20 Fun and Free Summer Activities for your Children

Summer has just begun and parents and caregivers everywhere are already looking for activities to keep the kids occupied and happy without breaking the bank. To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of our 20 favorite FUN, CREATIVE, and FREE activities to do this summer.


    1. Have fun bowling this summer with Kids Bowl Free. Children can enjoy 2 free games of bowling everyday. For details and participating centers in your area, visit www.kidsbowlfree.com.

    2. Attend a free Build and Grow Clinic at your local Lowe’s Store. Your child will receive a free wooden project, apron, goggles, project themed patch, and a certification of merit. Free clinics are held every Saturday at 10 a.m. Details at www.lowesbuildandgrow.com.

    3. Attend a free Kids WorkShop at your local Home Depot store. Children participate in a free project, and receive a free kid-sized apron, and achievement pin.


    1. Plan a trip to the Children’s Museum in your city. The Children’s Museum has partnered with Target to offer Target Free Tuesday every month for children. Check with your local Children’s Museum for times and details.

    2. If you’re a Bank of America cardholder (ATM, Credit or Debit), take advantage of their Museums on US program, offering free general admission to museums, botanical centers, zoos, science centers, and more on the first full weekend of every month. Visit http://museums.bankofamerica.com/MOU_homepage_2009.swf for participating museums and program details.

    3. Visit your local farmer’s market.

    4. Earn free books by participating in the Barnes & Noble free Summer Reading Program. Details at: http://www.barnesandnobleinc.com/our_company/community/Summer_Reading/Summer_Reading_Program.html

    5. Visit your local Barnes & Noble Store for free story time and costume character visits (e.g. Clifford, Winnie the Pooh, Curious George, Peter Rabbit and more). Visit http://www.barnesandnobleinc.com/our_company/community/Storytimes_Costume_Character/storytimes_costume_characters%20.html to view upcoming events at your nearest Barnes & Noble location.

    6. Feed the ducks or go fishing at your local pond.

    7. Sign your child up for a free Apple Store iMovie Camp to learn the ins and outs of film making. Details and sign up at www.apple.com/retail/camp/

    8. Enjoy the playground at your local park

    9. AMC Summer Movie Camp is offering nearly-free, $1 movies every Tuesday at 10 a.m. all summer long. Most importantly, all admission and concession stand proceeds will benefit The Children’s Charity and the Will Rogers Institute. See a list of participating theatres and movie selections at www.amcentertainment.com/smc/

    10. Visit your local library. Not only can you can check out books or movies for free, but you can also attend free story times and events.

    11. Take advantage of the free trial classes offered in your community for popular activities such as swimming, tumbling/gymnastics, dance, golf, karate, music and art.

    12. Get wet in the backyard! Take advantage of your pool (if you have one), water balloons, squirt guns, running through the sprinklers or playing in the kiddie pool.

    13. Have a craft day with the kids. You can find lots of free craft ideas and printable worksheets and activities online.

    14. Volunteer. Let the kid’s pick out a worthy non-profit cause and make a commitment to donate your time to help others this summer.

    15. Go on a nature walk or enjoy a day at the beach or lake.

    16. If you’re going to be eating meals on the go, be sure to check your community restaurants and compile a list (or obtain one online) of all the Kids Eat Free days and locations near you.

    17. Lastly, make sure to search online for your local free attractions. Most cities will publish a list of free activities and events in your area.

Do you know of other great and FREE summer activities?  Comment and share!

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8 thoughts on “20 Fun and Free Summer Activities for your Children

  1. This list is very helpful for those of us who have a hard time coming up with creative ideas to keep the kids entertained for the summer!

  2. the local library is a LIFESAVER during the summer! the kids have so much fun going there for story time, and it’s an activity I feel like they actually get something out of. plus, we always leave with a stack full of books to read throughout the rest of the week. and I love the idea of volunteering – I’m going to have to ask my employer if she’d be ok with that!

  3. Oh my gosh, I had never heard of #10 before – my kiddo would love that! We spend a lot of time at the park during the summer – there’s just no reason to stay inside when it’s so pretty out during the day!

  4. I didn’t know Lowe’s had a Build and Grow program, but I’ll definitely be taking advantage. What an awesome way to get the kids doing something constructive. Also will be looking into the bowling, cheap movies and Barnes and Noble ideas – thanks for sharing this list!

  5. we take advantage of the kids eat free days when my employers go on their date night. it’s a fun, cheap way to get the kids out of the house!

  6. I will definitely be purchasing some water balloons and squirt guns to bring over for those hot summer days when the kids have a lot of pent up energy!

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