It’s here! Our 2022 guide to summer camps around Pittsburgh

Photo above courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Natural History. (Note: Some photos below were shot pre-pandemic without masks.) 

We know it’s only February. But many parents tell us they’re already searching for great summer camps around Pittsburgh. So we’re excited to bring you this year’s guide, filled with more than 40 great camps for summer fun, exercise and enrichment. Scroll all the way down and do check back periodically — we keep adding more camps as people contact us.

COVID, of course, remains somewhat unpredictable. Most of the camps below are planning on in-person sessions with COVID safety measures in place. And again this year, in some cases class sizes could be a bit smaller, which means some camps are likely to fill up quickly. But there are fantastic activities planned, and many offer tuition assistance.

Check out what’s coming:

1. Carnegie Science Center

Carnegie Science Center offers a wide range of camps immersing kids in everything from video game science, robotics, biology and other STEM-related fun to music and more for kids ages 4-14. The BNY Mellon Fab Lab will be back this year  Robots of the Round Table offers a medieval twist for kids to program robot knights to joust or batter down castle walls. Registration for Science Center members will begin Feb. 28 and open to the public March 7. Camps run June 13-Aug 19. Check here for details.

The Science Center offers a limited number of need-based scholarships. Email or call 412-237-3400 for details.

2. Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Trust Arts Education Camps for Creatives series, offering some of the most creative summer camps around Pittsburgh, returns this July with in-person camps for grades 3-12. The 5-day sessions concentrate on developing creative skills in various topics. Previous summer camp offerings have included Science of Visual Art, Sewing, Theatre Production, and much more. Be sure to check back here for more information to come later. Register here.

summer camps around Pittsburgh
Photo of kids having a blast courtesy of Assemble.

3. Assemble Pittsburgh

Summer camp at Assemble Pittsburgh is in-person this year and sounds great: These STEAM camps for youth entering grades 1-9 (ages 6-14) are all about hands-on learning through shared experiences. Expect lots of individual attention, with a maximum of 15 kids per class. Weekly themes this year include Miniature to Gigantic, Afrofuturism, Wings and Things, and a super-fun STEM-focused fashion class called Coding and Couture. Get details and register here. Call 412-661-6111 with questions about programming or to learn about scholarships. Garfield residents attend for free.

Call 412-661-6111 to learn about scholarships. Garfield residents attend for free.

Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.

4. Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

Kids ages 4-14 are the focus of Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy’s summer camps at the Frick Environmental Center. Camps are geared to specific ages, so kids get the most from the experience. In Kinder Camp, for example, 4- and 5-year-olds dig for worms, plant seeds and sing songs. Fifth and sixth graders in Outdoor Expedition Camp take part in hands-on projects and skill-building activities while exploring the beautiful spaces in Frick Park. Registration opens at noon Feb. 15.

summer camps around Pittsburgh
Photo courtesy of Dragon’s Den.

5. Dragon’s Den

Dragon’s Den returns to the 2022 summer camp season with a cool lineup. The transformative educational environment has reinvented the former St. Mary Magdalene Church as a two-level rope course and zipline. Kids ages 7-13 will find exciting camps that range from Around the World in 5 Days and Outdoor Explorers to Dragon’s Laboratory. Camps include field trips and outdoor fun in the sun. Browse camps and register here. Partial and full scholarships are available.

Photo courtesy of PMT Conservatory.

6. Pittsburgh Musical Theater Conservatory

Summer Musical Theater Camp at the PMT Conservatory shines the spotlight on kids ages 4-18. The four-week camps train kids in acting, voice and dance, but they also help kids build confidence, make new friendships, learn collaboration (while spending time away from screens) and much more. After two years of pandemic, it’s a great opportunity for face-to-face fun and creativity. Campers rehearse for a full-scale performance as a grand finale. And teens can choose the Technical Theater and Design track to learn about set design and construction, lighting and costumes. Show titles will be announced soon — check here to see them once they’re posted, or check PMT’s Facebook page for announcements! You can also register or hold a spot (scroll down for these) here. Financial aid and payment plans are available.

