20 Affordable Summer Camps for Philadelphia Families

Two months. That’s how long your student has off from school for the summer. While you could see this as a great bonding time with your kids (and it is!), there is one problem: it’s just so. much. time! That’s where summer camps come in to save the day. Teaching your kids new skills, helping them form new friendships, and burning off the copious amounts of energy.

But summer camp can be a major burden on the wallet. Fortunately, there are a number of local summer camps and programs that make enrollment much more manageable. Whether they want to learn more about science and technology, grow as an artist, or gain skills on the field, there is an affordable camp for every age and interest.

To help you make your selections, we’ve rounded up a great list of free or affordable summer camps (using the cap of $350 per week as the highest limit) that you can use to help keep your kids entertained and engaged all summer long. Most camp registrations are on a week to week basis.

Portside Arts Center
Dates: June 10- June 28, 2019 and August 19- 30, 2019
Ages: 4-7 (Minnows) and 8-12 (Sharks)
Hours: 7:30 AM- 5:30 PM
Price:$225-$325 per week
Portside offers a summer arts camp experience using a combination of materials and skills. Campers learn techniques in drawing, painting, printmaking, clay sculpture, mosaic, collage, and fiber arts. Each week features a cultural field trip to places such as Smith Playground and Longwood Gardens. Before and after care is available.

Schuylkill Center Nature Camps
Dates: June 10- August 16, 2019
Ages: 3- 9
Hours: 9 AM- 3:30 PM
Price: Non-member $260-$310 per week
Give your kids the gift of nature without ever leaving the city limits with camp at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. Campers explore and learn about nature and environmentalism. Both before and after care is available.

Soccer Shots Summer Camp at Smith
Dates: June 10-14, 2019
Ages: 4- 9
Hours: 9 AM- 12 Noon
Price: Half day- $200
This summer, the national Soccer Shots program is offering a week-long camp experience at Smith Memorial Playground. Camp includes soccer instruction, scrimmages, and games.

Briar Bush Nature Center
Dates: June 10-August 30, 2019
Ages: 2-15
Hours: Vary by program
Price: $168-$400 per week
Half day camps, full day camps, and overnight camps are all available at Briar Bush Nature Center. Many fit into our "affordable" category at under $350 for the week, but the overnight and older kid camps may be over that pricepoint.

Flip Out Productions
Dates: June 10- August 23, 2019
Age Groups/Hours: 3-5 (9 AM- 12 Noon) and 6-14 years (9 AM- 3 PM)
Price: Early bird $150-$200 per week
An active summer program is in store for your future gymnast, with a focus on gymnastics, yoga, arts and crafts, and more.

Independence Seaport Museum
Dates: June 17-August 16, 2019
Ages: 6-12
Hours: 9 AM- 3 PM
Price: Early bird $330 per week
Love being near the water? Learn about the history of the Philadelphia waterways during these camps. Some single day camps are available during the week of July 4th. The Museum offers teen camp opportunities as well.

Northern Liberties Arts
Dates: June 17-21, August 12-16, August 19-23, and August 26-30, 2019
Ages: 4- 9 and 9-12
Hours: 8:30 AM- 3:30 PM
Price: $195 per week
Each of the four weeks provides a chance to gain hands-on art experience, with the goal of a project created within the week. It is important to note that aftercare is not available this year.

Fleisher Art Memorial Camp
Dates: June 17- July 22, 2019
Ages: 5-18
Hours: Half and full day options are available.
Price: $180-$315 per week
This camp offers many options for children. From themed art for younger kids to figure drawing for older ones, classes provide a place for imagination and creativity. Other offerings include Create Your Own Pokeman, Mosaics, and 3D Books. 


Photo courtesy of Flipped Out Productions

PAFA Summer Art Camp
Dates: June 24- August 9, 2019
Ages: 4- 15
Hours: 9 AM- 3 PM
Price: $280-$330 per week
PAFA summer camp includes hands-on art experiences as well as field trips to studios within the school and around the city. Sessions are designed for all skill levels. After care is available.

Arden Theatre
Dates: Weeks of June 24, July 15, July 29, August 12, and August 19, 2019
Ages: Grades 1-5
Hours: 9:30 AM- 4:30 PM
Price: $350 per week; discount offered for additional weeks
Arden offers one and two week long camps for children in Grades 1-5. Additional weeks are offered at a discount. There are five different themes over the five weeks so no two weeks are the same.

Tyler Arboretum
Dates:June 24- August 16, 2019
Ages: Grades 1-5
Hours: 9 AM- 3 PM
Price: $280-$330
Explorer camps geared to kids in Grades 1-5 provide a day to satisfy the curious minds. STEM activities are coupled opportunities to learn life skills. As a side note, Tyler is offering family camp excursions new this year.

