The Good, The Bad, and The Hilarious of Parenting

8 Free or Nearly Free Activities To Do With Your Kids This Summer!

on July 13, 2012
Summer Session logo.

Summer Session logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What are you going to do this summer with the kids?  Gas is about $4 a gallon; theme park tickets are running about $75; Just to go to the movies can cost you about $60.  I don’t know about you, but I just don’t have that kind of money to spend on entertainment.  However, to me summer is a magical time of the year almost like Christmas.  Everybody seems to have more energy and is more excited about the potential that exist in a summer day.  I know I spend a good deal of time in May planning my summer because I want to milk each day for all it is worth!!  I even made a Summer Bucket List this year, and I have even made a little progress on it.  To help you enjoy your summer and not have to take out a loan, I have compiled a list of ideas that you maybe able to take advantage of with your kids this summer that will be easy on your pockets and still make you look like a super hero!

  •  KIDS BOWL FOR FREE ALL SUMMER LONG: Your kids can bowl for FREE all summer long. Sign your kids up to get two FREE tickets per day to your local participating bowling alley, thru the Kid’s Bowl Free Program. Tickets will not be loaded into your account until the Summer Session starts. You will get an email on Sunday each week, with all of your tickets for the week.
  • FREE BOOKS FOR KIDS AT BARNES AND NOBLES: Kids in Grades 1 thru 6, can earn a free book from Barnes & Noble . You’ll need to read any 8 books and record them in the Reading Journal. Take your completed Reading Journal  to your local B&N store and choose a free book from the selection on the Reading Journal list at the store. Some locations also have a regularly scheduled story time to participate in. This program started May 22 and ends September 4.
  • SEE MOVIES FOR FREE OR NEARLY FREE: Every summer numerous movie theathers offer a  series of kid friendly movies for cheap or free–  perfect for hot summer days. Most are in the late morning and twice a week.  A few that offer such movies are Cinemark, Regal CinemasMovieland(Bowtie) – just check your local theater’s website for information when available.
  • HOME DEPOT FREE KIDS WORKSHOPS: On the 1st Saturday of every month, the Home Depot has a workshop all set up for your kiddos to build something fun.  Visit their site to see what they have in planned.  It could be a cool organizer for your hairbows. 


  • LOWES FREE BUILD AND GROW KIDS WORKSHOP:  Every other weekend Lowe’s has a project for the kids too.  Some are held on Sundays as well as Saturdays, all the details on their website. It could be a cool Monkey Powered Plane. 
  • Free Museum and Zoo Days – Every Summer museums and zoos around the world host free days – check with your local venues and mark your calendar.  Also, several coorporations sponsor days at certain museums and zoos; members of those coorporations can get in for next to nothing.  One such coorporation is Bank of America.  Check it out!
  • MICAHAEL’S CRAFT’S:  Michael’s Crafts has a different calender every month for various craft days with the kiddos.  Some have a supply fee, some don’t.  Check with your local Michael’s.
  • Summer Reading Program crowd

    Summer Reading Program crowd (Photo credit: circulating)

    VISIT YOU LOCAL LIBRARY: Most public libraries offer a summer reading program that includes events such as story times, puppet shows, and crafts.  Sign you child up for the reading program and enjoy some free entertainments.  Not to forget that public libraries have changed drastically.  Most now offer a play area for kids, dvd checkouts, mp3 players loaded with stories, free ebooks, internet, and much more.  Don’t miss out!  We visit our library once a week at least!  And you know I had to give a plug to reading!

These are just a few ideas, but take a look at what is available in your area.  Also, fire stations and police stations welcome kids if they are notified in advance. Just act as if you are a tourist in your own town, look for special days in your area – and then mark your calender.  

Summer will be gone before you know it!


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