With spring just around the corner, the time is now to think about getting your kid’s summertime schedules settled. Day camps throughout the South Fork are chock full of the usual summertime fun, but also offer unique, engaging experiences to make your child’s time away from school both unique and memorable. From observing wildlife in the great outdoors to learning video game design or how to cook, the itineraries at these East End day camps have something for every kind of kid.
Space is limited, so the earlier you register your youngster the better. Be sure to visit each camp’s website for prices.
Dates: June 26 to Aug. 8
Once the home of Set on the grounds of Shelter Island’s first European settlers, Nathaniel and Grizzell Sylvester, Sylvester Manor is now a working farm and education center and serves, in part, as a way for the youngest generation to embrace nature at summer camp. On the grounds of the manor, built circa 1651, kids can engage in everything from harvesting veggies in the Children’s Garden to a theater program that turns the great outdoors into a sprawling stage.
Dates: June 26-Aug. 18
Kids ages 7 to 12 are welcome to Ross School’s Bridgehampton campus (739 Butter Lane) for week-long programs that run the gamut from painting and drawing to drama and improv. Campers can go for a hike, plant seedlings, and explore photography. Robotics, fashion and digital media are just some of the other subjects campers can examine, explore and potentially hone their skills. Campers from 9 to 12 can test out their culinary chops in the Ross School kitchen using ingredients from local farms. Kids ages six to 16 can head to Ross’s East Hampton campus (18 Goodfriend Drive) for tennis, basketball and soccer. The East Hampton campus will have multisport programs, including tug of war, capture the flag relay races and kickball. There will also be an outdoor tent for daily stretching and yoga. Most programs are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Littles ages 2 to 6 can come too, as there’s a camp just for them at the Bridgehampton location.
Dates: Coming in March
Saddle up and ride at this Amagansett horse school, founded nearly 50 years ago. Camp director Kailee Brabant’s curriculum has something to offer for riders of all skill levels, with no prior experience required. Campers (must be at least 4 years old) can learn how to groom and maintain horses. Beginners will learn how to ride, while those at the intermediate riding level will enhance their walk and trot techniques with an aim to learn to canter. More experienced riders are able to fine-tune their techniques and will be introduced to jumping and more detailed horse care and management. Morning session begin at 9 a.m. and there’s an extended day camp in the afternoon from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m..
Dates: July 10-Sept. 1
Kids ages 5 to 10 can go to “Camp Superstar,” a creative art and music camp. Programs cover art, theater, music and dance, plus a featured book of the week. Older kids ages 9 to 14 can enjoy a fine art camp, offered four times a summer. Activities include everything from printmaking and drawing to collage and sculpture. On the last day, each student will build an exhibit of their work.
For the 9 to 14 year olds, there’s also a week-long music camp (first week begins July 17th). This includes instruction to learn acoustic and/or electric guitar, bass, piano and drums as well as vocal training. Each week culminates with a group performance. Designed with kids—and working parents—in mind, full days run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with two half-day sessions from 9 a.m. to noon or noon to 3 p.m. EEA offers early-morning care, available from 8:30 to 9 a.m. while aftercare runs from 3 to 5 p.m..
Ages: 3 to 8
Dates: June 12-Sept. 1
Littles can bond with farm animals and learn to ride, groom and feed the horses on this five-acre eco-friendly farm. A sister camp, The Farm Camp, turns the great outdoors into a classroom. Kids will get their hands dirty, explore nature, learn about farm animals and bunnies and learn more about sustainable living while getting a healthy dose of Vitamin D.
Dates: June 19-Sept. 1
Flying Point welcomes beginner and intermediate-level surfers to hang ten weekday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon. Beyond learning to catch a wave, campers will learn paddling techniques as well as life-saving ocean swim and rescue skills, like how to determine if it’s unsafe to go in the water. Lessons take place at the ocean in Sagaponack. Exact location for the lessons will be disclosed after registration. FPSC requires all surfers to wear their own wetsuits.
Dates: July 3-Aug. 11
Situated in the landmark Old Whaler’s Church, children will take part in all sorts of art projects, from pottery and painting to sculpture and sewing. Warning: Slime-making is part of the festivities—embrace it, parents. It’s the summer and they’re only young once. Hamptons Art Camp also gives back: Previous campers have made beds for pups at local shelters and greeting cards to brighten the days of nursing home residents.
Dates: July 10-Aug. 25
Bay Street Theater offers weeklong camps for kids of all ages, where they’ll learn and develop their acting and improv skills. Highlights include My Favorite Fairytales for kids ages 4 to 7, which lets little ones turn their most cherished tale into a one-of-a-kind performance for family and friends. My Life! The Musical allows kids ages 7 to 9 to create and perform a unique musical, while Ready, Steady, Shoot, Act! puts those TikTok-creating skills to good use as teens learn to shoot films and vlogs.
Dates: June 12-Sept. 1
Since 2018, this Hamptons “innovators camp” has been nurturing the minds and skills of South Fork youth. Their focus is STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) and covers two age groups for their summer camps. Kids 5 to 13 can rotate through all subjects of software technology, natural science, art and design and science experiments.
Preschoolers ages 3 and 4 can go to Junior Camp, where there’s circle time, music and movement, engineering exploration and story time, among the myriad engaging aspects of the day. Both camps start at 9 a.m..