Your 2023 Guide to Low-Cost Summer Camps Around Phoenix

(Photo courtesy Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department​)

By Robert Gundran

March 31, 2023

From sports to performing arts to science, there are options for summer camp in metro Phoenix that won’t break the bank.

Summer break is right around the corner for many schools across the Valley, which means parents could have children without a place to go on weekdays for the next few months. 

Families can send their kids to summer camps to help them socialize, stay active, and do things besides stay indoors all day. 

Here are some lower-cost options for kids in the Valley.

Sports Camps

PHXPlays, a program through Phoenix Parks and Recreation, offers a variety of sports camps for kids that start between May 22 and June 5. 

Camps can run $15-$30 per day or $60-$80 per session. 

There are also individual sports events held over the summer that range between free and $70. 

Phoenix Parks and Recreation also offers swim lessons with sessions starting in early June and as late as mid-July. Lessons only cost $20. 

Maricopa County is offering a free basketball and volleyball program for kids between 10 and 17 years old. 

The camp runs from June 6th until July 16, with practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-9 p.m. 

It also has weekly games on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. 

All games and practices are at Marc T. Atkinson Middle School and Gifted Academy Gym in Phoenix. 

For registration or additional information you can call 623-691-4000 or email dopublicrelations@csd83.org.

Youth Activities

The City of Phoenix also offers youth activities for between $25 and $50. 

The activities include dance lessons, like ballet or tap dance, as well as Spanish, math, and reading and writing clubs.

Kids can enroll in STEM classes or yoga storytime. Phoenix offers a variety of camps for kids with varied interests. 

Performance Arts

The Phoenix Conservatory of Music is offering dozens of week-long summer camps during the day. The camps are broken up by age, with ones for ages 7-10, 9-13, and 14-18, and half-day camps for kids 3-5 and 6-9. 

Camps in 2023 only cost a $25 registration fee due to a grant from the Arizona Department of Education. 

Parents can register their kids for up to three camps with the registration. 

Childsplay in Tempe has performance arts summer camps for drama and comedy shows. 

Their camps include Disney-themed plays like “The Little Mermaid,” “Gravity Falls,” “Encanto,” “Inside Out,” “Bluey,” and “High School Musical.” 

There are classes for kids of all ages. Most are between $108 and $255 and last for a week.

There are additional three-week classes for full productions of plays for “Heathers,” “Macbeth,” and “The Little Mermaid,” though those camps are $699. 

Childsplay offers full and partial scholarships for children in need.

Summer Programs with ASU

Arizona State University offers just under 50 programs available for kids from fifth through 12th grades. 

Some of the camps are strictly day camps, where you drop off your kid and pick them up later in the day, and others are overnight camps, where kids get an opportunity to live on an ASU campus for up to a week. 

Here’s just a few of the more affordable camps ASU is offering, and scholarships are available for many of them:

  • STEAM Machines + Storytelling Camp: $20 (9 a.m to 5 p.m.) 4 days
  • Summer Engineering Experience Deep Dive: $40 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) 1 day
  • STEAMpunk Machines in Motion Camp: $100 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) 5 days
  • LEGO Robotics Camp: $150 (8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) 3 days
  • Robotics Day Camp: $275 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) 5 days
  • Philosophy Camp: $325 (8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.) 5 days
  • Leadership Camp: $350 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) 4 days

Educational Camps

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix offers summer camps that last a week from the last week of May until the first week of August. 

For $335, or $295 for members of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, parents can drop their kids off from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at one of five different programs.

The museum offers a program that gives kids the chance to investigate miniature dinosaur fossils, cosplay as a wizard or superhero, learn about extreme weather conditions, or solve a mystery as a junior detective. 

A calendar on the museum’s website shows the schedule for all their weekly programs, along with links to register. Parents can apply for scholarships by sending an email to camps@childmusephx.org

Staying Indoors

If your child would prefer to stay indoors, they don’t have to be limited to what’s in your house. 

The city of Phoenix offers coding courses for grades K-12. 

Courses include ones from code.org, Google CS First, Scratch, and kodable.com. All are self-guided and free.

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Author

  • Robert Gundran

    Robert Gundran grew up in the Southwest, spending equal time in the Valley and Southern California throughout his life. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in 2018 and wrote for The Arizona Republic and The Orange County Register.

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