Summer is here and options abound for parents looking to keep their children occupied.
While a relief for many grade school students, the beginning of summer may signify a moment of question for parents — particularly for single parents, families where both parents work or low income families.
Some can easily turn to family members who have offered their time and home to care for their children. Others can turn to childcare services available at day care facilities. But what of those who neither have the family or plentiful funds to help in the care of their children during the summer break?
One of the most common options for parents this time of year is to send their child, or children, off to summer camp. Depending on the structure of the camp, children can enjoy the outdoors by participating in several team-building activities, arts and crafts and learn to socialize with their fellow campers.
Want the fun and excitement of an overnight summer camp experience at a reasonable price and for the whole family? Colorado Parks and Wildlife offers its Let’s Camp! program. The program gives families the opportunity to learn the basics of camping through hands-on outdoor activities. The camping experience runs from noon Sunday to noon Monday and held at either Chatfield State Park (price is $30 for a group of up to six) or Golden Gate Canyon State Park (price is $25 for a group of up to six) depending on the date. Visit www.parks.state.co.us/camping/Pages/LetsCamp.aspx or call 303-291-7654.
While summer camps are a viable option, it can be an added cost depending on the summer camp of your choice so be sure to check out prices and if there are discounts available. One thing to keep in mind when deciding to send your child off to summer camp alone is whether or not they are prepared to stay away from home for the number of days or weeks the program runs. Be sure to gauge your child’s readiness to leave home for a period of time.
Are you looking for summer activities that will keep your child physically active and in the comfort of your neighborhood? Visit your local recreation center to obtain information about their summer programs and cost of membership. La Alma Recreation Center is a zenith for Denverites. The recreation center recently unveiled its new swimming pool earlier this month. To find your local recreation center, visit www.denvergov.org/parksandrecreation/Recreation/FindaRecreationCenter/tabid/430474/Default.aspx or call 720-913-1311.
The city of Denver, Denver Public Schools, Food Bank of the Rockies and Hunger Free Colorado’s Summer Food Service Program offers families the opportunity to continue to provide their children with a healthy breakfast and lunch during the summer months. The program serves children under the age of 18. For a complete list of participating sites, visit summerfoodcolorado.org or call 720-328-1284.
The school bells have tolled for the last time, at least until the late summer months of August and September when children will return to school. Until then, a variety of options are readily available for parents seeking to keep their children busy and healthy during these hot summer months.