Check out the PlayItSafePHL website for the latest events, blogs, summer programs, and more!

The City of Philadelphia and its partners are committed to providing fun, safe, and enriching activities for all children and families this summer.

Staying active, engaged, and safe this summer is important for your child’s and family’s well-being.

PlayItSafePHL is your guide to this summer’s activities and events! Check back often for updates on:

  • Summer programs
  • Pools and spraygrounds
  • Community events
  • Summer meals
  • And more!

City summer programs for children and youth

Parks & Rec summer camps

Parks & Rec will offer a safe six-week summer camp at over 110+ playgrounds and rec centers. The camp season will begin on July 6 and run through August 13. Fees vary by site. Registration is now open at recreation sites across the city!

Out-of-School Time summer programs

The City of Philadelphia is funding free summer programs run by community-based organizations. Programs will begin in early July. Check out the OST Program Locator to find an out-of-school time program and begin the registration process. 

School District of Philadelphia summer academic programs

The School District of Philadelphia is offering academic programs for students in all grades this summer. The City and School District are working together to provide academic instruction and extracurricular activities for students in grades 1-8. 

      • Registration deadline: May 15
      • Dates and times: 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday-Friday, June 28 – July 30
      • Extracurricular activities will focus on arts and athletics
    • Options include academic bridge programs, college and career readiness programs, and credit recovery.
    • Dates and times vary by program.

Police Athletic League activities

Philadelphia Police Athletic League (PAL) locations throughout the city will offer on-site summer activities and sports like flag football, golf, and tennis. Ten sites will offer extended hours during the summer. To find a PAL location and learn more about hours and activities, visit the City’s Out-of-School Time Program Locator.

Free Library of Philadelphia’s Summer of Wonder

The Free Library of Philadelphia’s Summer of Wonder encourages children, teens, and adults to read and engage in literacy activities throughout the summer. All ages can participate at neighborhood libraries or online. Track reading and activities for chances to win prizes!

  •  Virtual summer programming at 11 a.m. on Thursdays on Facebook provides an opportunity for children, teens, and families to enjoy cultural and musical programs, as well as a visit from aquatic friends. 
  • Summer is also a great time for families to continue to support their student’s learning, and the Free Library’s Reading Champs Guide provides easy to do literacy-rich activities to do inside or outside. This year’s theme is “Be an Engineer”. Kits will be available at participating libraries.

For more details check out and check in regularly with the Free Library’s Events Calendar for fun activities to help your mind stay curious and active all summer long!

Free Library of Philadelphia’s Science in the Summer

Science in the Summer, a Free Library partnership with The Franklin Institute and GSK, offers at- home hands-on science activities for children in grades 2-6.  This year’s theme is “Be an Engineer.” The program runs from June 14 to August 6. 

Kits will be available at participating libraries.  Through online videos and at-home experiments, children take on the roles of different engineers to solve real-world problems. Children then join virtual research team meetings with Franklin Institute scientists and educators to share their results.

Summer jobs and supports for teens and young adults

Parks and Rec

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation is now hiring for eight fun seasonal and summer jobs. Spend the season with Parks & Rec, at a pool, summer camp, or in the park. We offer flexible hours and an opportunity to give back to your community.


WorkReady helps teens and young adults engage in meaningful summer employment. Applications are now open for this summer’s paid work experiences for young people ages 12-24. WorkReady experiences run July-August. 

This year, WorkReady summer experiences will include safe in-person participation at least 3 days/week.

Parks & Rec lifeguard jobs

Each year Philadelphia Parks & Recreation hires hundreds of lifeguards. One of the best-paying summer jobs around, Parks & Rec lifeguards earn up to $16.97 per hour, with starting pay set at $14.74 per hour.

Parks & Rec will help candidates train and prepare for the required Red Cross lifeguard certification.  Lifeguard certification is free for applicants ages 16-24 who commit to working at a City pool. 

