Fam­ily ac­tiv­i­ties that are easy on the wal­let

Kids Summer - - Front Page -

By Deb­o­rah Buse­meyer

Sum­mer­time in Santa Fe means tons of ex­tra ac­tiv­i­ties, but the cost of day camps, mati­nee movies and end­less ice cream cones can add up. For­tu­nately, you don’t have to spend big bucks to have fun with your fam­ily.

My kids think it’s an ad­ven­ture to ride the city bus, which op­er­ates 10 routes that travel ma­jor ar­ter­ies like Cer­ril­los Road, Agua Fría Street, Rodeo Road and Air­port Road. The ride is free for chil­dren through age 18, and it costs $1 for adults. You can ride to Santa Fe Place (the mall on the Southside), Mu­seum Hill or down­town. We like to hop the bus on Agua Fría and ride to the stop down­town, about two blocks from the Plaza.

I bring sand­wiches that we eat on the Plaza, or we get Frito pies and hot dogs from the Five and Dime, def­i­nitely the cheap­est fare in the area. On some sum­mer days, we dance and lis­ten to mu­sic at the Santa Fe Band­stand, which has a reg­u­lar sched­ule of per­for­mances at noon and 6 p.m. The sea­son be­gins on July 5 and runs through Aug. 26.

When the weather is call­ing for an out­door day, take ad­van­tage of one of the city’s 25 parks. Within walk­ing dis­tance of down­town is Fort Marcy Com­plex and Park (490 Bish­ops Lodge Road). A paved path loops the play­ground so kids can bike or scoot in ad­di­tion to swing­ing and climb­ing on the play struc­tures. Cov­ered pic­nic ta­bles of­fer shade from the heat, and you can drop into the recre­ation cen­ter if you need a re­stroom. On the other side of town, the city’s new Southside com­plex is fun to ex­plore (Jaguar Road and N.M. 599), with sports fields for ball play or run­ning as well as un­usual play­ground fea­tures like a gi­ant swing that can hold a few kids.

The Ran­dall Davey Audubon Cen­ter is an­other fun, free place to ex­plore and play with your kids. You can walk the half-mile loop, go far­ther into the woods or just frolic on the front lawn (one of the best in Santa Fe) watch­ing hum­ming­birds zip by and check­ing out signs that iden­tify the cen­ter’s flow­ers and plants. We like to walk the loop and fin­ish with snacks or lunch in the grass.

When you feel like hav­ing din­ner out­side, St. John’s Col­lege pro­vides free mu­sic from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wed­nes­days, weather per­mit­ting. (Check St. John’s web­site for up-to-date in­for­ma­tion on per­for­mances.) Our kids love look­ing for old friends and mak­ing new ones as the adults lis­ten to the fea­tured band of the week. Mu­sic on the Hill pro­vides shut­tles from Mu­seum Hill, or you can park at Santa Fe Prep, but those lots fill up quickly. Bring blan­kets, wa­ter and food. Food is also avail­able for pur­chase.

When you need to work or take a break from the kids, the City of Santa Fe and Santa Fe School District of­fer low-cost pro­grams that keep your kids busy and en­ter­tained.

Each year the city pro­vides an eight-week Sum­mer Youth Pro­gram from June 6 to July 28 for chil­dren age 6 to 12 and teens 13 to 18. This pro­gram runs 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and serves breakfast and lunch. The cost is based on a slid­ing-fee scale rang­ing from $80 to $240 for the en­tire ses­sion, de­pend­ing on your an­nual house­hold in­come.

Reg­is­tra­tion for kids is 8 a.m. May 14 at the Southside Li­brary, Mary Es­ther Gon­za­les Se­nior Cen­ter (1121 Alto St.) and Gen­oveva Chavez Cen­ter (3221 Rodeo Road). Reg­is­tra­tion for teens starts at 7:30 a.m. May 17 at the Car­los Ortega Teen Cen­ter, 737 Agua Fría St. Get there early; reg­is­tra­tion is limited and on a first come, first served ba­sis.

Santa Fe Pub­lic Schools of­fers free, reg­u­lar classes through its sum­mer school pro­gram. Sum­mer en­rich­ment pro­grams, in­clud­ing mu­sic and art, dig­i­tal de­sign, his­tory and a Na­tive Amer­i­can En­rich­ment Pro­gram, are sched­uled through­out the sum­mer, so stu­dents in grades 1 through 12 can take more than one. The pro­grams are af­ford­able. Check with your school or the district’s web­site for more in­for­ma­tion.

For fam­i­lies that need full-time child care, a part­ner­ship with the Boys & Girls Club en­ables stu­dents to par­tic­i­pate in school pro­grams part time and Boys & Girls Club ac­tiv­i­ties part time.

Re­sources

Bus routes: http://www.santafenm.gov/route_map­s_and_sched­ules Santa Fe Band­stand: http://santafeband­stand.org/ St. Johns Col­lege Mu­sic on the Hill: http://www.sjc.edu/pro­grams-an­de­vents/santa-fe/mu­sic-hill-2015/, 1160 Camino Cruz Blanca Santa Fe Parks: www.santafenm.gov/parks Ran­dall Davey Audubon Cen­ter: (hik­ing trails and pic­nic area) 505-9834609 or http://nm.audubon.org/ran­dall-davey-audubon-cen­ter-sanc­tu­ary, 1800 Up­per Canyon Road Santa Fe Pub­lic Schools sum­mer pro­grams: http://www.sfps.info/

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