Houston Parks and Recreation Department

Youth Programs


Youth Sports Graphic

The Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD) provides programming and recreational sports opportunities for children ages 4 to 18 in a safe, secure and supervised environment.

Youth programming is available year-round through HPARD’s Community Centers. Activities include after-school and summer enrichment programming, after-school and summer food service for youth, teen mentoring and academic support and much more.

A variety of free recreational sports are available. Participants receive equipment, uniforms, facility usage and expert coaching free of charge. League play is organized and directed by experienced youth sports professionals. HPARD staff and volunteers provide coaching assistance, encouragement and support to the children participating in our programs.

We invite you to visit your neighborhood HPARD Community Center to find out more.

Youth Programing

After School Achievement Program

Online Registration

Since 1997, the city of Houston has funded after-school programming for youth through the Mayor's After-School Achievement Program (ASAP). This program is designed to engage juveniles in structured, supervised activities after school to reduce juvenile crime and victimization during these dangerous hours.

The ASAP Goals are as follows:

  • To provide safe, supervised, structured programming for youth after school
  • To prevent delinquency and reduce crime committed by/against juveniles
  • To improve participants’ school performance, conduct, and attendance
  • To encourage the ongoing involvement of parents and the community in youth programs.
  • To motivate youth to develop citizenship and good health habits
  • To build positive partnerships to create fun, affordable, quality after-school programming for youth in Houston

Through ASAP, the City of Houston funds schools and non-profit agencies to provide after-school programming for a minimum of 30 children per site, at least five days per week between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Each funded school or non-profit organization sets its own curricula, usually with input from students, parents and other collaborative partners. However, each curriculum must incorporate academic enhancement, enrichment, skill development and community service.

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After School Enrichment Program (ASEP)
The Houston Parks and Recreation Department offers the After School Enrichment Program free of charge to children between the ages of 6 and 13. Children registered in the program take part in a broad range of activities during after-school hours under the guidance of H.P.A.R.D. staff at community centers across the city.Registered children can take part in many recreational activities through the After School Enrichment Program. These include arts and crafts, sports, nature instruction, games, and cultural and special events. They will have the chance to take field trips and benefit from homework assistance.

Parents and guardians may register their children during regular community center hours throughout the After School Enrichment Program period. All Houston Parks and Recreation Department community centers are sites for the After School Enrichment Program.

Ages: 6 - 13
Registration: Aug 1 - Ongoing
 During Community Center Hours
Program Dates: Sept 2 – Dec 19, 2014
Time: 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Locations: All community centers
Information: (832) 395-7296
 (832) 395-3297
 (832) 395-7261


Summer Enrichment Program (SEP)

Online Registration

S.E.P. is a 10-week day-camp style program for youth ages 6 - 13. Registration is required for this fun-filled program. Available at 49 HPARD community centers, program activities include: crafts, nutrition, fun fitness, track and field, soccer, swimming, junior golf, nature exploration, computer literacy programs, recycling awareness, kayaking, bird watching, fishing and hiking excursions and youth entrepreneur experiences.

Parents are required to attend a program orientation at their registered community center. Transportation to and from community center is the parents responsibility. Student to staff ratio is 1 to 25 with qualified professional recreation staff.

The cost is $30.00 per child per week. Online registration is available at www.houstonparks.org click on the SEP registration link. Payments can be made at the HPARD Permits Office 1002 Washington, Houston, TX 77002. Fee exemptions are available to parents or guardians who qualify. Appropriate documentation is required. Ask for more information regarding qualification criteria.

The program operates smoothly and to verify information. Please note that UNANNOUNCED site visits are conducted by City and State officials.

HPARD’s Summer Enrichment Program operates under “Texas Standards of Care” as defined by the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services.
(NOTE: Any scheduled field trip costs are not a part of the registration fee).

Ages: 6 - 13
Registration: April 1, 2014
 Until Community Center Capacity Is Reached
Fee: $30 per child per week
Program Dates: June 2 – August 8, 2014
Time: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Locations: 49 HPARD Community Centers
Information: (832) 395-7270
 (832) 395-7294
 (832) 395-7296

Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
Since 1980, HPARD has sponsored the Summer Food Service Program, for youth ages 1 to 18.  The program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered through Texas Department of Agriculture. This summer (2014), The Walmart Foundation’s Texas State Giving Program has teamed up with HPARD to help alleviate childhood hunger in Houston.

The Summer Food Service Program is available at over 400 sites in Houston and Harris County providing nutritious lunches and snacks Monday through Friday at Houston Parks and Recreation Department Community Centers and other participating locations including: churches, apartment complexes, learning centers and other nonprofit organizations. No registration is required.

The nutritious packed lunches are prepared and delivered daily to each site and comply with federal and state requirements. They include one serving of milk, two or more servings of vegetables and/or fruits, one serving of grain or bread, and one serving of meat or meat alternative.

