Whether it’s an Institute Day, a school “improvement” day, or a holiday, there are many options for families who are looking for a safe, fun place for their kids to spend the day. Prices range greatly depending on the program, time, etc. but the general average is around $35 – $50 per day.
Here are some options we’ve found no matter the time of year; please note, not all places offer options for every district and every holiday. Some places offer camps over winter break and/or spring break (but we’ll do updated articles on those).
Champaign Park District: These fun theme days are generally offered on days when Champaign Unit 4 Schools are not in session. Kids enjoy a a wide variety of games, sports, arts and crafts, learning, and nature activities. There is also a better price for residents versus non-residents. The day goes from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. but pick up and drop off times are flexible.
Urbana Park District: Urbana Park District generally offers programming for days when the Urbana School District is not in session, for children ages 5 to 12. UPD school day’s out program is typically called “CU Around Town”. Often times they will take field trips or swim at the Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center. Sign up early to get the best price (usually two weeks ahead of time). There is also a better price for residents versus non-residents. The day goes from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. but pick up and drop off times are flexible.
Savoy Recreation Center: Kidz Klub generally offered on days when Champaign Unit 4 Schools are not in session. This is a great option for families whose children go to the Unit 4 balanced calendar schools, as they also offer intersession camps. Kids do sports, crafts, games and more. If you are a Savoy resident, you get a resident rate. Savoy Recreation Center also offers Snow Day childcare.
YMCA Schools Day Out: The Stephens Family YMCA offers programs when school isn’t in session for winter break, spring break, holidays, district in-service or early dismissal. They cover the Unit 4 calendar but any age-appropriate child can enroll. Schools out days curriculum includes supervised free play, interactive group games, homework, crafts, and indoor/outdoor physical exercise. Children can be dropped off as early as 7 a.m. and picked up as late as 6 p.m.
Kids Plus: Champaign Unit 4’s Kids Plus before and afterschool program also offers special Days Out programming during some days off as well as during intercession for the balanced calendar schools. Kids Plus also offers a program during spring vacation. Some days there are special themes, field trips, and activities.
Orpheum Children’s Science Museum: The Orpheum offers School’s Day Out programs typically during winter and spring vacations.
Mahomet Area Youth Club: Generally open when Mahomet-Seymour schools are not in session for early dismissal and some holidays. Membership may be required.
Champaign Gymnastics Academy: CGA offers options for intercession programming for children who attend Unit 4 Schools balanced calendar schools. Check out its website for more information and options.
Some area childcare facilities also offer drop-in options for school-age children, especially if they offer afterschool programs, as well.
See our roundup of other alternative “backup care” options.
Do you know of an option we missed? Leave it in the comments!