NJ Camps For Summer Fun: A NJMOM Guide 2024

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This is a sponsored post helping all NJMOMs, and their kids plan a fun-filled summer. 

It may still be winter, but it’s never too soon to start thinking about what your kids will do when summer rolls around. Sending them to one of the many NJ camps is a great way to keep them busy and active while school’s out. There’s no denying how awesome a camp experience can be—it’s a space where kids can grow and blossom in a stress-free environment, meet new friends, and try novel things. And there are so many ways a kid can do camp, whether exploring new activities at a day camp, experiencing the great outdoors with a classic camp, focusing on honing their skills at a specialty camp, or gaining independence at a sleepaway camp. Your kiddos may already be pro campers, but keep in mind that your child’s needs shift with each growth stage, so you may be looking at a whole new experience each summer. Read on for our complete guide of all things camp and listings for NJ camps below, and get ready for an amazing summer in 2024. (featured photo credit: Istock/MaxTopchij)

DAY CAMPS IN NJ

If you’re getting your feet wet in the whole camp thing or your kids like being close to home, check out the NJ camps around your town, like at a local YMCA or community center, where young kids can get comfortable in a familiar camp setting. Kids will spend their days in age-specific groups doing crafts, cooking, science experiments, playing rec games, learning to swim (if the camp has a pool or access to one), and, if they’re older, even going on local field trips. Private schools also offer summer camp programs, with some that have a learning component (shh, keep that on the down low). But they also have lots of fun and different activities in a structured environment with plenty of outdoor time, giving kids a chance to have a ball and meet new friends.

nj camps

Photo Credit: Apple Montessori Schools

Spotlight: Apple Montessori Schools

For more than 50 years, Apple Montessori summer camps have offered the perfect blend of fun and learning. Our nurturing camp staff provides educational, action-packed, fun-filled activities that ensure children continue to advance and avoid summer learning loss while building new friendships and creating joyful memories. Camp activities are designed to build each child’s confidence and independence and facilitate a smooth transition into the fall. Campers enjoy coding, robotics, music, drama, art, sports, daily Montessori lessons, special events, field trips, and much more! Most locations also offer swim lessons with Red Cross-certified instructors. This summer, Apple will celebrate some of our country’s greatest landmarks and explore a new location each week as part of the 2024 theme: Roadtrip USA. Campers ages 2 – 12* will go sightseeing in Washington, DC, chase dreams in Utah, find magic in Florida, and more. Join us for a summer to remember! Schedule a tour today. *Age varies by location; please see our website for details.
Multiple Locations Throughout New Jersey

NJ Mom Steve and Kates Camp in nj

Photo Credit: Steve & Kate’s Camp

Spotlight: Steve & Kate’s Camp

When you trust kids, they trust themselves. Since 1980, Steve & Kate’s has put kids in charge of their own learning experience. As they try, fail, and learn on their own, they learn to trust their judgment and tackle the challenges of an ever-changing world with creativity and confidence. Campers choose from a variety of activities in real-time, including sewing, stop-motion animation, music, coding, sports & rec, makers crafts, baking, & more. They’ll decide what they want to do and for how long. This summer, families can buy as many days as they’d like and use them anytime. No weekly reservations are required–just show up! Or, if you need more care, purchase a Summer Pass, which covers the whole season. If, for any reason, your plans change, they’ll automatically refund any unused Passes in full at summer’s end. Ages: 4–12 | lunch, snacks, and all hours (8 am–6 pm) included. Now in Montclair, Hoboken and Princeton.
Montclair- 155 Lorraine Ave., Montclair, NJ 07043 
Hoboken- 1460 Garden St, Hoboken, NJ 07030 
Princeton- 650 Great Rd., Princeton, NJ 08540