Photo courtesy of Shady Side Academy.

7. The Children’s Museum

After running virtually for the past two years for COVID safety, the team at the Children’s Museum is excited to be back in person for an expanded roster of 2022 summer camps. They’ll be hosting sessions for ages 3 to 13 running from June 20-Aug. 12 at both the Children’s Museum and MuseumLab. Topics will include art, nature, movement, animation, fashion, game design, metalworking and more. Registration will open in early March. Find details here.

Photo courtesy of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

8. Shady Side Academy

Summer camps at Shady Side Academy, designed with working parents in mind, include before-care and free lunch. Kids from pre-K through high school will find a range of weekly camps on four campuses in Fox Chapel and Point Breeze. Sports-minded kids can focus skills on hockey, golf or tennis, while maker kids can choose hands-on STEAM camps. High school kids can take for-credit classes in art, math and science, as well as courses in essay writing and SAT/ACT prep. The complete lineup will be available in mid-February.

Photo courtesy of the Jewish Community Center.

9. Jewish Community Center

JCC Day Camps organize kids ages 2-15 in three locations — Squirrel Hill, Monroeville, and the South Hills. Registration is now open for this wonderfully wide-ranging set of camps. The fun includes science, sports and everything in between. Dates for their various camps and locations run from June 13 through August 19. You can find the complete brochure here and get registered here. Financial assistance is available for members, but eligible families can also receive assistance for membership. Call 412-339-5398.

summer camps around Pittsburgh
Photo courtesy of the National Aviary.

10. Sarah Heinz House (day camp and sleep away) 

Registration is now open for day camp (preschool through 10th graders) at Sarah Heinz House and Heinz House Resident Camp (grades 1 through 12) in Ellwood City. Day camp begins June 13 and resident camp begins June 23 for boys, July 16 for girls. Pre-care and post-care will also be available for day campers. Limited financial assistance is available. Click here or call 412-231-2377 with questions.

11. National Aviary

The National Aviary is offering in-person camps this summer, bringing campers above and below the waves to learn about birds and other unique creatures who call the world’s oceans home. From seaside nesters to deep-sea dwellers, campers ages 6-8 and 9-12 will explore the ocean through guided learning sessions, interactive activities, and up-close encounters. Camps begin June 20 and end July 22. Teens ages 13-16 can opt for the Career Camp, where they can learn what it takes to pursue a future as a zookeeper, ornithologist or veterinarian. Register here.

summer camps around Pittsburgh
Photo courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

12. Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History

Starting in June, creative kids and nature lovers alike can attend a variety of week-long camps at Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History. Young artists and explorers are invited to mask up and wander among real dinosaurs, make a mess, design a city for the future or become a filmmaker. Specific camp themes and dates will be available on Feb. 28 when registration opens to the public. Financial aid is available for eligible families.

13. Winchester-Thurston Summer Camp (three locations)

Winchester-Thurston is offering summer camps around Pittsburgh for everyone — kids age 3 through grade 12 — at three locations: Their Shadyside campus, The Kingsley Center in East Liberty and Allegheny River Front Park in Aspinwall. Campers will find sports and physical fitness, creative arts and academics in more than 100 new programs. Learn more and register here. Questions? Email Dionne Brelsford regarding Middle and Upper School programs or Annie Tritsch for Lower School programs.

14. Air Force Association CyberCamp

The annual Air Force Association CyberCamp is presented via a partnership between the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy and Security and Pitt Information Technology. This year, the free, weeklong camp is scheduled from July 18-22. High school kids will be immersed in a range of technical skills and digital literacy with a focus on cyberethics and systems security. Sign up to be notified about registration tentatively opening in May.

15. Venture Outdoors

Registration is open for Venture Outdoors’ summer camps for kids in grades 3-8 taking place at North Park and on the North Shore. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy active recreation like kayaking, fishing, biking and geocaching. Science experiments, crafts and leadership development will help kids gain self-confidence and a greater appreciation for nature. Choose from Outdoor Adventure Camp, Cycling Through Summer, Environmental STEM, Ultimate Survivor Camp and Ultimate Outdoor Adventure. Check out the lineup and register here.

