Still thawing out from last weekend’s deep freeze? Let’s mentally comfort ourselves with a little summer talk. Registration for camps across the five boroughs is in full swing. The choices — and oftentimes the price tags — can be a bit overwhelming, so we’ve pulled together six bargain camp options that are either free, or reasonably priced.
Have any great additions? Be sure to share the details in the comments below.
BCAP might just be the ultimate Brooklyn staycation! Each day, campers (ages 7-12) will explore two of BCAP’s “cultural campus” locations: Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Prospect Park Audubon Center, Prospect Park Zoo, Lefferts Historic House, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, or Brooklyn Public Library.
Families can choose from three 2 week session that range in price from $649 to $695. Sliding scale rates are also available, though, and 50% of the camp spots are reserved for families receiving financial aid. For more information, see the 2016 Camper Handbook.
Have a teen? Don’t miss BCAP’s Creative Leadership Project for kids ages 13-17.
Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program
NYC location details provided upon registration
Introduce current 10th and 11th grade girls to computer science with the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program. Whether your kids are interested in medicine or fashion, Girls Who Code shows campers how coding touches every industry. Top female engineers act as mentors throughout the program, and girls even get the chance to visit tech giants around the City. The program is free, but get those registration forms in soon – the deadline is March 1 at 11:59pm PST.
Good Shepherd Services Summer Camps
Bed Sty, East New York, Red Hook, and Gowanus locations
With 11 locations around Brooklyn, Good Shepherd brings together outdoor fun and enrichment activities in such a way that kids have no idea that they’ve spent the summer learning. The program is free. For information on applications, deadlines, and qualifications, visit the Good Shepherd website and contact your preferred camp location directly.
NYC Parks Summer Camp
Parks and recreation centers around NYC
Talk about a bargain camp! NYC Parks Experience Summer Day Camp runs from July 5 through August 19, and costs only $500 (per child) for the entire session. Campers will participate in arts and crafts, computer classes, cultural and educational trips, field games, and outdoor activities with the Parks’ Urban Park Rangers.
Sounds perfect, right? Here’s the catch – all spots are offered by lottery. If you’re feeling lucky (or even if you’re not) registration opens on Friday, March 4 and ends on Sunday, March 13, so be sure to visit the NYC Parks website to drop your name in the hat.
Brooklyn locations include Brownsville, Williamsburg, Crown Heights, and Sunset Park
Have a teen interested in digital media? Held in recreation centers around the City, this free camp introduces kids ages 12-18 to video, audio, photography, graphic design, tech/innovation, animation, and game design technologies. Each session will end with a screening and exhibition so campers can show off their work. Register online or contact [email protected] for more information.
The Fresh Air Fund
Hudson Highlands near Fishkill, NY
If the kids have been itching to try sleep-away camp, but you’re not sure how to afford the typically large tuition, read up on The Fresh Air Fund. The group’s five free camps, which serve children between the ages of 8 and 12, are located 65 miles north of NYC. Kids spend two weeks at camp, and “enjoy outdoor activities, make new friends, learn to swim, play sports, and unlock their limitless potential.” For registration information, including open house dates, visit the Fresh Air Fund website.