CLASSIC CAMPS IN NJ

If your idea of a camp for your kids involves paddling a canoe along a lake, group bonding over color war, and lots of outdoor adventures, then look at a classic day camp. These camps are usually big on nature, with acres of space near trees and a pond or lake (almost all have pools, so don’t worry if swimming in a lake isn’t your kids’ thing). They offer many outdoor camp activities, on-site lunch, and bus pickup and drop-off as part of the camp tuition. Kids are put in small groups by age and gender, with a small camper-to-counselor ratio. NJ camps are week-to-week, but most offer a discount for multiple sessions, and it’s an excellent springboard for future sleepaway summers down the road. 

summer camp in nj camp mason ymca

Photo Credit: YMCA Camp Mason

Spotlight: YMCA Camp Mason

At YMCA Camp Mason, our camp experience is transformative, helping build the skills and values kids need to thrive. For nearly 125 years, we have welcomed campers to our caring, diverse, inclusive community. We strive for excellence and innovation and believe every child deserves the opportunity to discover who they are and what they can achieve. Our proven programs and caring, trained counselors engage and encourage young people and deliver meaningful and memorable experiences. Our campers say it best! “I made so many new friends, and now I know I can do anything!” Our schedule allows campers to try new things and improve their skills while developing confidence, gaining independence, having fun, and making lifelong friends. “I come to camp for all of the great activities.” On our 500-acre natural campus, we offer archery, swimming in our Olympic size outdoor pool, boating, arts and crafts, drama, music, a climbing tower, zipline, dance, digital photography, basketball and court sports, a skateboarding park, mountain biking, hiking, aerial silks, and countless other activities. There is something for everyone! If you are ready for your child to have THE BEST SUMMER EVER, go to www.campmason.org, call 908-362-8217, or email information@campmason.org for more information or to register.
23 Birch Ridge Road, Hardwick, NJ 07825

SPECIALTY NJ CAMPS

Have a kid who wants to spend all day on a stage or improve their skills on the field? Consider NJ camps dedicated to a specialty, like robotics, coding, theater, art, a specific sport, and music. Kids will get to hone their skills and even learn new things to give them an edge since activities focus on that particular interest. Depending on the specialty, these camps are usually scheduled week-by-week, which means if you’ve got a coder kid who also wants to sing his heart out, he can zero in on each interest at different NJ camps throughout the summer. For moms of special needs, specialty NJ camps provide adaptive activities (think Sensory Taekwondo and yoga) so kids can have fun and brush up on social skills in a supportive and therapeutic setting.

YHIS Summer Camp, Camps in NJ

Photo Credit: YingHua International School

Spotlight: YingHua International School

Embark on an unforgettable summer adventure at YingHua International School’s (YHIS) Summer Camp, located in the greater Princeton area. Running from June 24 to August 2, this camp is a perfect summer destination for children from Nursery & Pre-K to Grade 6. Our mornings are focused on Theme-Based Chinese Immersion Programs. Here, children immerse themselves in Mandarin through culturally rich and interactive activities, enhancing their language skills while engaging in fun learning experiences. Afternoons at YHIS Summer Camp are for Bilingual STEAM & Creative Workshops. These sessions blend science, technology, engineering, and arts in a bilingual English and Mandarin environment, fostering creativity and innovation. Each week, the camp features either a field trip to a local destination or a special event hosted at our school. These activities are designed to complement our educational themes, adding elements of exploration, discovery, and hands-on
learning to the camp experience. YHIS Summer Camp is more than just a camp; it’s a hub for growth, learning, and summer fun. Join us for a season filled with new discoveries, educational adventures, and memories that will last a lifetime!
25 Laurel Avenue, Kingston, NJ 08528

