Free (And Nearly Free) Summer Activities and Freebies for Kids

Sure, we all know about city parks, backyard camp-outs, crafts, and splash parks, but every now and then we want to beat the heat with a museum, gallery, or movie.  Did you know many of these “premium” activities can also be free? Take a look at this list and learn how to freshen up your kids’ libraries with some new books, how to get free movie passes, and even attend a museum or gallery for free.

Free Books

Many local libraries free book program. Many offer prizes from free books to pizzas! See which program your local library is offering.

Barnes and Noble  free book program.

Half Price Books “Feed Your Brain” summer reading program.


Free Entertainment

Bowling Free for Kids:

Regal Cinemas Free Summer Movies program

Cinemark $1 movies:

June 9 is Get Outdoors Day and National Pakrs see the link for other free days during the year as well.


Free Classes:

Many stores offer free classes for Kids including the Apple Store (use store locator and select “workshops”), Lowes, Home Depot, Bass Pro Shops, REI, and Cabella’s.

Free Camp:

Vacation Bible School is offered by many churches, and you don’t typically have to be a member. Each is typically one week long. You can enroll your kids in several VBS programs during separate weeks. (Note, check to see which program the church is using—there’s typically 4-6 programs cycling each year, your kids won’t have a good time if they’ve landed in the same themed program three times over the same summer).

Don’t forget your local community center. Check out your city, or community’s website for a list of free and low-cost summer programs—often they will index local merchants, non-profits and schools’ summer programs.

Arts and Culture:

Target sponsors and arts and culture program. Check here to see if there are events coming up in your area.

Library: Our local library allows us to reserve and check out FREE day passes to local museums and galleries.

  • John

    Great tips. I think that teaching children to play and use their imaginations is a much better choice than to buy them a whole bunch of stuff! Free fun is awesome! 😀