Activities and Opportunities for Students 2021-2022

Activities and Opportunities for Students 2022-2023


Below is a listing of low or no-cost programs, events and opportunities for middle school students around the city. They are neither endorsed nor recommended by ESMS, but rather listed for reference only. Suggestions and updates can be emailed to

June Gems Camp Reminder

 Gems Camp 

Our next GEMS Program will be a virtual program held on Sunday, June 26th from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

The GEMS program is open to girls who are currently in Grades 6, 7, and 8, and it is led and directed by students at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The GEMS curriculum will focus on team-building, communication skills, mentorship, leadership skills, and self-confidence. To complement our work on empowerment, girls will meet medical students and graduate students who can serve as role models.

This season's workshop theme will be The Brain! The workshop will take place entirely virtually over Zoom. GEMS programs are completely free for all participants including supplies. A computer with video capability should be used for camp, if possible. Please let us know if this is at all an issue for your child.

Please have your child with you as you complete the application. The short answer questions at the end of the application should be filled out by the student alone.

The Google Form can be accessed Gem Application Google Form.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE APPLICATION DEADLINE IS MONDAY, JUNE 13THAT 8:00PM. You will be notified by June 19th as to whether or not your child has been accepted. THIS APPLICATION IS NOT A GUARANTEE OF A SPOT IN THE CAMP. While we wish we could accept everyone, we often have a long waitlist.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at Thank you so much for your interest!

All the best,

Lucy, Olga, and Maddie

Free Summer Activities

CityParks offers free summer programs across the city. Register now for spots in Tennis and Track & Field; there are also hundreds of drop-in events with no registration required, like: Kids in Motion activities facilitated by NYC staff and Weekday Nature Exploration every Thursday and Friday at the Prospect Park Audubon Center. Search the Parks Dept. site for more free summer fun (use the Best for Kids filter on the right-hand side).

Some events are open to anyone, but others require a recreation center membership; to join, complete a Recreation Center Membership Registration Form and bring it with a government-issued ID (youth may bring a student ID, passport, or birth certificate) to any recreation center location. Youth through age 24 get FREE access to all recreation centers. Adults pay an annual fee.

CUNY CAT Junior Youth Theatre - Free Program for Middle Schoolers

Cat Youth Theatre CAT: Creative Arts Team logo is an award-winning theatre program that helps young people to thrive- on stage and in life. Young people to create socially relevant, artistically sophisticated original plays—all while having fun and building community! The program offers engaging activities that help students practice critical thinking skills while exploring their creativity!

The Junior Youth Theatre meets on Wednesday afternoons at our midtown studios from 4pm to 6:30pm in person. Now is the perfect time for new members to join. Interested participants or their families can apply at

Two Week Summer Intensive Leadership and Debt Training Program at Hunter College Main Campus

This July, the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute (BALI) is holding a free, two-week Summer Intensive Leadership & Debate Training Program at Hunter College Main Campus. The program is open to age 13-21 female-identifying students in NYC and the tri state area, and will include workshops on public speaking, community building, identity politics, social justice advocacy, mental health and we combine them with daily debate training. Proof of vaccination will be required to gain access to Hunter’s campus. Sessions are July 5-15 and July 18-29.  The short, easy to complete application is here: 

CCNY Explorers invites you to virtual tours!

CUNY Explorers is an opportunity program for middle school and high school students (6th-10th) to participate in virtual experiences to promote all students can go to college, college is affordable, and students can take steps now.  

Virtual Experiences: 

·         Family Feud- interactive game for students to learn about college, and steps they can take now as a middle school student and how to prepare for high school   

·         Virtual Tour through Minecraft - We use Minecraft and supplement photos to visualize the campus and talk about campus life.   

 Please visit to select a date that works best for your school! 

Working Papers

Working Papers - All teens between 14-17 years of age must get an employment certificate in order to work. Interested students should complete this form and reach out to Jessica McInnis, our school counselor:

Girls Empowered in Medicine and Science

 Girls Empowered in Medicine and Science 

The Met - Free Admission

MET Free Teen Pass

Metropolitant Museum of Art

Check your backpack at the door, and travel around the world and across time at the Met! All you need for unlimited free admission is this Teen Pass and a valid middle or high school ID. Use this pass and keep it in your wallet for access to some of the world’s greatest art, anytime the mood strikes you. 