WPSNJ Summer Program, summer camps in NJ

Photo Credit: Winston Preparatory School

Spotlight: Winston Preparatory School

Winston Preparatory School New Jersey, located in Whippany, is gearing up for its 2024 Summer Program. Using Winston Prep’s research-based education model, the Summer Program offers an individualized learning environment for students grades 4-12 with learning differences, including dyslexia, ADHD, and nonverbal learning disorder (NVLD). This comprehensive day program will help your child enhance academic skills and foster independence. In addition to daily 1:1 focus sessions that target your child’s greatest area of need, our model is based on an in-depth understanding of each student, which results in grouping by learning profile and precisely designed programming. For an additional fee, students can participate in fun and educational extracurricular activities. Winston Prep’s Summer Program is more than just an average camp. Our expert faculty will help your child achieve their individualized goals to build confidence, develop skills, and succeed! Traveling this summer? Learn from anywhere and stay engaged with Winston Online’s Summer Program. For more information and how to apply, please contact our Summer Program Coordinator, Chris Bishop, at njsummerprogram@winstonprep.edu or (973) 500-6480.
901 Route 10 East, Whippany, NJ 07981

Camps in NJ Tab

Photo Credit: Taubenslag Productions’ Theater Camp

Spotlight: Taubenslag Productions’ Theater Camp

Entering our 35th summer, Taubenslag Productions’ Theater is located at the Edison Elks, 375 Old Post Road in Edison, NJ (easily accessible from Route 1). For kids entering 1st grade up to 16 years old, our season begins June 24 and runs for 8 weeks. Register for all 8 weeks or choose by Session. We teach campers all about musical theater while building their confidence, self-esteem & public speaking skills. Rehearsals and shows take place in our air-conditioned, BIG TOP PERFORMANCE TENT! Session 3 also includes a trip to see The Wiz on Broadway in NYC!
No theater experience is needed, and all are welcome. Roles are provided for all campers in all shows. We also offer two additional TEEN programs. “Tech” for campers 12 to 16 years old where they are part of stage crew; painting scenery, organizing props & costumes — and “Teen Scenes” for 8th, 9th & 10th graders where they prepare special teen productions.
Theater Camp is also more than just theater! After morning rehearsals, afternoons are filled with fun camp activities, including swimming every day, scavenger hunts, relay races, games, arts & crafts, foursquare, mini golf & more! Full and half-day options, plus before and after care is available. Find out why our Theater Camp was honored by the New Jersey State Senate, General Assembly & Middlesex County Freeholders for Artistic Excellence. For more details or to register, visit our website www.taubenslagproductions.com. Or call Taubenslag Productions at (732) 422-7071, email at taubenslagtheatercamp@gmail.com, or visit their Facebook page.
Edison Elks, 375 Old Post Road, Edison, NJ 08817, (732) 422-7071. 

Wharton

Photo Credit: Wharton Arts

Spotlight: Wharton Arts

Wharton Arts offers a number of excellent learning opportunities for young budding artists at any skill level during the summer months. Our unique performing arts summer camps located in the heart of Union County bring together the rigor of artistic practice and the playfulness of a fun summer experience. Explore all that Wharton Arts has to offer this summer! Register by April 1, 2024, and take advantage of the early bird special. Mention this ad to receive $25 OFF for new student families. Full camp details and registration are available online at https://whartonarts.org. Call (908) 790-0700 for more information.
60 Locust Avenue, Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922

summer camp in NJ St Hubert's

Photo Credit: St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center – Critter Camp

Spotlight: St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center – Critter Camp

St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center hosts summer Critter Camp for children (rising 3rd-8th graders) who love animals and enjoy learning more about them and about the role of the animal shelter, increasing their compassion and respect for the creatures with whom they share the environment.  Each fun-filled day is packed with various activities to engage all animal-loving campers!  The camp consists of interactive lessons (live and/or virtual) on a wide variety of animal welfare topics, including companion animal care & safety, adoption & rehoming, the importance of population control, and so much more, all to build positive and enriching behaviors with other beings. Many of St. Hubert’s professional staff, including behavior specialists, dog trainers, and pet therapy teams, visit campers to share their vast array of knowledge on the specifics of animal sheltering.  Animal experts from outside of St. Hubert’s will also make special guest appearances. Each day will also include opportunities for camp group and individual games and enrichment crafts for the shelter animals! This is an educational opportunity not to be missed for animal enthusiasts!
575 Woodland Avenue, Madison, NJ 07940

