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The Five-Day Summer Camp: Stay with your child, And make it your Family’s Summer Adventure!

Summer is in full swing and you are still trying to decide how to best entertain your children during summer recess from school: most camps are either full or too expensive for the average american to afford. But wait, there’s still plenty of time to give your child a summer camp they will never forget, all while having fun and bonding as a family!

If you live in the Los Angeles area, you are fortunate there are four major theme parks. Check out the new World of Color at Disneyland or Snoopy’s Starlight Spectacular at Knotts Berry Farm. If you think they are too expensive, there are deals which can help the budget-strapped parent take advantage of this wonderful experiences. Both are offering discounted admissions for the summer. Disneyland is offering a three-day ticket for $108. Knott’s Berry Farm is offering Twilight Admission (admission after 4 p.m.) for just $27.50. The other two other area theme parks Universal Studios and Magic Mountain – offer discounted admissions as well for Southern California Residents. Universal Studios is offering six months for $60. Six Flags Magic Mountain is $19.99 at the gate with select cans of soda.

But, if you are one of the millions of Angelinos that can not afford a day at an amusement park, there are alternative places you and your child could still have a blast. Here is the Five-day summer camp you can have with your child, that will not put a hole in your wallet (total cost is less than $75 for the week, plus the cost of food.)

Monday, Day One: Griffith Park

There are a ton of activities you can do here. Travel town is just a few bucks to get in, and will provide two to three hours of entertainment (they even have a miniature train to ride that goes around the town). When you’re done with that, take a lunch and picnic there. After lunch, go hiking on one of their many trails they have in the park. $8 plus the cost of your food, is all a day at Griffith Park will cost you.

Tuesday, Day Two: Museum Mania

Located near University of Southern California in Exposition Park, is a hidden gem that the average Los Angeles resident does not know about. Some call it the Museum Circle. You can visit the Natural History Museum, the African-American History Museum, and the California Science Center, just to name a few of the great places in one small area. In between museum hopping, you can picnic at the world-famous USC Rose Garden. Total cost for the day: $10 for parking, plus cost of food for your lunches. Admission to the museum is free.

Wednesday, Day Three:

Griffith Observatory

You can spend a whole day here. A Planetarium show is very reasonably price, and will hold you and your child’s attention (plus it is educational). The exhibits and demonstrations that go on throughout the day are fascinating. On select nights, you can even look through their research telescope and see mars or the moon. Today’s cost is only $10 (the cost of admission for two to a planetarium show), plus the cost of food.

Thursday, Day Four: Kenneth Hahn Park

This park is all about being in Nature and having fun. Perfect for another picnic lunch with your kid, which is always a popular choice. The park has more than seven miles of existing trails including the Burke Roche trail which is 2.2 miles, the Bowl Loop is 0.8 miles, the Ridge trail is 2.6 miles, the Waterfall Trail is one mile, and the Ballfield Walking Path is 0.5 mile walk. After hiking on these scenic trails, tryout one of the four playgrounds, stock fishing lake, basketball court, two baseball diamonds, or volleyball courts offered for the public. Total cost is free, plus the cost of food.

Friday, Day Five: Magicoplois

in Santa Monica

Conclude you five-day camping experience with a bang. Magicopolis is a 150-seat Magic and Illusion theater, that runs great magic shows that kids and the parents alike will enjoy. It lasts only two hours, but there is much more than just the show: There is also a magic bar and magic shop that are always buzzing before shows with magic and jokes. The cost for two tickets (one adult, one child) is $54. Of course, it doesn’t include the cost of food.

In between all this fun, don’t forget to include craft time (look for some fabulous, inexpensive craft ideas in a future issue of the Mirror); always a child favorite as well. Do not forget that memories are some of the greatest things you can have with them, and you will be building plenty of them with this five-day, do-it-yourself summer camp. It is exactly what the doctor ordered for your budget, and exactly what will create a week of happiness and lasting memories.

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