Photo courtesy of Sweetwater Center for the Arts.

16. Sweetwater Center for the Arts

Kids ages 4-16 can find their muse through a wide variety of mediums at Sweetwater Center for the Arts. From ceramics and watercolor to animation and graffiti, kids will find exciting ways to express their creativity. Cooking classes, STEM circuitry and acting are included, too. Watch for the complete schedule, which should be available in March. Scholarships are available.

summer camps around Pittsburgh
Photo courtesy of Gemini Children’s Theater.

17. Gemini Children’s Theater

Five-day summer camps at Gemini Children’s Theater channel energy and talent toward the theater arts. Kids as young as 4 learn to write, rehearse and perform a play that they help develop from their imagination. Scene building, collaborating and character development apply across all age groups (up to 17 years). Early bird discounts, scholarships, tuition assistance and payment plans are available.

18. Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Dancers in all sizes, from toddlers to teens, will find a place at Pittsburgh Ballet’s summer sessions. Kids will develop progressive dance fundamentals through barre and floor exercises, French terminology and ballet concepts. The youngest dancers (18 months to 7 years) can try four-week camps including “Family and Me,” running June 11-July 2, which introduces the art of ballet in a nurturing environment. Children and parents explore the world of dance together, and dads are very much welcome. There are also pre-ballet and ballet foundations classes. The most advanced Junior Intensive covers skills in pointe, pas de deux, jazz and repertoire, as well as pilates and yoga during 40+ hours of learning. At every level, kids can expect to find plenty of joy in their movements and training. Sessions run throughout June, July and August, with enrollment rolling until the day before the start of each program. Some classes require new students to submit a placement form to register for particular programs. Get all the details and register here.

Courtesy of The Ellis School.

19. The Ellis School

Summer camps at The Ellis School are all about sparking imagination and developing problem-solving skills, and helping young campers make meaningful connections through collaboration, friendship, and community — definitely a welcome thing after two years of pandemic isolation. Coed Kids Camps for ages 3-9 has half-day and full-day sessions. They also offer early drop-off (8:15 a.m.) for everyone, and after-care for full-day campers. Girls entering grades 5–10 can sign up for Changemakers Lab to “roll up their sleeves, get messy, and think creatively as they work to bring about positive change and explore topics such as the arts, ecology, STEM, and more.” Choose your week or register for the full summer here.

Image courtesy of Cello Fury.

20. Cello Fury Rock Camp

The four-week Cello Fury Rock Camp for Strings will happen again this year, giving young musicians a chance to play in a high-energy string rock orchestra. Registration is now open for violin, viola, cello and bass players ages 7 to 17. Sessions for various age groups run June 27-July 1 and July 11-15 at PYCO School of Music in Wexford and July 25-29 and Aug. 8-12 in Shadyside at The Ellis School. All four weeks of camp will be in person, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Get more information and register here.

Photo courtesy of ASCEND climbing.
Photo courtesy of ASCEND Climbing.

21. Ascend Pittsburgh

Ascend Pittsburgh’s summer camps, are designed to grow strong minds and bodies. Caring, experienced counselors guide kids through fun and developmentally appropriate activities, including bouldering, top-rope climbing, yoga, slacklining, and more. Kids develop strength, dexterity and balance, while they’re also having fun and making friends. Are your kids new to climbing? No problem. These classes are designed to be accessible for all levels and for ages 6-16. Registration is now open (register here) and summer camp financial assistance is available.

Photo courtesy of the Wheel Mill.

22. The Wheel Mill

Both more experienced and wannabe shredders can find a session at The Wheel Mill’s BMX and Mountain Bikes Camps. Kids will be thrilled to experience the 80,000-square-foot park filled with all kinds of trails and ramps with varying terrain and levels of difficulty. Beginners learn general bike safety and skills along with cycling, mountain bike and BMX vocabulary. Once kids master the basics, they can move onto learning intermediate skills. Check out the camp lineup here.

Image courtesy of Mad Science.

