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How to Save Money on Summer Camps and Activities May 28, 2024

Summer is a time of excitement and adventure for kids, but for parents, it can mean having to make financial adjustments for camps or other activities. With a bit of planning and creativity, you can make sure your children are having fun without breaking the bank. Here are strategies to help you save on summertime activities!

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Look into Community Programs

Local community centers, YMCAs, parks, and recreation departments often offer affordable or even free summer programs. These can range from day camps to special interest classes, such as sports, arts, and science camps. Check your local community listings for options.

Plan for Day Camps Instead of Overnight Camps

While overnight camps provide a unique experience, they can be significantly more expensive than day camps. Opting for these camps allows your child to return home each night, saving money on lodging and meals.

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Explore Group Discounts

If your child has friends interested in the same camp, ask about group discounts. Many camps offer reduced rates for groups who register together. Coordinating with other parents can help you all save money and will be extra fun for the children.


Did you know that a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) can be used for pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible summer camp expenses? This can effectively reduce the cost by the amount you save in taxes. Check with your employer’s human resources department to see if your camp qualifies.

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DIY Summer Activities

Consider having your own summer camp experience at home with DIY activities. Science experiments, arts and crafts, outdoor adventures, cooking classes, are a few ideas that can help you save some money at home. You can use online resources and community forums to find free or low-cost activity ideas and materials.

Local Library Programs

Libraries often host free summer reading programs and activities for children. These programs can include story times, craft sessions, and educational workshops. It’s a wonderful way to keep your kids engaged and learning throughout the summer without spending a dime.

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Swap Time with Other Parents

Find other parents to share the responsibility of organizing and supervising activities. Each parent can take turns hosting a day of fun activities, spreading the workload and cost among multiple families. If you are taking your kids to a campsite then consider carpooling to save on gas. This not only saves money but also builds a sense of community.

Summer can be a season of growth and adventure for your kids without straining your finances. By exploring a mix of paid and free options, planning, and tapping into community resources, you can provide a rich and enjoyable summer experience for your children. Happy saving and happy summer!

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Category: Financial Literacy & Safety

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