Ten Free Things to Do With the Kids this Summer

I’m having to get a little creative with the kids now that we aren’t allowed to spend anything on activities and excursions this month. So here are ten ideas I came up with for fun things we can do without spending any money (except of course what we spend on gas to get there!).

Playing at Toys R' Us

1. Go to Toys R’ Us or a book store like Barnes & Noble that has a train table and let the kids have fun playing with the trains. This is a nice time for Mom or Dad to get in some reading time, too!

2. Visit a free local beach. Even if you don’t want to go swimming, the kids will have fun playing in the sand. If you are having trouble finding something locally, ask your friends on Facebook to help you. Chances are someone knows where the beaches are in your area. And you can always do a Swagbucks search for local beaches.

Petting the Horse

3. Visit a local farm that has animals. Use this as an opportunity to get to know your local farmer while teaching the kids about real food, and animals.

4. Go to a free Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinic. They have a new one every week to two weeks, and the kids get a free project, apron and goggles. And if their schedule doesn’t work for you, you can do a workshop at Home Depot. On June 18, there is a special Father’s Day Workshop where kids get to make a nice toolbox for Dad. Each kid gets a free kit, and a kid-sized Home Depot apron.

5. If you have younger children, stop by a Brewsters and get them free baby cones of ice cream. These always come with enough ice cream for my little ones.


6. Take the kids out to a nice park and have a picnic. Or if you want to, go fly a kite or play on the playground. It doesn’t get much better than this from a kid’s point of view!

At the Zoo

7. Visit your local library for story telling time. And if you live in Atlanta, you can take advantage of free tickets to Zoo Atlanta.

8. Visit Michaels Craft Store every weekend for a new free craft. Some crafts are for kids while others are for adults only. So be sure to watch the schedule on their site.

The Trail Ahead

9. Take a walk on a trail, or even get the kids’ bikes and helmets out if you have a straight flat trail to ride on. This is a great way to be an example of fitness to your children, and to spend time with them. Kids learn by example, so stay fit with the children and they will grow up with good habits!

10. Some movie theaters offer free showing of movies during the summer. Unfortunately some have raised this price to a dollar for the Summer of 2011. Call your local theater, because many smaller branches are still offering free summer movie showings.

Whatever kind of outdoor activities you do this Summer, make sure you’ve got plenty of water in your resuable water bottles so that the family stays hydrated. Do you have any other ideas for free fun to do with kids this summer? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

  1. I’ve got a semi weird one, we have a small tent that we will occasionally set up inside when we are expecting several rainy days in a row. We have den picnics, microwave s’mores, story time by flashlight, and even get the sleeping bags out. It is actually the only kind of camping we do. :) We’ve also been known to encase the entire playroom in sheet forts. If you do it on sheet changing day you can use the dirty sheets so that you won’t have to do extra washing when you are done.

  2. Great ideas! I always forget about the workshops at Lowes and Home Depot. Thanks for the reminder. :)

  3. kidsbowlfree.com gives you free bowling games every week (shoes not included) for all of the kids in your family. You can also buy a pass for the adults (up to 4 on the same pass) for under $30 but I don’t think we’ll go enough times to make it worth it in my house. Still, a couple of free bowling games for the kids and an additional $6 for my husband and I isn’t bad!

  4. We do most of these but don’t live near a beach. Just lakes that cost money. My kids also love to walk around the farmers market and look or art shows. They love things at church too which are most always free. Most churches have VBS. My kids love going to different VBS with friends and family.
    A few things that aren’t free but close to it. We go to sonic at happy hr and share slushies and play on the playground. We all so have a zoo/science center pass which after we all go to each place once it pays for it’s self. So, it’s like going for free and you also get to go events for and get discounts off thing. Our zoo also has a water park. Which if you buy a zoo or sci centers pass you get free or discount rates to hundreds of zoos and sci centers.

  5. Write a comment… Sorry for all the typos my phone is being funny. Cann’t see what I type and I keep getting distracked.

  6. I didn’t know Brewster’s had free baby cones for kids! I’m definitely going to check that out.
    I also check the kidsoutandabout.com website (for CNY and CT residents) for ideas of things to do — often there are free or reduced price museum days listed.
    If you’re a member of a zoo or museum, they often have free programs for members as well.

  7. I think our nearest beach is about 17 hours away, so I don’t think that would work! :)

  8. The cost of gas is quite a lot for us to handle, so we like to do fun things at home instead. I recently wrote a guest post on 15 Fun and Frugal Things to do Without Leaving the House over at The King’s Court:


    Perhaps some of those would work for you!

    Summer is quite hot for us; usually after May 1st it is too hot to go to the park, because you will get burned on the plastic slides. Children here go to the parks after 8pm in the summer (when it’s only 111º, haha).

    We are going to be doing lots of sewing and cooking lessons with my children this summer. I have lots of art projects planned as well.

  9. I’ve been working on a list just like this. We also go to a local outdoor mall that has a water area for the kids to play in, totally free. We will also be doing bible school but that cost $10. I also ask for money for the kids bdays instead of toys from the grandparents so we can do fun stuff this summer with no money out of pocket from us.

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