Summertime, and the living may be easy, but in New York City, it certainly isn’t cheap -especially if you want to send your kiddo to summer camp, and still have enough money left over to feed them for the rest of the year. Find a fun summer camp that won’t break the bank with Red Tricycle’s round-up of New York City camps for under $200 a week, under $100 a week, and even some freebies.


NYC Summer Camps Under $200/week

Camp Friendship This full day, eight week program boasting sports, creative workshops, and field trips to the FDNY Fire Zone, Luna Park, MoMath Museum, the Native American Museum, as well as Brooklyn Cyclone and New York Liberty Games will set you back $1,450 for the duration (about $182 a week), with a Sibling Rate of $1,300. However, they also offer a 4-week and a 2-week package to lower the total cost. Campers ages 4 1/2 and older are welcome.

Goddard Riverside The Beacon Program, for ages 11 to 13 is free, while the remaining two camps, one for ages 6-10 and another for ages 5-12 run $1,000 for seven weeks of music, storytelling, photography and swimming; at around $142 a week, it’s still a good deal for Manhattan (note most of the other free and low cost programs are in the outer boroughs).

Henry Street Settlement Camps Starting at age 4 1/2, campers at the Henry Street Settlement can enjoy art, music, drama, sports and swimming. Their weekly rate is $250, but in addition to discounts for returning campers, campers’ siblings, and those who refer a friend, they also offer tuition assistance and express a commitment to working with anyone to make camp an affordable experience.

boysclubnyNYC Summer Camps Under $100/week

The Boys Club of NY Unfortunately, like the name indicates, it’s for boys only (ages 6 and up). But, on the other hand, their 6-week long summer program encompassing swimming, athletics, music, arts, and a game room only costs $25 for one member, $35 for a family of several sons, with breakfast and lunch included (trips to museums, baseball stadiums, state parks and amusement parks will cost extra). Registration is first come/first served, with new members getting their chance to sign up beginning on April 7.

Goodwill Summer Program A variety of locations in Brooklyn and Queens charge $150 per child (first sibling $125, second sibling $100) for a 7-week camp with heavy emphasis on visits to The Hayden Planetarium, the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Natural History, the Noguchi Museum, the Liberty Science Center, the New York Hall of Science, the Bronx Botanical Gardens, the Bronx Zoo and the New York Aquarium.

NYC Parks Summer Camp At $500 per child for 7 weeks, this is still a bargain, but for next year. These city-sponsored camps are so popular, that registration closes in the middle of March and (like so many other kid-related things in NYC – charter schools, G&T…) it’s done by lottery, as there’s not enough space. The camps available in all five boroughs at various locations, are open for ages 6 to13, and involve kickball, soccer, wiffleball, relay races, bird watching, canoeing, fishing and hiking. So make a note in your calendar and be sure to register in March… of 2015. camp3i

Free NYC Summer Camps

NYC Summer Quest Launched in 2012, this free, five-week, full-day summer learning program for elementary and middle school students combines Common Core academic based enrichment with art activities, sports, and field trips as part of an on-going, three-year, multi-pronged approach to improving, expanding, and sustaining summer learning. Previously, all camps were held in the South Bronx. Keep checking at the link for information about 2014 locations.

Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation Though their 2014 schedule is not yet available, in 2013, this Queens-based, taxpayer-funded program offered half-day and full-day camps focusing on sports, arts, academics and field trips for up to ten hours a day at various public schools. Priority is given to children already enrolled at participating schools, and then to the community at large. Select the program you want and contact each directly for 2014 details.

Oasis Day Camps Though traditional Oasis Day Camps in Manhattan and other boroughs can run to over $500 a week (and that’s before transportation fees), qualified families in Brooklyn, Bronx and Long Island may apply for their Funded Camp option for children in kindergarten and up. All fees are covered by grants and community partnerships and run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Activities include creative writing, science, math, theater, yoga, dance and sports.


Innovation Camp at NY Hall of Science This week-long, hands on science, technology and engineering camp for kindergarten and first graders regularly costs $200, but Corona residents living in the 11368 zip code can apply for a first-come, first-served scholarship to attend for free. Spaces are limited and proof of residency will be required, so if you’re interested, act fast!

Good Shepherd Services Located at various community centers and public schools in the Bronx, once school is out for the summer, Good Shepherd becomes a free, all-day camp with arts & crafts, dance, sports and more. Contact each, individual center for hours and programming details.

Where do your kids go to summer camp? Have you found a budget-friendly option?

– Alina Adams

Photos courtesy of Boys Club of NY & Alina Adams