School officially ended here in San Antonio last Thursday. Now we have eleven weeks of summer vacation to fill with fun activities. I am quite the planner so our days – at least for June and July – are going to be packed. I like to keep the kids busy as it allows me to keep my sanity. If I let them stay home all the time, the bickering would soon start when the novelty of no school wore off.
Let’s start with my favorite thing – free activities. There are many free activities you and your kids can do this summer. In our case, we have our neighborhood pool. Though while nothing exciting, we love to go in the morning and have the whole place to ourselves. Of course going in the evening with friends is a blast too.
The library is another great place for free activities. Even though my kids have grown out of story time, they have activities for the older kids that include crafts, and they have a summer reading program where the kids can earn a free book. Our library also usually shows a few movies, brings in a magician and has at least one play from our local children’s theater each summer – all for free.
Several of our local movie theaters offer either free or discounted movies in the summer. While the movies are never new releases, it does offer a chance to get out of the heat. My kids love going to the theater, even if they have already seen the movie. Unfortunately, most of this year’s selections aren’t appealing to the kids, so we may only make it once or twice this summer.
I know we have received many flyers from Jase’s school about summer activities and while some of them do cost, we received one for our local AMF bowling alley where registered children receive two free games per day as long as you pay for shoe rentals. All I had to do was sign them up online.
Another activity that is often free is vacation bible school. I know the church where Lexie attended preschool has one that is free, though they do expect you to volunteer at least one day. We have a neighbor who hosts a Backyard Bible Club for kids (Kinder through 5th). Jase went last year and loved it. We have already signed him up for this summer.
There is a summer camp out there to cover all interests. Every gymnastics and dance place seems to offer a camp as does other places – the Lego center, Sea World, the Cooking Academy, the Zoo, and the list goes on and on. So whether your child likes science, magic, basketball, playing an instrument or whatever – there is a camp out there for them. Most range from three to six hours a day and run anywhere from one day to all week.
This is the first year Jase and Lexie will attend any camps. Together they are going to camp at The Little Gym. I bought a 10-day camp pass, and they are going to pop-in to various camps. This will allow them to try out five different themes, including superheros, karate/hip hop and extreme sports. And the best thing is since this camp is for 3-8 year olds is they can go to this camp together.
We are also sending Jase to Mad Science camp for a week in July. He really enjoys science, so we signed him up for a camp called “Moving with Science” where he will build bridges, make his own chalk and more.
We will also be busy with discounted admissions to local attractions. Over the past two months, I have been buying deals off Groupon – the daily deal website. I have discounted admission to Kiddie Park, McKenna Children’s museum, Monster Golf, Amazing Jump and Pump It Up. All bought with at least a 50% discount.
We also have memberships to the zoo, Sea World and Six Flag so I figure we will hit these – especially the water parks at the latter two. As you can see, all these activities along with our two quick trips – one to South Padre that we just completed and another to Corpus Christi – we will certainly be active this summer. And hopefully I will keep the kids so busy that bickering won’t even enter the picture.