Free and Frugal Summer Fun

It’s that time of year again: summer time! School is out and the kids are ecstatic…for two whole days!  Avoid hearing the infamous phrase, “I’m bored!” by taking advantage of this list of free and frugal summer fun activities and promotions to keep everyone happy and busy:


AMF Summer Unplugged: 2 free games of bowling every day for kids 15 and under (valid until 9/3/12.) Thanks, Atl Deal Finder!

Kids Bowl Free: 2 free games of bowling every day for kids (see your local location for age restrictions)


Carmike Cinemas: Summer Kid Series where every Thursday kids can get Popcorn, a drink and admission for only $2! Find a location near you here

Cinemark Century Theaters: There are 2 different money saving movie programs at Cinemark, the first is Pay $5 per person for 10 shows when you buy them in advanced or if you buy your tickets at the show they are $1 each. Find a Cinemark near you here. You can also sign up for their newsletter and each week they will send you a different money saving coupon for snack and drinks at the snack stand! All movies are G & PG rated and perfect for kids.

Classic Cinemas: Wednesday Morning Movie Series, Each Wednesday morning at 10 am they will have their $1 movies, all movies are G and PG rated. Find a theater near you here

Clearview Cinemas: Every Wednesday and Thursday at 10:30 am they have a family movie that admission is only $1, find theaters near you here

Harkins Theater: There are 2 options, you can buy the season pass and it is less then $1 per movie and there are 10 movies in the season to see or you can buy them the day of the movie for $2 per ticket. Show times are at 9:45 am. Find a theater near you here.

Malco Theaters: Every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10:30 am they have their Kids Summer Film fest where tickets are only $2. Find a theater near you here

Rave Cinemas: FREE Family Film Festival- 2 days a week you can go see a movie for FREE, each week there are different days and different movies, see the movies, dates and locations here. There is also a FREE ICEE Upgrade when you buy a Kids Combo at Rave Cinemas coupon if you are looking to eat snack there too.

Regal Cinemas: Every Tuesday and Wednesdays at 10am at Regal Cinemas you certain G and PG movies are just $1 for admission! Find a theater near you here and make sure you check here for current Regal Cinemas coupons that you can print to save money on popcorn and snacks. All movies are G & PG rated and perfect for fun with the kids.

Thanks for the movie deals, MidgetMomma!

Reading Programs

Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program: Read any 8 books, record them in the downloadable Reading Journal, bring the completed form to your local store, and choose a FREE BOOK from a selected list of available books. (Grades 1-6)

Half Price Books Summer Reading Program: Kids 14 and under can read 15 minutes per day, keep an official reading log, turn in the reading log once you get to 300 minutes, and receive $5 HPB Back-to-School Bucks.  Valid for June and July.

Pottery Barn Kids Summer Reading Challenge: Kids under 10 can receive a free book after reading an Award-Winning or Early Reader book list, and turning in the reading log at a local store.  (Valid through 8/22/12)

Scholastic Summer Challenge: Kids can read books online, log the minutes, and win digital prizes each week.

Sylvan Book Adventure: Kids in grades K-8 can find a book, take quizzes on what they’ve read, and earn prizes online for their reading success. Thanks, One Momma Saving Money!

TD Bank Summer Reading Program: Kids can earn $10 to be deposited into their new or existing TD Bank Young Saver Account when they read and log 10 books on an official form and turn it in at a local branch.

More Summer Fun Tips

Check out local museums for free kid days or other kid friendly activities.

Watch Groupon, Living Social, Eversave, and other daily deal sites for discounted kid activities. (Crystal recently found tickets to a local kids play for half price!)

Don’t forget to take a look at your local public library for free summer reading programs and kid activities.

Local Park and Recreation Centers often have listings for free public parks, hiking trails, public fishing areas, free spray parks, and more.

Shop as a family at Farmer’s Markets or Pick Your Own Farms to teach about local trade, plus many have kid friendly activities like face painting, animals you can pet, and more.

City websites are a great place to check out for free local events like concerts in the park, city fests, and more.

Do you have any other fun summer activities that are free or inexpensive that your family loves to do?  Please share in the comments below!

By |2013-12-04T10:38:28-04:00June 4th, 2012|Arts and Entertainment, Deals|5 Comments

About the Author:

I'm a former sweet-tooth turned health-nut. After a difficult loss of a first pregnancy and having a second child with a heart condition, I became obsessed with health and wellness. I revamped our entire family's lifestyle, dropped seven pant sizes, and created a website where I could share our story and help support people wanting to make small changes day by day in order to live well. I also support my family by the work that I do here through advertising content, affiliates, and partnership/consultant links within content. When you click and/or order, it puts food on our table. Thanks for all your support, and may you live well and thrive!


  1. Sami Cone June 4, 2012 at 11:51 am - Reply

    Love this list! Thanks for doing all the work girl! 😉

  2. Juli June 6, 2012 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    A year ago I got a great tip from you about writing for! Recently, they’ve made some unhappy changes 🙁 Do you have any other ideas for making a few hundred dollars a month, at home? Pleeassee….thanks =)

  3. […] August 9 – Megamind Click here for participating locations! Thanks The Thrifty Mama! […]

  4. […] Thanks The Thrifty Mama! […]

  5. […] Crystal at The Thrifty Mama shares great tips for free and frugal summer fun. […]

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