How to Find Free Summer Activities for Kids Near Me
Are you wondering how to find free summer activities for kids near me? We have your guide to finding cheap entertainment for your family all summer – and all year long. Here’s how to get started.
School is out in just a few days here and Iowa and if your own children aren’t out for summer break yet, they will be soon. Keeping kids busy during summer when you’re on a tight budget can often be a challenge. However, the truth is you can have fun as a family all summer long without spending a lot of cash.
Free Summer Activities for Kids Near Me
Here is how to find some of the best summer activities locally for your family.
Hit up your local library – Your local library is not only a fantastic resource with free books, videos and more to check out, but chances are your library is doing all kinds of fun events too! We regularly attend free concerts, classes, craft days and more at libraries in our area. We’ve done tie dye, learned coding, had Nerf wars and so much more.
Check your local library’s website and Facebook events for your area. Many of these free events and classes do have limited attendance so be sure to RSVP if it asks you to do so. Be sure to check our post here on other great reasons to take your kids to the library!
Be sure to also inquire at your local library about any local event passes that they might offer. Our libraries offer a pass that can be checked out that offers free family tickets to our science center, our zoo, our children’s museum and other fun area attractions. This is a huge value and totally worth a few minutes of time to reserve it.
Participate in summer reading programs – If your kids love to read, did you know they can get rewarded for doing it? Summer reading programs are a great way to keep kids reading all summer long. Our local libraries offer kids a free book just for signing up. All the kids participating get a swag bag with freebies to local businesses and kids are also eligible to win great prizes like electronics, gift cards, LEGOs and more. Learn more about 2022 summer reading programs.
Take advantage of summer movie programs – Did you know that many theater chains offer free (or very, very cheap) summer movies? While they are typically older children’s films, it’s still a fun way to watch a movie on the big screen. Watch for our update on 2022 summer movie programs coming soon!
Follow Facebook events – Even if you’re not a huge fan of social media, joining Facebook just to find summer activities for kids near me can be worth it. Keep an eye out for events in your area. There are so many free things to do to keep busy!
Here you’ll find public events, free movie nights in the park, parades and more. Yesterday we went to a local carnival held in a large company’s parking lot. The kids played games for an hour, came away with at least $50 in fun prizes each, jumped in the bounce houses and more. They had a ball and it didn’t cost a thing.
Request free things by mail – Do your kids LOVE to get mail? There are dozens of amazing freebies they can request and keep fun surprises in coming to your mailbox all summer long.
One of our favorites is a free Lego Club Magazine Subscription– If your child is between the age of 5 and 9, you can get them a FREE subscription to LEGO® Life Magazine. It is filled with awesome stuff such as comics, activities, competitions, sneak peeks & the latest LEGO news, all shipped to your door 4 times a year! All you have to do is sign up for an account. visit our post on free things for kids by mail.
Consider volunteering – For older kids who may be outgrowing summer camp and aren’t quite old enough to work, volunteering might be an excellent option. My teen and tween volunteer at the local zoo and love it. They get to hang with the animals, get out of the house and get great life experience. Better yet, it keeps their summers busy and keeps them off their screens for a while.
Watch for free tickets – Want to go to a local ball game, concert or play? Did you know that there are times when you can get tickets for free?! When we are looking for summer activities for kids near me, we watch local social media groups for ticket giveaways and for people giving away tickets to events last minute when they can’t attend. This has gotten us the opportunity to go to Broadway shows, free ball games, great concerts and more.
Win tickets to local events – Want to go to the latest events and shows, but don’t have the ticket cost in your budget? Use some of your down time to try to win tickets! My family attends dozens of events every year for free from free tickets my husband wins on social media and on the radio. It’s a fun way to get out of the house and to try some new things you normally wouldn’t be able to afford.
Take Advantage of Free Admission Days
Did you know that many zoos, museums, and other attractions offer free admission on certain days? Popular dates include off-season (when traffic is slower), Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Grandparents Day. Check the attraction’s event web page or social media for more details.
If you are a Bank of America customer, you can get free admission to museums on the first weekend of every month. There is also a special event in the fall called Museum Day Live where museums offer free admission. Find out more here.
Take advantage of free admission attractions – Do you know that many zoos offer free admission and lots of museums do too! These are a great way to get out of the house without blowing your budget and expose your kids to new information and ideas.
Check on Income Based Programs
If your family is in a lower income bracket, you may qualify for discounts! Some cities and counties offer supplemented programs where families can qualify for discounted or free admissions to local attractions.
In Iowa (where we live), there is a great program that offers buy one get on free admission to many attractions as well as 75% off family passes to local aquatic centers. Check with your local area attraction or parks and recreation department to see what programs are available.
Redeem Those Rewards
Do you collect Coke Rewards, airline miles or points for another program? If so, you may be able to redeem them for free admission to theme parks, aquariums, zoos or other attractions! We have redeemed ours in the past for many different adventures and have saved hundreds of dollars on admission!
Head to the splash pad and the beach – While local pools typically charge admission, most splash parks and beaches are free of charge. Whether you play in the wading pool at your local park or head out to the beach to enjoy the water and sand, it can be a fun way to spend time and get out of the house. Don’t miss our tips on how to make your family beach day a success.
Having adventures as a family doesn’t have to be expensive, and you can even go to attractions for free with a little bit of planning and research. It’s a great way to expand your family’s horizons and add more activities to your calendars without a lot of expense.
Do you know of some great ways to find summer activities for kids near me that we missed? Leave them in the comments below!
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