New-York Historical Society

NY Historical Society LogoAt the New-York Historical Society, discover dynamic education programs and curriculum resources about the history of our city, state, and nation. 

Guggenheim New York

Guggenheim Museum Logo

The Guggenheim’s programs for families, kids, and teens are taught by artists and museum educators who use a wide range of media to foster creativity.

American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History 

The American Museum of Natural History offers a variety of experiences and opportunities for teens. From internships and research opportunities to courses, workshops and special events, there are offerings to suit a range of interests.  


Museum of the City of New York

Museum of the City of New York Logo
At the Museum of the City of New York, discover weekend and after school programs for middle and high-school students who want to dig deeper into NYC and its history while building their skills and resumes.

The Whitney Museum of American Art

 Whitney Museum Logo 

Programs at The Whitney give New York City students the opportunity to discuss art critically, think creatively, and make art with contemporary artists, educators, and their peers. 

Note: some programs are limited to HS students.

Cooper Hewitt, A Smithsonian Design Museum

Cooper Hewitt Museum

Cooper Hewitt's mission is to educate, inspire and empower people through design.  They offer an array of programs and opportunities geared towards tweens and teens.  

Also check out their family programs

Museum of Arts and Design

 Museum of Art and Design Logo 

Special Events and Programs @ MAD With the understanding that a great deal of learning occurs informally outside of school, MAD offers free admission to students with a school ID.   MAD also offers a number of programs just for teens including teen nights, artist and teen workshops, peer-to-peer tours, and work-study opportunities.

The Frick Collection

Frick Museum 

Artists of all skill levels are welcome to sketch in the tranquil, historic galleries of the Frick among the Old Masters.  Check out teen programs at the gallery.

Children's Museum of The Arts

Students working on art at CMA
Children Museum of the Arts

CMA’s Teen program offers art lovers in 6th-9th grade a variety of free opportunities to create, develop, and explore art-making under the guidance and mentorship of their teaching artists. 

Museum of The Moving Image

 Museum of Moving Image Logo 

MOMI offers a wide variety of learning activities--from drop-in workshops to multi-week courses--for young people and teens. For more information about the Museum’s tween and teen programs, visit their education program Tumblr, or sign up for the teen programs newsletter.

Discount Tickets for Students at Carnegie Hall



Student Insiders have the benefit of purchasing $10 tickets online or over the phone. They are also eligible to purchase Hope and Robert F. Smith Chairman Student Seats (Parquet Level) at the Box Office.  With the pass, students are allowed to purchase up to 2 tickets per concert with the discount. Carnegie Hall also offers other student opportunities.  




See NYC attractions for free with Culture Pass

NYC Cultural Pass

Culture Pass is one of the best deals in town for NYC families! If you have a library card with the Brooklyn, Queens or New York Public Library you may get free admission to dozens of cultural venues. 

Participating institutions include museums across the city plus many other attractions such as the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, New York Youth Symphony, Second Stage Theater, Historic Richmond Town, Wave Hill Public Garden & Cultural Center, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, and Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Sign up for Culture Pass at

If you don't have a library card, get one today at:




Growing Up NYC - After School Programs

After School Low Cost Programs 
New York City provides a database of free & low cost after school programs in NYC, searchable by program type, borough, and age.

For more information:



YMCA - Teens Take the City

YMCA Logo New York City's YMCA
Teens Take the City Program

Teens Take the City is a civic engagement program focused specifically on NYC government and fostering community organizing skills to build thoughtful, leaders of tomorrow.  By working alongside local political leaders, teens have the chance to see how political decisions are made, and learn how to become effective agents of change. Writing legal memoranda, resolutions, and press releases gives teens hands on experience, and exposure to how the democratic process impacts NYC communities.

The program provides opportunities for students to:

Understand the New York City legislative system
Read and debate current bills before the New York City Council
Meet and work alongside local politicians, professionals and managers of NYC agencies
Hold a legislative session in New York City Council Chambers
Pursue internship opportunities within City government
Make change in their community

Contact your local branch to learn more about Teens Take the City opportunities near you!