With a focus on tightening budgets, this year's SummerMap is your family's guide to low-cost summer fun and learning around the Puget Sound.
Take advantage of little-known deals and steals with our insider's guide to a scrimp-and-save summer. And no one knows fun like our award-winning events diva Kris, who brings it five different ways in "Five ways to play this summer."
Looking for a great summer camp? We've got extensive listings here. We also have fab ideas to get your family camping - or "glamping," as we call it - plus a summer reading guide and boredom busters that are sure to inspire. See you on the trail!
Online listings of camps and classes
From the editor:
I knew I’d done something right when my 9-year-old asked the other day, “Mommy, when can we go camping again?” The question came on a clear-blue Seattle winter day, Mount Rainier looming huge against the southern sky. My answer? “Not soon enough!”
Three years ago, I vowed to spend one-third of my summer nights in a tent. We nearly made it, and that summer goes down in our family lore as one of our best ever. Adventure…freedom…lots of togetherness…interesting bugs and pollywogs…if you’ve never tried this quintessential Northwest activity, you may find encouragement to get started in this issue (“Let’s go glamping!”). Not the tent-pitching type? (Are you sure?) Then check out our guide to the best summer fun our region has to offer, by our extraordinary, award-winning events editor, Kris Collingridge (“Five ways to play this summer”).
As we shiver into a chilly spring, summer seems a distant dream — but don’t be fooled! Those summer camp decisions need to be made soon, and the best programs fill up all too quickly. Our camp directory puts the power of early decision-making into your hands; now, you just need to decide what’s best for your kids. Day camp? Half-day? Sleep-away? Again this year, we bring you Hilary Benson’s excellent guide to preparing your child for that beloved summer rite of passage, overnight camp (“Ready…set…camp!”).
For many of us, this will be a summer like no other, as we grapple with tightening budgets. Slowing down — simplifying — summer makes more sense now than ever before. You can have a ton of fun for a tiny bit of cash — if you know a few tricks (“Cheap Thrills: The scoop on saving money this summer”).
Slowing summer down? A great idea, and one I’ll ponder from a hammock overlooking my beloved Ohanapecosh River come July. After all, what could be “slower” — and more budget-conscious — than camping? Taking children to the wilderness to bask in the sights, sounds and smells of glorious nature? Heaven on earth — even if only for one night!
— Kristen Russell Dobson, SummerMap editor