For children, summer vacation is a time of endless possibilities—a time to kick back and relax before the new school year begins. And for parents, summertime is an involved two-month stretch that brings with it a new and rather time-consuming set of requirements. Children need to be looked after, cared for, and entertained during summer vacation, and the reality is that most of this responsibility falls on the shoulders of one or both guardians.

Thankfully, with a little bit of initiative and planning, keeping children occupied until school starts can be simple and affordable.

Let’s take a look at how parents can keep their kids occupied until the first day of school, all without breaking the bank!

Visit the Library

It doesn’t cost a dime to visit the library, and the entertainment and learning opportunities afforded to children—and adults—are fantastic.

Besides being able to borrow exciting books, movies, music, television shows, and video games, library guests—especially children—can partake in not a few staff-sponsored events. These events usually appeal to a wide variety of individuals and find the perfect balance between education and fun.

Book Playdates

Allowing children to invite their friends over for the afternoon is free, and the enjoyment produced by doing so will go a long way. There’s something inherently riveting about getting together with friends, running around outside, and seeing what sort of adventures the fresh summer air has to offer.

Plus, guests’ parents will appreciate the effort, and they may even reciprocate the gesture, allowing other parents to experience some relaxation of their own.

Explore the Community Center

Last but certainly not least, the community center (if a city or township doesn’t have a community center, chances are that a nearby location does have one) costs little and brings quite a lot to the table. From the playground to the swimming pool and everything in between, community centers are sure to keep kids occupied until the first day of school.

Spending summer with the children can be, in a word, overwhelming, but so long as one implements these steps, relaxes, and tries to enjoy the positives, the multi-month commitment can be rewarding and calming.

Thanks for reading, and here’s to making kids happy during summer!