Summer Prep: Camps & Activities.

6 Feb

It may seem like overkill to start putting things on the calendar for the summer when it’s still 6 months away, but many of the popular camp programs in town start filling up their registration by February and March.  Our panel of summer planning “experts” (a.k.a. moms like us) shared their strategies and ideas with us for a fun summer with or for your kids.

Bear with us: this is a long post, but hopefully you’ll find it helpful!

Before our panel shared their presentations, we talked about our intentions for summer at each of our table groups:



Chris Campbell talked about summer camps in Denver

Click to download: Summer Camps 101


  • Remember that the good camps fill up fast, so plan early.
  • Make a budget of what works for your family.
  • Consider using a “fun per minute” ratio when calculating if the camp is worth the cost – is this something your child would really enjoy, how much time do they spend actually doing activities vs. lunch/play time, how much personal attention will they get from camp counselors (adult to child ratio), etc.
  • Alternatives to organized camps would be to ask a group of 3-4 friends to designate a “camp week” where each mom/dad takes on all the kids for a full or half day of camp. Plan outings to the museum, do crafts, teach them skills such as cooking or sewing – and then once you’ve done your day as camp counselor, you get the remaining days of camp week to yourself!

Leah Oliver led us through her PDF slides on camping in Colorado

Click to download: Camping Presentation for MomTime


  • Camp Out is a good resource for planning camping trips, including packing lists and recipes.
  • If you’re not into tent camping (or you don’t have the gear), look into camper cabins or yurts.
  • Camping offers your children the opportunity to explore the outdoors in a way they cannot while growing up in the city. What great memories for them!

And finally Paola Ramirez had us to put our heads together to create lists of activities around Denver that are around $5/person or even free:


Unique Parks, Splash Parks, Fun Family Outings:
  • Group brainstorm list pictured below, PLUS…
  • Skyline Park (downtown Denver) – skate park, good for older kids.
  • Center Park (Centennial, CO) – splash park, huge pirate ship playground, tall webbed/rope climbing structure, swings, great for a range of ages.
  • Tiny Town (Morrison, CO) – miniature houses, playground, picnic areas, miniature train ride, good for younger kids ages 1-6.
  • US Mint (downtown Denver) – free tours.
  • Hammonds Candy Factory – free tours.


Sports & Outdoors:
  • Group brainstorm list pictured below, PLUS…
  • Rockies Rookies club at Rox games – kids can run the field, $12 for the season, they get t-shirts too.
  • Highland Canal.
  • Colorado Mountain Mamas – group hikes for all levels and ages. Check their website for the schedule.


Festivals, Markets, Music:
  • Group brainstorm list pictured below, PLUS…
  • Sweet William Market (Stapleton, Saturdays) – local artisans, restored furniture, “Etsy come to life”!
  • Mayfair Park jazz series (Sundays).
  • Art walks on Tennyson Street (Highlands).
  • Planet Bluegrass in Lyons, CO. Kid-friendly outdoor music venue.
  • Colorado Music Festival – attend rehearsals for free.


Reading, Crafts, Movies, Theater:
  • Group brainstorm list pictured below…



Here are some summer book recommendations to get your kids excited about what’s to come!




Happy planning, everyone!



One Response to “Summer Prep: Camps & Activities.”

  1. Amy Usalavage February 13, 2015 at 9:01 PM #

    On that note……a summer camp owned by a friend of mine for MOMS!

    t a k e b a c k y o u r s u m m e r

    Camp Vela, the nation’s only summer day camp for women, provides exciting Colorado adventures, pampering perks and fun activities all packed in one day. We create fun, friendly and safe environments to make new friends, challenge yourself and do something you never thought you could or would do. We are passionate about empowering women and giving them the light of adventure so they live, love and thrive in their everyday lives.

    Camp Vela Outings
    Sailing * Horseback Riding * Archery * Standup Paddleboard * Mountain Biking * Windsurfing * Kayaking * Whitewater Rafting

    Make 2015 a summer to remember – make it YOUR summer. Join Camp Vela at one or more of our locations and reignite the light of your adventure. Use earlybird10 for a special $10 off discount

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