As Milwaukee begins to turn its collective attention to summertime rituals such as Brewers tailgating and Summerfest, working parents are going through their own ritual of attempting to find somewhere for their kids to be safe and have fun during the summer.
That’s where some local organizations come in, offering summer programming that not only allows parents to keep their work schedule, but keeps kids cared for and engaged.
One such organization is the Milwaukee Recreation department, which offers eight-week Summer Recreation Enrichment Camps throughout the summer. The all-day camps, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., feature themed weeks, field trips, games and educational activities for children 3 to 12 years old.
“We have an emphasis on fun and games, but we also do enrichment and try to keep kids thinking throughout the summer,” said Brian Hoffer, assistant supervisor at the Milwaukee Recreation department, which is a part of Milwaukee Public Schools.
The camps are held at half a dozen locations throughout the city. The rate is $80 per week per child and those who qualify for the Wisconsin Shares discount can sign up for a $30 fee.
The department also offers extended summer camp hours, allowing parents to drop off their children at 7 a.m. and pick them up at 6 p.m. if needed.
YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee
The YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee offers a wide variety of all-day camps featuring sports, enrichment and educational opportunities. Camps run from June 3 to Aug. 30 at YMCA sites throughout the metro area.
Many camps run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The YMCA offers free before- and after-care, allowing parents to drop off their children at 7 a.m. and pick them up at 6 p.m.
Camps are available for children between 4 and 17 years old. Camp fees range from $186 to $450 a week per children, depending on the age of the child and the activity.
Scholarships based on camp capacity, demonstrated need and the YMCA’s ability to fund the assistance are offered.
Urban Ecology Center
The Urban Ecology Center offers a range of summer programs for children between preschool and 12th grade. Program activities include exploration, topical educational opportunities and outdoor skill building
“As they explore the natural world together, campers gain outdoor skills and ecological intelligence,” according to the center’s website. “By learning about science and art through fun, outdoor activities, campers will be better prepared for the school year.”
Times and dates of each program vary, with some offered from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The center offers before- and after- care for $9 a day or $45 a week. At Riverside Park campers can be dropped off as early as 7:30 a.m. and picked up as late as 5:30 p.m. At Washington Park and Menomonee Valley, parents can drop off their kids at 8 a.m. and pick up is as late as 5 p.m
The cost of each program depends on the length of time and the age of the participants.
The programs will be held at Riverside Park, 1500 E. Park Place; Washington Park, 1859 N. 40th St.; and Menomonee Valley, 3700 W. Pierce St.
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