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School’s Out for Summer: Keeping the Kids Busy

Now that school is out and summer’s here, you may be wondering what to do with your kids. As excited as they are to be free of homework and school schedules, we all know that they will eventually become bored. And bored kids can mean trouble on the homefront. So, what’s a parent to do? How can you keep the kids busy with constructive activities? Check out the suggestions below for great summer activities in our area.

1. Summer reading programs

Sign the kids up for Tuscaloosa Public Library’s summer reading program, Oceans of Possibilities. Running from Monday, June 6 to Saturday, July 28, this program is for kids of all ages and offers varied activities throughout June and July. Storytimes, didgeridoo performances, cookie decorating classes, musical activities, science labs, and more are scheduled at all three library locations: the main library, Weaver Bolden branch, and Brown branch. Don’t miss out on this free, educational opportunity for your children at the public library, one of the 22 Things to Do in 2022 in beautiful Tuscaloosa, Alabama!

Tuscaloosa Public Library Oceans of Possibilities summer program

The Tuscaloosa Public Library offers a wonderful summer reading program for children.

2. Art camps and sessions

Looking to encourage your child’s artistic ability? Explore some of the many opportunities for art instruction in our area. Enroll your child in one of the summer camps at The Art Garage on 6th Street in downtown Tuscaloosa. Summer camps range from crafting to cake decorating; some are geared to children and others to adults. You can also book an open play session at The Art Garage for an individual child. Check out The Art Garage offerings and available play sessions online.

Other workshops will be offered through the summer months at the Kentuck Art Center in downtown Northport. Classes in Art Exploration teach the basics of drawing with pencil and charcoal as well as watercolor and acrylic painting. There are several one-hour classes for school-aged kids that are in accord with the visual arts standards for the state of Alabama. June class offerings include painting to music from kids’ movies. Check out the full Kentuck Art Center schedule today.

Kentuck Art Center, Northport Alabama

Summer classes and workshops for kids can be found under the big red dog at The Kentuck Art Center in Northport.

3. University of Alabama camps

If you’re searching for sports camps, nature activities, music camps, (and more), the University of Alabama’s Youth Program has much to offer. From Fossil Camp to Junior Naturalist sessions to Moundville Indian Summer Day Camp, there is much to choose from. Art Camp, Children’s Music Camp, and Young Writers Camp are additional events offered. Some are one-day-only, and others are week-long or longer. Check out the various selections available, including dates and details.

Among the many sports camps offered at UA this summer are soccer camps, such as Goalkeeping Academy and Goal Scoring Academy; the Alabama Baseball Summer Youth Camp; Patrick Murphy Summer Softball Camps; Nick Saban Football Camps; as well as camps in dance, tennis, swimming and more.

University of Alabama youth camps

The University of Alabama offers youth camps in softball and many other sports.

4. Summer day camps

Looking for Summer Day Camps? PARA (Tuscaloosa County Park & Recreation Authority) has the answer. Their day camps include lots of recreational and educational activities at all of their locations: Belk, Faucett, Miller, Phelps, and Tingle. They offer hands-on instruction in Discovery, Arts & Culture, and Sports. Special events include field trips to Camp McDowell, the Birmingham Zoo, and Alabama Adventure. Half-day day camps are available at most of the PARA locations.

One unique PARA camp for rising 1st through 4th graders is called Gross Out Day Camp. It focuses on all things “icky, sticky, or slimy.”

Gross Out Day Camp summer activities

PARA’s Gross Out Day Camp focuses on bugs, reptiles, and stinky plants.

5. Other fun summer activities

Vacation Bible School is offered at various churches throughout Tuscaloosa County. Check out a comprehensive list of VBS offerings in the Tuscaloosa, Alabama area.

And don’t forget virtual events that are sure to please the younger set. Jurassic Quest International Dino Day is June 1. All summer activities are free with online registration.

International Dino Day

A free virtual event for dinosaur-loving kids is available at https://www.jurassic

Another educational and free event is the Swimming Together Exhibit at the Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum. The exhibit runs April 19 – August 27, 2022 and showcases how local history aligns with national trends, challenges myths about integration and public pools, and encourages community response about swimming with engagement boards.

Swimming in Tuscaloosa summer exhibit

Check out this free exhibit at the Transportation Museum.

So, parents, fear not! Look into the many local adventures in Tuscaloosa your child can enjoy this summer.


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