This article first appeared in, a media partner of NEXTpittsburgh. Sign up here for Kidsburgh’s free newsletter filled with local resources and expert advice on raising healthy, thriving kids in southwestern PA.

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.

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.

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 the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

7. Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

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 Shady Side Academy.

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.

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

Registration will open in March (stay tuned here — we’ll add the link when it’s available) 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. Visit the website or call 412-231-2377 with questions.

Photo courtesy of the National Aviary.

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.

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.

Photo courtesy of Venture Outdoors.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Pittsburgh.

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.

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.

23. Mad Science

NEXT guest writer

NEXTpittsburgh welcomes op-eds and thought pieces on a variety of topics from the community. If you have an idea, please contact us at