Popular Summer Day Camps for Westchester Kids
While we don't yet know the impact that COVID-19 will have on summer plans, we've done research into summer camp options to be ready for the green light. We know of quite a few homeschooling parents who are seriously hoping not to segue into camp counselors!
For those seeking a traditional summer camp, we’ve rounded up several camp experiences in and near Westchester that offer an all-inclusive range of activities—from sports, swimming, and games to cooking, crafts, visual arts, and more. Our caveat is that offerings might change in light of the COVID-19 impact, so be sure to verify these details with camps directly.
Looking for a lower-priced option this year? Check out our guide to Affordable Summer Camps. For even more options, check out our Camp Directory, which is full of information for camps of all kinds in and around Westchester. Plus, our Summer Camp Guide offers lots of great choices for kids of various ages and interests.
This well-established day camp offers flexible scheduling options—in terms of the number of days, the length of day, and the number of weeks—in addition to traditional summer camp activities, from swimming twice a day to nature walks, crafts, STEAM activities, and cooking classes. Badger also provides a hot lunch and laundered bathing suit service.
Beth El Day Camp's varied activities include cooking, gardening, art, science, sports, swimming, and special events, all in a Jewish environment.
Kids can tick all the traditional summer camp boxes at this Armonk camp, which is situated on 18 acres, including swimming, sports, arts and crafts and a lake for canoeing—plus a whole lot more, from an “aerial playground” (think ropes courses) to an archery range. Lunch is made on-site every day, and kids can attend anywhere from four to all eight weeks.
Famous for being Westchester’s first day camp (it has been around since 1929), Camp Hillard is set on 20 acres and offers a comprehensive camping program with everything from swim instruction (there are seven pools) to performing arts to a variety of special events, like roasting s’mores and hosting talent shows.
In a mountainside setting with 25 acres and a spring-fed lake, Deer Mountain Day Camp offers both outdoor and indoor activities for campers.
Campers enjoy a sleep-away camp’s range of activities, facilities, and staff in a day-camp setting. Taught by experts, activities include swimming (instructional/recreational), sports, fine and performing arts, outdoor adventure, nature exploration, STEM programming, lake activities, and special events.
Elmwood boasts three heated pools, basketball courts, sports fields, multiple playgrounds, and facilities where kids can do art, drama, and more. Along with traditional camp activities, kids from kindergarten and up can take various electives ranging from photography to cooking.
The JCC offers a variety of specialized camps, including swim, cheer, gymnastics, art, and dance. The traditional camp, Camp Gadol, is open to kids from age 2 through those starting the 4th grade. Kids have the chance to do activities like swimming (the youngest kids don’t swim, but get to take part in water activities), sports, and music. Included are a kosher lunch and towel service, and before- and after-care is available.
Mohawk Day Camp is an electronic-free zone where campers can have all kinds of fun while unplugged.
This sprawling 40-acre camp offers room to run around, in addition to eight heated pools and other great amenities, like two nature centers, a performing arts center, hockey rinks, and lots more. Young children are exposed to various activities, from swimming to sports, and older campers can customize their experience by choosing from electives and specialties. Mohawk even offers a Sleepaway Program for kids who want to try being away from home for one week.
Situated on the grounds of a 19-room estate, Mount Tom boasts amazing scenery and tons of activities, including three swimming pools, an archery range, and an outdoor theater. There's also a challenge course equipped with a zip-line, bouldering wall, and rock-climbing wall.
At the Nature Place Day Camp, kids have 200 acres to explore and play in while strengthening their ties to the natural world.
Camp at The Nature Place is about being in and connecting with the natural world: nature explorations, cooperative games, hiking, earth art, swimming lessons, mucking in the stream, camping, canoeing, climbing, farming and gardening, meeting animals, storytelling, music, archery, drama, and more.
Housed at The Masters School (younger kids) and Mercy College (older kids) in Dobbs Ferry, Oasis offers campers everything from performing and visual arts to field trips, depending on their age. There’s also access to nature trails, numerous basketball and tennis courts, a theater, pool, and more—plus there’s transportation and even tutoring to get them ready for the next school year.
Held at SUNY Purchase, this day camp offers four heated pools, a driving range, zip line, sports fields, a music and theater bandshell, and plenty more for kids from 3 years old through 10th grade. Plus, lunch is included, there are extended day options, and transportation is offered to select Westchester towns.
Choose Rush Day Camp for your child and make this summer one they will remember for a lifetime!
Held at Sarah Lawrence College, Rush Day Camp offers not only sports and specialty week-long camps but also a traditional summer-camp program that features swimming, art, and fun themed events and days, like Crazy Hat Day. The camp has a 5-to-1 camper-to-staff ratio and offers extended-day options.
Westchester Summer Day—located on the 26-acre grounds of Westchester Day School—centers on Jewish values in a traditional summer camp experience. Amenities include tennis courts, sports fields, and three in-ground heated pools. It's right on the Long Island Sound, so kids can try their hand at things like boating, wake boarding, and related activities, as well as traditional science and arts-and-crafts activities.
Originally published in 2014 and updated since.
Photos courtesy of the camps