Parks & Rec summer employment

Parks & Rec is one of the largest employers of teen summer jobs in the City. Teens ages 14-19 can apply to spend their summer working at the rec and taking part in the Philly Parks & Rec WorkReady Program. Visit your local rec to register interest.

E3 services

E3 provides education, employment and empowerment services for youth and young adults in Philadelphia. This is a year-round program that provides individualized support and coaching. Free services are available for residents 16–24 years old, who are out of school or returning from juvenile placement. 

Intensive Prevention Services (IPS)

Intensive Prevention Services (IPS) is a community-based prevention program offered to youth aged 10 to 19. IPS provides support to youth who are having disciplinary issues at school or conflicts at home. The program provides individualized services, fun activities, and meaningful experiences for young people. 

Child care and early childhood education

Get help paying for child care

Philadelphia’s Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) can help you find quality child care and apply for financial support to pay for child care. To learn more, visit the ELRC website or call 1 (888) 461-KIDS (888-461-5437).

Summer learning for kindergarten students

The School District of Philadelphia will offer virtual instruction for incoming kindergarten students and their caregivers for 90 minutes, two days per week this summer.

To be eligible for virtual instruction this summer, families must first register for kindergarten. Enrollment for next year is open now for any child who will be five years old on September 1, 2021.

Free food and meal sites for families

There are hundreds of locations offering free, nutritious food and meals across the city. Sites are open now. Check back for even more locations when Playstreets open this summer! 

Outdoor and indoor sports

Sports are back, with restrictions

Play ball, Philly! Youth and adult recreational sports are back, with some precautions still in place for indoor sports. Before you lace up, review the latest safety guidance.


Each summer, hundreds of small, one-way, residential streets throughout the City temporarily close to vehicle traffic, giving children on the block a safe place to pick up a free, nutritious meal. The Playstreets program is over 50 years old and run by Parks & Recreation. 

Parks & Recreation is now accepting applications for PlayStreets supervisors! This volunteer-led summer meal program is a great way to bring healthy food and safe recreation to children on your block.


Philadelphia Parks & Recreation playgrounds are open! Masks must be worn at all times. Please practice safe social distancing. 

Activities and opportunities for adults and seniors

Adult Education

The City of Philadelphia works with community-based organizations to provide adult education for residents who are 16 and older. Free classes are available, and learners can participate in virtual learning during COVID-19.

Topics include:

    • Reading, writing, and math.
    • Basic computer skills.
    • High school equivalency preparation.
    • English for speakers of other languages.
  • Sign up for adult education

Recreation programs for older adults

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation runs six older adult centers throughout the city. The centers help older residents have fulfilling and independent lives, both at home and in their communities. Due to COVID-19, (K)N95 masks must be worn at all times. Participants must register in advance for in-person programming.

 Centers offer: 

    • Healthy meals.
    • Recreational and educational programs.
    • Health promotion.
    • Transportation.
    • Social services.

Public safety

Like many other big cities, Philadelphia has experienced an increase in gun violence in the past year. The City is committed to reducing the gun violence rate through data-informed interventions and strategies that address the underlying factors that contribute to gun violence in our communities. To learn more about the City’s work to create safer communities, and find community resources, visit the Office of Policy and Strategic Initiatives for Criminal Justice and Public Safety (CJPS).

Staying cool this summer

City pools – now hiring!

Parks & Recreation plans to reopen the City’s pools this summer. In order for pools to reopen, the City must first hire lifeguards to ensure swimmers’ safety. The starting salary for lifeguards is $14.74/hour. Training and certification are free for lifeguards ages 16-24 who commit to working at a City pool! 

Learn more about this great summer job opportunity: 


Parks & Recreation spraygrounds will open for the summer. Residents will have to stay at least six feet apart, and wear masks when not in the water. 

Cooling Centers

In the event of extreme heat and humidity, the City opens cooling centers, which are air-conditioned spaces available for public use.


Sign up to receive email updates, including summer announcements, from the Office of Children and Families.