Philadelphia, PA, is renowned for its deep history, dynamic art, and music scene. It’s ideal for creativity and self-expression, and one way to ensure that in children is by enrolling them in one of the many camps in the city.
Philadelphia summer camps offer unique curriculums that encourage kids to try new things, learn different skills, and explore the world around them.
The summer programs live up to the city’s nickname as The City of Brotherly Love, with encouraging environments and exciting activities.
There are many types of camps in the city with different camp themes, ranging from art camps to the typical overnight camps in the Philadelphia region.
Best Summer Camps In Philadelphia
Looking for an awesome summer camp for your creative kiddos? Look no further than Tuft the World! With sessions for students aged 8-16, there’s something for everyone.
Choose from 4-day or 5-day sessions, depending on your child’s age group. The Tuft the World Education Studio is a fantastic environment for kids to learn all about fiber-based art, from embroidery and weaving to tie-dyeing and even making tufted rugs!
The camps run throughout June and August, and kids are welcome to sign up for multiple weeks. With different projects offered at each camp, there’s always something new and exciting to work on.
And don’t worry about bringing supplies – Tuft the World has got you covered. Materials are included in the program. All your child will need to bring is a lunch, a water bottle, and a cotton t-shirt if they’re going to be tie-dyeing.
With full-day camps running from 9 am to 3 pm and half-day camps from 9 am to 12 pm for teens, there’s plenty of time to get creative, make new friends, and have a blast at Tuft the World summer camps!
The Handwork Studio summer camp offers five programs that encourage kids to use their hands, imagination, and analytical skills.
Design & Build shows them how to build construction systems with recycled cardboard and hand tools. Aside from learning about architectural concepts and spatial relationships, they’re encouraged to experiment and research on different design styles.
Technical Theater focuses on how to make props, sets, and clothing. They learn how the set design and other visual elements play a significant role in telling a story – from setting a mood, creating a context, or adding layers of symbolism and meaning.
While many camps offer art classes, The HandWork Studio lets children choose specific and unique activities like woodworking, spa crafts, surface design, journal making, fiber arts, sewing, and more.
Kids can also take a deep dive into robotics, coding, or fashion design, where they can learn how to make clothes and accessories.
If affordable and inclusive are two things you look for in summer camps, you can’t go wrong with any of the Philadelphia YMCA camps. YMCA has locations all over Philadelphia and a year-round calendar that includes day camps, weekend camps, and overnight camp.
Kids are divided into age groups ranging from 4 to 5, 6 to 7, 8 to 9, and 10 to 11. The nature camps have age-appropriate programs that balance outdoor games and sports with arts and music.
The Philadelphia YMCA also offers specialty camps for sports, acting, dance, and science. You can sign up your pre-schoolers for their own camp, which is a 20-hour course that teaches them about stranger danger, safe practices for biking or going out on the streets, fire hazards, and how to use 911.
Compared to other options, these are some of the most affordable options you’ll find in the area and the entire state of Pennsylvania.
College Settlement aims to make summer camps accessible for everyone, regardless of economic circumstances. Any Philadelphia resident can sign up, although each child can only take the overnight camp once to give chances to others.
They have weekly sessions for children ages 8 to 12 and another for ages 13 to 14. It has a good mix of traditional camp activities like climbing, fishing, kayaking, swimming, and more.
Older children can join the Spruce Run Outpost Camp, where they head to the mountain outpost and enjoy hiking nature trails, climbing, ropes course and of course, an evening of stores and songs at the campfire.
College Settlement also holds special camping days throughout the year. They run a summer day camp for kids ages 7 to 12, where they get to try different activities that include sports, arts and crafts, hayrides, and cooking for two weeks.
This summer art camp is run by one of the United States’ oldest fine art schools and museums — the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts. Kids are taught to appreciate the culture and stories behind each piece of art and the techniques to make their own art.
They learn how to paint, sketch, sculpt, and even make prints and comics. Campers also learn about different art styles and the art of the world – drawing inspiration from different cultures or periods in history.
There are sessions for kids ages 6 to 9 and 10 to 14. The cost is only a couple hundred dollars a week, and you can register for as many weeks as you like. If you’re already a PAFA member, you get added discounts. They provide a summer camp experience and provide an in-depth look at visual arts that your child won’t never forget.
If you want your child to experience everything the outdoors has to offer, Miquon Day Camp, whose mission is to help kids experience fun-filled summers, is a perfect choice.
The day camp is located in sprawling 10-acre woods, which children can explore under the supervision of counselors, play lots of games and enjoy outdoor activities to learn about the natural world.
In the afternoon, they return to their bunkhouses for crafts or sign up for club activities like music, dance, drama, or athletics. They can also swim in the pool, either taking lessons or just splashing freely.
You can always message them for the schedule of sessions for your child’s age or sign up for a tour of the camp to check out the facilities and programs.
Work to Ride is a nationally recognized horsemanship program with its own championship polo team. It has been featured by HBO Sports, newspapers and is even the subject of a heartwarming book, Crossing the Line.
With this Philadelphia summer camp, students don’t just learn about horseback riding but develop brotherhood, discipline, empathy and receive courage to pursue their dreams. Slots fill up fast, so sign up quickly months ahead. Their horseback riding camps are for children ages 5 to 7 and 8 to 15. Campers learn how to ride a horse, care for, groom, and understand horse behavior and personality.
They also run a polo camp for advanced riders. Kids can learn field positioning, offensive and defense strategies, and other techniques for mastering the game. It’s a pretty intense course—as can be expected from a group with a champion team.
Philly Art Center is a studio that runs music and art programs for both younger campers and adults alike. Its produced many successful artists and its curriculum built on fostering expression and a joy for the creative arts has won many awards.
Philly Art Center has programs and activities separated by age group. Babies from 2 to 23 months old can participate in a creative playgroup, where they listen to music and develop their motor skills through play.
Toddlers ages 2 to 3 years old can join their art start classes. Accompanied by a parent, they do simple arts and crafts activities that develop fundamental art skills and self-confidence. They also have a similar program for preschoolers and grade-schoolers.
Philly Art Center also runs BYO Art Nights, a summer day camp where they learn to use wet and dry media for still life. It has locations in Fairmount, Queen Village, Cherry Hill, and Mount Airy.