BROOKLYN — Brooklyn families scouring last-minute for fun activities for children this summer don’t have to look past their neighborhoods for a variety of summer programs that are cheap, free, or tuition-based.
While the deadlines for summer camps have all passed, local parks and children's venues, like The Painted Pot and Arts Cetra in Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill, have plenty to keep tykes busy while learning a little too.
The Kids Concert Series at Carroll Park is one example.
“The Kids’ Concert Series is about bringing music and art exposure to the children of the community, and we’ve expanded it to include middle schools,” said Simi Degnemark, director of the park’s concert series and a volunteer of Friends of Carroll Park. “Our concert series specifically tries to bring diversity too. We have artists that write their own music.”
While greenspaces are scarce in Boerum Hill, especially after playgrounds closed at schools for the summer, residents can take advantage of the community garden on Hoyt Street, which offers free readings of children's book every Tuesday in July.
"Story hours are a great tradition," said Margaret Cusack, president of the Hoyt Street Association. "In some cases, children have grown up and come back to the event as adults."
Stories in the Hoyt Street Garden
The Hoyt Street Association has kicked off another summer of free stories in the Hoyt Street Garden this year, and families can enjoy this free evening activity with the kids every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the garden, located on the southwest corner of Hoyt Street and Atlantic Avenue.
Lemonade and refreshments will be served to those who attend and anyone passing by. The program will run through the end of July, and Assemblywoman Joan Millman has volunteered to read on the final day of the series, on July 31.
The next reading will take place on July 3, and in the case of rain, meet at Mathnasium, located at 392 Atlantic Ave.
Carroll Park Concert Series
Each month, a kid-friendly concert in the Kids Concert Series will take place at Carroll Park at 5 p.m. Musicians will perform in collaboration with neighborhood schools, for three summer evenings of fun, food and music.
All concerts take place at 4 p.m., but head to the park early for food and fun from 2-5:30 p.m.
This year’s lineup includes:
Check Friends of Carroll Park’s website for updates and rain dates.
Cobble Hill Park Concert Series
“Music in the Park” concert series, organized by the Cobble Hill Association, has a diverse line-up this year with genres including classical, folk and jazz. Concerts take place every Thursday in July, at 7 p.m. This year’s line-up is as follows:
July 12: Suzanne Sherman Propp (folk)
July 19: Zenon Garcia and Ada Pasternak (folk/jazz)
July 26: Kelly McRae (singer/songwriter)
Rain date for all concerts lands on the following Friday when possible.
Last-minute Day Camps
The Painted Pot
The Painted Pot, located at 339 Smith St., will be offering seven week-long workshops this summer, focusing on clay hand-building, pottery painting, and bead work, among other topics.
In the Wheel/Hand-building Mini Camp, children of ages 8-15 will be exposed to the fundamentals of wedging, centering, lifting, trimming and glazing. Each class will be limited to five to nine children, so any potential pupils should register in advance to hold a spot.
Workshops run from 1-4 p.m., and are held on every weekday until the end of August.
Cost is $450 per week and includes a tool set and all firing fees. Most pottery pieces will be available for pick up two weeks after the session ends.
The Brooklyn Strategist
The Brooklyn Strategist, located at 333 Court St., is a community-based, interactive board-and-card game center, café and social hub. During a couple of months in the summer, the cafe closes to the public for brainstorming camps that focus on building children's ability to strategize through board games and cards.
Brainstorming Camps take place everyday at thestore during August. To hold a spot, register early for the August sessions, which are currently open.
Each session begins with open strategic play in the morning, with age-appropriate games of the child’s choice. The day closes with a more in-depth discussion of strategic approaches for successful game play, league and tournament play, and creative game creation.
The cost for a full, eight-hour session is $99, and $450 for a week. Register for the camp online or by calling the store at (718) 576-3035.
Arts Cetra, a children’s studio located at 212 Smith St., offers summer classes geared toward 4 to 6-year-olds.
This five-week camp, dubbed Creative Destinations, features a class that teaches children how to craft their own puppets and tell a story, a group guitar class for young musicians who want to learn the basics of guitar, and a Dance Improvisation class.
Camp sessions run through July and August, and classes meet from 3 p.m. -4:30 p.m. Each class includes 45-50 minutes of instruction, play time and a healthy snack. Cost is $125, and includes tuition and all materials.
To register, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.