Where To Find Summer Activities for Families On a Budget
The end of the school year is finally upon us, and with the end of school comes a new challenge for Wisconsin families: what to do with all our kids? Not all families have the same financial resources to send kids to "sleep-away" camps, or even day camps, and not all families have one parent who stays at home. But just because resoucres might be thin for indulgent summer adventures, doesn't mean you have to be locked out of fun, safe, and helpful resources while your kids are home 24-7.
Here are some of our recommendations for local Wisconsin support during summer vacation, and online resources to find exactly what you're looking for.
Search and Find Summer Camps In Your Region
What if there was a website that let you easily search by state and zip code all available summer camps? Well--there is! Kidscamps.com is a great place to start looking for places to send your children during the hot, hazy days of summer, and we've already pre-selected the Wisconsin camps portal to make your search as easy as possible. Just enter in a few more details about the kinds of camps you're interested in and how far you're willing to drive and voila!
Articles and Advice From Other Parents
If you like the idea of being able to search local camp directories, but want a little more information on the events you and your child(ren) might be interested in, then we highly recommend checking out Wisconsin's Metro Parent Online. Here, you'll find articles and insights about camps from parents who have first-hand experience with a venue and staff,.
Local Food Pantries
In addition to needing to find good, affordable places for kids to play and interact, there's the whole ofther issue of making sure that they're getting quality nourishment (unfortunately, bottomless popsicles don't count). While many Wisconsin children receive free or reduced cost lunches during the school year, replacing that assistance during the summer can be tricky if you don't know where to look. Insert the YMCA. Most people think of "the Y" as more of a resouce for activities, but certain branches also offer meals for kids. According to the La Crosse YMCA, these programs "[strive] to fill that summer gap by giving our community kids and teens under the age of 18 the opportunity to eat nourishing meals for free. These healthy and delicious meals include a breakfast, lunch, supper, and a snack Monday through Friday. There's also a lunch on Saturday and Sunday!" Check them out at the following locations:
1140 Main St
M-F: 7:30-8:30am & 11:45-12:45pm
Community Teen Center
1105 King St
M-F: 2:45-4:45pm & 6:00-7:00pm
Schuh/Mullen Homes Boys and Girls Club
1305 St. James Street