Brooklyn boasts a range of day camp options in the more affordable range, starting at $100 per week up to about $425 per week. Some of these programs are very popular and fill up fast, so don't waste time sending in your registrations/applications (deadlines are usually by December or January). In addition to the ones listed below, check at your local YMCA for summer camps. Some offer scholarships as well extended day care, which is helpful for working parents.
New York Aquarium
The nationally acclaimed Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) runs week-long summer day camp programs in Brooklyn, one at the NY Aquarium and another at the Prospect Park Zoo.
During the week-long camp sessions, the Aquarium offers age-appropriate experiences that build on campers’ innate love of our blue planet. Themes change every summer, so there’s something new for your budding marine biologist year after year.
- Age range: Pre-K (4 years) to 14 years
Programs at the WCS New York Aquarium include:
- Tidal Tykes - ages 4 to 5 years
- Aquatic Adventurers - ages 6 to 8 years
- Marine Explorers - ages 9 to 11 years
- Junior Oceanographers - ages 12 to 14 years
For information, fees and to learn about scholarships, check out the official New York Aquarium website. Registration opens in early February. Spots are filled first-come, first served and tend to move quickly.
Prospect Park Zoo Camp
From toddlers to teens, this zoo camp experience located at the Prospect Park Zoo includes age appropriate, hands-on science activities, up-close animal encounters, Wildlife Theater performances, camp highlight video, exhibit visits, arts and crafts, keeper chats, camp t-shirt, and tons of animal fun.
- Age range: Toddler (18 months) to 14 years
For info, fees and to learn about scholarships, check out the Prospect Park Zoo website. Registration opens in early January. Spots are filled first come, first served and tend to move quickly.
Dodge YMCA Summer Camp
YMCA summer camps provide children with positive and fun experiences that build confidence, new friendships, lifelong memories and a feeling of community that will last beyond the summer. Campers will have the opportunity to make new friends and take exciting trips throughout New York City. They will participate in a wide range of sports, instructional swimming, arts and crafts, and weekly themed days such as Crazy Hat Day, engage in environmental science and more.
- Age range: 4 1/2 to 12 years
For information, fees and to learn about scholarships, check out the official Dodge YMCA website. Financial assistance applications due before May 1. Ask about deadlines for early bird discounts. The YMCA of Greater New York will give financial assistance to campers based on family annual income.
Playwright Kathryn Dickinson’s camp, Creative Theatrics, has been guiding Brooklyn youngsters towards their inner performer for over two decades. Each weeklong session explores a theatrical theme (e.g. Shakespeare, musical theater) and culminates in a performance for family and friends.
- Age range: entering K (4 to 5 years) to 6th grade (12 years)
For registration information, fees and more, check out the official White Bird Productions/Creative Theatrics website.
Brooklyn Cultural Adventures Program (BCAP) offers summer programs for kids that take advantage of the incredible resources of our six member institutions: Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Children's Museum, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Museum, Prospect Park and Prospect Park Zoo. Adventurers take part in hands-on experiences -- projects, games, and explorations -- that weave connections between art, world culture, literature, history, nature, and science.
- Age range: 7 to 12 years old
For information, registration and, fees, check out the official BCAP Summer Camp website.
The Kings Bay Y at Windsor Terrace provides campers with a packed schedule of activities in the outdoors and at sites all around NYC. In addition to its standard program, the camp also offers an inclusion program for campers with special needs, a soccer program, and a Hebrew dual language program.
- Age range: Pre-K (4 to 5 years) to 7th grade (12-13 years)
For more information, fees and to learn about scholarships, check out the official Kings Bay Y at Windsor Terrace website.
Note: A word from the author: The above is not an endorsement, just a list. Which camp is right for which child is an individual question. Ask around, schedule a camp visit, talk to the camp directors and get references.