Penn Museum Anthropologists in the Making
Dates: June 24- August 16, 2019
Ages: 7-13
Hours: 9 AM- 3 PM
Price: $280-$320
Campers explore themes such as myth and legends, understand the key components of anthropology, and tour the galleries. Through these week-long sessions, campers also gain important insights into the diversity of our ancestors and history. Penn Museum offers a Junior Summer Camp for children who are 6 years old. Before and after care is available.

Newlin Grist Mill
Dates: July 8-12, July 22-26, and August 5-9, 2019
Hours: 8:30 AM- 12:30 AM
Price: $150-$200
Children are separated in age groups (4-9 and 10-12) for this half day camp experiences. Themes include Wild & Weird, Imagination & Innovation, and Wonderful Water. Newlin Grist Mill also offers a number of afternoon adventures which are held  in the later part of the day.

Palmyra Cove Nature Park
Dates: July 8-19, 2019
Ages: Entering Grades 1-8
Hours: 9 AM- 1 PM
Price: $135-$175
The mission of the program is for students to feel a sense of environmental responsibility and campers get a chance to participate in hands-on, outdoor play and exploration

ZoomDance Summer Camp
Dates: July 8- August 30, 2019
Ages: 3- 7
Hours: 9 AM- 3 PM
Price: $200-$300
ZoomDance Camp really burns off the energy for your fun-loving young kids. Kids experience music and dance classes, and also yoga, art projects, and a chance to visit local playgrounds and pools. Costs are daily, not weekly, and they offer discounts for bundles of days. Daily registration is required.

Rock to the Future Summer Music Camps
Dates: June 17-21, 2019 (GuitarStars) and June 24-28, 2019 (Rock*A*delphia)
Ages: 7-12 (GuitarStars) or 12-17 (Rock*A*delphia)
Hours: 9 AM- 4 PM
Price: $250; Free for low income
Kids learn or develop music skills with camps designed to inspire. Instruments are provided for students to learn guitar, drums, bass, or keyboard. Camp ends when student-formed bands present live for families and friends. Rock to the Future Summer Music Camps are free for low-income Philadelphia youth. (A scholarship application must be filled out and approved.) Early drop off and late pick up is available.

Photo courtesy of Briar Bush Nature Center

Dates: Vary by location throughout the entire summer
Ages: 4 and up
Hours: Varies by location and age
Price: Vary by location
With multiple locations throughout the Philadelphia Region, you can easily find a summer camp with the Y that fits your interests and budget. YMCA camp programs focus on social, emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual development. All campers must be current Y members but you can register your membership when you sign up for camps. Check your local listings for more details.

Apple Camp
Dates: Vary by location
Ages: 8-12
Hours: Vary by location
Price: Free
Apple offers free day camps at different Apple store locations in the Delaware Valley allowing students to create characters and compose music; make stories in motion with iMovie, or code games, and program robots. Be sure to check availability at your local Apple Stores and register early as these events fill up fast.

GSK Science in the Summer
Dates: Vary by location
Ages: Grades 2-6
Hours:Vary by location
Price: Free
Free certainly fits the affordability factor. GSK offers this summer camp for kids who are in second through six grade. Space is limited and camps fill up quickly so be sure to contact your local venue to see how they handle registration.

Philadelphia Parks and Rec
Dates: Vary by location
Ages: 4-12
Hours: Vary by location
Price: $25 and up
With rec departments across the city, more than 100 neighborhood day camps are available at affordable rates. Specialty camps include teen camps, performing and visual art camps, camps for people with disabilities, as well as arts and crafts, and more. Use the department's finder tool to locate a summer program near you.

Updated for 2019

Palmyra Cove
1335 Route 73 South
Palmyra, NJ 08065

Flip Out Productions
2757 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19134

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA)
128 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA

Penn Museum
3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA

Rock to the Future
2139 E. Cumberland St
Philadelphia, PA

Portside Arts
2531 E Lehigh Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education
8480 Hagy’s Mill Road
Philadelphia, PA

Smith Memorial Playground
3500 Reservoir Dr.
Philadelphia, PA

1802 S. Broad Street Equilibrium Dance Studio
Philadelphia, PA

Northern Liberties Arts
700 N 3rd St,
Philadelphia, PA 19123

Fleisher Art Memorial
719 Catharine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

Tyler Arboretum
515 Painter Road
Media, PA 19063

Newlin Grist Mill
219 South Cheyney Road
Glen Mills, PA 19342

Arden Theatre Company
40 North 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Independence Seaport Museum
211 S. Columbus Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Briar Bush Nature Center
1212 Edge Hill Rd
Abington, PA 19001