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Specialty Summer Day Camps in NYC

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 by Susan M
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For some kids, summer day camp simply means decorating picture frames, hanging out under the sprinkler, and eating ice cream. Others, however, have interests from a young age that they want to follow. Day camp is often a great time to do this, since programs tend to be laid back and non-competitive, and also give kids a chance to try a new skill. We gathered a roundup of camps for kids who’d rather be harvesting the berries for ice cream rather than just spooning them out of a cup.
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If your child...thinks all the world's a stage:
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Creative Arts & Athletics
This camp offers terrific programs in the arts and, increasingly, on the athletic fields. Most kids who attend have a strong interest in either the visual or performing arts: classes vary, but include such offerings as drawing, painting, ceramics and design for the visual artist, theater, dance and singing for the performing artist, and soccer, fencing, and martial arts for the athlete. Kids can also choose from the slightly misnamed technology-oriented classes including journaling, photography and creative writing. Programs are offered for kids 6-15 and many devotees go year after year. Guest artists, a trip to a Broadway show, camper performances and a final festival add to the appeal.

Age Range: 6-15
Camp Dates: June 30 - July 25
creativeartsnyc.org
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Applause/Broadway Babies and Superstars
offers weeklong sessions that riff on the popular programs they offer during the year. Campers (for those entering kindergarten through 11th grade) take part in classes focused on singing, Broadway dance, hip-hop, and theater games. Older kids make a movie that’s screened for parents at the end of the week; younger ones put on a show. In particular, kids interested in musical theater should find a home here. This one's for the kid who loves to be on stage.

Age Range: Entering K to grade 11
Camp Dates: June 9 - August 15
applauseny.com
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If your child...thinks about backhands, jump shots, and penalty kicks 24/7:
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Asphalt Green
Asphalt Green is pretty much about playing sports non-stop including basketball, marital arts, soccer, tennis, yoga, baseball, softball and swimming (they have a terrific pool). Plus, depending on the age of the camper, there’s storytime and arts and crafts, plus a once-a-week field trip.

And wonder of wonders, lunch is provided. The facilities are top-notch (though some of it takes place outside—pack sunscreen) but this is truly a camp for the child who simply wants to do sports all day, every day.

Age Range: 4-13
Camp Dates: June 30 - August 22
www.asphaltgreen.org
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Basketball City
Each week-long program features a different theme or well-known player (Be warned: basketball players seem to lead complicated lives, and showing up is not always guaranteed, but big names have been known to make an appearance.) They offer two facilities—downtown and at Hunter College. Kids can choose from such programs as NBA Legends camp and FUNdamentals camp, which stresses small-group instruction. Both feature such perks as guest lectures, jerseys, instruction and games. There is even a mini FUNdamentals camp you can sign your kids up for before school starts.

Age range: 7-17
Camp Dates: June 16 - September 5
www.basketballcity.com
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If your child...knew the word "foodie" before she could walk:
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Butter Beans Food & Garden Summer Camp
Some kids are foodies pretty much from the time they taste solid food. If that’s your child, he’d probably love what’s described as a “farm to table” experience for kids 6-10. While it may sound a little pretentious, it's really just showing kids the ins and outs of planting, harvesting and cooking. Campers will also get to experience other food-related activities, such as writing a cookbook, composting, and meeting local food experts.

Age Range: 6-10
Camp Dates: July 7 - August 22
butterbeanskitchen.com
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Taste Buds Kitchen
This camp is the perfect experience for kids who want to test the waters (or the consomme) without a long-term commitment. Weeklong and even daylong programs are offered for kids as young as two. Younger kids focus more on basic kitchen skills, while older ones tackle more complicated dishes. Two to three recipes are cooked each day (all are developed by Taste Buds)—including one savory and one sweet. And goods new for kids with peanut allergies: Taste Buds is a nut free kitchen. Programs include the “Around the World” camp and the "Master Chef Junior camp.”

Age Range: 2-13
Camp Dates: June 16 - September 5
tastebudskitchen.com
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If your child...has always wanted to run away and join the circus:
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Aerial Arts NYC
For the child who wants to join the circus rather than watching it from afar, kids’ circus classes at Aerial Arts lets them try out both on-the-ground and in-the-air circus skills. Juggling, acrobatic and trapeze skills are all explored, as are hand-eye coordination, juggling and fine motor skills. There's also a tween aerial workshop (you need to be at least 11) that focuses on purely aerial skills, for both novices and those with more experience. (Staffers are former performers as well as instructors.)

Age Range: 6-13
Camp Dates: Check their website for summer dates
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The Park Slope Day Camp
Cirque d'Ete (Circus of the summer) offers classes in circus skill such as acrobatics, clown comedy, music and costume-sets. For kids in pre-k through fifth grade. Each two-week session offers something new in terms of themes and guest artists, and ends with a performance for friends and family on the last day of camp. It's part of Park Slope Day Camps, a favorite in the area, which has locations across Brooklyn.

Age Range: Entering pre-K to grade 5
Camp Dates: June 30 - August 8
www.parkslopedaycamp.com
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