Why do Chicago Park District programs have registration for summer so early?

Registration for summer sessions of Chicago Park District programs starts online April 15 and 16, and in person registration for most parks is April 20. This is absurdly early and not just because most new Chicago Park District programs won’t start until July. The Chicago Park District registration for summer programs is absurdly early because the spring session just started. How am I supposed to know if I should sign up my kids for Chicago Park District programs this summer if I don’t even know if they like the ones they are in now?

My daughter started gymnastics with the Chicago Park District last weekend. As expected from a two year old she seemed to enjoy some things while refusing to do others. At least I’ll be able to see how she does this weekend before the Chicago Park District summer registration starts. My son’s t-ball program doesn’t even start until April 20. That means he won’t have even tried t-ball once before I have to decide whether to enroll him in the summer session.

By Skoch3 via Wikimedia Commons

Of course, maybe the absurdly early registration for Chicago Park District programs doesn’t even matter. The schedule of Chicago Park District programs being offered this summer has a dearth of weekend options for my kids’ age ranges, which means there aren’t many programs they could do.

As a working parent, I look for Chicago Park District programs that meet on Saturdays and Sundays. For the spring session a search for early childhood programs on Saturdays and Sundays returned four pages of results. Doing the same search for the summer session returns one page.

If I want my daughter to continue in one of the Chicago Park District programs for summer gymnastics my only weekend option requires moving from our current park less than a mile from our home to one that is over three miles away. That’s actually not too bad. For my son to continue in t-ball he would move from a park two miles away to a new location more than seven miles away. He’d have to be in the car for longer than he’d get to play. Of course, I have no idea of that is worth it because my son won’t have played spring t-ball even once before I have to decide if I should register him for summer!

Am I the only one who thinks registration for Chicago Park District programs is too early? Am I the only working parent who would like my kids to participate in Chicago Park District programs on Saturdays or Sundays during the summer?

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