Your Guide to Philadelphia Summer Camps for Kids

Keep your kiddo entertained all summer long with these fun, educational, adventurous programs around Philly.

philadelphia summer camps

The YMCA hosts several Philadelphia summer camps, plus the overnight Camp Speers in the Poconos. Photograph courtesy YMCA.

Philadelphia School of Circus Arts Camp

Fly through the air with the greatest of ease in a comfortable air-conditioned space. The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts operates four summer camps that accommodate all skill levels and youth ages 5 to 18. Campers will be moving, climbing and swinging upside-down while supervised by the regions most experienced aerials instructors. Here is a perfect opportunity to clown around without getting into trouble. Summer sessions start June 10th and run through August 30th. 5900A Greene Street.

Franklin Institute Discovery Camps

Experience science like never before. The Franklin Institute offers 12 weeklong summer sessions that are each independently themed. Kids who are Mini Molecules (grades K-2nd), an Awesome Atom (grades 3-6th), or Excited Electrons (grades 7-9th) can choose to explore a wide variety of scientific fields from physics, astronomy, natural disasters, and more. Campers may choose to experience the life of an astronaut in outer space as preparation for the Apollo 11 mission‘s 50th anniversary during Blast Off Week, or venture into the Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes exhibit to battle villainous masterminds. Descriptions of each themed week can be found here. Week one begins June 1oth and the last week ends on August 30th. 222 North 20th Street.

WHYY Young Journalism and Film Academy

Stop the presses! The WHYY Summer Journalists camp is offering an opportunity for aspiring broadcasters to channel their inner watchdog. Award-winning staff will be on hand to teach teens in grades 9th through 12th how to tell a compelling story on multimedia platforms. WHYY provides production equipment for campers to film, write and edit reporter packages. The mini-Walter Cronkites will be sent out into the field to explore and film surrounding Philly neighborhoods like Old City, Chinatown, and Society Hill/Washington Square West. There are three sessions held throughout the summer. The first session for student filmmakers runs from June 24th through July 12th, the second session for student journalists begins on July 15th through July 26th, and the final session for middle school filmmakers runs August 5th through August 16th. 150 North 6th Street.

Philly Art Center

Kids and tweens can paint the town at the Philly Art Center. The award-winning summer camp offers theme-based weeks all summer long. The program gives kids ages 4 to 14 a chance to think abstractly on both two and 3-D media through Kids camp and Tweens camp. Outdoor activities, museum trips, and artist visits are additional perks the young Picassos can look forward to during the week. Let the paint brushes do the talking as your kids hone in on creative skills they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Programs begin June 10th. 2501 Olive Street (Fairmount location), and 514 Bainbridge Street (Queen Village location).

Summer Sea Camp

Sea campers are making a splash at the Adventure Aquarium this summer. The Center for Aquatics is giving youth ages 4 to 15  an opportunity to explore the big blue. The program now features three uniquely crafted groups: Small Fry (4-5), Ocean Explorer (6-11), and Junior Marine Biologist (12-15). The experience is complete with field trips, up-close animal encounters, and behind-the-scene exhibit tours at the Aquarium. Each week will focus on a different species of shark, bringing campers an unforgettable summer to rival Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. Camp runs July 8th through August 30th. Registration and full balance must be completed by June 1st. 1 Riverside Drive, Camden.

Lavner Camps

Creative minds need creative companions. At UPenn, kids and teens ages 6 through 15 can explore the campus and face challenges setup by Lavner Camps. Skills will be put to the test with the help of specialized instructors.  Campers are encouraged to explore their passions and talents each week to discover their full potential. Activities include robot building, game coding, fashion design, and much more throughout this 10-week expedition. Camp runs June 17th through August 23rd. University of Penn at 3417 Spruce Street.

PAFA Summer Camp

This summer at the Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts campers will study beautiful and unique works of art while learning about the value of friendship. Campers ages 4 to 15 will engage their senses to uncover authenticity in the world around them. Younger campers will explore sight and sound throughout their sessions while the older ones will work to create their own masterpieces. Camp runs June 24th through August 9th, and registration is now open. 118-128 North Broad Street.

philadelphia summer camps

ComedySportz hosts Philadelphia summer camps for kids. Photograph by Kate Raines courtesy ComedySportz

YMCA Summer Camps

Kids are split by age and needs for the YMCA‘s three varieties of summer camps in the Philadelphia area. From the YMCA’s Day Camps to their overnight Camp Speers YMCA sessions in the Poconos to their Dragonfly Forest overnight camp for kids with special medical needs, the YMCA is ready to work with kids in kindergarten and up. Field trips, crafts, sports, and much more can be experienced at the Northeast and West Philly campuses. For any camper with a strong interest in dance, the West Philly campus offers a specialty dance camp. Camp is scheduled June 10th through August 30th. Registration and full balance must be completed two weeks before the first day of camp. Northeast: 11088 Knights Rd, West Philly: 120 Chestnut St.

Heart to Hand Summer Camp

Calling all foodies and mini chefs-in-training! At Heart to Hand, campers will learn culinary skills basics through baked goods, cooking, and recipe/ingredients history. These sessions for kids ages 7 to 12 are ready to help prepare the next generation of Top Chef contestants. The camp is divided into three tracks: Global, Culinary, and Baking. This summer experience will concluded with a campers-led buffet-style dinner for their parents. The heat turns up June 18th through July 27. 4501 Spruce Street.

Camp ComedySportz

Kids will spend the summer learning and laughing with ComedySportz, Philadelphia’s longest running improv comedy show. From July 8th through 12th, campers will work on team building and creative exercises with professional improv instructors to learn improv basics, stage presence, scene work, and more. Campers are divided into grade-based teams: Team Red for grades 4 through 6 and Team Blue for 7 through 9. Camp is scheduled to run July 8th through 12th, and the early-bird registration deadline is June 1st. 2030 Sansom Street.