Just because the doors to your child’s school are closed for the summer doesn’t mean he or she has to experience a lapse in learning. Summer in Manhattan is a great time to explore the many educational opportunities offered by the city’s best museums, libraries and parks.
The arts in particular are one area of the curriculum that sometimes get overshadowed by traditional core subjects, which is why the warmer months are a perfect time to reconnect with activities that ignite your kids’ creative spirits. Here are five Manhattan-based, arts-centric programs worth checking out this summer.
1) LC Kids Artists at the Atrium
Attend the “LC Kids Artists at the Atrium” performance series at The Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium, 61 W. 62nd St., New York, NY 10023, (212) 875-5000
On the first Saturday of each month, families and children of all ages can enjoy a free, one-hour interactive concert featuring unique musicians and other artists from a variety of disciplines. For a truly unique experience, kids can stick around after for an exclusive meet and greet with the performing artists. In June, Shine and the Moonbeams tore up the atrium with their unique, funk-infused brand of R&B.
2) Writopia Camp
Uncover a knack for writing at Writopia Camp, 155 W. 81st St., Ste. A, New York, NY 10024, (212) 222-4088
Geared toward children ages 6-18, this camp helps young authors develop their skills for writing in a variety of styles including humor, poetry, filmmaking and more. Thespians and other theatrical types will especially like the Playwriting and Performance sessions in which they get to work closely with established playwrights in a course that ultimately culminates in a field trip to see an Off-Broadway production.
Make time for MoMA’s family programming, The Cullman Education and Research Building, 4 West 54th St., New York, NY
MoMA’s “A Closer Look For Kids” program allows families of up to two adults and three children participate in weekly themed discussions and activities, each focused on the museum’s most prized masterpieces. On Saturdays and Sundays, interested families can obtain free tickets starting at 10 AM at the Cullman education building for that day’s programming.
4) High Line
Hangout on the High Line, Washington St. at Gansevoort St., New York, NY 10011, (212) 206-9922
Everyone knows the meatpacking district’s premiere elevated park is a trendy spot for shopping and sightseeing, but did you know that they offer special arts activities for families in July and August? Lawn Time is ideal for children ages 0-3, and features high-energy readings from a rotating group of storytellers. Wild Wednesdays offer a more hands on experience for children ages 4 and up. where nature-themed arts and crafts projects can be created during their weekly “Arty Hours” sessions.
5) New York Public Library
Enjoy story time at the New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Fifth Ave at 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036, (917) 275-6975
Whether your kids are toddlers or tweens, there is something for everyone to enjoy at The New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman building. “Toddler Storytime” gives children ages 18 months to 3-years-old an introduction to interactive storytelling, while “Family Read Aloud” gives school-aged children a chance to try out their reading skills right next to their parents and librarians. Book Buddies! offers a slightly more advanced format where students ages 7 to 9-years-old have a chance to discuss their recent reads with their peers in a warm and welcome environment.
Manhattan offers a treasure trove of summer arts activities for the whole family. Even the warmer months can bring forward a wealth of knowledge for school-aged children, so start exploring the borough’s many free and affordable offerings. You might just learn something new too!
Note: This is a guest post by Candace Schaffer; the views and opinions expressed are those of the author. Candice Schaffer works at Knightsbridge Park, a leading digital marketing firm for luxury real estate brands such as Cavalleri Malibu, The Austin San Francisco and One Mission Bay.