Read on to find out about summer meals, camps, free events and concerts, summer reading, and more!
It’s here! The summer season is officially in full swing.
The School District of Philadelphia’s 2018-2019 school year ended on June 4, and will be back in session on September 3, 2019. That means Philadelphia school children have nearly three months of summer vacation.
The City of Philadelphia wants to ensure that every family has a safe, fun, and enriching summer. So here’s the rundown on City of Philadelphia summer resources for families!
- Still looking for a camp or summer program for your child? It’s not too late! Check out this 2019 resource guide to learn about free and low-cost options from Philadelphia Parks & Rec, the Free Library, PAL, and WorkReady Philadelphia.
- You can also use this finder to search for a Parks & Rec summer camp near you.
Outdoor Events for Kids and Parents
- Find a park! Throughout the summer, your family can head to Center City and visit LOVE Park, The Oval+, and Sister Cities Park for free kid-friendly games and activities. Or find another park near you.
- Celebrate literacy in LOVE Park with the Philly Reading Coaches on June 20, June 27, and July 11! The reading coaches will host a pop-up reading booth, children’s book nook and book giveaways from 11 a.m to 2 p.m.
- Enjoy the Wawa Welcome America Festival with your family from June 29 to July 4th. In the lead-up to July 4th events, the festival is hosting free concerts, family movie nights, block parties, workshops, book giveaways, and free museum days. On July 4th, enjoy five blocks of free entertainment, food, and fun (including a zip line!) on the Ben Franklin Parkway. Read more about the festival and see the lineup of free events.
- Check out the summer performance series from the City’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, “Performances in Public Spaces”. From May to October, the series offers free, family-friendly dance, theatre, and musical performances (from folk, jazz, orchestral performers and more) taking place in parks and public venues across the city.
Free Summer Meals
- The federally funded Summer Meals Program provides free meals and snacks to kids and teens age 18 and under. This summer, children up to 18 years old can eat free, healthy meals at summer meal sites throughout the city, hosted by neighborhood blocks and organizations.
- There are several easy ways to find a free summer meal site:
- Use this map
- Call the toll-free summer meals hotline: 1-855-252-MEAL (6325)
- Text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 877877
Summer Reading Opportunities
- Free Library of Philadelphia’s Summer of Wonder learning initiative is back again with resources to keep kids engaged with reading all summer long. Kids and adults can sign up to Read and Explore at neighborhood libraries or online.
For teens and young adults
- Beat the heat – cool off in the library with a book or graphic novel! Check out the new Field Teen Center at the Parkway Central Library. The center hosts a regular calendar of events for teens. The light and bright space features an open plan reading room with teen-friendly book titles (including fiction, manga and comics), meeting room / maker studio, self-care station, public computers, and free wifi. Or find a nearby neighborhood library.
- Are you, or a teen you know, looking to meet new people, make connections, and build work experience? Try a summer service opportunity! Philadelphia’s Office of Youth Engagement launched the Summer of Service initiative to connect Philadelphia’s young people with meaningful volunteer opportunities. Check out the Office of Youth Engagement’s blog post to learn more and sign up for a diverse array of summer-volunteer positions across the city.
Ways to Stay Cool
- It’s getting hot out there! As temperatures soar, it’s important to find ways for you and your family members to stay cool and prevent heat-related illness.
- Take a look at this list of tips and resources to #StayCoolPHL.
- Make sure you know where your local cooling centers are. This interactive map lists cooling centers, pools and spraygrounds.
- Don’t forget about your neighborhood library! Even those not designated as cooling centers have air conditioning, and offer plenty of books and activities to keep you and your little ones busy – and cool – on a sweltering summer day.
- Find a free neighborhood pool! Philadelphia Parks & Recreation operate over 70 free public pools. This year, pools will open on a rolling basis from June 17 to June 28. You can locate the closest neighborhood pool with the Parks & Recreation finder. Free swim lessons are available at most pools!
- To make sure all Philly kids have what they need to enjoy the pools, Parks & Rec has launched a Summer Swimwear Drive. You can donate youth and adult bathing suits, swim diapers, flip flops, beach towels, and goggles at any of these six locations:
- Center City: One Parkway Building (1515 Arch Street, 1st Floor)
- West Philadelphia: Carousel House (4300 Avenue of the Republic)
- Northeast Philadelphia: James Ramp Playground (3300 Solly Ave.)
- Northwest Philadelphia: Kendrick Recreation Center (5822 Ridge Ave.)
- South Philadelphia: Guerin Recreation Center (2201 S. 16th Street)
- North Philadelphia: Athletic Recreation Center, 1400 N. 26th Street)