8 Enriching Summer Camps in Queens

No more homework, no more books!!! Yes, it will soon be summer time, and your kids will be wondering what to do with themselves. There are a variety of summer camps to send your kids to:  Sleep-away camps offer kids fun activities that keep them busy while allowing them to build bonds, commuter camps allow kids to do much the same, and is a great option for kids who are not ready to be away from their parents for an extended period of time.  For kids staying in the city, there are limitless possibilities of specialty camps ranging from theatre to cooking, from soccer to museums, and from gardens to the circus.  For those of you who have a different focus, there are also a number of academic summer camps that reinforce your kids learning while preparing them for the upcoming school year. The camps listed below offer academics and enrichment that allow for kids to feed their academic curiousity and interests.

Queens College offers an interesting mix of class in their summer program for kids ages 5-14.  There are the expected course offerings such as math and reading, but the college also put forth offerings in architecture, computer lego, and flash animation for the older kids and farming, cooking and science for the younger kids. They offer 2, 4, 6 or 8 week sessions, and even provide for early drop-off and late pick-up.  For more information go to their website.

The Queens Botanical Garden offers two day a week classes for kids as part of their Children’s Garden Program.  The program teaches children about plants and nature while they design and plant a garden of their own, raise butterflies, and use their vegetables to cook.  The program has two summer sessions and runs for seven weeks.  For more information visit their website.

The Kew-Forest School in Forest Hills offers a summer program that gives parents the opportunity to enroll their children in either a half day program (academics in the morning or recreation in the afternoon), or a full day program that gives kids both.  The program is for kids in grades Pre-K to 6, but the school offers other summer institutes for older kids too.  Their academic program offers reading, writing and math, and their recreational program offers a range of activities including. swimming, to dance, martial arts and cooking.  The school is hosting an open house on March 19, 2011.  The school’s website offers detailed information about their programs,visit their site for more information.

Kent Prep on Northern Boulevard is offering a prep program for parents looking to have their kids enter one of New York City’s many gifted and talented programs.  The program is for Pre-K to first grade students and provides a curriculum that focuses on the core skills: reading, math, critical thinking, writing, and problem solving.  The children in the program also become familiar with the types of questions asked on the Gifted and Talented test and testing procedures.  Kent Prep also provides enrichment programs for older kids, but you may have to go to other locations depending on the kinds of services you want.  Their website, has information on all of their programs.

The Queens Zoo is offering three kinds of one week programs for kids interested in nature and wildlife.  Eco-Adventures is for kids ages 5-7, Junior naturalist is for kids ages 8-12, and Teens for Wildlife is for kids ages 13-17.  Each program provides an age appropriate experience that engages students in their environment and has them interact with wildlife through projects, observations, and hands-on activities.  The programs are currently enrolling.  Visit their website for more information.

Garden School in Jackson Heights offers programs for kids from pre-nursery to age 13.  Younger kids engage in play based learning in addition to participating in structured recreational activities.  Older students get a chance to study science, Fine Arts, and theatre in conjunction with Flushing Town Hall. Their theatre program has kids studying everything from Shakespeare to circus acts in addition to recreational pursuits.  For more information, check out their summer camp brochure.

Summer Camp Live. The Queens County Farm Museum and the Samuel Field YM-YWHA have partnered together to bring Queens families a unique summer camp program for children who will be entering first through  fifth grades. The program will include, science, nature, cooking, arts/crafts, and farming aspects. Call the Samuel Fiend Y at 718-225-6750 for details and reservations

United Nations School Queens Summer Camp provides an array of recreational and enrichment activities for kids.  The camp is designed for students between the ages of 4 and 14. They welcome students from UNIS and from other schools, both in the US and abroad. Click here for more info.

By Simone Gobin