Florham Park

Photo Credit: Florham Park Sports Dome Summer Camp 

Spotlight: Florham Park Sports Dome Summer Camp 2024

Florham Park Sports Dome Summer Camp is a unique summer camp experience that caters to each camper, ages 4 to 12 while encouraging them to try NEW activities and sports. The weekly curriculums include: Soccer, Football, Basketball, Wiffleball, Lacrosse, Hockey, Gaga, Kickball, Dodgeball, Pillo Polo, Laser Tag, Water Activities, eSports, Robotics, Coding, Science, Tie Dye, Painting, Pottery, Arts & Crafts and so much more. **Activities will vary from week to week—New for 2024- Nerf Battles & Water Slides.
76 Passaic Ave., Florham Park, NJ 07932

SLEEPAWAY CAMPS

Ok, so this is a biggie—sure, it’s scary to send your kid away to a place far from you, but it’s also a huge step in their development (and if it’s making you anxious just to read this, we get it). But consider this: kids who succeed at a sleepaway camp are more likely to develop independent living skills, step outside their comfort zone to try new things, foster friendships, and build tolerance. And did we mention that almost all the sleepaway camps are unplugged? Yup, there are no electronics for the summer. It may not be for every kid, but those who love it start adopting the unofficial motto—live 10 for 2. There are a ton of camps out there that cater to everything from the sports lover to the theater enthusiast to the outdoorsman and flexible schedules, with weekly, monthly, or entire summer sessions. If you’re considering sending your child to sleepaway camp this year or next, start with the American Camp Association, which offers a comprehensive resource for parents with accredited camps and part of their network. If this seems way too overwhelming and you need help finding the perfect match, talk to a referral agent who works with the camps. Think of it as a concierge service—an advisor will get to know specifics about your child and what you’re looking for, find a bunch of camps matching your child’s interests, and arrange for camp tours and introductions (upon placement, they’ll receive compensation from the camp, so this service is free to you). While there are some sleepaway camps in NJ, most are in the tri-state area and can be as far or as close as you choose. And remember this—your kid may be ready to go away before you are, so in that case, make sure you bring plenty of Kleenex to wipe away the tears at drop off (yours, of course).

Appel Farm

Photo Credit: Appel Farm Arts Camp

Spotlight: Appel Farm Arts Camp

Celebrating over 60 years, Appel Farm Arts Camp, an overnight summer camp for ages 8-16 in beautiful, rural southern New Jersey, provides a safe space for campers to be themselves and explore art free of judgment where safety, community, personal growth, and fun are valued. Small class sizes that engage mixed-age groups are available in music, theatre, technical theatre, dance, visual arts, photography, media arts, environmental arts, creative writing, sports, and swimming. Campers enjoy free time, workshops, trips, campfires, performances, and special events. Appel Farm works to be an explicitly anti-racist, anti-sexist, trauma-informed, trans-inclusive, and gender-affirming space for both staff and campers. “We’re a place where kids can come to be themselves,” says Tanner Rushing, Assistant Camp Director. “Whether a child is the star of their school’s drama club or they’ve never picked up a paintbrush, they will feel comfortable and supported in their art here at Appel Farm.” Ignite your creativity, kindness, and confidence this summer at Appel Farm with 1, 2, and 4-week sessions from June – July.
457 Shirley Roa, Elmer, NJ 08318

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About Author

Lisa Cohen Lee is a freelance writer, editor, and mom to a tween-age boy based in Summit, NJ. Her work has appeared in print and online, including Glamour, Self, Woman’s Day, O The Oprah Magazine, NY Post, NJ Monthly, Allure.com, Prevention.com, and Brit + Co, among others. A Garden State native, Lisa is always on the lookout for new local adventures and events to entertain her son and husband. Most days, you can find her chauffeuring her son around town and trolling the coolest coffee houses for #NJMOM fuel.

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