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How much do you spend on summer activities for your kids?

 
 
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 03:44 pm
School gets out tomorrow and I'm trying to figure out where to best spend my summer fun dollars.

I'm thinking of spending $300 for a two month pass to a private (as opposed to park) pool.

The advantage over the park pool is :
That you can swim anytime between 1-7:30, 7 days a week.
You can bring in your own food and drink.
A lot of Mo's friends do this so he would have kids to hang out with.
Not very crowded.

The disadvantage is that I would have to allocate all my summer fun fund to pay for it.

The public pool is much cheaper but you can only swim for a specific 1.5 hour interval on any given day, no food and drink at all, very crowded.

How much do you spend on summer activities with/for your kids (camp, swimming, movies, whatever)? How do you calculate what you budget for it?

Do you find they get bored with the same activity (even one they love) if that is pretty much the limit of where you can go?

I know I'm going to really get hit with the "I'M BORED" routine this summer so I'm trying to use my money wisely.
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Type: Question • Score: 8 • Views: 2,249 • Replies: 15

 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 04:02 pm
Do you hear yourself?
"Do you find they get bored with the same activity (even one they love) if that is pretty much the limit of where you can go?"

I'm sympathetic re mo and his history, but it is time for him to learn to deal with being bored. I'm no smartie on how you do that, but, to me, he should get working on it.
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 04:10 pm
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:
Do you hear yourself?


Do you?
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 04:21 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
I'm thinking of spending $300 for a two month pass to a private (as opposed to park) pool.


I don't have kids, but I'm pretty immature so I may be able to tell you what a kid might think of it.

Spending that much on just pool is a waste of dozens of video games, 3 bikes, two visits (with an adult) to an amusement park, an xbox or whatever console you want, every weekend at the arcades, mini golf till I am Tiger Woods, every summer movie I wanted to see, all the sports gear I want, a bb gun....

$300 bucks for a summer would be like dying and going to heaven as a kid. I'd cry if all I got was swimming out if it, but I don't know Mo, maybe that's all he wants to do in life.

Is he old enough to help decide?
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 04:21 pm
At Mo's age, I spent at least twice your budget on SonofEva's summer activities.

I'd alternate weeks...one week he might have a 1/2-day class at the zoo, then nothing the next week, then maybe a 2-week art class somewhere. He had plenty of free time to get bored and figure out things for himself. But summer was a time to try new things. Drama camps, sports camps, swimming lessons, all sorts of things. Our Parks & Recreation Dep't. had a lot of reasonably priced activities, and he also had lots of play dates and sleepovers with other kids.

As SonofEva has grown, he's needed less and less structured activities because his capacity for entertaining himself has grown. So it cost me less and less. But at Mo's age...??? You're the only one who can say how much free time he (and you!) can handle.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 04:23 pm
@boomerang,
if you can afford it - I'd spend the 300 bucks. That doesn't seem extravagant. Is that a family pass? Then you could swim too.
It's good exercise - loads of fun- I don't think you can beat a pool and friends when it comes to kids in the summer.
I always love a pool in the summer - in Maine we lived right across the street from the public pool but it was a small town and there wasn't any time limit on it. In North Carolina - it was so hot that you couldn't really go outside for any amount of time - so we had our own pool - and it was a great investment. Nevermind the kids - I used it every day (I was off work - no teaching as school was out).
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 04:24 pm
@Robert Gentel,
If you put a price tag on all those activities, Robert, I think you'd find you'll spend a LOT more than $300!

Good ideas, though!
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 04:29 pm
@Eva,
I know, but each one of them is much more fun than swimming every day is what I meant. I don't know Mo, but as a kid I didn't see swimming as worth much money and the differences between having some of those things and the public pool vs the less crowded one wouldn't have made private pool very appealing.
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 04:33 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I agree. Better to mix it up. I'd rather do a bunch of different things, and kids have even shorter attention spans. Laughing
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 04:34 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I think it depends on the kid for sure - my son was a fish - he's ended up a certified lifeguard and swimming teacher. I couldn't have gotten him out of the pool and in the house to play a video game if my life had depended on it.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 05:07 pm
I didn't mention one thing about Mo's past and his problems. I don't know any 8 year olds that aren't bored out of their minds a week into summer vacation.

