Kids – Summer- Traveling, Family Vacations, & Camps

On June 7, our Mommy ‘Bites’ radio show featured a round table of NYC-area experts on the activities, vacations and camps children can participate in during the summer break.

Guest on this show were

Our show can be downloaded (to iTunes too!) and/or replayed here in its entirety and we encourage you to listen to it and join in our discussion with your opinions.

Listen to internet radio with mommybites on Blog Talk Radio

Here are some of our key take-aways from the show & a list of resources mentioned by our guests:

Best Unstructured Activities in Summer

-Summer is the time to go back to being “slow”
-Beaches- Jones Beach, Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach
-Quick trip-  subway right to Coney Island – in addition to the beach, there are also rides, Nathan’s, and an aquarium
-Brooklyn Botanical Gardens – great place to stroll, look at summer flowers, and workers even give some nature/botanical information
-Governer’s Island-  You can hop on the ferry from Pier 6 in Carroll Gardens (runs every 30 minutes on weekends) and the southern tip of Manhattan. The ferry is free.  On the island, there is miniature golf, food on weekends, fairs, & concerts.  You can rent a bike there and ride around the island.
-Highline– nature based talks and activities
-Socrates Sculpture Park
-Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden in Astoria, Queens (see Renee with her son in the photo to the right)
-Zoos-  Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo

Great Resources to Learn about Activities
-Websites:
Newyorkfamily.com
Achildgrowsinbrooklyn.com
Queensmamas.com
Nyckidsarts.org
Mommypoppins.com
Parentsconnect.com
Timeoutnewyorkkids.com
Macaronikid.com
Dailycandy.com
– Also try public libraries – they host many free programs

Beach area that is a plane ride away
-Jamaica – great rates in the summer
-Sandals resort – all inclusive and has programs for babies and kids.  Nice because you don’t have to think of money for a week!
-South Beach – Loews Hotel is family friendly
-Beaches of Rhode Island are spectacular

What are great vacation destinations that are major cities?
-Quebec – absolutely beautiful – vineyards, berry picking, amusement park, walking through cobblestone streets
-Montreal – 60 minute flight – fabulous for children  – Both Quebec & Montreal are French speaking
-Peddlers Village in Pennsylvania – indoor park called Giggleberry Fair
-Sesame Place
-Catskills
-Hershey Park

Camps
-Arts spaced camps:  Tada Theater
-FastTracKids – they video portions of every class and at the end of the week they send you a video of your child in camp
-Baseball camp for boys and girls kids ages 4 – 14:  teaches kids values, sportsmanship, respect at the same time they teach baseball and bringing it to Prospect Park.  Very reasonably priced.
-Finland Center Foundation (http://www.finlandcenter.org/) – having a music/traditional camp starting at preschoolers
-Local YMCA’s – generally a little less expensive but very good
-Museum of the Moving Image – animation camp (http://www.movingimage.us/)

Overnight Camps
– Generally, people should realize camps have gotten savvy to the idea that parents and kids don’t want to be separated for the whole summer, so camps now have shorter sessions.
– Camp Wizard – http://www.campwizard.org/ – great resource
– America Camp Association – http://www.acacamps.org/ – great resource
– Do it if it works for the family and the child.  Overnight camps are not for everyone.
– To help acclimate your child to camp, you can send your child with a friend.
– Although some people say it is not good to go to camp with friend.  Going solo gives a child the chance to engage and set out on her own journey and make a new set of friends.

Do you have any additional ideas and/or resources? Please share below!

We’d like to thank our sponsor for this BlogTalkRadio episode: Episencial. Episencial is the first and only professional-quality, all natural skincare system created specifically for the unique developing skin type of babies and kids.

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