Family

21 Affordable Summer Activities for Kids

Some of us Mom’s have a love/hate relationship with Summer Break. We love the first week, no rushing out the door, no packing lunches, no homework stress, the list goes on and on. Then a few weeks in we begin to feel the stress of having kids around 24/7 or we hear the dreaded “I’m bored.” Finding a balance can be tough, especially for us work-from-home moms. I try to plan 2-3 out of the norm activities/outings each week to keep summer fun and make sure we get in some much needed quality time. The summer doesn’t have to cost a fortune! Consider some of these free or very inexpensive activities:

National or State Parks

Check out your local state parks or national parks, you can usually find some great hiking and scenery.

http://www.stateparks.com/
https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm

Hiking

Find a local trail

http://www.traillink.com/

Geocaching

If your kids love a good treasure hunt then go Geocaching. All you need is a GPS enabled device such as your smart phone and you can play a real-world treasure hunting outdoor game called Geocaching. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using their smart phones and then share their experiences online

https://www.geocaching.com/play

Museums

Local Museums can offer educational opportunities and usually have special deals during the summer.

http://www.museumsusa.org/

Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program

Have your kids (grades 1st-6th) read books and answer the questions in the Summer Reading Triathlon Reading Journal. Bring the completed journal to any Barnes & Noble bookstore between May 17th and September 6th, and your child can choose a FREE book from their selection on the Reading Journal list.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/b/summer-reading/_/N-rs9

Scholastic Summer Challenge

May 9 – September 9, kids can log their reading minutes to earn virtual prizes.

http://www.scholastic.com/ups/campaigns/src-2016

LEGO Fans

Is your little reader a LEGO fan? Go ahead and grab this freebie for kids, a free membership to the LEGO Club including (for kids 4-12) a subscription to Lego Club Magazine.

http://www.lego.com/en-us/club/member/articles/details/magazine-sign-up-2-e344dd7a1961497187adf5352ff87e53

Regal’s Summer Movie Express

Regal’s summer movie program is on Tuesdays & Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and runs for nine weeks. Admission is $1, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Will Rogers Institute.

http://www.regmovies.com/Movies/Summer-Movie-Express

Bowling

Register your kids for Summer Games at AMF so they can enjoy free bowling. They can bowl three free games every weekday from open till 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sundays from open till 4 pm. Valid May 23 through September 5.

https://bowlsummergames.com/

Roller Skating

Kids 12 and under can skate for FREE this summer at participating Kids Skate FREE Rinks. Use the link below to find a location near you and sign your kids up to snag their FREE skating passes. Hours and additional fees (including skate rental fees) vary based on location.

http://kidsskatefree.com/locations.php

Home Depot Kids Workshops

Home Depot offers FREE workshops for do-it-yourselfers of all ages and experience levels.

http://workshops.homedepot.com/workshops/kids-workshops

Lowe’s

Bring the kids to a Lowe’s Build and Grow workshop where they’ll get to tackle all sorts of DIY projects.

https://lowesbuildandgrow.com/

Michael’s

Have your kids join the Michael’s Kids Club and let them explore their creativity while you shop. Only $2 per child reserves 30 minutes for your creative kid. Sessions start every half hour from 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

https://classes.michaels.com/OnlineClasses/control/main?firstVisit=firstVisit

Lakeshore Learning Crafts

FREE Crafts for Kids for kids ages 3 and up every Saturday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/general_content/store_locations/storeCrafts.jsp?ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=1408474395181113&bmUID=1369103498148

Tech Savvy Kids – Apple

Apple Camp! For your tech savvy kids, have them attend a FREE Apple Camp at a participating Apple Store. At Apple Camp, kids ages 8-12 will have the opportunity to learn to make their own movie including a soundtrack or an interactive book.

http://www.apple.com/retail/learn/youth/

Bass Pro Shops Family Summer Camp

Bass Pro Shops host FREE activities and crafts for the family. These FREE camps are every Tuesday and Thursday starting at noon and Saturday and Sunday starting at noon. Your family can enjoy FREE crafts, FREE shooting gallery, FREE casting pond, FREE family workshops, FREE make campfire s’mores, FREE photo, and FREE merit badge workshops. Please note that not all activities are available at all Bass Pro Shops.

http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPageC?storeId=10151&catalogId=-1&lf=&pageID=4766&cm_Sp=Sur

Whole Foods Kids Cooking Classes

Do you have a little chef in your family? If so, then check out the Whole Foods Kids Cooking Classes for kids 5-12 years old. At most locations, you have to purchase a membership but it is just $10. Pre-registration is required for all cooking classes.

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/service/just-kids

Volunteer in your Community

Teach ‘em young! Kids can participate as volunteers in your local community. While volunteer activities are inspiring FREE summer activities for kids, the rewards usually tend to be a touching experience.

http://www.volunteermatch.org/

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

If your kids want to have a lemonade stand, encourage them to donate the proceeds to charity such as Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation which helps children with cancer.

http://www.alexslemonade.org/

Staycations and nearby Amusement Parks

Local Deals

You can also check out Groupon or Living Social for some affordable staycation hotel options or local amusement parks

https://www.groupon.com/
https://www.livingsocial.com/

For more summer fun, click here for our FREE downloadable summer bucket list

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