23. Mad Science

With titles like Fizz Bang Boom, Eureka!, Red Hot Robots, Yuckology and Secret Agent Lab, Mad Science summer camp sessions have us intrigued. Workshops, held at 15 area locations, are geared to kids from kindergarten through 6th grade, giving them the chance to be junior scientists for the summer. Register here for your choice of location and camp.

Photo courtesy of the Fern Hollow Nature Center.

24. Fern Hollow Nature Center

The Fern Hollow Nature Center returns to its fun schedule of outdoor nature-themed camps. Kids ages 3-11 will enjoy fresh-air learning and hands-on challenges. The youngest campers might pick berries and vegetables, dig for fossils and build fairy houses. Older kids might practice archery, learn to be eco-warriors or master outdoor survival skills. Watch here for the summer camp lineup to be announced soon. Full and partial scholarships are offered.

Photo courtesy of Camp Delicious.

25. Luminari’s Camp Delicious

Aspiring teen chefs will find culinary confidence at this five-day Luminari camp. Teens will participate in tastings and learn about food sourcing and preparation under the guidance of some of Pittsburgh’s most prominent chefs and nutritionists. By the end of camp, kids should have the ability to create scrumptious meals at home.

Photo courtesy of Camp Invention.

26. Camp Invention

Camp Invention offers an inspiring, action-packed experience for kids in grades K-6. The STEM summer program helps kids develop innovative thinking and problem-solving skills and encourages collaboration. Camps are held in schools around Pittsburgh. Find a program location and register here.

27. University of Pittsburgh Gene Team

Science-minded teens from Pittsburgh’s urban high schools with an interest in biology are invited to apply for a position in the five-week Gene Team program. Pitt Biology Outreach will provide state-of-the-art laboratory training to collect data for a current research project. Bus passes will be supplied and participants will receive a stipend at the end of the program. Sessions will include a focus on strategies and skills that will help with college applications. To be eligible, kids must have completed one year of high school biology. Stay tuned for the 2022 dates and application information.

Photo courtesy of Switch and Signal Skatepark.

28. Switch and Signal Skatepark

Skate Camp returns to Switch and Signal Skatepark this year with full-day camps running from June 13 to Aug. 19. Choose a week or sign up for the entire summer. Kids from ages 5-13 in all skill levels are welcome to get started or develop more advanced expertise. Learn about skate components, make skate art and work on a group skate video to take home at the end of the week. Register here.

Photo courtesy of Blue Ribbon Farms.

29. Blue Ribbon Farms

Kids get a total fresh air farm experience at Blue Ribbon Farms’ Little Farmers Day Camp. Hands-on experiences include bottle feeding a newborn calf, caring for goats and piglets or riding a pony. Kids learn about growing food in the expansive garden and collect fresh eggs, then help prepare dishes from food harvested on the farm. Crafts, nature walks and games are part of the fun. The three-day camps are geared to kids ages 4-13. Register here.

Photo courtesy of Glade Run.

30. Glade Run Lutheran Services

Looking for summer camps around Pittsburgh that focus on social-emotional skills? Glade Run’s Specialized Adventures Camp is a two-week social skills development course specifically designed for kids with moderate to high-functioning autism spectrum disorders. But any kids ages 8-18 who need help with social skill development will be considered. Activities include horseback riding, trail and stream exploration and gardening. View the brochure for details.

A limited number of partial scholarships are available through the Glade Run Foundation. Call 724-452-4453, ext. 1244, or email.

summer camps around Pittsburgh
Image courtesy of Little Lake Theatre.

31. Little Lake Theatre

Budding theater stars ages 6-18 will take the stage during in-person summer camps at Little Lake Theatre. Kids with a flair for the dramatic will study improv character movement and audition skills in Acting Camp. Musical Theater campers will rehearse and perform roles in “Disney’s The Descendants: The Musical.” Be A Star Camp is offered in two sessions – Great American Road Trip and Around the World in 5 Days. Learn more and register here.

