Senior Summer School


Live & learn with a variety of classes

Thoughts of summer school usually aren’t very pleasant. Kids were sent to school during summer break because of poor grades or discipline problems. Once there, it was boredom city or so hot you couldn’t think even if you were so inclined. Worse, friends were off to camps hiking or pools swimming.

These days for older folks, summer school can mean several months of educational enrichment and stimulating conversation. Classes aren’t limited to stuffy public schoolrooms either.

The options for New Yorkers are many and cover a spectrum. Take a course in a college, at recreation center or in the comfort of your own home. Become part of a thriving community of seniors who study subjects as varied as art appreciation to computer technology. Attend lectures by top experts in their field or by a peer with prior work experience.

Here’s a look at a selection of classes available this summer:

In The Community:

If going out and attending a class, asking questions, becoming involved in discussions, meeting people and socializing is your thing, then here are three places in lower Manhattan offering a wide variety of classes for seniors this summer.

Chelsea Recreation Center

430 W. 25 St.


Seniors can sign up for sketching and painting classes or learn computer skills in Microsoft word, excel and powerpoint. Classes are free.

Borough of Manhattan Community College

199 Chambers St.


From lunchtime workshops to foreign languages are available along with AARP Work Search Assessment classes. Some class fees involved.

Quest: A Community for Lifelong Learning

25 Broadway, 7th Fl.


Lectures and classes include everything from the history of medicine to the world of contemporary poetry, Tuesday and Thursday mornings, June and July. Members range from age 55 up and it costs $600 to join but the fee includes free, unlimited access to The Museum of Modern Art and The Whitney Museum.

On The Internet:

If you prefer studying at home, alone and on your own schedule, then taking a course online might be the perfect option for you. All you need is a computer and the software that will play most videos.



This site offers free streaming classes, everything from “Intro to Archeology” by Ruth Trigham of UC Berkeley to “Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe” taught by Richard Pogge of Ohio State.



What do your dreams mean? Why can’t you tickle yourself? Answer these and more questions by taking the online “Introduction to Psychology” course by Yale University Psychology Professor Paul Bloom offered here free. The class comes complete with a syllabus and mid-term and final exams. Choose from thousands of courses. If you want to earn credits toward a degree, this site also has online programs leading to bachelor and master’s degrees.



Want to try something less taxing this summer? Check out this sites thousands of videos on how to do just about anything. With step-by-step instructions, learn how to make Texas barbeque, remove mildew from clothing, massage your cat, or even sword fight.



Just want a good book but have trouble reading lots of text online? Here’s a solution. This site’s goal is to have all public domain books recorded by volunteers and posted for worldwide use. Hear Shakespeare’s Monologues or Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason. Thousands of great reads are available at your fingertips!



When in doubt, go to about. The site has more than 750 experts to guide visitors through some of the most basic topics imaginable. Want to practice yoga? At “Yoga 101,” learn all about the meditative practices, basic poses and even find links to classes near you.

With topics ranging from “19th Century History” to “Learn Mandarin Chinese,” there is barely a topic not covered.