For many of our dear readers, life is more complicated than ever before. Having a good plan for summer - early! - has never been more essential. That's why this year's special summer issue includes our biggest summer program guide ever - more than 250 listings!
Featured SummerMap articles:
Online listings of camps and classes
From the editor:
Dashing from car to house to car the other day — as I too often do — I paused for a moment to look around. Our peaceful neighborhood features wide, quiet streets; it’s the favorite route of many a stroller pusher and dog walker. There are a total of seven children living in adjacent houses here, and there’s a grassy park just a half-block away. Even so, most of my neighbors have only a nodding acquaintance with each other. We are all so busy; our kids are in different schools, and we have jobs and volunteer work and precious little time to spare. Slowing down long enough to shoot the breeze with a neighbor is — well, it’s just not happening.
Sound familiar? If you’ve been meaning to get to know your neighbors, you’ll find a great way to do that in this issue: Organize a neighborhood block party (page 8). You don’t need a lot of skill, money or even much time to pull off a party that draws your community a little closer. With a little planning (begin now!), you could start a fun and meaningful summer tradition, the kind that makes great childhood memories and brings out the best in neighbors.
As we shiver into a chilly spring, summer seems a distant dream — but we parents aren’t fooled. Those summer-camp decisions need to be made soon; the best programs fill up all too quickly. To get your planning off and running, our mega-amped camps directory is packed with listings; within these pages, you’ll find hundreds of great summer programs (page 23), and there are even more online. And check out our website for a complete summer-camp survival guide: parentmap.com/summer-camps.
The Kirkland neighborhood of my own childhood still holds an annual block party, complete with tricycle parade, truly excellent food and a lot of good-natured hanging around. It’s super simple — no sound system or bounce house here — but it does beautifully what it sets out to do: For one sweet summer day, neighbors connect and childhood memories are made.