A Tampa Bay summer with a toddler? Help!

Paint Colors

Paint Colors

So I get it, we aren’t the normal situation. Most people with a 3 year old either have daycare established that can continue through the summer months, or have a stay at home component. We don’t. Our son has been asked to leave 2 day cares, one for hitting last October, and one because he can scale the fence in the play yard only to disappear into the orange groves and they just don’t have the staff to accommodate. Add to that, we really do have a stay at home component, but our son has been in the ELP program since March, so basically in Pre-K as his class is blended. So the question is what the heck do I do with our son all summer?

The fence our son can climb

The fence our son can climb

He’s used to timely stimulation and transitioning from one activity to another. How do I keep his little brain stimulated while also keeping my sanity? There are no camps I am aware of for his age, and with his record of church daycares, no VBS in his foreseeable future. So little man loves water, well how do we make the most of that; there is the awesome toddler swim area at YMCA Campos Center. Should we sign up for Lowery Park? Or Adventure Island? Will I really want to drive that far just for him to have a melt down and decide today is the day he hates water?

Add to the fact that our son is SPD and our family is always on a budget, trying to make the most of money, his attention and our sanity is a top priority. One suggestion was Sunday Funday in the Tampa area where attractions/events were held for $5 vs normal fees. Whelp, color me rainbow, I can’t seem to locate any real information on that.

Movies Here We Come

Movies Here We Come

Next let’s look at movies. I have heard that a lot of theaters will offer older films at a discount rate during the summer matinee time slots, but have you heard of Sensory Friendly Films done by AMC theaters? I know the AMC in Brandon offers the 2nd and 4th Tuesday and Saturday where they turn the lights up, the sound down and encourage walking, running, dancing, singing along from the audience. This seems like a keeper.

Between all the amusement parks and such we are lucky to be smack dab in the middle of, our family opted for Lego Land. They ran an awesome BOGO deal for Cinco de Mayo which included the water park, a bunch of other parks, free parking and 10% off all park bought purchases. With the parks only 45 minutes away, and the price affordable assuming melt downs, this seemed like a great way to go for us.

So tell me, how do you plan to keep your kids busy for this summer?

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