As the weather warms, it’s easy to start dreaming of summer days. What’s harder is actually planning ahead for them, especially this year, since we can’t say for sure how “normal” summer will be. Should parents be signing up for camps? Can we count on libraries? What about public pools? Here’s our rundown of what to expect (maybe) and what to plan for.

Outdoor activities will be up and running. Many camps, especially the outdoorsy ones, are gearing up for semi-normal summers. They’ll incorporate safety measures like masks, smaller and more consistent groups, and social distancing, but in general, we’re finding that many more camps are opening for registration this year and planning for business as usual-ish. Public pools are likely to be open with social distancing measures in place, summer sports will probably be back in session, and playgrounds should be open for monkey-bar-business. BYO mask and hand sanitizer.

Libraries and museums are starting to reopen, but expect some changes. One of our favorite summer spots is that famous home of free books, free wifi, and free air-conditioning: the library! Oh how we missed you last year, friendly librarians. This summer, we hope to see more libraries open for business, but plan ahead for the new normal: You might have to wait in line to get in, wear a mask (or two), and there may be limits on how long you can stay. In other words, you might well be able to pop in and grab a fresh stack of books, but your local library probably won’t be the all-day hang-out spot it is in a normal summer. Think about museums the same way: More will be open this summer than last, but you might have to make a reservation to get in, and you may have a time limit on your visit. Make sure to check your city or town websites to confirm what’s open and what’s not in your area.

Indoor camps will likely still be limited. If your child normally leans toward indoorsy activities during the summer months...well, we can’t really blame them. (We like air conditioning, too.) But unfortunately, those options are likely to be more limited this year. Options like science and arts camps that take place mostly inside will probably have limited seats available, if they’re open at all. That said, many YMCAs across the country have been open and providing childcare throughout the pandemic, so it’s worth checking out your local branch to find out what they’ve got on tap this summer.

Camp Kinda is back. Knowing that this summer is still going to be kinda different, we’ve got you covered with another summer of Camp Kinda adventures, hours of daily on- and offline content to keep your kids busy while you do...whatever you want/need to do. Last year’s campers explored everything from comic books to wild weather to history’s mysteries. This year, we’ll have brand new adventures to explore, new ways to track your progress, plus special activities just for the littlest campers. Look for more information on Camp Kinda 2021, coming soon.

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