The kids are out of school and the weather is heating up, but I don’t want to spend a lot of money to keep them entertained.  Try to look for ways to keep them active the “old school” way and also a few new ideas.  Below is a few of the activities that can help you save some money this summer. 

Free Behind The Scenes Tours:  What’s it like to work at a TV station? How does the mail get from point A to point B? Let the kids take a behind the scenes tour to find out. You can tour many places simply by asking. Be creative when choosing locations to visit. If your kids are interested in animals, tour a veterinary hospital. If they like baseball, set up a tour at your local stadium.  Get a group of kids and parents together and make your own free field trip.  (think:  movie theatres, restaurants, bowling alley, police stations, etc)

Free Building Workshops:  Some home improvement stores offer free building workshops that help kids build everything from a bird house to a miniature school house. Kids get free aprons, goggles and the required tools and supplies to build their own project with the help of the store’s employees.  The most popular kids workshops are through Home Depot and Lowe’s. Home Depot’s kids workshop is usually the first Saturday of the month and the Lowe’s Build and Grow clinics are usually every Saturday.

Go To A Free Movies:  Check your local movie theatres…Many movie theaters offer summer movie programs that are free (or maybe cost $1.00). The movies are often on weekday mornings, and typically are movies that are a bit older, perhaps last year’s hits. However, there are usually movies offered some days for small children, and other days for older children. Popcorn and soda may even be discounted during these special showings.  Not all theaters participate, but it’s definitely worth looking into in your area!

Rent A Free Movie:  Redbox is offering a free movie code on the first Monday of the month throughout the summer.  Regular price is just $1!

Vacation Bible School:  Churches hold Vacation Bible School as an outreach of their ministries.  Members of the church as well as non-members are invited for a free week of fun.  Kids sing songs, learn Bible lessons, make friends, create crafts, perform in skits and learn how to treat others, among other valuable lessons.  Each church has its own age guidelines but 3 and up usually benefit the most from Vacation Bible School.  The older kids can volunteer to help and still be a part of the fun.

Library Events:  The library is an excellent venue for story time. But did you know there are even more activities for kids at the library that won’t get them shushed? Most libraries offer free summer reading programs. Kids sign up to read a certain amount of books over the summer. The library than awards prizes and holds a party for the eager readers at the end of the reading program.  Check your local library for all the events they offer over the summer.

Free Arts and Crafts at Museums:  Introduce art appreciation at a young age. Museums are reaching out to future artists through free kids’ programs that encourage them to create their own works of art.  Story time ties book illustrations into the art you find in the museum. Kids enjoy craft time, paint, use clay and a variety of other mediums to enrich their art experience.  Check your local museums for more information.

Free Bowling:  Check your local bowling alleys…. most locations offer up to two free games of bowling every day of the summer.

Enjoy The Outdoors:  Go for a bike ride together, draw with sidewalk chalk, play in the garden hose, plant flowers, go fishing and take advantage of the beautiful weather. Kids love playing outside, and it can be fun for the whole family. Just make sure to use sunscreen, and take along some bug spray

Camp Out In Your Backyard:  Do you have a tent? Why not put it up in your backyard and go backyard camping one evening? Try building a fire in a fire pit and roasting marshmallows or making s’mores or grill hotdogs. If you feel like you don’t have the place in your own yard to do these things, consider asking a friend who may have a better area if you can use their yard to camp out. They may even want to join you, making the experience all the more fun.

Camping Fun:  Free family activities at Bass Pro Shop– On Saturdays and Sunday through July 5th, from Noon – 6 pm you and your family can enjoy their laser shooting gallery, shooting range, s’mores cookout, crafts, and more completely FREE!

State or Craft Fair:  Most fares are usually free and provide hours of entertainment.  Check your local State Fair or for and Arts and Craft Fair.

Be a Tourist In Your Own Town:  Check out local free attraction in your area and learn about your community.

Free Local Community Events:  Check your local paper or community calendar…Most communities offer free concerts and community events.

Get Wet:  Play with a garden hose, run through sprinklers, or get a squirt gun to cool off.

Window Shopping:  Go to a mall for some window shopping and free air conditioning.

Free Museums and Parks:

  1. Get free general admission to participating museums, zoos, science centers, botanical gardens and more on the first full weekend of every month just by presenting your Bank of America card.
  2. Target is sponsoring free museum admission and more this summer throughout the US
  3. Many National Parks offer fee-free weekends this summer to more than 100 National Parks that usually charge entrance fees.

Sports:  If you love baseball, but can’t afford the major league prices?  Find a minor league game.

A Day At The Park:  Make a local park passport and each day attend a different park.  Grade all the different parks and find a new favorite place to play.

Beach or Lake Fun:  Call up some friends or take the family to a local beach or lake for a free day of fun.

Hiking or Biking:  Most areas have local trails or green belts to explore.

Plan a Pot Luck BBQ or Pool Party:  Set a theme….Invite friends….Let each person bring a different food and drink for everyone to enjoy.

This summer try to keep the family busy and save money at the same time.  Try to find creative ways to make the ordinary free activities fun.


4 responses to “FREE SUMMER FAMILY FUN

  1. with everything so expensive these days and people with large families, it is very hard to think of things for kids to do during summer. You have some great ideas, I will forward on to my friends that have families. keep up the good work Kari.

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