Looking for a Summer Activity for My 2 Boys

Updated on May 01, 2008
M.D. asks from San Jose, CA
14 answers

I have 2 boys ages 8 and 10. I am really at a loss over what to do with them this summer while I am at work. I work P/T Mon-Fri from 9am-2:30pm. My family is on a tight budget and everything I look into is so expensive! I live in the Santa Clara/West San Jose area. My 2 year old's daycare provider said I could bring them there, but they would have nothing to do all day but watch tv. Does anyone have any suggestions on a day camp or summer program in that area that isn't too expensive? Thanks for the help.

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So What Happened?

Wow! I cannot believe how many responses I received with so many great ideas. I now have at least 5 places to check out. I'm not sure why I didn't think to at least check out my church to see if they have VBS or another summer program going on. Thank you everyone so much. I'm not so worried now that my children will spend their summer sitting on the couch or sending them somewhere that will cost me a small fortune. Thanks again!

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L.A.

answers from San Francisco on

The City of San Jose, Dept. of Parks & Recreation has a wonderful and affordable Summer Camp program for kids. I enrolled my 2 Grandsons last summer and they loved it! Two children can attend one week for about the same cost as one child in the YMCA program. Every week had a different theme and included games, craft and art activities and a field trip. Each day began either tending small farm animals or the garden at Emma Prusch Park, which is where this camp is located. You can pick up a schedule book which lists all the dfferent camps at the Park & Rec main office on Union Avenue, near the Camden Avenue intersection (directly behind the shopping center and diagonal to Carl's Jr.)
Good Luck.

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A.B.

answers from San Francisco on

check you local library and community center. They have tons of programs and frequently do not cost and arm and a leg. Check your school CDC for programs also. Good luck.

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N.L.

answers from San Francisco on

The YMCA on Quito Road has a great summer camp program that is fairly affordable. Each session runs for 1 week and there are several different "themed" activities to chose from. I'm a single mom working full time and my son spent every week of each summer (from age 4 to 12) at the Y camps and loved it. The spots fill up quickly and I believe they've been registering kids for several weeks now so don't delay in checking it out. Good luck.

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B.P.

answers from San Francisco on

When my son was that age (late 1970's, early 1980"s), I worked and was on a watch-on-budget too. The local YMCA, at that time, had great summer programs. We also attended church, which had vacation Bible school and other activities during the summer. The city that we lived in printed booklets about local classes, activities, and day trips for children.

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C.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Have you tried the YMCA? Or what about hiring an older Teen (17 or 18) to help out?

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M.P.

answers from San Francisco on

I dont know if there are any in your immediate area, but you should check out the Boys & Girls club (www.bgclub.org/). Here is some info:
Get in Line for a Sensational Summer!

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley is pleased to offer summer program at the following locations:

Levin Clubhouse
4955 Edenview Dr.
San Jose, CA 95111
###-###-####

Smythe Clubhouse
2195 Cunningham Ave.
San Jose, CA 95122
###-###-####

Program will begin on June 23 and end August 1.
Hours: Monday-Friday from 7:30am-5:30pm.
Cost: $350/family
We have scholarships of $175/family for those who qualify.
Memberships include a Great America season pass!

I think I might even sign my boys up for that. :)
Good luck, M.

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M.B.

answers from San Francisco on

The Y is a little pricey for your age group but they have great programs. You can download the whole summer program on their website. Also churches are great. This one isn't as close to you but Cathedral of Faith on Curtner/Canoas Gardens has a summer camp for about $130 per week and they have a field trip once a week. I never thought about the SJ city of parks and rec as I saw below. Some Y's do have a half day program but that may only be for little guys. Good luck and have a great summer. I am glad you asked this question because there are some great resources listed!

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D.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M..

This is only one week out of the many you need, but Home Church in Campbell runs Vacation Bible School from July 21-25 and it is absolutely free. My boys (ages 7 and 11) go every year and love it. This is sports, music, and crafts as well as Bible lessons. I know most churches in the area run it at different times and usually each have a different theme. We bring friend every year who are not part of our church, so everyone is welcome. If you would like more info, please email me back.

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N.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Here's an idea you might try...
Many churches run a Vacation Bible School (VBS) during the summer. (They might call it by a different name.) At our church in Milpitas this summer the program is "MegaSports Camp". It will run June 16 to 20, from 9:00 am to noon, and it's only $30 per child for the whole week--that includes the activities, a t-shirt, and snack.

Milpitas might be too far for you, but you could call up some of your local churches and see if they will offer afforable summer camps for your boys. You might also notice banners at some churches announcing their Vacation Bible Schools. Churches are usually very happy to have anyone from the community come, you don't have to be a member, or even attend the church. All of the ones I've seen are a week long, so you could line up several for the summer depending on what's available.
You're welcome to email me for more information if you like. Best wishes!

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L.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Hey M.,

You might want to look into your local YMCA. They have summer programs, and I think they also offer some financial hardship assistance/discounts. You may also want to look into some church programs as well. Try Cathedral of Faith, or Bethel. Both are large churches, and I know have programs that would probably suit your needs. The second thing I would do is talk to other parents at your children's school, they may have great ideas or know of friends with services that fit your families needs.

I hope this helps, and I hope your boys have a great summer!

A little about me:

I am a happily married stay at home mama to 4 boys ages 9,6, and 4 year old twins! I enjoy cooking, singing, and hiking!

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L.N.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M.- there are a couple of thing that come to mind and that might be your local ymca?? Maybe they have some summer programs for your children like swimming lessons or day camps. Or maybe joing cub scouts- i know when i was in girl scouts (which was a verrry long time ago that we always had summer camp to go to. But who knows with the price of everything on the rise these days that may be too expensive also. Good luck to you!

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S.L.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi,
Try the YMCA. They have summer camps that have themes but they also provide summer child care that is less expensive and they usually have one field trip a week. We have worked with the Northwest YMCA for several summers and our boys love it they are ages 7 and 10 soon to be 11 and 8. My sister's kids also use the same program. The web site is www.scvymca.org Then choose the location you are interested in. Each runs independently and we have preferred the Northwest to the Southwest even though it is a bit further for us. If you have more questions my email address is [email protected]____.com

Good luck! I know it is hard.

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P.R.

answers from San Francisco on

What school district are you in? The after-school program should also offer summer camp care too. If not, I know that ours, Santa Clara Unified School District, offers summer camps. Maybe two or three elementary schools join their kids together on one site, so if you look up each school on the SCUSD website, you can get their contact details and call them. Its a gret way fro kids to keep in contact with their school buddies too.

Mulberry school is great. Not sure it has lengthy hours though.

Also Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos is just the ants' pants. It has great kids class that would suit the ages of your boys. And keep them interested. The docents are just amazing with kids, very tolerant. And I thought they had fairly reasonable fees too.

Regards
P.

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M.E.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M.

I know what you mean about finding programs that are not too expensive! San Jose Parks and Rec. have good programs that are cheaper than the Y and others. One program is run at the Calabazas Park in West San Jose, a friend said it was $150 for two weeks, per child. Vacation Bible Schools are also very good, check out all your local churches, they are often free, run for a week in the mornings, and are of high quality. Boy Scouts should also run camps that are open to non-Scouts. The ones I am thinking of are run by older Scout troops, to achieve their awards, and staffed entirely by adult and middle school age volunteers. My daughetr is in Girl Scouts and they are running a 4 day camp at Sanborne Park in Saratoga for $80 for 4 days.

Good luck!

M.

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