In search of low cost, family-friendly fun?

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By Bernadette Lauritzen


As a parent one of my concerns has always been what I don’t expose my kids to, that could have been the passion, or in Asset terminology, the SPARK, that ignited their discovery of a future love.

The problem is with three kids and two parents, providing experiences and opportunities can be expensive and I can’t imagine that for even larger families.

There are often plenty of activities that one would like to attend, but sometimes the price tag is just too high to justify.  

One example would be traveling exhibits that frequent museums in New Mexico. The ability to take the learning out of the textbook and into real life could be a huge impact on the path to lifelong learning. The current exhibit of the Titanic would be an example of the idea. The price tag for that would be in the ballpark of $70, not including gas. Prior to that, there was the exhibit of King Tut.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to imply disrespect for the any museums, or that financially my kids don’t get to do anything fun. 

I do like people to consider that many people can’t afford to do any of those things because the price tag alone is the barrier.

On Sunday, my husband took me to a wonderful and reasonably priced event at Fuller Lodge. The Los Alamos Opera Guild invited two young opera apprentices to highlight the season by singing beautiful music in a beautifully historic location.

As their vocals boomed and filled the lodge with the most golden, melodious tones, the rain poured down on the town, making for a great, well-rounded day.

I was elated to pick up a copy of the 2013 Youth Nights at the Opera. The youth friendly guide is a lovely introduction to opera, the terms, the performers and the process.

The best news is that the Santa Fe Opera will be offering some low cost and no cost, family-friendly activities, just perfect for the summer of 2013.

A Family Fiesta will take place on Aug. 10 with an hour-long program of opera and the relation to classic cartoons. The ability to offer youth a sampling of opera in a fun and free way may be just the thing to test the waters and gauge reception for a longer event.

They will also offer Noah’s Flood on Aug. 10 and 11, with several performances for only $5 each featuring a variety of children and masks.

To learn more, check out the website at SantaFeOpera.org and learn more about the Los Alamos Opera Guild and how they support the arts.

So the next time you hear someone say there is nothing to do, maybe it is the price tags that hinders the participation?

Assets In Action is a community building program of the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce and the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board.