Free and Affordable Summer Camps near Philly for Kids

Make a slimy new friend at Morris Arboretum summer camp. Photo courtesy of the arboretum
Make a slimy new friend at Morris Arboretum summer camp. Photo courtesy of the arboretum

Philadelphia summer camps are back in action this year for fun, sun, and socialization. While summer camp is a blast for kids and provides much-needed childcare for parents, it doesn't have to break the bank! We've rounded up a list of free and affordable summer day camps near Philly, including STEM camps, nature camps, and art camps that come in under $300 per week. Some camps are half-day options to meet the affordability mark, but there are plenty of full-day summer camps in Philly, Montgomery County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Bucks County.

For more summer camps in Philly, including Preschool Summer Camps Around Philadelphia and Sports Summer Camps near Philly, be sure to bookmark our Summer Camp Guide and our Camp Directory where you can search for summer camps by type, age, and town. 

Unearth the natural world at a Briar Bush Nature Center camp. Photo courtesy of the center

Affordable Nature Camps Near Philly

Briar Bush Nature Center — Abington

Dates: June 21-September 2, 2022
Ages: 4-12
Hours: 9:30am-12pm; 1:30pm-4pm; 9:30am-4pm
Price: Starts at $200 per week for half-day and $300 per week for full-day
Half-day camps, full-day camps, travel camps, and overnight camps are all available at Briar Bush Nature Center. Half-day programs fit into the "affordable" category in the $200 per week range (even less for Nature Center members), while full-day and older kid camps get a bit steeper. Scholarships are available, and discounts for members are applied. 

Morris Arboretum Camp — Philadelphia

Dates: July 5-August 12, 2022
Ages: 4-11
Hours: 9:30am-3pm
Price: $300-320 per week 
Nature, birds, insects, wild wizardry, and exploration are just some of the themes that are part of this nature camp's curriculum.

Newlin Grist Mill — Glen Mills

Dates: June 27-July 29, 2022
Ages: 4-12
Hours: 8:30am-12:30pm
Price: $250 per week
On any given day, campers might be looking for frogs, building a sculpture of recycled materials, baking cookies from an 18th-century recipe, or experimenting with unbreakable bubbles.

Wissahickon Environmental Center Education Camp — Philadelphia

Dates: June 20-July 22, 2022 for ages 6-10; August 2-5, 2022 for ages 11-14
Ages: 6-14
Hours: 9am-3pm
Price: $185-225 per week 
Ages 6-10 enjoy Adventure Camp, where they'll catch fish, discover insects, climb on rocks, and build a forest shelter.  Bigger kids, ages 11-14, enjoy a three-day Out-N-About camp, with day trips including rock climbing, biking, kayaking, and more.

RELATED: Summer Art Camps for Philly Area Kids

Paint in the colors of the rainbow at Sky Soup Arts Center camps. Photo courtesy of the center

Affordable Art Camps Near Philly

Cheltenham Center for the Arts — Cheltenham

Dates: June 20-July 8, 2022
Ages: 5-12
Hours: 8:30am-3:30pm
Price: $155-$295 for half-day; $295-$555 for full-day
Sign up for a one-week "Crafty Kids" camp or a two-week session for longer, more in-depth art-making, plus trips to the local swimming pool!

Fleisher Art Memorial Camp — Philadelphia

Dates: June 20-July 29, 2022
Ages: 5-18
Hours: 8:30am-12pm or 8:30am-4:30pm
Price: Starts at $180 per week for half-day and $315 per week for full-day; tuition assistance is available
From themed art for younger kids to figure drawing for bigger kid artists, classes provide a place for imagination and creativity.

Main Line Art Center Summer Camp — Haverford

Dates: June 20-August 19, 2022
Ages: 5-16
Hours: 9am-12pm and 12:30pm-3:30pm
PriceStarting at $225 per week
Pick from palette pals, pre-teen studios, or teen studios for this awesome art camp in the heart of the Main Line. Scholarships are available.

Mudroom Art Camp — Ardmore

Dates: June 20-August 29, 2022
Ages: 5-12
Hours: 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm
Price: $225 per week
Paint your own pottery all summer long with these half-day art sessions at Mudroom. Morning and afternoon sessions are offered.

Northern Liberties Arts — Philadelphia

Dates: Weekly sessions June 20-September 2, 2022
Ages: Kindergarten through Grade 8
Hours: 9am-1pm
Price: $150-195 per week depending on age
Explore all different art mediums at this creative camp in Northern Liberties.

