DES MOINES, Iowa – Staffing shortages and inflation have made summer camp for kids more expensive than ever before. Across the metro, summer camps are filled up leaving parents who are looking for summer activities for their kids now in a bind.

However, there are some things that parents can do to try to find activities for their kids even if their usual options are booked.

Erin Huiatt, the owner of the Des Moines Parent, a website that has resources for parents in the metro, said that local parks and recreation departments are a good place to start.

“I’d definitely look at your parks and rec whatever community you live in those are really popular. Those are ones that tend to be a full day and offer childcare before and after so if you’re working an 8-5 job and can’t coordinate your child at random times to pick them up from camp those are your best bet,” Huiatt said.

Even if full-day summer camps are full there are many activities in Des Moines that are free for kids. The Des Moines Parent has an event calendar with local events ranging from Storytime in the park to sports clinics.

For parents on a budget free parks and recreation programs can help out. There’s also the plethora of public parks and splash pads around the metro where they can take their kids to burn off some energy this summer.