Kids across the country are finishing out their school year and starting summer vacation. If you’re looking for fun, kid-friendly activities that won’t break the bank, we’ve got you covered. From free movie tickets to coding workshops to events at your local library, we’re sharing some of our favorite family activities for the summer.
Throughout the summer, kids can see movies at AMC Theaters for just $4. The Summer Movie Camp is taking place at theaters around the country, so visit the AMC website to look for a participating theater near you.
Cinemark is hosting the Summer Movie Clubhouse with ten weeks of films for kids. Tickets cost $1 per person, per movie on the day of the movie or you can purchase a punch card to see all 10 movies for just $5.
Megaplex Theaters are giving kids and their families a summer full of movies with Kids Summer Movie Passes. Individual tickets to movies on the summer schedule cost $1.50, or you can purchase a summer pass for $10 and see them all.
Enjoy free museum admission each month if you’re a Bank of America customer. On the first full weekend of every month, show your Bank of America credit or debit card and photo ID for one free admission to one of the participating museums in your area.
Through the Museums for All program, families that receive SNAP benefits can receive free or reduced cost admission for over 300 museums across the country. Just present your EBT card at a participating museum.
If you live in New York City or you plan to visit over the summer, be sure to take advantage of free admission days. Museums, botanical gardens, and zoos around the city have schedules with free days built in so that everyone can enjoy these summer activities.
Traveling to Disney can be an expensive family activity, but you can get a Disney experience without the travel or the high cost. In many Disney stores, you’ll find events with fun, games, movies, and activities for kids. Check the store locator on the Disney Store website to find a participating store near you.
Have you ever explored your own city? Free Tours by Foot is a company that offers donation only guided tours based on your interests. Go for an architecture tour in Chicago, the Freedom Trail Tour in Boston, or a night tour through DC this summer. Keep in mind that these tours will require walking and not all tours are stroller friendly.
With the Teen Summer Challenge, Planet Fitness is letting teens between ages 15-18 use one of their 1700 locations for free. From May 15 – September 1, teens can use all of the gyms equipment and attend classes at no cost.
At participating bowling alleys around the country, you can sign your children up for two free games of bowling each day. Details, including age limits, vary by location, so look for participating bowling alleys near you to learn more.
Details aren’t up on the Bass Pro site at the time of publishing this post, but we’ll update when they are. Previously, the Summer Camp has free family activities every weekend through July, teaching kids about the outdoors and including outdoor games for the whole family.
In June and July, Cabela’s hosts Family Summer Camp on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Sign up for games, activities, crafts, and workshops.
If you’re a family that loves to get outside and go fishing, be sure to check out this list of free fishing days. Each state has specific days when everyone can go fishing without purchasing a license first.
Are you the parent of a fourth grader? If so, the National Park Foundation wants to help you get outside and explore. The campaign offers passes to fourth graders from anywhere in the US to visit parks, lands, and waters for an entire year.
You can enroll your kids for two free skating sessions every week of the year with Kids Skate Free. Search the list of participating locations to find a skating center near you.
For kids that love being outdoors, the National Parks Service has Junior Ranger programs in many locations. Both local and national programs allow kids, typically from ages 5 to 13, to earn patches while learning about protecting our national parks.
If you’re look for kid friendly content, you can find it for free with Hoopla. This digital media service partners with local public libraries to offer movies, music, audio books, ebooks, and more, for free. It’s a great way to encourage your kids to keep reading all summer long.
Kanopy is another streaming service that you can access with your library card. Look for loads of kid friendly shows, movies, and books that you can watch and read for free.
Summer Reading Challenges
While you’re at the library to get your family’s library cards for access to Hoopla and Kanopy, be sure to ask about summer reading challenges. Libraries across the country offer these challenges that encourage kids to meet their reading goals for the summer. Most have prizes and incentives along the way, and the whole family can get involved.
If you don’t have a reading challenge at your library, you can go online! Amazon has a challenge to read 8 books during the summer. Kids who keep track of their reading will earn a certificate and a free book.
What better place to join a summer reading program than a bookstore? Barnes & Noble also encourages kids to read with an 8 book reading challenge. Just sign up, fill in the journal, and bring it back in August to pick a free book.
Books-A-Million also has a summer reading program that you can join in-store or online. Kids can choose 4 books from the Summer Reading Adventure section to earn a free drawstring backpack.
Give your future DIY-er an opportunity to dive into a project with expert advice and supervision. Home Depot has a variety of workshops for people of all ages, including kids workshops that focus on creativity and skill building.
Camp Creativity brings seven weeks of fun crafts and activities to kids who stop in for the sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Each session costs $3 and supplies are included. Camp Creativity is at select Michaels stores and is for children age 3 and up.
Another fun summer activity at Michaels stores is Make Classes. These sessions focus on one project, giving you a product to take home when the class is over. Look for a participating store near you to take part.
This kids program from Lowe’s is a change for kids to get hands on and build. Build and Grow clinics are designed to give kids confidence and inspire a love of building. Projects include birdhouses and an ice cream truck moving toy.
Kids aged 8-12 can visit participating Apple stores for Apple Camp. These sessions allow kids to explore their creativity with projects like coding and design. Each session is free and lasts 90 minutes.
Calling all junior chefs. Williams Sonoma hosts cooking classes made for young aspiring chefs, along with other events throughout the summer. Classes range in price depending on the topic and the supplies required.
Visit participating Lakeshore Learning stores to take part in these fun summer classes. The classes, like the upcoming All About ‘Bots class at some stores, offer a teaching moment as well as a fun activity that lets kids get creative.
Microsoft hosts a good variety of classes for kids that focus on critical thinking and technology. Look for classes about coding, robotics, and other STEM subjects. Each class has age limits, so be sure to check the details when signing your child up.
What activities will you be enjoying with your kids this summer? Leave some more ideas for fun family activities in the comments!
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