PAFA Summer Art Camp — Philadelphia

Dates: June 27- August 12, 2022
Ages: 5-14
Hours: 9am-3pm
Price: $400 nonmembers; $350 members for the full two-week session
The per-week breakdown of this art camp is pretty affordable, but note that the session runs for two weeks. At this camp, you'll not only make art but get up close with real works of art in PAFA's collection.

Sky Soup Art Center — Bala Cynwyd

Dates: June 20-August 15, 2022
Ages: 4-12
Hours: 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm
PriceStarting at $225 per week
With themes like Rainbow Camp, House Design, and All Things Food, there's something for every aspiring artist at this award-winning art studio in Bala Cynwyd.

Sound Space Performing Arts — Philadelphia

Dates: June 20-July 29, 2022
Ages: 4-8
Hours: 9am-12pm; 9am-3pm for ages 8+
PriceStarting at $155 per week
Get moving at Sound Space's youth dance camps, where campers can learn everything from acrobatics to jazz to creative movement.

Yes! And...Collaborative — Philadelphia

Dates: June 27-Aug 26 
Ages: Kindergarten through Grade 12
Hours: 9am-3pm
Price: Starting at $320 per week
Kids from kindergarten to fourth grade participate in Imagination Camp, a summer performing arts program, while kids entering grades 5 through 8, students will take classes in acting, dance and movement, visual arts, and storytelling or playwriting, all of which will be on display in a final performance.

Free and Cheap STEM Camps Near Philly

Apple Camp — Multiple Locations

DatesVary by location, 2022 dates TBA
Ages: 8-12
Hours: Vary by location
Price: Free
Apple offers free two-hour camps at different Apple store locations, allowing students to create characters and compose music, make stories in motion with iMovie, code games, and program robots. Be sure to check availability at your local Apple store and register early as these camps fill up fast.

GSK Science in the Summer — Multiple Locations

Dates: Vary by location, schedule to be released later in the spring
Ages: Grades 2-6
Hours: Vary by location
Price: Free
GSK offers this summer camp for kids who are entering grades 2-6. Space is limited and camps fill up quickly, so be sure to contact your local venue to see how they handle registration.  

Camp Invention — Multiple Locations

Dates: Vary by location
Ages: Kindergarten through grade 6
Hours: 9-3:30
Price: $255-$295 per week
Young inventors will love making everything from robotic fish to volcanoes to engineering challenges. Parents will love the price and the many location options throughout the area.

Inexpensive Summer Day Camps Near Philly

Camp Garett — Newtown Square

Dates: June 20-August 26, 2022
Ages: 5-15
Hours: 9am-4pm
Price$272-340 per week 
The $272 rate is for the 4th of July week (meaning fewer days) but any week at Camp Garett offers one of the most fun and affordable full-day options in the area.

Girl Scout Camp — Multiple Locations

Dates: Vary by location
Ages: Grades 1-12
Hours: Vary by location
Price: Starting at $250
The Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania offer three locations for day camp focusing on leadership, confidence, independence, and empowerment for girls. The program offers several options for tuition assistance.

Milky Way Farm Camp — Chester Springs

Dates: June 13-July 29, 2022
Ages: 4-12
Hours: 9:30am-12pm; 9:30am-2pm; 12pm-5pm
Price: $185-$300 per week 
Ages 4-6 can enroll in the Little Farmers program, while 2nd-6th graders enjoy Fantastic Farm Fun. Learn about the animals on the farm, take hayrides, explore agriculture, and so much more at Milky Way.

Miss Betty's Day Camp — Chester Springs

Dates: June 20-July 29, 2022
Ages: Grades 1-6
Hours: 9am-3pm
Price$275 per week 

Nature, art, and swimming in the Pickering Creek are all part of the experience at Miss Betty's Day Camp in Chester Springs.

Nest Summer Camp — Philadelphia

Dates: June 20-August 28, 2022
Ages: 2.5-5
Hours: 9am-12pm
Price: $275 per week
Spend your summer at Philly's beloved play space at Nest Center City, with weekly themes that include Superheroes, Disney, Rock & Roll, and more.

Philadelphia Parks and Rec — Multiple Locations

Dates: Vary by location
Ages: 4-12
Hours: Vary by location
Price: Starting at $25
Located at parks and rec departments across the city, more than 100 neighborhood day camps are available at affordable rates. Use the department's finder tool to locate a summer program near you and contact your chosen rec center for dates, ages, costs, and availability.

YMCA — Multiple Locations

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, there are YMCA summer camps to fit many interests and budgets. Campers must be current Y members, and you can register for membership when you sign up for camps.

This post was originally published in 2019 and has been updated annually.

Places featured in this article:

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA)

The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education

Smith Memorial Playground

Pinnacle Parkour Academy Philadelphia

Cheltenham Center for the Arts
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