It's Time to Play at Camp in Hudson Yards
Whether you’re nostalgic for your childhood summers at sleepaway camp, or regretful that you never had them, it’s hard not to feel like a kid again at CAMP, a “family experience store” that just opened their newest location on the second level of Hudson Yards.
"I personally believe there’s something here for every kid, even the most grown up of kids," said Amanda Raposo, Chief Experience Officer at CAMP, during a recent tour, nodding to two Gen Z-ers taking selfies inside the store’s 1970 vintage Ford Bronco, "At any given point, you’ll see an infant, a toddler, an elementary and middle school kid all having a blast here. It’s hard not to."
Certainly, there is no shortage of delightful things to do in the 6,000-square-foot store. According to Tiffany Markofsky, Chief Marketing Officer, CAMP incorporated some of the most popular design elements from their other stores and brought them to the Hudson Yards location. In addition to the Bronco, the store is decked out with installations reminiscent of New England sleepaway camps; children (and adults) can have a dance party in the pink sequin disco room; climb up into two treehouse “bunks” and – pausing a minute to enjoy the views of Vessel – slide down from one of them into a foam “pond” complete with LED lights; and afterward, can enjoy Ample Hills ice cream from the “canteen," which serves up a CAMP-exclusive flavor called “S’more Sprinkles, Please.”
“We’re trying to bring the play back into shopping and retail,” said Markofsky.
That’s particularly true in the studio space, where kids and their parents can decorate pre-made ceramics and woodwork, or book a workshop where they’ll make crafts like hot air balloon night lights, glittery golden slime, and dreamcatchers. CAMP also hosts occasional performances, like puppet shows and animal meet-and-greets, as well as select drop-off programming, when adults can leave their tots for a few hours to go shopping or out to dinner (the “Date Night Pajama Party” on Saturday nights is particularly popular).
Still, Markofsky insists that what makes CAMP stand out among toy retailers is not so much that parents can leave – but that they actually want to stay.
“There are probably a lot of places where kids are really happy, but we thought there was a real need in the market to service the whole family,” she said, noting that what makes the craft time so special is that parents and kids can do it together, “The parents are so happy to do it because they’re not on their phones and the kids aren’t asking for their phones.”
The appeal of CAMP to parents extends into the merchandising, which offers items for kids up to age 12, as well as a selection of goods for adults like a "Knit Your Own Blanket" kit, a "Do You Look Like Your Dog" memory game, a "Barrel Aged Spirits Kit," and a selection of Hudson Yards-specific merchandise (think 7-train branded t-shirts). For kids, there are a mixture of trendy and popular toys like LOL Surprise and “Frozen” figurines, as well as more unusual items like the world’s first gender-neutral dolls “Creatable World” (incidentally, they are produced by Mattel, creator of Barbie).
And, in another nod to nostalgia, one section is entirely devoted to classic board games and toys, like Mouse Trap, Battleship and Bop It.
“It’s amazing for the parents who grew up with that kind of stuff," Markofsky said, "Now they want their kids to play Operation too. It's a full circle.”
The Related Life is written and produced by Related Luxury Rentals. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest events, news and announcements in your area, and tag us for a chance to be featured @therelatedlife and #therelatedlife.