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School’s Out! Keep Your Kids Busy in NYC This Summer


Get your kids outdoors and into some summer fun! Photo by Ian D. Keating (Flickr)

School’s Out! Keep Your Kids Busy in NYC This Summer

As Alice Cooper sings in his raspy voice, “School’s out for summer!” This is your kids’ favorite time of the year: no more school, homework, or teachers. As the Staples commercial humorously depicts, the end of summer is parents’ “most wonderful time of the year!” There’s a precious span of time in between when your children have a lot of free time and you don’t, and there’s nothing worse than allowing them to while away the hot summer days in front of the television set. There are plenty of things to do in New York City during your kids’ summer vacation, so here are some suggestions for keeping your munchkins busy.

Fun at the Park

Many of the New York City parks offer summer recreation designed to educate, enlighten, and enrich your children, and the best part is that they’ll be having so much fun that they won’t realize that they’re learning something! These activities are sure to beat romping on the jungle gym or kicking a soccer ball around.

  • Mad. Sq. Kids: Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday throughout the summer and into October, the Madison Square Park Conservatory hosts a program that will put a smile on your little ones’ faces. In the “Explore!” program, kids are encouraged to explore many different things through fun activities. Whether it’s learning what animals eat, going on a scavenger hunt, or identifying all of the Madison Square Park monuments, your kids are sure to enjoy getting out of the house and into the summer sun for this exploration activity. Please note that an adult must accompany your kidsYou can learn more about the program on the Madison Square Park Conservancy website.
  • Pop-Up Audubon: New York City is a concrete jungle, but that doesn’t mean your kids can’t learn about nature during summer vacation. The Prospect Park Alliance and Audubon New York have partnered to bring NYC residents and visitors the Prospect Park Audubon Center. Here, your kids will be immersed in an urban setting full of plants and animals sure to please even the whiniest of summer vacationers. A majority of the habitat has been restored to its natural condition, and a trip to the historic Boathouse is definitely worthwhile. Visit the Prospect Park Audubon Center website for a list of summer activities.

Summer Camp

For most parents, summer presents the conundrum of what to do with the kids during the day while you are at work. Fortunately, NYC has plenty of summer day camps sure to capture your little one’s interest no matter what they’re into. Whether your child is a future engineer or the next Taylor Swift, your kids are sure to have fun at these summer day camps.

  • Brooklyn Design Lab Summer Lab: For kids in kindergarten through sixth grade, Brooklyn Design Lab’s Summer Lab gives your children the chance to play with just about every art medium imaginable under the sun. Each week, kids will learn how to design and create their next masterpiece using paint, collage, clay, fabric, print, wood, and even 3-D construction with LEGOs. As you can imagine, these summer labs fill quickly, so you’ll want to plan ahead and get your kids in the lab or on the waiting list. Please see Brooklyn Design Lab’s website for more information.
  • Brooklyn Music Factory Camp: Brooklyn Music Factory lets your children ages 5 to 15 get their inner rock star on with three separate summer camps. Whether your little one wants to jam with a band or learn how to write and record music, they will have an absolute blast performing on stage in this summer camp. Alongside playing music, you kids will have fun with other art-inspired activities such as designing logos and posters for their bands, and there is a playground where they can blow off steam when suffering from songwriter’s block. Check out Brooklyn Music Factory for all of the details.

These are just four of the many activities that New York City offers you and your children during the hot summer vacation months. One of the best things about living in NYC is there is always something to do, and if you check out the city’s Parks and Recreation page, you’ll find that plenty of the fun is free. Instead of listening to the incessant “I’m bored” whines, get your kids outdoors and into some summer fun!

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