On October 9, Columbus Day, parents in Cotati and surrounding communities may breathe a little easier knowing their little ones have an engaging and exciting alternative to staying home with a babysitter. The City of Cotati is offering their “Camp Cotati PJ Party” as a fun, affordable option, specifically for those parents of school age children who still have to work despite their children being out of school that day.
The Camp Cotati PJ Party will run from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., but parents can drop off or pick up their children at any time during those hours. The day will include a lot of games, crafts and, weather permitting, outside activities. One of the best parts for kids is that they can come in their pajamas.
“We really encourage the campers to wear their pajamas so they really get the feeling of a day off from school,” says Ashley Wilson, Recreation Coordinator for the City of Cotati, who first spearheaded this program last year. “That’s the fun thing to do when you’re off, is stay in your pajamas all day! The staff will be in their pajamas too. They don’t have to but I always encourage the parents to tell them that they can just roll out of bed and come over.”
Wilson does ask parents to send shoes with the children that they can be active in, as well as bringing a lunch and snacks.
“We’ll be doing fun crafts and games and inside and outside time, depending on the weather for the outside,” says Wilson. “It will be similar to some of the other camps we’ve had, with a variety of activities. There will be some lazy time off school but also some active time so we send them home tired!”
Since last year, Cotati holds camp days or weeks on those holidays that schools are closed but many workplaces are not, such as Columbus Day, the three days leading up to Thanksgiving, the two-week winter break, and spring break. Last year it was not heavily advertised and only a handful of children showed up on Columbus Day, but Wilson is hopeful that more children will show up this year with exposure in Cotati’s Activity Guide and through Facebook. The city also offers a new online registration system to make signing up even easier.
The one-day camp, held in the Thomas Page Room of the Ray Miller Community Center behind City Hall is $35 for the day. The Thanksgiving week break, running from November 20-22 is $75 for the week and the winter breaks, December 26-29 and January 2-5, are $100 per week. Parents can also just pay $35 for a drop-in day, if they do not want to commit to the full week. Registrations are open to both Cotati residents and non-residents.
“It’s affordable if you look at childcare and even a babysitter,” says Wilson. “And hopefully they get to play with other kids too. I like to think of it as a slumber party during the day.”
For more information or to register, visit cotaticity.org or call Ashley Wilson at 707-665-4222.