10 Creative Summer Activities for Kids in NYC

March 11, 2024

For kids, summertime offers kids an opportunity to have unforgettable memories and fresh experiences before the school year begins. However, it’s also a great time for personal development outside of the classroom. 

10 Creative Summer Kids Activities in NYC

There are a range of creative and fun kids’ activities in NYC during the summer. From immersive summer camps to new hobbies in the visual and performing arts, during their time off, kids can hone vital skills in communication and collaboration while exploring their interests. 

Here are some great ideas for how your kids can spend their summer months in NYC!

Take Filmmaking Classes

Film can be a great way to engage kids in the visual arts, teaching them essential technical and creative skills. NYFA offers a range of film classes for kids aged 10-13 designed to teach students filmmaking and content creation. Students dedicate most of their time to hands-on exercises while learning the fundamentals of cinematic storytelling.

activities for kids in NYC

In just a short time, the film camp teaches students essential skills in composition, direction, and video editing using cutting-edge cameras and equipment. Throughout the program, students take on roles as roles such as assistant directors, camera operators, and actors, collaborating to produce a short, silent film. At the end of the camp, students put on a special presentation accessible to friends and family and receive a USB drive with the final film.

Create a Time Capsule

Creating a time capsule can be an exciting and memorable activity for kids. Kids can gather meaningful items such as photos, letters, drawings, or small mementos that represent their current interests, hobbies, and experiences. They can write a letter to their future selves or include current newspaper clippings to add depth and context to the time capsule’s contents, preserving a snapshot of their lives for years to come.

Visit an Immersive Experience

New York City has an array of immersive experiences, from The Sloomoo Institute slime exhibit to Inter_ , an interactive and multi-sensory art experience. Immersive experiences offer kids the chance to step outside their everyday reality, fully engaging their senses and emotions in a different context. With richly detailed environments and narratives, immersive experiences enhance learning, empathy, and creativity. As some immersive experiences are seasonal, be sure to check availability. 

Learn How to do Photography

Photography can be a great hobby for kids interested in the visual arts! Even by starting with a smartphone, kids can dive into the basics of composition and lighting. From city skyscrapers like the Empire State Building to New York’s ample greenspace at the High Line and Prospect Park to the Bronx Zoo, kids can explore different subjects and perspectives while experimenting with angles and settings, starting to develop their unique style. 

activities for kids in NYC

Additionally, participating in photography classes can provide valuable guidance and help them hone their technical skills.

Explore The Outdoors

This summer, help your kids take advantage of NYC’s parks and outdoor spaces. Help your kids hone their culinary skills by packing and planning picnics in Central Park, exploring the gardens at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, or taking a nature walk in Prospect Park. You can also consider joining organized nature walks or birdwatching events.

Make a Video or Board Game

The summer is a great time for a long-term project, and for kids who love puzzles and games, making a board or video game concept can be an innovative way for them to put their imagination to work! Kids can brainstorm ideas and sketch out game mechanics and rules, utilizing online resources and tutorials. Collaborating with friends or family members can make the process even more enjoyable, fostering teamwork and problem-solving skills as they bring their ideas to life.

activities for kids in NYC

For parents who want kids to learn the fundamentals of game design, a game design camp can also help kids learn coding basics for video games. In NYFA’s game design camp, students collaborate to develop an original story concept, crafting core game mechanics and producing unique art assets. With the help of experienced professionals, kids participate in hands-on programming to bring their games to life within a dynamic and collaborative ‘Game Jam’ environment.

Attend a Cultural Event

NYC hosts various cultural festivals and events during the summer, featuring music, dance, food, and art from around the world. By bringing your children to events like the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival or the SummerStage Kids series, you can help your kids gain exposure to new hobbies and interests. From the vibrant street performances of the New York City Dance Parade to the eclectic mix of visual arts and live music at the Governors Island Art Fair, there’s a festival for every artistic taste. The River to River Festival captivates audiences with innovative performances and installations across Lower Manhattan. These festivals not only showcase the diversity of artistic expression but also bring communities together to celebrate creativity in all its forms.

Put on a Play

Whether you raid the internet for free scripts for kids or encourage your family to write their own, putting on a play can be a great way to connect with your kids this summer. With NYC as the home to Broadway, there’s inspiration for plays everywhere you look, and a range of kid-friendly shows to attend. For families that love the performing arts, spending an afternoon at Shakespeare in the Park can also be a great activity. 

activities for kids in NYC

As some kids are performers in the making, attending a musical theatre camp can be an effective way to get their skills to the next level. At NYFA’s musical theatre day camps, kids engage in exercises designed to enhance their skills as performers, leading up to an exciting final performance showcase for friends and family.

Explore NYC Museums for Kids

New York City boasts an array of museums tailored to children’s interests and learning experiences. From the interactive exhibitions at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan to the hands-on science exploration at the New York Hall of Science, there’s something for every young mind to discover. The American Museum of Natural History offers captivating dinosaur exhibits and immersive planetarium shows, while the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum invites children to explore historic aircraft carriers and space shuttles. 

With its diverse range of educational and entertaining offerings, NYC’s museums provide endless opportunities for children to learn, engage, and be inspired.

Create a Scrapbook

Creating scrapbooks can be a creative and imaginative project for kids. Armed with photographs, stickers, colorful paper, and their boundless imagination, kids can arrange and decorate each page to tell unique stories. With each cut and paste, they craft visually stunning albums and cultivate a deeper appreciation for the moments captured within.

Flex Your Creative Skills This Summer at NYFA

With so many options available, you’re sure to find engaging and creative activities to keep your kids entertained throughout the summer in NYC. NYFA’s summer camps and workshops cater specifically to kids, providing exceptional and educational courses in filmmaking, acting, photography, game design, and a myriad of other captivating subjects! 

To learn more, explore our kids camps programs today!