Summer YMCA Activities for Happy, Healthy Families

Don’t miss out! From summer to fall, top YMCA activities your whole family will love.

Your local YMCA is your family’s go-to place for healthy, fun activities all year round — but it’s especially fun in the summer months because summer YMCA activities are immersive and accessible, says Jacqueline Kippen, Executive Director of Youth and Family Programs at YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit.

“Your local YMCA is your community resource for the whole family,” says Kippen. “There’s a reason the YMCA has been around for 171 years here in Detroit. We truly care about our communities and the families and people in them. We’re constantly working to meet our communities where they are and provide them with the experiences they want.”

A YMCA family membership is your key to early access and savings on summer camp, swim lessons and many summer YMCA activities, so if you aren’t already a member, now is the time to join. For less than $3 a day, your whole family can enjoy fun programs, child care while you exercise, lap and family swim and much more.

We tapped into Kippen’s expertise to bring your family the top six YMCA activities — and a sneak peek into fall and back-to-school activities you won’t want to miss.

1. Summer camp, of course!

“People know us for our summer day camps,” says Kippen. “Y Summer Day Camps are where kiddos can come during their out-of-school time, and they’re run by trusted, well-trained adults.” At camp, kids combat summer learning loss and have so much fun, they’re not even aware that they’re learning. “Studies show that 20 minutes of reading each day can reduce that loss, and parents can rest easy that this is happening at their kids’ Y Summer Day Camp.”

2. Camp add-on programs

Some YMCA branches offer programming that bridges the gap from the end of the camp day to parent pick-up time. “Right after camp, kids can do swim lessons, karate or art lessons, and the South Oakland Family Y has outdoor cooking lessons,” Kippen says.

3. Family fun at each YMCA

Every YMCA has something different for families to try. At all YMCA locations, family members can enjoy everything the facility offers. “And at Boll Family Y downtown, there’s Family Fun Swim. At Farmington Family YMCA, there’s a Parents’ Night Out each month when you can drop off and go enjoy some adult time knowing that your kids are safe and having a great time,” Kippen says. Each Y has something special, so be sure to see what’s available close to you.

4. Fall registration is open!

If you’re planning fall activities for your family, YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit has you in mind because all activities for fall open at the beginning of July. “Check out our website on July 1 and register for activities for your kids through the rest of the year,” Kippen says.

5. Back to School Bash

As summer winds down, most YMCA branches host a Back to School Bash to get everyone in the back-to-school frame of mind. “This is a free community event that includes plenty of family fun time,” Kippen says. “There are school supplies and activities for kids and their families to do together.”

6. Family Fun Day at Camp Ohiyesa

Families can enjoy a day at Camp Ohiyesa, YMCA’s overnight and day camp in Holly three times a year. “You can zipline, do archery, take a nature hike, enjoy yoga, do a scavenger hunt and art projects — or you can just hang out at the campfire all day,” Kippen says. Best of all, it’s free for family members of the YMCA. The next event is Oct. 8. “This is one of the coolest perks of having a Y membership.”

Don’t miss out. Join the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit at

Claire Charlton
Claire Charlton
An enthusiastic storyteller, Claire Charlton focuses on delivering top client service as a content editor for Metro Parent. In her 20+ years of experience, she has written extensively on a variety of topics and is keen on new tech and podcast hosting. Claire has two grown kids and loves to read, run, camp, cycle and travel.


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