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
- Eric Messinger, editor of New York Family magazine
- Karen Connell, editor of A Child Grows in Brooklyn website
- Renee Sullivan, director of babybites’ moms support groups
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.
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
– 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
-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/)
– 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.