May 292014

Many thanks to Jen at for compiling this 2014 Free or Cheap Kids’ Summer Activities list for us!

With the final weeks of school on the horizon, kids’ favorite time of year is coming quickly! Yes, you read that right, summer vacation is on our doorsteps! But, don’t despair. Certainly you may need to find ways to keep the kid(s) entertained (without breaking the bank), and boy, do we have you covered!

Summertime is an incredible time of year; there is lots to see and do, but most importantly, it is an opportunity to spend quality time with your family making memories.  There are lots of FREE activities you can take advantage of over the summer that your kids will love! I hope you get a chance to dig in and scope out many of these affordable programs listed below.

Free & Cheap Kids Summer Activities

American Girl Free Events — If you are lucky enough to live near an American Girl store, your kid(s) can participate in any of their FREE events.

AMF Free Summer Bowling — Register your kid(s) (ages 15 and under) for the Summer Games and let them enjoy three FREE games every weekday, all summer long! Shoe rentals are not included. Valid from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2014.

Apple Camps — At Apple Camp, kids ages 8–12 will learn the ins and outs of iMovie and how to make their own films. The free three-day session, held at the Apple Store, leads up to an Apple Camp Film Festival where campers debut their masterpieces.

Bank of America Free Museum Entrance — Get free general admission to participating museums, science centers, botanical gardens and more on the first full weekend of every month. Check the list for participating locations near you.

Barnes & Noble Free Online Story Time — Have a little down time from playing outside all day? Take a quiet moment to have a free online story time. Choose up to five books, sit back, watch and listen.

Bass Pro Shops — Attend one of the many Family Summer Camps. Check the schedule for Tuesday/Thursday or Saturday/Sunday activities. Activities may vary by location. Family Camp begins June 5th and ends July 11th.

Brunswick Bowling Summer Ball Pass — Students 18 and younger get one FREE game of bowling every day in June, July and August. Coupon e-mails are sent out every two weeks starting May 28th.

Bow Tie Cinemas — Every Tuesday and Wednesday, kids and parents can enjoy watching a FREE, second-run movie each week. Movies begin at 10 am, seating starts at 9 am. Seats are available on a first come, first serve basis.

Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse — Enjoy 10 movies for as little as $0.50 each, if purchased in advance, or $1 if purchased the day of. Parents accompanied with kids will also receive the same discount.

Community Calendar — Check out your town’s Community Calendar. Find your town’s website or stop by city hall to find a list of local events. You’ll often be surprised at how many interesting (and free) activities are going on in your area. 

GE Kids Get In Free Days — Has announced nine free events for kids under 12. Many require the purchase of adult priced ticket across the Capital District New York.

Geocaching — Go on mini adventures in nature to seek out treasures and leave a few for others to find too. Check the list by zip code to find many geocaching areas.

Harkins Theatre Summer Movie Fun — Get 10 movies for 10 weeks for under $1. Kids 12 and under can participate. Parents accompanied with kids will also receive the same discount.

Home Depot –– Enjoy a free kids work shop the first Saturday of every month, from 9 am – noon.  Kids ages 5-12 are invited to have some fun. All participants will get to keep their craft, receive a free certificate of achievement, a workshop apron, and a commemorative pin. You will need to register ahead of time.

Kids Bowl Free — Registered kids can get TWO FREE games of bowling every day all summer long at participating bowling centers. Check the list of participating locations near you.

Lowes — Free Build & Grow workshops every other Saturday, from 10 – 11 am. The workshops are geared towards children ages 6 to 11 , and parents need to remain with their child(ren). The first 50 kids to sign up will get a kit, work apron, and safety goggles for free. You should register for the workshop to ensure you will receive a kit.

Microsoft Summer Camps — Introducing the Microsoft Store’s 2014 YouthSpark Summer Camps, where technology meets creativity for ages 8–13. These fill up VERY quickly, so be sure to get signed up early!

Pottery Barn — Not only does Pottery Barn offer a summer reading program, but also other free activities. Events include character appearances, story time and crafts.

National Park Free Days — Go off exploring one of the many National Parks for free during the summer. There are only a few days, so make sure to add this one to your list of things to do.

Regal Theatre Summer Movie Express — You can watch two movies per week (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) at 10 am for $1 each. On Tuesdays be sure to grab a small popcorn for just $2. Parents accompanied with child(ren) will also receive the same discount.

Summer Reading Programs — Get your kids involved in one of the many summer book programs currently available. Most offer free gifts or prizes.

Target Store Community Events — If you live near a major city, Target hosts a variety of free or inexpensive activities at select locations. Check the list of participating locations near you.

Trail Link– Have fun outdoors exploring your local trials. Trails are listed by location, length, and overall difficulty. Select a trail based on your activity (biking, hiking, walking, etc). You can also download their free app to find all the trails in your area.

Visit Your Local Library — You probably know that your library card allows you to borrow countless numbers of books and media. But, did you know you could use it for day passes to museums as well? During the summer local libraries prepare for more kid friendly activities. Check out your local library to find out more.

Volunteer — What better way is there to teach your kids how to serve others and make a difference? Search the database for the perfect volunteer opportunities in your area.

If you happen to know of other activities not listed – we’d love for you to share them!   Enjoy your summer and make LOTS of memories!

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  One Response to “2014 Free or Cheap Kids’ Summer Activities”

Comments (1)
  1. Wow! What a great list of summer activities. It seems as if the beginning of summer it is easy to find things to do and then you begin to run out. This list will keep kids busy all summer long!

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