Tuesday, June 7, 2011

12 Completely FREE things to do with Kids this Summer!

1. My absolute favorite thing to do with my kids is go to the library.  Almost all library systems have free storytimes for younger kids and free book clubs for older kids. 

2. If you are a Bank of America customer, you can get FREE admission to a selection of museums around the country during the first full weekend of every month. This summer, it’s July 2 & 3, August 6 & 7, and September 3 & 4. See this list to see if there is a participating museum near you.  

3. At Home Depot, they offer FREE make & take programs for young kids on the first Saturday of every month.  They are most appropriate for 5-12 year olds. Examples of recent projects are a valet organizer and a mini-toolbox.

4. Many cities and towns offer free concerts at a beach or a park. This is a great way to expose younger children who might not be able to sit through a symphony at the concert hall to high quality music.

5. Also, many towns and libraries offer free movie nights at local parks. Check your town’s website for more information.

6. Head over to the nearest lake, pond, or large puddle with a bag of stale bread and feed the ducks and geese. We did this two weeks ago and I was amazed by how fascinated my kids were with this simple activity.

7. Speaking of animals, the local pet store is a great place to go and browse with kids. There are often a variety of birds, small fuzzy creatures like guinea pigs, fish, and puppies. We go to the pet store all the time for a free, quick activity. My husband calls it “the poor dad’s zoo.”

8. Call your local fire department and see if they offer any open houses. Last August the fire department down the street from us had a completely FREE day for neighborhood kids to learn about fire safety and sit in the big fire trucks. The kids LOVED it. Some of the older kids were even allowed to climb up the tall fire ladder.

9. Too hot to play outside? Go Bowling! AMF bowling centers offers 2 free games per day to children under 16. Just sign up for their email alerts and get your free coupons!

 10. Live near a Bass Pro Shop? They offer a free summer camp program. From June 4 to July 10, there are a variety of free family activities daily, from crafts to cookouts to casting.

11.  Make your own play-dough and create all sorts of fun shapes, animals, and play food!  This recipe is no-cook, so everyone can help!

 12. From big cities to small towns, it is impossible to miss the variety of festivals that abound in the summer months. Check your municipality’s online calendar for more details. They’re usually free to enter, but it’s hard to leave without buying some of the uniquely delicious festival food!

I'm sure there are a TON more fun, free things to do with kids! Please add your favorites in the comments!

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