The last day of the school year is fast approaching, but it won’t spell the end of learning and growth.
Far from it. Summer vacation brings unique opportunities for new and favorite activities, time with family and friends (new and old), outdoor exploration, and more.
Looking for stuff to do with the children in your life? Read on, fearless summer planner!
Summer camps for young artists, athletes, academics, nature lovers, and general interests
They sure fill up fast. Word has it that many Central Massachusetts summer camps are in the waitlist stage. But with a little luck you may be able to reserve a spot for your child. (Next year, get started in February.)
Our community offers a diverse range of summer camps, from do-it-all programs like the YMCA’s summer camp to arts and crafts, academics, sports, theater, computer programming, and nature camps — you name it.
Visit worcestersummercamps.com and ask your friends and neighbors. Families with older children may have recommendations for summer camps they attended in the past.
Summer camps help children build social-emotional skills and make new friends, which supports mental and physical health all year round. Camps also introduce young ones to new hobbies and athletics, aiding development.
Beyond camp: activities to do at home, around town, and around Central Mass
Whether or not children attend summer camp, long summer days mean extra time for fun activities and gatherings with friends and family.
That’s where you come in. Organizing a great summer doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. It can be playful, educational, and spontaneous.
- At-Home Activities: There are thousands of games, toys, and crafts that aid development, from intellectual and physical to social-emotional growth. Get started at Edward Street’s Day of Play website.
- Playgrounds, Parks, and Nature Walks: Exercise and fresh air do a world of good for children. Find nearby opportunities in Worcester and across Central Mass.
- Blue Spaces: You’ve heard of green spaces, but the Worcester area is also home to plenty of blue spaces, like spray parks and rivers and lakes with swimming and boating opportunities. Explore today!
- Events: Kick off your summer on June 17th at Edward Street’s 12th annual Worcester Day of Play at Elm Park. Free to all, our 2023 Day of Play features dozens of games, activities, performances and much, much more! Stay tuned to our blog and Facebook page for more information!
There are family-friendly events taking place in Central Massachusetts all summer long, like Crocodile River Music’s appearance at Hot Night in the City, July 21st from 4-9 PM at Worcester Center for Crafts. How about some outdoor fun? Check out the 16thAnnual Barbara J. Walker Butterfly Festival at Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center & Wildlife Sanctuary. Check Discover Central Massachusetts for new event listings.
- Recreation Worcester: Free to youth 7-13 years old, Recreation Worcester offers fun and games at local parks. Recreation Worcester’s summer programming kicks off on May 20th, 11 AM-4PM, with the 8th annual Whole Kids 2023 celebration at Worcester Commons.
- Summer Reading: Each year, Worcester Public Library participates in a national summer reading program called iRead. This year’s program kicks off with Summer Reading Celebrations at all WPL branches. (See WPL’s children’s calendar for more information.) Young readers earn prizes for achieving milestones.
- Museums: Learn about nature at the EcoTarium or escape the heat at the Worcester Art Museum or Worcester Historical Museum. Keep your eye out for special family-friendly exhibits and events. Planning a day trip? Check out the New England Botanical Garden at Tower Hill in Boylston and the Discovery Museum in Acton.
Budget-friendly transportation for the whole family
Lugging the family around can be tricky and expensive. Fortunately, the Worcester Regional Transit Authority is free for all through June 2024.
If you’re planning a longer trip, check out the MBTA’s Commuter Rail. You may be surprised where it can take you.
Children are always learning and growing. Why should summer be any different?
At an age when almost everything is new, children acquire skills and knowledge at an amazing rate.
New hobbies like drawing and sewing will help them learn about colors and shapes while developing physical dexterity. Tenacity’s Summer Tennis & Reading program and other sports create neural pathways for hand-eye coordination and strengthen muscles they may have never used before.
And let’s not forget summer barbecues, picnics, and beach days!
A simple gathering with friends and family is more than a good time for young ones. It’s an opportunity to learn social skills from peers and adult role models. Gathering with family and friends even helps children develop a sense of identity, a key aspect of self-confidence.
Summer vacation is almost here. The last day of school for Worcester Public Schools is June 13th. Let’s get outside, get active, and enjoy fun hobbies and activities!