School and summer vacations can be challenging for working parents, but the following programs can provide both structure and enrichment for your children during vacations. Be sure to contact the program directly to see if it’s a good fit for your family.
School Vacation Programs
For benefits-eligible faculty and staff, Harvard offers a "School's Out" program for children ages 5 to 12. Held during school vacation weeks in February and April and the last week in August, the program runs at our Longwood, Cambridge, and Allston campuses.
Other options include:
- Arlington Children’s Theater, Arlington
- Arlington Center for the Arts, Arlington
- Boston University School Vacation Program, Boston
- Brookline Center for the Arts, Brookline
- Drumlin Farm and Wildlife Sanctuary, Lincoln
- East End House, Cambridge
- Gymnastics Academy of Boston, Cambridge
- Harvard Museum of Natural History, Cambridge
- Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House, Cambridge
- Mass. College of Art, Boston
- Museum of Fine Arts , Boston
- New Art Center, Newton
- New School of Music, Kids’ Cabaret Program, Cambridge
- Newton Indoor Sports, Newton
- Wheelock Family Theatre Classes, Boston
Summer Camps and Programs
Benefits-eligible faculty and staff can use Harvard's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to help locate camps that meet your family's needs. The EAP will provide a list of summer camps that meet your specific criteria, free of charge. Call 877-EAP-HARV (877-327-4278) for assistance.
Various summer programs operate on Harvard’s campuses:
- The Harvard Museum of Natural History offers half-day, weeklong summer science programs, with a wide range of activities, games, and hands-on learning activities for various ages, taught by the museum's professional educators.
- Harvard Athletics facilities host various sports-focused summer camps, most of which are operated by coaches’ associations and other private entities.
- Harvard generally offers a one-week School's Out Vacation Camp during the last week of August (depending on school district calendars and when Labor Day falls). Typically held on three campuses, the camp is open to the children, ages 5 to 12, of benefits-eligible faculty and staff.
Other resources for identifying summer programs include:
- The American Camp Association allows you to search accredited camps by geography or interest area, as well as access a wealth of camp-related resources and information.
- Boston Summer Stuff provides information on sports, jobs, courses, internships, volunteer opportunities, recreation programs, projects, and activities for Boston youth, produced by the Boston Public Schools.
- The Cambridge Department of Human Services provides information on summer programs, camps and services in Cambridge.
- Child Care Resource Center allows you to search Cambridge and eight other surrounding towns for child care and summer camp options.
- M.I.T. Boston-Area Summer Day Camps Our colleagues at M.I.T.'s Work-Life Center offer an online database of summer day camps in and around Boston. (To use, once in the site, click on “Work/Life Resources 24/7 Program”, then scroll down to “Provider Search” and click on "Boston-Area Summer Day Camps: Database Search.")