Friday, May 28, 2010

Mostly Free Summer Activities for Kids

Looking for things to do with the kids this summer? Want some cheap fun? Check out a few of these activities and see if they will work in your area.

1) Summer Reading Program – Check to see if your local library offers a summer reading program. They sometimes offer special activities and events, along with prizes for reading books. No reading program? How about just visiting the library or setting up a little “home library?”

2) Vacation Bible School – Many churches offer them for free and you don’t even have to be a member of the church. They usually run for a week for a few hours a day.

3) Free Summer Movie Program – If your kids can sit through a movie and well, even if they can’t….this is probably a program you can take them to. Check out Regal Entertainment Groups Free Family Film Festival to see if there is a participating theater in your area. Films are either rated G or PG.

4) Free Summer Bowling Program – If your kids are into bowling or you just want another activity to try….check this out. Kids can get 2 free games of bowling everyday during the summer. Check out Kids Bowl Free to see if there is a participating bowling center in your area.

5) Local Community Center Programs – Look up your local community center. (Either they have their own website or it’s through your county website.) Community centers sometimes offer free programs. Our local community center does family friendly outdoor movies a couple of times during the summer. We might have to try that this year.

6) Free Lunch Program or Park and Recreation Programs – Again, you’ll probably have to look this up through either your city or county website (or the nearest big city to you). Our county and nearest big city offer free lunches to kids 1-18 at local parks, regardless of income. My kids love it! A yummy lunch and time to play at the park. These are great for play dates!

7) Free Museum Days – Check your local zoo or museum websites. Sometimes they will offer free visit days.

8) Thrifty Household Activities – Wanna stay home? Check out my list of thrifty household activities that you can do to entertain the kids at home.

9) Camping & Hiking – Take it outdoors. Camp in the backyard (totally free) or head some place. It’s free or cheap to rough it in most National Forests (no bathrooms) or you can pay to stay in a slot at a designated campground. Smores and no sleep (at least in our case cause the kids are so excited)….what could be more fun?  Not up for camping?  Take a hike and explore a new area. 

10) Farmer's Market Visit - Take a trip to your local farmers market.  You don't have to buy anything....or you can.  You can find local farmer's markets through Local Harvest or

11) Grow Stuff - Plant flowers, veggies, herbs, or fruit with the kiddos.  Water and grow.  Not totally free, but you'll probably save some money on the grocery bill (hopefully).  Use pots if you don't have room in the ground.  There's nothing like playing in the dirt.

12) Your turn - Any other ideas? Feel free to add on some mostly free summer activities. Thanks!

Enjoy your summer and the long weekend (if you have one!)  Happy Memorial Day!  Thanks to all who are serving or who have served our country!

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