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Free Summer Activities For Kids!

Coming soon to a household very near you: summertime! I’m not one who has ever been relieved when my kids go back to school in the Fall. Still, filling those long days that are over incredibly soon with affordable and memorable activities is a bit of a head-scratcher for me. There is no shortage of sports, camps, and other activities that may be great experiences, but still cost more than my family, or yours, can afford. The trick is to do some digging and find the resources available in your own area that offer affordable summer fun. Here are a few suggestions to start you off.

Free Movies
Or nearly-free. A few theater chains offer summer matinees of family movies that are a few years old one or two days per week. Understandably, these are usually crowded and noisy, but kids don’t seem to mind. Some even come with free popcorn! Check out these theaters near you:
Great Escape Theaters
Rave Cinemas
Carmike Cinemas
Phoenix Big Cinemas
Stone Theatres
Clearview Cinemas
Monaco Pictures
Regal Theatres
Reel Theatres

Free Bowling For Kids
Kids Bowl Free
My family didn’t try this last summer, the first year it was available, but I am so excited to do it this year! Bowling Alleys across the fruited plains and mountains majesty (as well as the plains and mountains of our Canadian neighbors!) are offering every kid who registers two free games per day. Dates vary from location to location, but cover the late Spring and Summer months. For a one time fee of $24.95 I registered four adults so that my husband and I, and our neice and her husband can play with the kids, too. Additionally, I used the coupon code BowlingGuy to take $5 off that fee. (This worked as of 5/13/2012). And, after registering the grown-ups, received a free $25 gift certificate to RESTAURANT.COM, which allowed me to print a physical gift certificate for one of the participating restaurants in my area.

Building/Craft Workshops

You may be surprised to learn that other non-book-specific businesses offer book clubs, kid’s programs, and incentives related to reading. Check out:


One Thing More: The YMCA has many worthwhile programs and offers financial assistance through its Open Door Program. Find your Local YMCA to download the assistance and membership forms.

Of course this list is nowhere near exhaustive. Your local chamber of commerce may offer a wealth of other options, including discount days at local museums and zoos, free outdoor movies at parks or pools, and various fairs and festivals. In any case, see what you can find and how those days will vanish!


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