list of free (and $1.00) summer activities for kids

assorted underwater animal toys

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It is hard to believe, but summer is just around the corner and with the warmer months brings more time with the kiddos.  It can get very expensive trying to find ways to entertain children/grandchildren/nieces/newphews without losing your mind or physically exhausting yourself.    Below is a list of free activities your kids can participate in and some require minimal outings on your part.

These activities may not be available in all locations.


Free summer reading program for kids grades 1-6


Free summer reading program for kids to 14 years old


Kids to 14 years old can bowl 2 games/day free all summer.


Regal movie theaters are offering $1.00 movie tickets through the summer two days/week.  One of the movies is Max and is something that is not a predominately a kids movie so adults may enjoy it too!


Free movie/game rentals in JUNE for each A on a child’s report card at Family Video


Every 4th grade student and their family gets a free National Parks pass to be used as much as wanted by August 31, 2018


Free family summer camps


Free camp at apple store ages 8-12


Free workshops for kids ages 5-12


Free month Lego mini-build ages 6-14


While your at it, sign your kiddos up for a free lego magazine


Free fishing – nationwide schedule


Free classes for kids


Free summer audiobook program for kids 13+


Another book program for kids


Pottery Barn kids book club


Free tokens from Chuck E Cheese for completely logs such as reading


If you live in the Boston area, here is what I found for free


If you live in the Chicago area here is a link to free days at their museums


If you live in the Houston area, here is a link to free dates/time for free museum entry


If you live in the Indianapolis area, here is a link to free and discounted museums


If you live in the NYC area, here is a link to free or pass as you wish museums


If you live in Oregon, below is a link to free admissions


If you are in southern California, below is a link to free museums


In the St. Louis area, here is a link to free admissions


If you are in the Washington DC area, here is a link to free activities and museums


Don’t forget that many libraries nationwide have free summer reading programs!  This has always been a favorite of my kids.

Free summer lunches, and in some places breakfasts, are available nationwide for kids through 18 years of age.  These are available in select public schools and parks.  Below is a link but you may have better information googling your state and free summer lunch program.


Until next time…………………..YOU are a superhero!


7 thoughts on “list of free (and $1.00) summer activities for kids

  1. You had me at FREE! Also, I don’t know about your area, but in Miami, our local public libraries offer free tickets to the Zoo and multiple local Museums. They have a limited amount of tickets though, so it helps to get there ASAP at the beginning of each month.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed your list. I live in Oregon, and already own a zoo pass. I have seen lists of the other places we can visit each month, but haven’t had the time to do any of them. There seem to be some new ones on the list now. Exciting!

    I will be watching my autistic niece and special needs nephew quite a bit this summer, and am already sourcing fun things for us to all do, along with my daughter, who will be 14 and still loves all these things. One thing we do is the YMCA. We have a family pass, which they are gracious enough to let us include the other kids on because we have them so much. So, we will swim and I will exercise.

    There is a railroad museum in Portland that is free that my niece wants to visit. So, we will. We will go to the zoo, and the $1 movies. We will do summer reading at the library. We will pick blueberries and/or strawberries. We will take walks, read outloud, and have my niece volunteer at Wheels on Meals. She has been doing that all year with her school program, so we will continue it. Hopefully, we will find even more to do to keep them all happy, and busy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It sounds as if you have a good plan to take good care of your niece and nephew this summer and keep them occupied!
      I wish we had a YMCA near us but unfortunately we do not.
      Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it!


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