring activities? Check out our Spring NYC Guide for more break ideas, or visit 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 drop-in or membership-based 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
79th Street at Central Park West
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 – Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn
NY City Explorers, 110 Schermerhorn Street at Boerum Place
The brainchild of NY City Explorers, this program brings kids to one iconic NYC destination each day. The spring break camp's theme is kid-ventures and takes campers on excursions across all five boroughs.
Brooklyn Robot Foundry — Upper East Side, Tribeca, and Gowanus, Brooklyn
Multiple locations, visit the website for details.
Springs spring eternal at this camp, where robot creations abound with the springy parts, such as a homemade bobblehead and an accordion.
Camp Intrepid – Midtown West
Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, West 46th Street and 12th Avenue
Head to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum to spend a week immersed in its theme of Wings and Things, which will focus on the history of flight from high-flying feathered friends to hot air balloons, jet planes, and beyond.
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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
Building 92, Brooklyn Navy Yard, 63 Flushing Avenue
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 skateboards to battleships and even a circus day.
NYChessKids Camp – Chelsea
191 Seventh Avenue at 21st Street
Ages 4 and older
Chess players of all levels, even beginners, are welcome at this program, where kids hone their skills, attend lectures, and, of course, play lots of games. You don't need to be a master to enjoy it: My son has attended NYChess Kids camps several times; he's had a blast and improved his game to boot. The days might also include art, Legos, and music in addition to the namesake game.
Pixel Academy — Multiple locations
Multiple locations, visit the website for details.
Minecraft is the focus of this spot's spring break camps. Campers can choose week-long sessions focused on building adventure maps 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 8:30am-3pm, but after-care is available. Lunch and snacks are also included.
RoboFun – Upper West Side
2672 Broadway near 102nd Street
Students in kindergarten through sixth grades build working Lego robots in the morning and work on video game design in the afternoon. RoboFun offers a pair of single-day camps to cover those pesky, spring break add-ons on Monday, April 17 and Tuesday, April 18.
Taste Buds Kitchen – Chelsea
109 West 27th Street at Sixth Avenue
Little foodies can get their game on at this spot's Culinary Passport 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 one from 10am-1pm for ages 11-16.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 Mini Camp at the Queens Zoo – Corona, Queens
53-51 111th Street at 53rd Avenue
Young animal lovers spend four days behind the scenes at the zoo as the residents get ready for spring. Campers enjoy face time with the animals, make crafts, and explore the natural world.
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
Upper East Side, 555 East 90th Street, between York and East End Avenues
Battery Park City, 212 North End Avenue, between Murray and Warren Streets
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
Floyd Bennett Field, 3159 Flatbush Avenue
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
23rd Street and Hudson River Park
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 siblings.
Kids of Summer Sports – Upper West Side
Riverside Park, Fields at West 103rd Street; indoor location West End Presbyterian Church, 165 West 105th Street
In the morning campers test out their baseball skills, while afternoons bring dodgeball, soccer, and basketball drills. In the event of bad weather, the camp moves to nearby West End Presbyterian Church.
The Baseball Center NYC — Upper West Side
202 West 74th Street
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
421 Fifth Avenue, near Eighth Street
Each day, campers explore a different theme—from spring has sprung to time travelers and urban safari—through visual and performing arts workshops led by BAX educators. Register for a single day or the whole week. New in 2017: Older campers, ages 11-14, can take master classes from BAX educators in disciplines like dance, theater, and AcroBax.
The Children's Museum of the Arts Spring Art Colony camp goes beyond at-home crafting, letting kids create, present, and keep cool interactive art projects.
Spring Art Colony – Hudson Square
Children’s Museum of the Arts, 103 Charlton Street, between Hudson and Washington Streets
The museum offers two spring break programs at its state-of-the-art space. The first focuses on art from varying parts of the world, integrating culture and geography along with fine arts instruction. The second allows kids to learn the ins and outs of filmmaking, planning, shooting, and editing their own shorts.
TADA! Musical Theater Camps – Chelsea
15 West 28th Street, between Fifth Avenue and Broadway
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
21 West 39th Street
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
Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street
Kids enjoy arts and crafts, cooking, reading, and playing under the iconic cathedral (or on the grounds, weather permitting). Field trips to the Central Park or Bronx zoos, crafts, and sports are on tap.
Bronx House – Morris Park, the Bronx
990 Pelham Parkway South at Hone Avenue
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
27 Barrow Street, near Seventh Avenue South
A community institution, Greenwich House's camp features artistic activities, field trips, games, and sports.
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Get a jump on the summer swimming season by splashing around at Manhattan Youth school holiday camp.
Manhattan Youth: School Holiday Camp – Tribeca
PS 89, 201 Warren Street and 120 Warren Street, between North End Avenue and Greenwich Street
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
Kings Bay Y at Windsor Terrace, 1224 Prospect Avenue at Vanderbilt Street
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.
Riverdale YM-YWHA – Riverdale, the Bronx
5625 Arlington Avenue, near Netherland Avenue
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 image: Campers at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum explore the site's permanent exhibits as well as design their own. Photos courtesy of the camps.
This post, originally published in March 2010, is updated annually.