32. Steeltown Film Academy Summer Intensive

Steeltown’s Film Academy is a youth education program in digital media arts and filmmaking. The Academy is open to all high schoolers, from rising 9th graders up through recent 12th-grade grads. Teaching artists and professional mentors will offer a curriculum covering all aspects of digital media production, including storytelling, camera, audio, lighting and editing. This in-person summer program runs from June 27-July 28, four days per week (Mon-Thurs, except Mon. July 4) from 10 a.m.-3pm at WQED. Lunch will be provided each day. Register here, and contact program director Mary Ann McBride-Tackett with questions.

33. Horses Unlimited Stables

Kids who are giddy with pony love will be positively smitten with the two Pony Camps at Horses Unlimited Stables. Beginners receive an introduction to Western and English riding in the weeklong sessions. Kids will learn horse care methods, including a hands-on pony bath to safely clean off the mud. Expect horse-themed crafts and games, too. Find more information here or call 412-835-7726.

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Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Glass Center.

34. Pittsburgh Glass Center

Teens in grades 6–12 take over Pittsburgh Glass Center from July 11-15 for the intensive SiO2 teen boot camp. This one-week summer day camp introduces the science and art of glass, offering hands-on experience with glass-making at one of the top facilities in the country. Sessions include glassblowing, flameworking, kilnforming, and coldworking. At lunchtime, campers will gather for discussions with instructors and fellow students. Scholarships are available. Learn more and register here (apply by June 1).

35.  The Hillman Academy

The Hillman Academy provides authentic research experiences and mentorship to high school students. Participants work in labs on a cancer research project alongside a Pitt faculty member, graduate student, or post-doc. Great for students interested in STEM, biomedicine, or research! The program runs June 20 – Aug. 5. Applications are being accepted now through mid-February from all high school students (preference given to rising juniors and seniors). Read more about eligibility. The program offers 34+ stipends of $2,400 to students from underrepresented groups.

36. Readiness Institute Summer Program
This six-week paid experience for rising high school seniors helps them become community and future-ready. Participants will build relationships and rituals, participate in essential skill workshops, complete projects that address real-world problems, and create personalized road maps for future success. Participants will gain an improved sense of self and be better able to answer these questions: Who am I? Who do I want to become? How do I get there? How will I continue to learn? How will I give back to my community? Program runs June 27 – Aug. 4, with applications accepted now through April 1. A maximum of 45 campers will be accepted and will receive a stipend of $2,000, use of a laptop while enrolled and transportation as needed. Open to rising high school seniors with preference given to those attending high school in Allegheny County.

37. The University of Pittsburgh Architectural Studies Program Summer Studio

Also known as the Experiencing Architecture program, this four-week experience immerses high school students in the various facets of architecture and design. Participants develop foundational skills for architecture – including sketching, drawing, and model making – while working on design projects and using Pitt’s architecture studios and maker spaces. Students get a sense of what it’s like to study and practice architecture and related professions through office tours, construction site visits, and walking tours of notable buildings in and around the city. Applications are open now for this July camp, and applicants will receive a status update by mid-April. Questions? Email Sara Pettit. Students in grades nine through 12 from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply if they have a strong interest in pursuing architecture or design beyond high school.

summer camp
Photo courtesy of University of Pittsburgh Architectural Studies Program Summer Studio.

38. Readiness Institute Summer Program
This six-week paid experience for rising high school seniors helps them become community and future-ready. Participants will build relationships and rituals, participate in essential skill workshops, complete projects that address real-world problems, and create personalized road maps for future success. Participants will gain an improved sense of self and be better able to answer these questions: Who am I? Who do I want to become? How do I get there? How will I continue to learn? How will I give back to my community? Program runs June 27 – Aug. 4, with applications accepted now through April 1. A maximum of 45 campers will be accepted and will receive a stipend of $2,000, use of a laptop while enrolled and transportation as needed. Open to rising high school seniors with preference given to those attending high school in Allegheny County.

39. ICE-T Project
In this initiative of The Citizen Science Lab, Black youth will explore the computational and experimental techniques required to examine the physiology, biochemistry, and voltage potential of microbial fuel cells (MFC), a living battery powered by bacteria. After learning basic concepts, students will build and create a device powered by these living batteries. Application details are coming soon for this summer program open to all Black high schoolers. Check here or follow The Citizen Science Lab on their social media channels for program updates.

