Cheap Summer Camps
7 Ways to Find Cheap Summer Camps and Children's Activities
You don't need a bottomless bank account to be able to afford summer camp or summer activities for your children. There are plenty of city, state and non-profit groups that offer cheap summer camps for kids; some even offer financial aid to help families with the expense. Our guide to cheap summer camps can help you find day and sleep-away options that are inexpensive or even free.
The Y (YMCA).This worldwide organization is an excellent source of cheap summer camp options that range from weeklong sleep-away camps to day camps offering everything from camping skills to cultural enrichment and sports training. With more than 2600 locations in the United States, there's likely a Y in your neighborhood.
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Boys and Girls Clubs of America.This national organization's goal is to foster youth growth and development, and it reaches out to all kids, including those who can't afford other community programs. All clubs offer youth-oriented programs for enrichment and include a game room, sports' area, and a teen-only center; many clubs also offer arts and crafts, a learning/tech center, and classes such as dance, drama or martial arts. There are thousands of clubs in the U.S., and many offer summer camp options, so find a Boys and Girls Club near you.
City- or park-run programs.Summer camps offered by your city or local park can be low-cost and offer the convenience of being nearby. Check with your city or municipal office, or your local department of parks and recreation to find out just what type of youth programs they offer. Many city-sponsored cheap summer camps are run in conjunction with the public school system.
Museums and other local cultural attractions.Many museums and cultural sites offer daily cheap summer camp programs for children. Contact your local art museum for a list of their art or art history workshops, or check a nearby botanical garden's schedule of events for plant- and animal-focused cheap summer activities.
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Local high school, community college or university.Many community colleges and some high schools and universities offer cheap summer camps for youths in grades one through twelve. Classes may include anything from archery, softball and tennis to art, drama and writing. Contact your local schools to see what type of low-cost programs they offer.
Local religious or faith-based organization.Religious or faith-based aid societies often sponsor cheap summer camp programs or activities. Options often include half-day, daily, or week-long camps. Check your local community centers and churches or temples for the children's summer programs in your area.
Local non-profit organization.Some non-profit, children- or family-oriented organizations offer cheap summer camp options for children. The Children's Aid Society, for instance, runs numerous summer camps in the New York City area for children of all ages (check the organization's website to find a camp near you). Contact similar organizations in your area to find out if they're offering camps this summer.