Sign the Kids Up for Winter Break Camp in the Hamptons

There are two words guaranteed to strike fear in the heart of a parent—forget “stranger danger,” we’re talking “school break.”

No school and no plans can prompt bored kids to explore all sorts of options, such as tie-dying the family cat or using the dryer as a substitute for a carnival ride. Save the cat, the dryer and your sanity and check out any of these mini-camp options to keep your kids happy during that long, long week off from school.

For your budding Picasso or Matisse, there is a wealth of choices to take you from Monday, February 17, through Friday, February 21. Guild Hall is offering a Vacation Art Week, for kids in grades K through 8, featuring a different medium and theme each day to delight your art-loving darlings. From 10 a.m. until 11:30 am, your kids will get to express their creativity and try their hand at collage, 3D artwork, mask-making and even experiment with the style of Andy Warhol. They’ll also get a tour of the current Student Art Festival Exhibition, to see what their peers have created. At $25 a day, you can decide whether you want to sign the gang up for one day or all five.

If you’ve been meaning to ferry your crew over to the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, February break is a great time. From 10 a.m. to noon, kids ages 4 to 6 will enjoy age-appropriate workshops throughout the galleries, and get a chance to dive into their own art projects. Their older sibs, ages 7 and up, have their own program from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The cost is the same for both age groups—$40 for each session, $30 for members. The 2014 Student Art Exhibition, currently on display, is sure to inspire both age groups. Again, you can sign up for one day or more, whichever you choose.

There’s plenty to thrill the future Oscar-winner in your family as well. At Bay Street Theatre’s week-long Theatre Camp, kids ages 8 to 12 will sharpen their acting chops with theater games, improv and instruction in all aspects of performance, including singing, acting and dance. The program culminates on Friday with a show for family and friends. Bay Street’s vacation camp runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., so you can keep your kids roughly on their school schedule, but with more fun and less homework. Led by Bethany Dellapolla, the program, which costs $385 for the week, is extremely popular. Limited class size means it’s a good idea to sign up early if you can.

Your Broadway babies will also find a creative outlet at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center. Their ambitious Musical Theatre Camp does no less than put on an entire production in a week. Beginning with casting on Monday, the WHBPAC program, led by Missoula Children’s Theatre directors, takes their campers from rehearsal to a Friday evening performance of “Robinson Crusoe.” Kids ages 5 to 16 will also enjoy some more typical camper pleasures, like themed Spirit Days, pizza parties and an ice cream social. At $400 for the week, your kids will be transported to Robinson Crusoe’s island, at least from 9 to 3.

For some kids, it’s just not camp unless there’s running, jumping and some kind of ball to throw around. The East End may be buried under a foot of snow, but your budding athletes can still play their little hearts out indoors at the Southampton Future Stars multi-sports camp, provided you can dig your minivan out of the driveway to get them there. Under two seriously cool-looking inflatable domes, kids from ages 6 to 12 will spend the 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. day with instruction in soccer, lacrosse, baseball, basketball and tennis. There are clinics, leagues and skill sessions. You can choose to send your little stars to Future Stars for the day for $60 a day, or $250 for the week.

Even if you can’t take your clan on a cruise or Hawaiian holiday, you can still keep the kids busy, entertained and happy for the February school break, no matter what their interests might be. And that means, you’ll be a pretty happy camper, too.

For more information:

Guild Hall Vacation Art Week, guildhall.org, 631-324-0806
Parrish Art Museum, parrishart.org, 631-283-2118
Bay Street Theatre Camp, baystreet.org, 631-725-0818 ext. 129
Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center,whbpac.org, 631-288-235
Future Stars Southampton, futurestarssouthampton.com, 631-287-6707

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