Now that we’re well into the swing of summer vacation, the chorus of children crying “But Mom, I’m BORED” is deafening. But the kids are home every day, and a daily outing can be hard on your summer budget. Here is a list of activities and places to visit to have free fun with kids this summer.
Do you have a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch Debit or Credit Card? Show it, plus your ID, to get FREE admission at a HUGE selection of museums on the first full weekend of every month. You can see a list of participating museums here.
AMF bowling offers FREE bowling for kids all summer. Kids can bowl 2 games a day for free every day from now until September 2, 2013. Shoe rental is not included, but usually only costs a couple of dollars.
At Regal Cinemas every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 am, kids’ movies (rated G or PG) will be playing every week in July and August. This program used to be completely free, now it costs $1.00 per ticket.
Have a favorite National Park nearby? August 25 you can get your entrance fee waived into ANY National Park in commemoration of the birthday of National Parks. In addition, 268 of the 401 National Parks offer free admission every day! Go to this National Park Map to see if there is a park near you that offers free admission.
Have a hiking scavenger hunt. Plan a hike — even if it’s just in your backyard. Take a piece of cardstock, and write down items or wildlife for children to find, like birds, worms, clover, or a maple tree. For pre-readers, you could use pictures drawn or cut out and pasted on a sheet of paper instead. Hand out a prize – like a homemade popsicle — for finding all of the objects.
On the first Saturday of every month, Home Depot offers a free kids’ building workshop geared for kids ages 5-12. The workshop begins at 9 am and kids get to keep their craft AND a special Home Depot apron.
Barnes & Noble has some great free reading and activity programs for kids ages 1-18! Availability varies by region, but you can find the events at your local store here. My local store offers free face painting Fridays, where kids can have their faces painted and do a free coloring craft, as well as a teen creative writing workshop.