Imagine sending your kids to a camp where they get to explore all the best sights and sounds of New York City for a week, with a huge educational component. Now imagine that you are visiting New York for a week, and that you can allow your kids to join in while you see your own sights (and shops). Interest piqued? Us too.
A day camp called NYC Is My Backyard, created by two former New York public school teachers, is giving more traditional day camps a run for their macrame. With so
many amazing neighborhoods to visit, museum art to sketch, photographs to take, and snacks to
sample, they know New York City might be the most exciting locale for any kid.
Each of the camp’s weekly trips covers different areas and historic stops from 9-1 PM. Their
Battery Park City/Brooklyn trip takes campers K-5 all over downtown and
across the Brooklyn Bridge, with stops in DUMBO and Prospect Park. Their
“Islands” adventure encompasses Coney Island, Governors Island and the
Bronx (while not really an island, it’s still a departure from the isle
of Manhattan). And of course there’s Central Park.
You can also sign up for a single day, should you just want your kid to have a special adventure on a sunny Wednesday.
But the really cool part is that each day, campers are given the tools to
create a travelogue describing their experiences, from a journal, to a sketch pad and even photography tips. At the end of
each trip, the kids have created their own personal guidebook with their
thoughts, insights and reviews of the landmarks they’ve visited.
It’s an amazing idea for NYC parents–but also for tourists with an upcoming trip to New York this summer. And while your kid is creating her own junior Fodor’s guide for a day or five, you can spend your mornings exploring your own New York, then regrouping with your family in the afternoon.
After all, we New Yorkers can tell you, this is a pretty awesome playground for adults too. –Melissa
Week-long sessions of NYC Is My Backyard run through August 24th and there’s still some availability. You’re also able to book the camp for a single day. Visit NYC Is My Backyard for more information.