7 Awesome Philly Summer Camps for Kids and Teens

School's out and summer is beginning to heat up. We round up the coolest camps for kids​ and teens this in Philly this summer—from a retreat for burgeoning rock stars to a romp at the Zoo for emerging wildlife activists.
girls rock philly

Girls Rock Philly, a weeklong camp starting August 4th, teaches young ladies to tap into their inner rock goddess.

Philly Art Center
Philly Art Center (PAC), winner of “Best of Philly 2012,” is the ultimate playground for burgeoning Picassos. PAC offers summer camps for kids of skill levels ranging from ages 4-12 from June 23rd to August 29th. Each theme-based week treats kids to a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities led by brilliant and thoughtful teaching artists. Treat your kids to a summer vacation in the land of imagination. Registration is open, but space is limited. 2501 Olive Street (Fairmount location), and 514 Bainbridge Street (Queen Village location.)

Franklin Institute Discovery Camp
Venture beyond the walls of the Franklin Institute’s museum to explore the scenic grounds of Valley Forge Historical Park. Discovery Camp at Valley Forge creatively camouflages education as fun. Campers in grades 3rd through 8th will learn science and history through an array of activities using the natural and cultural resources the park has to offer. A majority of the camp time will be spent outdoors, allowing kids to explore ecosystems, learn about the history of the park, and the science behind Washington’s historical encampment. 1400 North Outer Line Drive, King of Prussia.

Penn Tennis Camp
For the young tennis stars of tomorrow, Penn Tennis Camp is the perfect match. The camp, held at the Levy Pavilion and Hamlin Courts, is open to kids aged 6 to 17, with a choice of playing indoor or outdoor. Kids can master their skills in a beautiful park setting with views of the Philadelphia skyline. Professional coaches are passionate about improving technique, while implementing a strong work ethic, teamwork, and a positive attitude. Camp has already begun, but it’s not too late to join in on the fun! You can still sign up for week-long sessions starting July 1st through August. 235 South 33rd Street.

Wildlife Warriors Summer Camp at The Philadelphia Zoo
For all the cool cats in town, Wildlife Warriors Summer Camp comprises fun programs that allow kids to embrace their inner animal activist. Wildlife Warriors choose their mission week (Jaguar Rescuers, Tiger Rangers, or Lion Protectors) and set off on a big adventure to save big cats. This newly designed program offers week-long sessions in June, July and August from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (and includes before and after camp options for children ages 4 to 13 years old). Best of all, every program is tailored for each specific age group. 3400 West Girard Avenue. 

Arden Kids’ Crew: Summer Theater Camp
There’s a casting call for kids, and everyone gets a part. Arden’s summer camp features daily classes in acting, storytelling, improvisation, dance, music and design taught by theater professionals. Each session concerns a different theme, creating a unique experience every week. The next two-week session for grades 1st through 5th begins Monday, July 7th and runs through Friday, July 18th (weekdays only) from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There is also a one-week option: Monday, July 14th to Friday, July 18th. Summer camp registration is available for bi-weekly sessions now through August. 62 North 2nd Street.

WHYY: Youth Film & Journalism Summer Camps
Is your little one itching to be the next Jim Gardner? Got a little Terry Gross wannabe on your hands? The Youth Journalists camp is the pad for teens in grades 9th through 12th to begin exploring their journalistic watch-dogging endeavors. From learning how to use production equipment to developing writing voice and story pitching, the teens are destined for an engaging experience that shines light on the life of a journalist. The camp is split between two 11-day sessions: June 30th through July 11th, and August 11th through August 22nd. 150 North 6th Street.

Girls Rocks Philly
Girls Rock Philly believes there’s a little rock goddess in every little girl, and they’re on a mission to help them find her. The group’s summer camp is a week-long program featuring instrument instruction, workshops, visiting artists, band practice, a showcase, and a day in the studio recording original songs. Here girls can fearlessly express themselves and act out their imagination, free of judgment. Camp begins August 4th and runs through August 8th at the Thomas Campus of Mastery Charter School in South Philly. It is open to girls ages 9 through 18. No musical experience necessary. 1867 Frankford Avenue.