Your line-up of Philadelphia summer programming is packed with exciting activities and cool opportunities!

When schools let out for the summer, young people still need safe, structured, supervised, engaging activities to fill their days.

Welcome to It’s A Summer Thing, your line-up of free or low-cost programs and activities are available to children, youth, teens, and families all summer long.

Here, you’ll find locations, enrollment information, and important timelines. Please check this blog post regularly, as we readily update residents on additional programs and activities.

From the toddler who appreciates a good sprayground to the maturing teenager who needs a summer job, we’ve got you covered with #ItsASummerThing. Enjoy!

Register now summer camps, free swim lessons, academic enrichment and more.

New for 2024! Summer Achievers (Joint program with School District and Office of Children and Families)

Rising 1st through 8th graders can receive enrichment, math and reading support, meals, camp-like activities, and field trips at no cost to families.

Programming takes place June 25 through August 2 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Families can register their little ones online here.

Enjoy the Water

More than 60 pools and 100+ spraygrounds will open 7 days a week. Free swim lessons are available.

Spraygrounds open Memorial Day weekend. Pools open mid-late June.

Find a site near you here.

Parks & Recreation Summer Camps

Summer camps in every neighborhood, with themes like performing arts, visual arts, e-sports, and rowing for ages 6 to 12. Camps begin on July 1 and end on August 16. There is no camp on July 4 or July 5.

Find a camp at our locator here or visit your local rec center.


Each summer, hundreds of volunteers sign up to serve free meals and snacks to kids on their block.

Learn more about the Playstreets program here or call 215-685-2719.

Earn summer pay through Parks and Recreation

There are 400 spots open for lifeguards in the City. Free training and certification is available. Act now to lock in a $1,000 end-of-summer hiring bonus if you apply by April 15 or $500 by May 15. Lifeguards must be at least 16 years of age or older.

Learn more here or call 267-502-3900.

At the library, it’s a Summer of Wonder and Science

Read and learn during the summer with fun, free activities at libraries across the city. And win prizes! Runs June 3 – August 9.

Be a space scientist! Programs designed to increase children’s confidence in doing science and pursuing STEM Careers. For 2nd to 6th graders at selected libraries beginning June 3 to August 9.

Drop into your library or go here.

Intensive Prevention Services

This community-based prevention program is for young people at risk for involvement with the juvenile justice system. It provides meaningful programming through fun activities, experiences, and community engagement, promoting healthy behavior while addressing behaviors that brought them to the program.

For ages 10 – 19, at seven sites across the city. Enroll here.

Community Evening Resource Centers

This partnership with DHS, City Council, and the Police Department offers safe spaces for youth to be engaged in positive youth development. Six locations throughout the city. Ages 10 – 17. Open daily 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Get more details here.

Specialized Out-of-School-Time Programming

Two or six-week programs offering full-day enrichment at SDP or community-based sites focused on creative or performing arts, STEM, or athletics taught by experts in these fields are available to elementary, middle, and high school students.

Programming, field trips, and meals are free to families. Registration opens after April 15. Visit the program locator here.

Summer Meals

A partnership with Parks & Recreation, the School District of Philadelphia, Nutritional Development Services/The Archdiocese, Philadelphia Housing Authority, and others.

Hundreds of free summer meal sites throughout the city for youth. June 17 – August 23. For youth up to age 18.

Go to our meals locator here. To volunteer to supervise a Playstreet, click here.

Police Department/Police Athletic League (PAL)

PAL operates year-round Monday through Friday with extended summer hours beginning June through September. Find more information here.

Philadelphia Police Explorers Cadet Program

Provides law enforcement training and experience through mentoring, classroom instruction, and hands-on training. Ages 14 to 20. Download applications here.

Don’t Fall Down in The Hood (DFDITH)

DFDITH is a community-based prevention program for youth ages 12 to 18. It takes place July 8 – August 16, Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The program provides interventional treatment to lessen harm and prevent future risks of violence. Learn more here.

School District of Philadelphia Summer Learning Programs

Over 200 programs are available across 123 SDP building sites and approximately 23,000 spots.

Programs are community-centered, based on students’ needs, and ensure that all students and families have access to a fun, academically and socially enriching, and meaningful summer experience.

All current School District of Philadelphia students entering grades K – 12 are eligible and encouraged to register. Summer program seats are limited and completing a registration form does not guarantee enrollment. Enrollment will be first-come, first-served, based on availability at each program location. Summer programming begins June 25. Register here.

It’s A Summer Thing is offered by the City’s Office of Children and Families (OCF), which consists of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation (PPR), Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP), Department of Human Services (DHS), and Prevention Programs–Out of School Time (OST), and Youth Workforce Development. Joining OCF with offering summer programming are the School District of Philadelphia (SDP), Philadelphia Works, and the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD).


New for 2024! Career Connected Learning

Youth ages 12 – 24 can discover their strengths and passion through paid, hands-on, work-based learning experiences. These opportunities will ultimately set young people up for career and economic success.

The application process for C2L-PHL Summer 2024 is now closed. If you have already completed an application, you will receive correspondence soon about next steps. The widely popular C2L-PHL youth workforce initiative allows youth ages 12 – 24 to discover their strengths and passion through paid, hands-on, work-based learning experiences.