Cheap and Free Summer Fun for Families


Summer vacation is quickly coming up for us and I always like to take advantage of the numerous free or cheap fun activities that are available each summer. Here is a list of some summer fun activities that we like to do. How about you? What are some of your favorite things to do during the summer?

  • Beaches and Parks – in addition to being a great place for active outdoor fun, many beaches and parks host special activities during the summer, such as guided tours, classes, concerts, movies, festivals, plays, etc. As an added bonus, many parks have started adding water play areas to their repertoire of play equipment.
  • Berry Picking – check this site for a list of local u-pick places
  • Bowling
    • AMF Summer Unplugged – “This summer, your children 16 and under can bowl for free at your local AMF. Sound too good to be true? It’s not! Just register your children to get weekly coupons via email for two free games per child per day all summer long.”
    • Kids Bowl Free – “Children whose age does not exceed a limit by a participating bowling center are eligible to register for 2 free games a day, all summer long, courtesy of the participating bowling centers along with the schools and organizations.”
  • City/County entertainment – check with your city and county, as well as neighboring cities, to see if they will be hosting any events, such as concerts, plays, outdoor movies, kids’ entertainment (magicians, musicians, etc.), festivals, etc.
  • Crafts – many craft, sewing, and educational supply stores, such as Michael’s and Lakeshore Learning host free or discounted kids’ craft events and classes.
  • Drop-in Play Places – if the heat is getting to be too much, but your kids need to burn off some excess energy, drop-in play places may be just the place for you
  • Farmer’s Markets are a great place to shop for healthy, locally grown, foods, but they also often host concerts, arts and crafts, and other fun activities
  • Game Stores (and some toy stores) often host free or cheap game leagues/days/nights
  • Kids’ Movie Series/Festivals
    • Cinemark Movie Clubhouse – Ten weeks of movies for kids, shown weekday mornings. All 10 movies can be purchased in advance for $5.00, or can be purchased separately at the box office for $1.00 per show.  $5 Series punch cards are limited and are now available only at the theatre box office while supplies last.
    • Malco Theatres Kids Summer Film Fest – June 7th – July 27th – Kid-friendly films every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 AM. A portion of the $2 admission price will benefit local children’s hospitals.
    • Marcus Theatres Kids Rule Kids Summer Film Series – June 21st – August 11th, 2011. Kid-friendly films every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 10 AM. $2/person.
    • Marquee Cinemas Kid Summer Movie Program – Marquee Cinemas presents a special selection of family films brought to you each week during the summer at no charge. Check your location for dates and selections.
    • Regal Summer Movie Express – During this 9-week festival, select Regal Cinemas, United Artists and Edwards Theatres will offer selected G or PG rated movies for only a dollar on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:00am.
    • I’m sad to say that the AMC Summer Movie Camp program has been discontinued. Sad smile
  • Libraries – in addition to summer reading programs, your library may have concerts, performances, storytimes, arts and crafts, etc.
  • Museums – though they can be crowded during the summer, museums often offer extra kid-friendly classes, activities, and displays
  • Reading programs – you can read my previous post about summer reading programs for kids
  • Storytimes – most libraries and bookstores will offer storytimes during the week
  • Woodworking programs for kids are free at Lowe’s and Home Depot

Labels: Freebies, High School, Social Studies, Summer Fun, This and That, Wrapping Up Our Week
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff