Affordable Or Free Summer Camps For Single Moms And Low-Income Families

Looking for ways to give your children unforgettable summer fun without breaking too deep into the bank account? Summer camp can be a great way for children to experience valuable childhood moments they will remember forever, however, some summer camps may not be affordable for all families.

Luckily, there are lots of options available that should be friendly to the considerations of those who aren’t looking to break the bank. And the best part is that many of these camps are low cost, or even free!

Where to start while looking for one of these camps? Read on below and we will help you get started.

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Benefits Of Summer Camp

With the school year at a close, kids look forward to days spent outside of the classroom riding bikes with neighborhood friends, late night sleepovers, and time spent huddled around the family game system. But what if there was a way to make ordinary summer activities something that your child will remember forever? Enter summer camp! 

Summer camps are an excellent way for parents to let their kids experience an array of activities and experiences that they might not have access to otherwise. Summer camp also helps keep kids in a routine while still allowing them plenty of time to explore and have fun. 

Summer camp gives children plenty of opportunities for fun, but will also has plenty of other benefits like: 

  • Promotes learning 
  • Group activities
  • Promotes independence 
  • Teaches teamwork 
  • Encourages outdoor time
  • Builds self esteem 
  • Nurtures friendships 
  • Keeps kids curious 
  • Sense of purpose 

Summer camp can be a great opportunity for a kid, but the average costs of day camps ranging from $199 to $800 the price is a serious consideration for most families. That’s why we’ve gathered some of our favorite free or low cost summer camps here for you! Check them out below!

Local Parks And Recreation Department

An easy and often productive way to find a camp program is to check with your local parks and rec department. If your city or town has a local parks system, they often host summer camps that can include a wide variety of activities like sports, arts, music, gymnastics, skateboarding, and plenty of others! 

What’s even better about looking for summer camps through your parks and rec department is that many of them are free, and those that are not are often offered at a very affordable price. Most camps will be age limited to children from 5-17 years old, so even your teens will have fun activities to enjoy this summer! 

You can find information on your local parks and recreation’s summer camps by checking their website. Alternatively, don’t hesitate to call and ask over the phone if no information is available online! 


We’re all familiar with the YMCA but most people don’t realize that they offer summer camp programs. There are a handful of YMCA camps located in the United States, and while they are not available for free, YMCA camp programs are offered at a generally affordable price. 

At YMCA summer camps kids can learn self-esteem building skills and social skills, and of course have plenty of fun while doing so. YMCAs will also usually offer sports programs and programs tailored to more specific recreational interests. 

Find a local YMCA camp program this summer by checking out their website, or giving them a call! Some will list their available programs online, but it is worth checking over the phone too if nothing is listed. 

Boy Scout/Girl Scout Camps

If you are comfortable with becoming a member, the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts association offer robust and exciting summer camp programs that will give your children life-long skills and great memories. Membership is typically somewhere around $40-$60 per year, which should be accessible, and worth it considering the wealth of experiences available. 

Once you are a member you can discover a variety of comprehensive and diverse programs perfect for outdoors lovers and kids with an adventurous heart. Depending on where you live, you might have access to some interesting and affordable options for overnight camp programs, so definitely check out the options first to see if becoming a member makes sense.

And if you don’t want to become a member, there are usually options for day camping available for a reasonable price. Just check with your local scout organization and they should be able to provide you with all of the details you need to start planning. 

Museum Camps

Museums can make for a great day trip, and for a kid with an inquisitive mind, museums can be an impactful refuge and place of learning. If your child loves spending time at a nearby museum, you can consider looking to see if they offer any summer camp activities during the day. 

Museums will often host daytime summer camp sessions hosted by inspiring and interesting professionals working in various educational fields to give your child a fun and interactive learning experience. Many museums will also offer camps specifically for children interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering & math). 

Museums will usually offer programs intended for a variety of different interests, so whether your kid wants to explore an arts program, or get involved in building robots, your museum may have something worth checking out! Try checking the websites for any museums located reasonably close by to see if there are any schedules available for this summer!


Whether they are a nature lover, a young artist, or a scientist, summer camp can be a transformative and powerful learning experience for young kids, and something we believe deserves to be accessible and affordable to everyone. 

Summer camps are a great way to facilitate a summer that is more than just simple fun, but an experience your child can remember fondly for a lifetime. We know that summer camps can be unaffordable for some, so we hope that some of the options above will peak the interests of your kid so they too can experience the summer of a lifetime. 

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