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Post Date:06/12/2024 12:00 PM

Mayor’s 2024 Summer Youth Guide, containing free and low-cost activities, is now available online. 

VIDEO | Watch the news conference in its entirety here:

NEW HAVEN, CT – On Wednesday, Mayor Justin Elicker, alongside representatives from the New Haven Youth and Recreation Department (YARD), New Haven Department of Parks and Public Works (P&PW), New Haven Public Schools (NHPS), New Haven Free Public Library (NHFPL), New Haven Police Activity League (PAL) and the New Haven Tutoring Initiative announced dozens of summer activities, events and programs for New Haven’s children, youth and families. The press announcement took place at the Sound School, the site of one of the City’s upcoming summer camps and other seasonal programming and activities.

“The official start of summer is right around the corner, and there will be so much going on in New Haven for our children, youth and families. We’ve got summer camps, family fun days, movies in the park, organized sports, swimming and splash pads, youth employment opportunities, summer school and academic tutoring, arts and cultural programs, and more,” said Mayor Justin Elicker. “We want our young people to have a fun and meaningful summer filled with laughter and learning, and the good news is there is no shortage of activities and opportunities to choose from and enjoy!” 


The New Haven Youth and Recreation Department, other city departments and local non-profit organizations are offering a wide variety of summer activities and programs across the City, many of which are listed in the newly released Mayor’s 2024 Summer Youth Guide, a comprehensive 50-plus page booklet and helpful resource for parents and caregivers, which is now available online at

“New Haven is offering exciting programs for all children, tweens, youth, and young adults this summer. There are camp opportunities for ages 5 to 13, work opportunities for ages 14 to 21, and activities for families with children and youth of all ages,” said Dr. Gwendolyn B. Williams, Director of New Haven’s Youth and Recreation Department. “I am delighted that the city will be able to provide these opportunities, and I hope everyone is able to take advantage of the variety of programs being offered this summer.”

There are dozens of recreational activities and programs offered by the Youth and Recreation Department and Parks & Public Works Department, including:

  • Movies in the Park on Fridays at sunset, rotating to different city parks beginning on July 12th;
  • Family Fun Days on Wednesday afternoons between 2:30 and 5:30 pm beginning on July 10th, and rotating to different city parks offering free food, activities, games, bouncy houses, lives DJs and more;
  • The Summer Fun Bus will make daily visits to different neighborhood locations across the city between 4 and 8 pm beginning on June 24th, providing arts, crafts, games and other activities;
  • Summer Camps run weekdays from June 24th to August 9th at selected locations and offer a variety of daily activities and different themes;
  • Splash Pads at 16 locations officially open on the last day of school and are programed for activation from 10 am to sundown. The splash pad at Lighthouse Point Park is currently fully operational on the weekends and will be operational daily when school ends;
  • Open Swim sessions at Hillhouse High School on the weekdays from 5 to 7 pm and on the weekends from 11 am - 3 pm from June 24th to August 1st.

The full schedule and specific locations for all these items as well as other recurring and special programming can also be found in the Mayor’s 2024 Summer Youth Guide, YARD’s website ( or by calling 203-946-7582. In addition, if a child or parent requires a disability-related accommodation to participate in the City’s programs, it can be requested through the Youth and Recreation Department.

The New Haven Police Activity League (PAL) also offers several summer activities and programs, including:

  • PAL Summer Camp is a 5-week, full-day program that runs from July 1st to August 2nd for children ages 8 to 11 years old. At the camp, kids enjoy athletic activities such as basketball and swimming, arts and crafts activities, enrichment activities, field trips, and special events like First Responders Day. (Note: Currently all PAL camp slots are full, but wait list applications are being accepted.)
  • PAL Chess Club is every Tuesday from 4:30 - 6:30 pm for children and youth ages 8 to 17 at 200 Wintergreen Avenue in the PAL room. No experience is necessary -- this activity is geared towards beginners and those looking to learn the game of chess.
  • PAL Jiu-Jitsu and Boxing classes will be available for children and youth ages 8 to 17, and aim to provide participants with the lifelong gifts of discipline, confidence and self-defense as well as helping them become strong, fit and safe.  Classes will be in the morning and evening, with the exact dates and times to be finalized soon.
  • Soccer skills and practice events for 6th to 8th graders will be occurring on Tuesdays in July in Fair Haven, in partnership with New Haven Athletics & Clifford Beers. Additional details forthcoming.

