With summer getting closer, many summer camps have opened registration (and some camps are already completely booked).

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation has a finder tool that can help you locate city summer programs by zip code. But most city-run and private “affordable” camps range from $100 to over $600 a week, which adds up, especially if you have more than one child. So, here are some free and low-cost summer camps happening in and around Philadelphia this summer.

Taller Puertorriqueño

Taller Puertorriqueño’s bilingual (English and Spanish) summer camp is designed for kids 6 to 15 years old. Registration is currently open with space for 60 kids. Activities include music, art, dance, theater, sports, and field trips.

Dates: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. from July 5 to Aug. 12. Additionally, Taller has a free post-camp daycare program from 4 to 6 p.m.

Cost: The first 30 kids to sign up will have access to the summer camp for free. After that, the cost will be on a sliding scale depending on the parent or guardian’s income, but through the Early Learning Resource Center your child might still qualify to attend for free. Taller will serve Puerto Rican-style lunch for free.

Requirements: Bring your child’s physical examination form and a report card. Their grades do not impact their likelihood of being accepted into the camp but are instead used to track improvement after the summer camp.

How to register: Registration is open; call 215-426-3311 to register.

📍2600 N. Fifth St., 🌐 tallerpr.org


GALAEI hosts a two-week bilingual (English and Spanish) summer camp for queer, transgender, Black, and Indigenous people, and people of color (QTBIPOC). It will be divided into two sessions. The first is for 8- to 12-year-olds and the second for 13- to 18-year-olds. Activities include swimming, rock climbing, music, field trips, arts and crafts, drag queen story time, and day activities at Norris Square Park.

Dates: The camp has not confirmed 2022 dates, but you can expect the camp to run the last two weeks of July for ages 8 to 12, and the first two weeks of August for campers ages 13 to 18.

Cost: Free

Requirements: Although allies are welcome at other GALAEI programs and events, this camp is intended for QTBIPOC children or children of QTBIPOC folks.

How to register: The camp has not yet confirmed when registration will open, but it should be in April. Once it opens, you will be able to register online.

📍118 Fontain St., 🌐 galaeiqtbipoc.org, 📧 info@galai.org

Rock to the Future

Rock to the Future offers all music-loving campers in grades six through 12 with an opportunity to learn music education and instrumental skills. The camp is for all levels of musicians, and instruments will be provided on site. Kids will learn music production, songwriting, and band art (creating band logos, album art, etc.).

Dates: The camp has not yet confirmed 2022 dates.

Cost: Free. Transportation passes are available.

How to register: Registration is not open yet, but you can fill out an interest form to be notified when registration opens. You can also call 215-302-9633 or email Info@RocktotheFuture.org for more information.

📍118 Fontain St., 🌐 rocktothefuture.org

Camp Philly

Camp Philly is Parks and Recreation’s one-week overnight camp for children 8 to 12 years old. The camp takes place in the Pocono Mountains, at Camp Speers YMCA. During summer 2022, there will be two camp sessions. At the camp, kids can take part in activities like swimming, canoeing, rock climbing, archery, basketball, soccer, and arts and crafts.

Dates: Dates for the 2022 camp have not been announced.

Cost: Technically, going to Camp Philly costs $900, but if you meet the requirements (listed below) your kid can get a scholarship and attend for free. You will only pay a $30 application fee, due by June 30. And if they don’t get the scholarship, your application money will be refunded.

Requirements: Have a recommendation from a recreation leader, be part of a Philadelphia Parks and Recreation facility program, take free swim lessons at your local YMCA (if your child doesn’t know how to swim), have a physical exam before going to camp, and attend all information and program sessions.

How to register: Email parksandrecreation@phila.gov

🌐 phila.gov

Rowing Camp at Lloyd Hall

If you have a 13- to 17-year-old looking to learn how to row, Parks and Recreation has a low-cost option available. Three sessions will be held this summer, each lasting two weeks, but you can only sign your child up for one session. Registration is already open: Spots are limited and applications will be processed on a first come, first serve basis. Activities include rowing, equipment handling and maintenance, and boat and water safety all taught by veteran crew coaches, experienced rowers, and certified lifeguards.

Dates: Session 1: July 6-15, Session 2: July 18-29, Session 3: Aug. 1-13

Cost: $25 for the entire two-week session. Breakfast and one snack are included.

Requirements: To apply, you need a copy of your child’s birth certificate. Campers need to be able to swim and pass a swimming test on the first day of camp (at Kelly Pool).

How to register: Call 215-685-3936 or email lloydhall.staff@gmail.com

📍1 Boathouse Row

Dorsey Playground Day Camp

This Parks and Recreation camp option offers arts and crafts, sports, games, educational activities, and field trips for 6- to 12-year-olds. Registration is open and applications will be processed as they come.

Dates: July 5 to Aug. 12, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cost: $30 per week, plus a $10-$20 enrollment fee. Daily breakfast and lunch are included.

How to register: Call 215-685-8734.

📍Dorsey Memorial Playground, 6501 Hegerman St.

American Legion Day Camp

This Parks and Recreation day camp is for 6- to 12-year-olds. Activities include arts and crafts, sports, games, swimming at on-site pool, educational activities, and weekly field trips. Registration is open.

Dates: July 5 to Aug. 12, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cost: $50 per week. Note that you have to pay the full $250 for the five-week program up front. Daily breakfast and a snack are included.

How to register: Call 215-685-8733.

📍American Legion, 6201 Torresdale Ave.

» READ MORE: Live your best life in Philly: Read our most useful stories here

Eastwick Regional Day Camp

Parks and Recreation’s Eastwick Regional day camp is for campers 6 to 12 years old who want to spend their summer doing arts and crafts, playing sports, games, educational activities, and going on field trips. Registration is currently open.

Dates: July 5 to Aug. 12, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cost: $55 per week. Field trips cost extra and the cost is determined depending on the activity.

How to register: Call 215-685-4193.

📍80th Street and Mars Place

The Philadelphia Inquirer is one of more than 20 news organizations producing Broke in Philly, a collaborative reporting project on solutions to poverty and the city’s push toward economic justice. See all of our reporting at brokeinphilly.org.