Mini-Camps Offer Ways to Keep Kids Busy During Break

Looking for ways to keep your school-age children entertained during the New Jersey Education Association convention Thursday and Friday of this week? A number of spots throughout Hopewell Valley are hosting mini-camps to help kids stay busy and parents remain sane during the two days when school is out.

Thanks to a query on the local Hopewell Pennington Update Facebook group, the following suggestions were offered.

Hopewell Valley YMCA SCOPE

The SCOPE Day program is offered and provided when school is out to meet the needs of parents and caregivers who need care for the day. The SCOPE program is aimed at taking care of the needs of the families and providing exceptional care at a great price.

Participants will be engaged from start to finish through various activities scheduled for the day. Activities range from arts and crafts, science demonstrations and projects, trips, structured group games, and much more.

SCOPE AM: 7:00-8:30am

Hours: 8:30-6:30pm

Location: Stony Brook Elementary School

Schaefer Gymnastics

Schaefer Gymnastics hosts day camp when schools are closed. Choose from half day or full day, as well as before care and after care if needed.

A full day of camp begins at 9:00 AM and ends at 3:30 PM. We offer a choice of either a morning half day(s) 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM, or an afternoon half day(s) 12:30 PM – 3:30 PM. Each session includes: a 15 minute warm-up, 4 gymnastics rotations (i.e., trampoline, floor, pit, & bars), a recreational game, arts & crafts, and a 15 minute snack that we provide twice a day.

Art Sparks Studio

The art studio in Hopewell Borough offers a variety of mixed media art projects over the NJEA break as the studio hosts three workshops:

Thursday, November 6: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm – ages 5 – 9 FULL
Friday, November 7: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm – ages 5 – 9
Friday, November 7: 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm – ages 9 – 13

With guest artist Sue Mitrano, learn how to create and express yourself with fibers and fabric! We’ll work with colorful wool roving and pieces of silk fabric to create an image. Through the magic of the wet felting process, we’ll turn this light and fluffy wool into a beautiful and permanent felt artwork. Discover how this process originated and the many ways people around the world work with and use felt.

Each day of mini-camp will have different content. So, if you should decide to attend more than one workshop, there will be different art activities and projects each time.

The children will bring their own snack and drinks to camp, and should “dress to mess.”
One session: $50
Two sessions: $90

Sibling discount: $10 off for registered for siblings

You can register for mini-camp by phone (609) 466-5437, and by filling out the Mini-Camp registration form.


PEAC is hosting a sports mini-camp for children in grades 1 through 7 with both full (9 to 3 p.m.) and half-day (9 to 12 p.m.) options. Available for children of members and non-members, and before and after care available at the adjacent Lakeview Childcare Center.

Mercer County Parks

The park commission is offering an autumn version of their popular Baldpate Nature Camp. This all-day mini camp (held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) will be loaded with the Naturalist Staff’s favorite activities, experiments and games from our summer camps. For children in grades 3 – 5. Registration required: $55 for one day, $100 for both days.

And for families looking for something different, our area is full of options like local museums, the Camden Aquarium, zoos and more. Enjoy the days off!

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Andrea Fereshteh has been writing for as long as she can remember. An avid journal-keeper as a child, she dabbled in dramatic notes to her parents and designed her own stationary. With a zest for small talk and meeting new people, she pursued journalism in college and worked for nine years in PR, writing and media relations for the higher ed and nonprofit sectors. She has a mousters and ducktorate from Disney University and is a mother to two lively boys who inspire her to just keep writing, just keep writing.

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