Free Summer Fun in Waterloo Region
Make lasting memories this summer - at no cost! Remember: It’s the quality time spent together that counts, not the dollars you spend.
Summer is now upon us and with tens of thousands of kids out of school for 8 weeks and our beautiful Ontario sunshine there is a new energy out there. 8 weeks the kids say, hooray! 8 weeks the parents say, yikes!
However, what was designed to be an opportunity to rest, relaxation and rejuvenation for both children and their parents; can sometimes become a source of stress, particularly for separated and divorced families.
Who will the kids be with? Do we share the time? I don’t want him/her to take the kids away. I can’t possibly top what he/she did last year. I can’t afford to … We can easily get caught up in the pressures of vacation time when all these emotions get mixed in. Wasn’t this supposed to be a summer holiday break? By now you likely have got a sense of when you will be taking holidays, what camps the kids are going to, when the kids will be with you. Some of you may have booked trips, campsites or travel. But what if you haven’t got anything planned yet?
If you are feeling a little overwhelmed about the summer, here are some tips to help you.
First of all, you don’t have to ‘top’ what you did last year. If this is the first year you are dealing with the separation, you may be in the middle of a move or you simply haven’t got the financial resources to plan something big. Don’t focus so much on how much money you spend or trying to ‘one up’ last year’s experience. When you think of your fondest memory as a child, it may have nothing to do with money.
One dad took his kids on a tour of city parks. Everyday the kids packed a picnic lunch and visited a new city park. At the end of the week, they ranked their favourite ones. Another family did star gazing in the outlying county. The kids got to stay up way later than usual and learned all about major constellations. Another family went on garage sale scavenger hunts where the kids got to find new treasures and some crazy games and toys from the past. Kids love adventure and it doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money.
That is not to say that travel experiences aren’t full of wonderful memories. Who wouldn’t love to spend a week at a cottage or go on a road trip? If your ex is planning that vacation with the kids, release them to have a great time. Kids never want to leave a parent if they think that parent will feel bad. Let them go, knowing that a healthy childhood is about healthy relationships with both parents. Besides, you never want your adult children to ask: ‘why didn’t you let us go…”
So whatever your summer schedule looks like remember it’s the quality time spent together that counts, not the dollars you spend. And even if you are not going anywhere, then sometimes the simple break from routine like sleeping in, playing, talking can be fun! That’s what creates lasting memories. Vacation time doesn’t have to be 2 weeks long nor do you have to ‘go on a trip’.
The Waterloo-Wellington team has put together a calendar of free summer activities across the region. Take a look at all the great things going on in our region and the best part is that it’s all FREE! We hope you and your kids can take advantage of some of these great outings. Surprise and delight them, kids recall time not money spent.
And when you have a break from the kids, recharge your batteries, rest and enjoy. Before you know school will be upon us again and the fast pace schedule will resume!
Brought to you by Fairway's Waterloo-Wellington staff.