Microsoft Internet Magazine - Home & Family - May 25, 1998
Kids' Activities Online - Avoiding the Endless Summer

"School's out!" Remember when that sentence inspired joy in your heart instead of anxiety? As one of my friends the mother of three children, aged 5, 9, 10, puts it, "My last stress-free summer was back in the dark ages before we had kids. Now, my husband and I tend to panic when summer comes. We're thinking off all that unstructured time, when it's up to us to keep everyone entertained!"

If that sounds like your own reaction to warm weather, take heart. The Internet can help you find just the right activities to keep you and you children happily playing and learning, whether you're looking for a day trip, a family vacation, a summer camp, or a summer course. I'll introduce you to a few top-flight Web sites that can help put the word "fun" back into your summer.

A Summer Tradition with a '90's Twist

If you're considering the tried-and-true option of summer camps, you'll find ample assistance at Kids' Camps, recently selected by Home PC magazine as top family Web site visited more than 2 million times a month. Kids' Camps was founded in 1995 by Nancy Lapook Diamond and Kim N. Bregman, two businesswomen who are also moms. "We had recently gone through the process of selecting a camp for our own children, and, recognizing the Internet as a tremendous resource, thought that an online camp directory would be helpful to families," explains Diamond.

The site lists over 12,000 camps form all over the world as well as teen tours, camp jobs, and even experiences for adults (http://www.grownupcamps.com). You can search for the camp that's right for you by location, gender, specialty, and name. However, be aware that the site does not endorse the camps: It's up to you to check out credentials.