10 Awesome Preschool Summer Camps for First Time Campers

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It’s that time of year again when you suddenly realize there’s only three months left until summer. Wondering if it’s too late to find the perfect camp for your preschooler or whether you have to keep them entertained all summer long? Don’t panic! Here, find details on ten of the coolest summer camps all over New York City for your first time campers. And almost all have flexible enrollment options that you can even sneak in a family vacation and still get the full benefit of summer camp for your tots. Everyone wins!


For the energetic camper

Summers are for having fun and your little one will do just that at Mill Basin Day Camp. With outdoor pools, arts & crafts studios, a Little Tykes Children’s Playground, tunnel courses, and days filled with music, dance and play – there is truly something for even the most active camper to enjoy, and never complain about being bored. 3-5 years; pick any 4 weeks (minimum) and any 3 days per week. You can also add, subtract or change at any time at no extra charge; June 30 – August 22; from $1,900-3,400 per camper; Brooklyn, 718-251-6200

For the studious camper

If summer for your little one must include a little bit of school, a little bit of camp and whole lot of fun, the River School is the perfect choice. Fashioned after a typical day at preschool, campers enjoy swimming, soccer, field trips, dance, theatre, outside play in nearby parks and playgrounds, free play in the classroom, science, and math – well, you get the picture. Rumor has that many campers have such a good time they continue on as students in the fall. 3.5 – 6 years; flexible enrollment for 2, 3 and 5-day options; July and August; from $1,000-$2,433/month based on number of days per week enrolled; Upper West Side, 212-707-8300

For the hard-working camper

Want to put your little ones to work this summer? Kids at Work is the perfect place with messy art, music, playtime and with other special activities such as a Friday business/nature walks, they’ll be sure to come home tired and happy. Through partnerships with Super Soccer Stars and Karma Kids Yoga, campers get the added bonus of experiencing these programs too. 2.3 – 3.6 years; flexible enrollment by the week with a minimum of 3 weeks that don’t need to be consecutive; discounts are available for 5 or more weeks; June 1 – August 29; $270/week; Chelsea, 212-488-8800


For the rock star camper

Inspired by Rock ‘n Roll musical themes, Camp Frolic! is a customized creative arts experience with different weekly themes for your little ones with storytelling, musical theatre, street dancing, songwriting, imaginative play, cooking, science, indoor and outdoor play – and a whole lot more. 3-5 years; half-day or full-day sessions with a 4-day minimum commitment (any combination of days throughout the entire summer session); June 23 – August 29; starts at $85/day – half Day, $110/day – full day (extension available until 6 p.m. for an additional fee); Brooklyn, 718-388-3100

For the bouncy camper

If you have a future Gabby Douglas in your midst, Lana’s Gymnastics Club is calling your name. This year-round gymnastics school is located in a 6,000 square foot facility with Olympic-quality equipment designed to practice for that perfect 10. In addition to tumbling, balance and uneven bars, contests, and shows, Lana throws in swimming too just to be sure your little gymnasts get the best possible training out there. Bonus: Pricing includes meals and transportation. 5-13 years; flexible enrollment options by the week; June 30 – August 22; Contact the camp directly for pricing; Queens, 718-263-2121

For the sporty and curious camper

Whether your plans this summer are to let your little one run around and be sporty or you’re hoping to get them ready for the school year ahead, Playgarden has just the program you need. Sports Camp offers campers a big open space within a huge indoor playground for arts & crafts, reading, sports and of course, snacks. Montessori Camp, Summer Prep is a great transition that helps prepare little ones for school with introduction to the drop-off concept and school routine, arts & crafts, potty training, and more. Sports Camp: 2-6 years; 2-week minimum with 2, 3, 5-day options; June 22-August 25; $500-$1,000/week, 10-week punch card – $1,250. Montessori Camp, Summer Prep: 16 months – 3 years; 3-week sessions; Tues.-Thurs: June 24-July 10, July 15-July 31, August 5-August 21; $1,600/per session; Tribeca, 212-965-9717


For the adventurous camper

Do you have thrill-seeking preschooler? If so, Aviator Sports has the camp for them. Each day even the littlest campers enjoy rock wall climbing, a sky jump trampoline, gymnastics, swimming, and inflatable water slides. Don’t worry; they do tone it down with typical day camp activities such as arts & crafts, soccer and other sports. It’s hard to find as many sports under one roof for you most adventurous camper. 3-5 years; flexible enrollment options by the week; June 30 – August 29; from $419 – $2,674; Brooklyn, 718-758-7500

For the aspiring skater and gymnast camper

Looking for the right preschool camp for your future ice skater or gymnast? Chelsea Piers offers two awesome programs that will help perfect their figure eight or floor routine by summer’s end. And in addition to the camp’s core sports, little campers are also introduced to dance, rock climbing, and soccer as well as daily arts and crafts. Just make sure your budding skater or gymnast is three years old and potty trained by June 1 and you’ll be all set for a summer of fun. 3-5 years; flexible enrollment is available on weekly basis; June 16 – August 29; on or before May 23 – $405/week; after May 23 – $445/week; Chelsea, 212-336-6846


For the active camper

If you’re looking for a camp that provides an endless good time from A to Z – ABC Fantasy Land Preschool is the place for you – and your little ones. Weekly themes are designed with fun in mind and include sprinkler fun, BBQ and picnics, arts & crafts, and weekly field trips that come directly to the camp’s big backyard like pony rides, animal petting zoos, bounce castles, carnival days and more. 2-6 years; flexible enrollment options by the week; June 30 – August 22; Contact the camp directly for pricing; Queens, 718-672-2424

For the all-around camper

If the preschool camp you’re looking for has the perfect combination of indoor enrichment and outdoor play you need to check out Oasis Day Camp. In the Early Start Imagination Camp division, little campers enjoy daily swimming, sports activities, arts & crafts, performing arts, and music. And they’ll love the community lunchtime experience when they get to rub elbows with the whole camp as each day they get together and have lunch picnic style outdoors. 3-5 years; flexible enrollment options with a 2-week minimum and an 8-week maximum; June 30 – August 22; from $1,060/2 weeks to $3,595/8 weeks; Locations all over NYC, 800-317-1392

Are you sending your preschooler to camp this summer? 

— Judy Cohen

Photos courtesy Mill Basin Day Camp, Camp Frolic!, Aviator Sports, & ABC Fantasy Land Preschool Facebook

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