Mayor Gavin Newsom: Time for Summer Shape-up

Summer is upon us and there are hundreds of reasons to turn off the television this season and discover, or rediscover, what your local park or recreation center has in store for you.

Our city's Recreation and Park Department offers an array of quality, affordable activities and programs for kids of all ages. Some of these programs are traditional ones - trusty standards like the ones you and I may have participated in when we were youngsters. Others are new, innovative programs that cater to the interests of today's youth. If you haven't done so in a while, I invite you to take a closer look at what Rec. and Park has to offer this summer.

Day Camps
Our city's day camp programs continue to be some of the most popular programs in the City year after year, offering a variety of themes, from sports and the arts to cooking and nature. Other specialty camps include a science camp run by the Randall Museum and the Art in the Park camp at the Sharon Art Studio in Golden Gate Park.

Latchkey Summer Program
Our city's after-school Latchkey program provides full-time programming for school-age children during the summer. With 13 sites throughout the City, latchkey is one of our more popular and affordable summer programs, serving hundreds of kids per year at roughly $20 per week. Activities include sports, arts and crafts, games, basic cooking lessons and weekly field trips to Bay Area amusement parks.

Learning to swim at one of San Francisco's nine public swimming pools is almost a prerequisite for city residents. Swimming lessons are available daily, Monday through Friday, or, if your kids just want to do some recreational swimming, they can float around to their hearts' content every day of the week.

What's a summer without sports? From football and soccer to baseball and tennis, Rec. and Park provides summer leagues, tournaments and clinics for just about every sport imaginable, for just about every playing level.

Midnight Music
Midnight Music is a citywide music program that provides children with the opportunity to learn how to express themselves innovatively and creatively through music. The program provides children, youth and teens with free lessons, concerts, road shows, workshops and outings, all led by professionals in the local music industry.

Project Insight
Project Insight's programs for the deaf and visually impaired serve young people, ages 6 - 19, with recreation-based programs focusing on building physical, social and living skills. Programs are conducted in American Sign Language but students of all language abilities are accepted into the programs.

Special Note: The SF Recreation and Park Department has implemented a new registration process for its recreation program offerings. To register for any program from this point forward, you will need to create a "family account" that includes all members of your family. When you establish your account, it will allow for a quicker and simpler registration process in the future.

Please visit the McLaren Lodge Annex, 501 Stanyan St., between Fell and Stanyan streets, Monday through Friday, during regular business hours, with appropriate documents, to enroll in any Recreation and Park Department program. For more details on creating your family account, please call 3-1-1 or visit

For complete information on Recreation and Park Department programs, please call (415) 831-2700, or visit

Gavin Newsom is the mayor of San Francisco.