40. Startable PGH
Startable teaches students 13- to 18-years-old entrepreneurial and engineering skills through the design and commercialization of hardware products. Participants build their own business, keep profits from their products, and pitch for prize money at a final event. Startable will offer their 2022 program in a hybrid model: Some cohorts will meet virtually, and others in person. Program dates will depend on the cohort schedule and end on Aug. 5. Applications will be available in May at startablepgh.org. This program is for anyone interested in entrepreneurship, technology or skill-building in related areas.

41. Girls Who Code
Girls Who Code summer programs teach girls and non-binary students the computer science skills they need to drive community impact and prepare for a tech career. Participants will get exposure to tech jobs, meet women in tech careers, and join a supportive sisterhood of girls in tech. The program is available as a 2-week intensive immersion or a 6-week self-paced program and offers a $300 needs-based stipend for eligible students in the United States. Program dates and application details for this immersion program for rising 10th-12th grade girls or current 9th-11th grade girls are coming soon. Complete this interest form to get updates.

social-emotional skills
Photo courtesy of Girls on the Run.

42. Girls on the Run: Camp GOTR
Camp GOTR is for girls in 3rd through 5th grades and takes place during the summer months. Registration dates and specific camp sites are yet to be announced, but GOTR serves all of Allegheny County and surrounding areas. Girls spend a week building friendships, exploring their creativity and playing fun games that keep them moving. Caring and qualified Girls on the Run coaches lead structured lessons to help girls build confidence and unleash creativity in a safe and inclusive environment. Email Karen Baker for more information and keep an eye on the website.

Photo courtesy of Bright Horizons.

43. Bright Horizons at Southside Works 

Bright Horizons tells us they’re planning action-packed summer days that put a seasonal spin on science, technology, creative arts, learning about nature and more. Weekly themes for 3-year-olds through 5-year-olds will include Game Time!, Adventures in Art, Great Inventors, and Fitness Fanatics. Learn more here.

44. Steel City Rowing Club

The Steel City Rowing Club offers an outdoor day camp for kids ages 8-12.  Campers have an opportunity to explore the Allegheny River in kayaks and canoes in Verona, while also enjoying swimming, paddle boarding, or just relaxing on the docks. Bonus: There will be an occasional excursion to Sycamore Island to explore the environment on and around the island. Get more information and register here.

45. U.S. Golf Camps at Kiski School, Saltsburg, PA

The folks at US Golf Camps offer the Ultimate Junior Golf Camp Experience for boys and girls 9-18 years old, which kicks off on June 19. It’s an overnight camp located at the Kiski School in Saltsburg (30 miles east of Pittsburgh), and includes a private golf course and practice range exclusively for campers.  Kids join us from all over the U.S. as well as several other countries, so it’s a great chance to make friends with kids from outside our region. Three programs are designed for different skill levels: a fundamental program for relative beginners and younger golfers, an advanced program for high school golfers and an elite program for players who want to play competitive college golf. Learn more, request a video all about the camp and get registered here, or call 888-874-6535 with questions.

46. Montessori Children’s Schoolhouse Summer Camp

This six-week camp is geared towards 3 to 7-year olds and it’s all about having fun outdoors. The first week begins on June 13 and camp happens 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily, with an option for full or half-day registration. Each week will have a theme, including Fossil Find (all about the mysterious lives of dinosaurs and the scientists who study them) and Hiding in the Garden (all about nature, including learning about weather, bugs, habitats and more). Kids are welcome to join for all 6 weeks or go week-to-week. Get more info and register here

Bonus: Looking for more summer camps around Pittsburgh? Check out these options:

Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania

Steeltown Film Academy

Sewickley Academy 

Westinghouse Arts Academy Broadway Takeover Camp

Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

Snapology

Cut & Sew Studio

Sing Sing Sing!

GirlGov Summer Leadership Academy

The Mattress Factory [email protected] Factory