As a working mom, I have to stay a good part of the summer working in the city, which means that Romy too. The moment her school year was over at the end of May, meaning two months before being able to go away, I was pressured to find fun summer activities for her to stay busy and have fun in between the few week ends upstate or at the beach. NY probably sound like a terrible place to spend your summer but the city has actually so much to offer, from public pools to day Summer camp.
Here is a list of NY’s best public outdoor pools to stay cool as well as day camps.
And don’t forget to shop the story below to be fully equipped for your kids summer in the city!
BEST FREE POOLS FOR TODDLERS AND CHILDREN
- Hamilton Fish Recreation Center – Lower East Side -Pitt and Houston Streets
Considered by many to be the best public pool in the borough, Hamilton Fish has certain attributes that make it a standout.
- Tompkins Square Park Mini Pool – East Village This shallow pool (it’s just three-feet deep) is perfect for children.
- John Jay Park & Pool – Upper East Side John Jay is an oasis in the middle of Manhattan—and has a spectacular playground that was revamped a few years ago. One of the most popular public pools in Manhattan, it’s clean and safe, plus there’s a snack bar and a river-themed playground with sprinklers and fountains.
- Lasker Pool – Harlem It’s very popular and gets very crowded, but it’s located in a lovely part of Central Park, near the Harlem Meer, the Dana Discovery Center, the Conservatory Garden and a destination playground, so if you decide it’s too crazy there are lots of other things to do.
CITY DAY CAMPS
- Atlantic Yachting Sailing Camp, still has opening for weekly sessions through the end of the summer. Age 9-15, weekly tuition $1190
- NYC Kids Fairy Tale Camp Little ones can let their imaginations run away with them during this summer arts camp, encouraging city kids to weave their own original fairytale. After getting inspired by the week’s featured tale through storytelling, music and movement—themes include Frozen, Beauty & The Beast, The Princess & the Frog and Sofia the First—they’ll have time to craft props, costumes and sets. Mom and Dad will love taking in the whimsical production at week’s end. Ages 3–6.$425 per weekly session
- The Nature Place Day Camp Have your kid surrender the tablet and skip town for some time in the great outdoors at the Nature Place. The littlest campers (ages 4 to 7) enjoy a structured daily schedule that includes swimming, exploring the garden and tending to chickens. Older kids (age 8 to 11) try archery and tree climbing and embark on overnight camping trips, while teens enjoy more advanced outdoor activities, like rock climbing, day hikes and multinight backpacking adventures. The noncompetitive philosophy at the Nature Place is paramount. Ages 4–16.
- Chelsea Piers Summer Sports Camp Chelsea Piers, Manhattan’s premier destination for youth sports, is home to 16 specialty sports camps for children and teens, ages 3 to 17. For the past 17 summers, campers have enjoyed world-class athletic facilities, expert and caring instructors, and the most exciting sports curriculum available, without ever leaving the city. Families may sign up for one, two or more weeks of camp for maximum flexibility.
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