Summer Programs for Kids and Your Budget

Summer is here which means sunny days, popsicles, family vacations and so much more! It also means your kids are home a majority of the next couple weeks, repeatedly telling you how bored they are. Keeping them busy and out of trouble can be a monumental task, both on you and your wallet. We’re here to share a few different programs and ideas that’ll help keep your kids busy without causing too much financial stress this summer.


Local Schools and Colleges

A lot of local schools and colleges will have summer programs available for affordable rates. These will typically involve a wide range of themes and topics. The college programs are primarily academic focused, such as science camps and other similarly focused week-long day programs. Many local high schools have sports camps that are available for young athletes to participate in and work on their skills while socializing with other kids.


Community Programs/Camps

Depending on your neighborhood, you can often find numerous programs/centers created to keep children off the streets and in a engaging environment. Not only do these programs cater to after school activities, but they ramp up during the summer season. From YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, Art Centers, Dance Studios, and Church Youth Centers/Camps you are likely to find a community program that fits your budget, schedule, and child’s interest. It’s also a great way for your child to make friends with people who live close by, but may not attend the same school.


Local Libraries

The local library is often a forgotten resource, but they have a wide range of programs during the summer from reading reward programs to themed days and activities. Now these aren’t like Vacation Bible School where you can drop your child off for a large chunk of the day, but it’s a great place to beat the summer heat and leave with additional entertainment. They’ll be able to check out books, DVDs and even video games at some libraries. The best part is all of these activities and perks are available for the low cost of a library card (hint: it’s free).


Movie Theaters 

During the summer, theaters will often run kid themed weeks or months where kids get in free or heavily discounted to view off-season family friendly movies. While they won’t be new releases, you’re bound to find a movie that your child will love to see on the big screen! Like the libraries, you won’t be able to drop your child off at the movie theater so plan accordingly. You could get a group of parents together, either your kids circle of friends or families in the neighbor, taking turns being the parent chaperon to help give fellow parents and yourself a mini break.


Get Creative with Others

Similar to the organized group outing to the movies, getting together with the other parents in your community and planning outings or in-home group activities can be a great way of sharing and spreading the responsibility that summer brings. By rotating weekly, you’re able to provide the entertainment some weeks while just dropping your kids off on the other weeks. Ideas for entertainment can range from kids cooking clubs to themed activity days like camping fun or water wars with water balloons and squirt guns.


There are many ways to keep your kids entertained and make sure they’re doing more than trying to be the last one standing in Fortnite. While you can spend a small fortune on activities and programs, there are a number of different ways to provide them with a fun summer while also being smart with your money. Don’t forget to check out early-registrations for discounts and reach out to your work HR for family programs/assistance that may be offered to help relieve some of the financial strain.

We’d love to hear your summer plans and tips for keeping your children entertained in the comments below!

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