Summer is creeping up on us. If you're looking for ways to fill the long days with enriching activities and fight the infamous "summer brain drain," we've got you covered. From science camps that use the city as their playground to days spent at the world's largest urban zoo, here's a look at what some of the Big Apple's summer camps have to offer. Sunscreen not included.
Summer Institute at St. Joseph's College: Get a taste of college at this series of week-long sessions, geared toward those in middle school (grades 5-7) and high school (grades 8-11). Students select a "major," such as psychology, veterinary science, forensic science or studio arts, as well as "electives" to take throughout the day. There are also breaks for free time, during which students can play soccer or Frisbee on the quad (hacky sack, anyone?)
Weekly sessions held from July 7-July 25, $475 for one week, $800 for two, $995 for three; 245 Clinton Ave. in Clinton Hill, 866-762-2207, sjcsummerinstitute.org
Storefront Science Summer Camp: For a hands-on exploration of physics, paleontology and more, check out Storefront Science. The Upper West Side-based science program offers weekly summer camps where kids ages 4 to 12 can conduct experiments and explorations in places like Riverside Park, Central Park, city museums, landmarks and more. Summer camp classes include "Urban Naturalist," "Go Fly a Kite" and "Playground Physics."
Runs July 7-Aug. 29, $350 half-day session, $600 full-day session per week; First Baptist Church, 265 W. 79th St., 646-833-7195, storefrontscience.com
Bronx Zoo Animal Kingdom Camp: The animal lover in your family can spend a week at the zoo this summer, thanks to the Bronx Zoo's handful of camps. Opportunities range from the Toddler Camp, where little ones ranging from 2-3 years old (and a caregiver) can discover nature, to the Junior Scientists camp for kids 11 to 12, where they can visit exhibits, conduct experiments and encounter animals.
Camps run weekly throughout the summer at various times from June 16-Aug. 29 and range from $125-$425; 2300 Southern Blvd., 718-367-1010, bronxzoo.com
Atlantic Yachting's NYC Sailing Club: Set sail this summer -- literally -- through sailing lessons with Atlantic Yachting. During the organization's summer camp, children ages 9 to 15 can learn how to trim sails, tie knots and man the helm, right on the Hudson River. Novice and experienced sailors welcome, though all campers must be competent swimmers.
Weekly sessions run from June 9-Sept. 6, $1,190/week, $1,990/two weeks; 79th Street Boat Basin, W. 79th St. and the Hudson River, nycsailingcamp.com
Chef Toni's Cooking Adventures: Children vying to be the next champ on "Junior MasterChef," this is the camp for them. Through Chef Toni's culinary camp, kids ages 4 to 13 can learn how to make dishes from all over the globe, as well as pick up shopping skills and culinary techniques.
Classes also come equipped with aprons and chef hats for each camper, and of course include lunch! Runs June 28 to Aug. 30, $75 each half day, $150 each full day; 967 Columbus Ave. Ste. B1, 646-682-7769, cheftoni.com
Action Arts Summer Camp: The arts and humanities department at Columbia University's Teachers College leads this two-week camp for kids ages 5 to 12. The multidisciplinary curriculum covers music, art, dance, drama and playwriting and nurtures self-expression through composing, dancing, drawing and more.
Aug. 4-15, $1,300; 525 W. 120th St., 212-678-3298, tc.columbia.edu/actionartscamp
Children's Museum of the Art's Summer Art Colony Day Camp: From classes in claymation and cinematography to fashion and textiles, this art camp covers a range of disciplines that might pique your child's interest. The weekly camps, geared towards 6 to 15 year olds, are held at the museum, as well as Governor's Island, and each week focuses on a subject.
Runs June 16-Aug. 29, $595/week at 103 Charlton St., $850/week or $1,700/two weeks at Governor's Island (drop off at the loading dock at the Battery Maritime Building, 10 South St.); 212-274-0986, cmany.org
Supermud Pottery's Day Camp: Unlike drawing or painting, pottery isn't something kids can pick up unless they have access to a wheel and kiln. But budding potters can take a spin at the craft during Supermud Pottery's City Potters summer arts camp. During the weekly session, children ages 6 to 11 can learn the fundamentals of wheel throwing, hand-building and glazing, as well as take field trips to museums, studios and architectural hotspots for inspiration.
Runs July 14-18, July 21-Aug. 1 and Aug. 11-12, $690-$790/week, $1,380-$1,580/two weeks; 2744 Broadway, 212-865-9190, supermudpottery.com
New York Film Academy Summer Film and Acting Camps: Film and acting are just two of the options offered through New York Film Academy's summer camps. Screenwriting, journalism, musical theater, video game design and 3D animation are also on the docket for kids ages 14 to 17. Kids camps, for those ages 10 to 13, are available in film, acting and animation.
Camps run at various times from June 29 to Aug. 16 and range from $1,050 to $7,250 for one to six weeks, depending on the topic; 17 Battery Pl., 212-674-4300, nyfa.edu/summer_camp
School of Rock Summer Camp: Forget Rock Band; have your kids learn the real thing during one of School of Rock Brooklyn's summer camps. Options range from Rock 101 for budding musicians as young as 6 to camps focusing on the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and The White Stripes and The Black Keys, depending on where their musical hearts beat and level of experience.
Camps take place from July 14-Aug. 22 at different times and lengths, $600; 327 Douglass St. in Park Slope, 347-844-9363, schoolofrock.com
YOUR TYPICAL DAY CAMP
Long Island City Kids Children Enrichment Center: As the name implies, this camp is all about enrichment. During weekly summer camps, children ages 4 to 11 can participate in arts and crafts, music, storytelling, soccer, gymnastics, swimming lessons and more. Sign up for as little as one or as many as nine weeks.
Runs June 30-Aug. 30, $395-$595 per week; 5-02 50th Ave. in Long Island City, 718-392-5437, lickids.com