In Spain, most working people take several weeks off during the summer months to enjoy cooler weather by the coast, get a much-deserved break from the stresses of work, and spend some quality time with friends and family. For working parents, however, summer isn't always that simple; for the times when you're working yet the kids are still on summer break, what do you do with them? The 3-month school break between June and September can be hard to plan if you're a single parent or if both you and your partner work full-time. Discover our 5 solutions for summer things to do in Spain with kids.
1. School-Sponsored Summer Camp
Many schools offer school-sponsored summer camps (casal de verano) right at the kids' own school. Here they will spend most of the day playing with other classmates and doing day-trips to nearby areas. The downside about this option is that your children are still going to school and though they do enjoy it, it doesn't feel much like a holiday. The price for these school summer camps are around 75 euros/week if they go all day long and eat at school.
2. Sports Camp or Language Camp
If you have more financial options, you can sign your kids up for a sports camp or a language camp. Depending on the camp you choose, it may run only during the day or overnight. Most children enjoy the overnight camps much more, but the price tag is around 400-600 euros/week, so this is a costlier choice.
In my own experience as a working parent, my son has spent a week at an English summer camp with hundreds of other kids and he absolutely loved it. My daughter has attended the school summer camp and spent most days making new friends and playing at the beaches along the Costa Brava.
3. Bring your kids to work
Yes, some companies allow their employees to bring their children to work. Of course not all types of work allow this, but it is easier for professions like hairdressers, restaurant or shop-owners, and freelancers. The kids tend to be bored because the parents have to continue working and cannot pay much attention to their children.
4. Use grandparents or other family members
Another often-used solution is to send your children with their grandparents or other close family members, whether they live nearby or abroad. Most grandparents love spending quality time with their grand-kids, but depending on their age, this option may or may not be feasible. If your family live abroad, it's also an opportunity for your children to spend time in your home country and learn more about your roots.
5. Hire a babysitter, nanny, or au pair
Last, but not least, there always is the option to hire a babysitter, nanny, or au pair. This way, your children can enjoy the comforts of their own home. It will also feel more like a real holiday because the babysitter or caretaker can take them to the beach or swimming pool and make the days fun. The only downside is that this can be a very expensive option.
I know first-hand how hard it can be to organise summer plans in Spain for your children; as much as you'd love to be enjoying their time off of school with them, working parents know that they're doing everything they can to provide for their kids and give them a good life. No matter what your plans end up being for summer, your kids will be glad not to have to get up early for school or do any homework!