Ready or not, summer is here. Chances are pretty good that your kids are itching to get involved in something – anything – other than being around their siblings. You may be left wondering where to discover activities to get your kids involved.

Let’s face it, there’s a myriad of events ranging in price from free to crazy expensive, but worth the dough.

City parks and recreation:  This is a great place to looking into youth activities.  Most cities offer a competitive rate and allow you an opportunity to try some new things, sometimes cheaper than going to the business itself. Their unprecedented access to businesses, parks and opportunities are hard to compete with. 

Community colleges:  I love community colleges because they offer a variety of programs including photography, sewing, pottery, computer and robotics classes… and of course sports camps from bocce ball, to swimming, tennis and more. The one downside to community colleges are that they expect your kids to get themselves from one class to the next, so it may not be the best option for your family unless your child is older and you feel safe leaving your child in the community environment.

Local VBS (vacation Bible schools): A wonderful resource for those on a budget and want to enrich their children with religious activities, crafts and fun, all at the same time.  Every VBS program I’ve encountered has been free for children to attend.  They also provide an opportunity for your children to meet a variety of kids, while providing the opportunity to do some investigating into new religious opportunities at the same time.

Get-away camps: Want to send your child off to some amazing camps outside of your community?  Check outOperation We Are Here for a list of military-friendly camps.
Adult camps: Maybe you’d rather escape yourself?  I’m with you. Let’s go to an adult day camp! Check out some of the options from Parade Magazine, including ballroom dance camp, outdoor survival school, yoga ranch camp and the top one on my list: wine camp.

Finally, ask your friends and neighbors where they’ve had their kids spend the summer. Chances are you learn about hidden gems that your kids would love.  Happy hunting!

This article originally appeared at