Interested organization who would like to register to become a Summer Food Service Site must meet and follow these requirements:

  • Complete and return a 2014 Request to Participate Form now available from the Department's Summer Food Service Program Office and online.
  • Participate in and pass a Pre-Operational Visit. This visit is required to determine that site locations have the facilities to provide meal service for the anticipated number of participants in attendance and the capability of conducting the proposed meal service.
  • Attend a Site Supervisor's Training Session before the 2014 Summer Food Service Program operation begins. Site staff are required to attend this session and a Summer Food Service Program Operating Manual is provided.
  • Participate in continuing site visits by the Summer Food Service Program Staff throughout the program's operation. These visits are conducted to ensure that the program operates smoothly and to verify information. Please note that UNANNOUNCED site visits are conducted by City and State officials.
  • Site Supervisor maintains accurate records of meals that are served. No billing or food preparation is involved. The Summer Food Service Program is FREE for youth.

Ages: 1 - 18
Registration: Not Required
Program Dates: June 2 – August 15, 2014
Time: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm (lunch)
 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm (snack)
Locations: 49 HPARD Community Centers
Information: Call 2-1-1 For Locations
 (713) 676-6832

Tiny Tots Program
Parents are invited to participate in this program for youth ages 4 and under. This parent/child program include fitness activities, arts and crafts and social games. Parents and/or guardian must accompany child at all times.

Ages: 6 months - 4 years
Registration: Ongoing
Program Dates: January 6 – May 9, 2014
Information: Contact Community Centers

Athletes Seeking Knowledge
Athletes Seeking Knowledge (ASK) provides FREE educational support, resources and tools to middle school and high school students to help them excel academically. It is open to Houston area students registered in HPARD’s Summer Enrichment Program or other HPARD recreational sports programs. The ASK Education Fund provides scholarships andresources to assist youth in the pursuit of a college education, trade school program, or to help improve their current academic standing.

ASK provides tutoring, academic preparation programs, scholarship assistance and more. Since 2000, over $200,000 in ASK scholarships and education incentives have been awarded to Houston area students. For information on how to apply or contribute to the ASK scholarship program contact your local community center.

If you would like more information on how to enroll a student in one of the Athletes Seeking Knowledge programs, or if you’d like to become involved as a volunteer or a donor, let us know. Just fill out the ASK information request form & submit your request via fax or regular mail to.

Opening Doors Teen Mentor Workshop
Opening Doors gives teens an opportunity to provide community service in their community during the summer. The program is designed to develop teen character and self-worth, while preparing them for future job interviews. A mock interview and suggestions on resume preparation are part of the program. Teens also participate in hands-on service learning projects, field trips, educational workshops, and a team building camping experience at Lake Houston Wilderness Park. The 8-week summer workshop program meets at Judson Robinson, Jr. Community Center.

Ages: 14 - 18
Registration: April 28, 2014
Fee: $30 per week
No Personal Checks Accepted
Times: Mon - Thu
 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Locations: Judson Robinson, Jr
 2020 Hermann Drive, 77004
Information: 713.284.1997

Houston Teen’s Outside With Nature
This year-round program is open to tweens and teens, ages 14-18. It offers participants opportunities to build confidence and self-esteem through mentoring and program support with HPARD programs and special events. HTOWN will offer a variety of activities and events including: community and volunteer projects, teen forums and educational workshops, field trips and tours, hands-on outdoor activities, monthly awareness events, sports and special events.

Ages: 14 - 18
Registration: Ongoing
Program Dates: Year Around
Locations: Judson Robinson, Jr
 2020 Hermann Drive, 77004
Information: 713.284.1997

Teen Adventure Caravan
This program offers a variety of fun programs, mentoring opportunities, and peer group special events for teens,14 - 18, at community centers during the summer. Year round programs are coordinated through the Teen Program Section. Activities include motivational speakers, essay competitions, talent exhibitions, teen camp experiences, nature activities, cultural programs, special events and college tours.

Ages: 14 - 18
Registration: Ongoing
Program Dates: Year Around
Locations: Judson Robinson, Jr
 2020 Hermann Drive, 77004
Information: 713.284.1997

D-Tag Tatto Removal
A FREE tattoo removal program for youth and young adults, ages 10 - 24 years old and younger who live in the greater Houston metropolitan area. All youth under 17 must complete a parent/guardian permission form to participate.D-Tag was designed to help individuals re-enter mainstream society be removing tattoos which could identify them asparticipating in or supporting anti-social behavior. The D-Tag Tattoo Removal Program is co-sponsored by HPARD and the Harris County Medical Society.

Ages: 10 - 24
Registration: Required
Program Dates: Once A Quarter
 On 2nd Sat of Scheduled Month
Times: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Locations: Judson Robinson, Jr
 2020 Hermann Drive, 77004
Information: 832.395.7131