I wouldn't be the only thing we'd do -- it would just take the place of signing up for camps and that sort of thing. He'd still play golf on the weekends with Mr. B. He'd still go motorcycle riding. He'd still play video games (but he's not too into that). He'll still take drum lessons. I would be our regular "something to do". We used to swim just about every day, all year long, until he started going to school. Now he only gets the chance when we're on vacation.

That's what I'm trying to figure out, Eva -- how much would I expect to spend on the normal 8 year old's summer. It does get really expensive (golf camp: 4 days, 3 hours a day, $100; zoo camp 5 days, 4 hours a day, $250).

A LOT of the neighborhood kids use this pool as their summer hangout. (They also have a basketball court and ping pong tables that the swim only membership can use.

It just seems like a lot of money. He loves to swim but I think the hanging out with other kids would be the most fun for him.

It makes it feel more justifiable that you spent twice that much on a summer and that aiden's kid would have been happy with a swim summer!
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 09:26 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
...We used to swim just about every day, all year long, until he started going to school. Now he only gets the chance when we're on vacation...A LOT of the neighborhood kids use this pool as their summer hangout. (They also have a basketball court and ping pong tables that the swim only membership can use.)...He loves to swim but I think the hanging out with other kids would be the most fun for him...


Sounds like the pool membership would be a great thing for you and Mo!

As private pools go, $300 isn't expensive. Some around here charge $1000/season for a family membership. And it isn't nearly as expensive as summer camps, especially when you consider the number of hours/days you'd spend there. I'd go for it!
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 09:38 pm
We spend close to $ 200/week for summer camp 9 - 5 at our local high school.
They have a pool, but there are other activities that differ from day to day.
Every Friday they have a field trip to either laser tag, water parks, movies, and so on.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2009 10:54 am
As we both work (well hopefully hubby will be soon), my kids either go to the grandparents or camp. The Y camp which is very close and about the lowest priced is still over $200 each a week. I also have backup day care for up to 12 years old which would be $25 a day per child that I can use for up to 10 days a year. Combined with a couple of weeks vacation with the family " camping this year so it will be cheap and in between to the grandparents " bonus free.

I would leave them with the grandparents all summer " but they do get bored and then start to fight with each other. So I alternate. Most likely 2 weeks at camp because of the expense " one week in July and one in August. The older will most likely go to a friend’s that moved in the next state for a few days as well. And fit in the back up in between if they begin to get antsy over the grandparents.

One thing I’ve used for freebies is the library " our library has museum, zoo and other passes that are free or a discounted price. They also have lots of things going for the kids that are free " crafts, book reading, science guy, stuff like that.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2009 01:54 pm
@boomerang,
We have a pool pass that sounds like your expensive one, though thankfully it's way cheaper. (Less than half the cost total, for both of us.)

The pool is definitely sozlet's default summer activity. It's not about swimming per se, it's about the social scene. That's where most of her friends are. They actually goof around in the pool (some swimming, a lot of jumping/ diving), but then also play tetherball and basketball and hide and seek and generally goof around. The pool area is very large but fenced in and there are always adult staff at the entrance, so parents just talk to each other and let the kids go crazy, especially at this age. (Younger, we kept an eye on them more.)

If the $300 pool is where most of Mo's friends are, that sounds like it'd be worth it for social reasons alone.

I have sozlet scheduled for two all-day camps (9-4) and two half-day camps (9-noon) this summer, roughly every other week, with a trip in the middle. I might schedule her for one more. General categories of camps include nature camps (the canoe-y/ outdoorsy ones -- that's what both all-day camps will be), art camps, theater camps, zoo camps, science camps, and dance/ gymnastics camps. (Not every one of those each summer, I mix 'em up.)

A mixture of structure and free time (pool on nice days, friends over or at friends' houses on not-as-nice days) seems to work best, for both of us. I really like having intervals where she's busy and I can do my thing.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Jun, 2009 03:01 pm
@boomerang,
I usually drop between 5 to 7 grand a summer on camps for two kids. That said, we also spend a lot of time at the pool at the YMCA ($86/month/family) over the summer. It's very nice but can be crowded. A new public pool opened at Piedmont Park this spring -- not sure how it stacks up against the Y but the kids will find out while doing summer camp there.

I don't think $300 for 2 months is necessarily excessive if there is a visible difference in quality between that and the cheaper alternative. Also, I second what Soz said about the friend scene.
0 Replies
 
 

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