“At New Haven PAL, we're committed to building strong relationships between officers and our community through our programs. Our summer camp and programs help bridge the gap between law enforcement and our community while providing lifelong memories and experiences for the kids we serve. We're proud to be a part of a community that values the importance of positive relationships between police and the people we protect and serve,” said Sergeant Ronald Ferrante, Director of the New Haven PAL.

Residents can learn more and register for New Haven PAL activities at or by calling 203-675-6776.


There are several academic and tutoring programs that are being offered in combination with outdoor learning and enrichment activities by New Haven Public Schools, the New Haven Free Public Library, and the New Haven Tutoring Initiative.

New Haven Public Schools will offer summer school for rising kindergarten through 8th graders from July 1 to July 31, on a staggered schedule between 8:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., depending on grade level and location. All students will engage in reading, writing, science, and outdoor learning each day. Also during July, high school students can recover course credits. Information is available on the NHPS website.

“Learning is a lifelong, year-round opportunity,” stated New Haven Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Madeline Negrón. “We are proud to offer fun and challenging summer programs that meet the diverse needs and interests of our students and families.”

The New Haven Tutoring Initiative (NHTI), a joint initiative by the City of New Haven, the United Way of Greater New Haven, New Haven Reads, LEAP, New Haven Public Schools and other local nonprofits, will provide weekly high-dosage literacy and math summer tutoring to over 1,200 students in grades K to 8. Tutoring will be offered or embedded in existing summer programs at 16 non-profits and sites across the city. Families interested in signing up their child for tutoring as well individuals interested in volunteering to tutor can learn more at

"The New Haven Tutoring Initiative is a beautiful example of the power of community collaboration in supporting our city's youth. Every child deserves the opportunity to thrive academically and fulfill their potential, and through NHTI this summer, we're not only helping prevent the ‘summer slide,’ but we’re also nurturing a love for learning that extends into student homes and communities. Together, we're building better futures, one tutoring session at a time," said Alyson Fox, Vice President of Community Impact for the United Way of Greater New Haven.

The New Haven Free Public Library (NHFPL) is also providing engaging summer learning activities and opportunities across its five citywide locations for all ages. Highlights include:

  • 2024 Summer Learning Program: Children, youth and adult family members can dive into captivating books and join NHFPL for a series of exciting library programs and community events, all centered around this year's theme, "Read, Renew, Repeat." Individuals are encouraged to read 20 minutes a day through August 18th, track their progress with free Summer Learning booklets, and unlock prizes along the way – such as free books and gift cards to local businesses, with all finishers entered in a grand prize raffle drawing to win a private tour of the Peabody Museum (1 child and 1 teen winner per branch). This year parents, caregivers, and family members can also participate in NHFPL’s Adult Summer Learning program to read along with the kids and teens in their lives. Participants and parents of younger readers are encouraged to use #GetCaughtReading hashtag on social media. Residents can learn more and view book recommendations at or at their local library.
  • READy for the Grade: Families with children aged 5 to 8 are invited to sign up for NHFPL’s reading support program aimed at preventing the summer slide. Families with children ages 5 to 8 are can participate in small, focused reading groups and family literacy nights. Registration is currently open at the Wilson and Stetson branches. This free program is funded by the NewAlliance Foundation and the Scripps Family Fund for Education and the Arts.
  • Other recurring and special programming at all branches can be found at NHFPL’s website ( and social media pages (@NHFPL) on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

“The New Haven Free Public Library is delighted to offer a wide array of opportunities for people of all ages to read and learn this summer. From our Summer Learning Program to our proud partnership with READy for the Grade, there is something for everyone. Preventing the summer slide is crucial for young learners, and we are committed to supporting their growth through engaging and educational activities,” said City Librarian Maria Bernhey. “I encourage everyone to 'Get Caught Reading' this summer and take advantage of the many programs and resources we have available. Together, let's make this summer a time of growth, discovery, and a love for reading."


Free summer meals for kids and teens are available throughout the summer at many New Haven Public Schools and other community sites. All locations can be found at or by calling 2-1-1.

Youth@Work summer employment opportunities begin July 1st and go through August 2nd for New Haven Public School youth ages 14 to 21, providing young people with workplace exposure, mentoring and school and community-based enrichment activities. Learn more at


Lenny H. Speiller; 203-725-4249;

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