Invite friends to bring old (but in good condition) toys that they no longer want to a playdate. Then, let the kiddos draw a number to see who gets to pick their “new” toy first.
Inspire a spirit of volunteering in your little ones and have fun at the same time. You can even start a Kids Care Club with a group of neighborhood children.
Watching artist paint, pot, sculpt or blow glass can be fascinating for both parents and kids. Contact your local chamber to find an arts center or museum that will allow you to come and watch.
Organize a Neighborhood Game Night
Designate one night a week for kickball, capture the flag and other gym class favorites. You can find game rules at gameskidsplay.net
Kids Bowl Free
visit www.kidsbowlfree.com to register your kiddo for up to 2 free bowling games a day, every day, through the summer. An affordable family pass is also available for the adults to participate…because after all, somebody has to take the kids. The family pass is available for $23.95.
Petting Zoos and Farms
Introduce your suburban kiddo to a whole new world of rural life. visit pettingzoofarm.com to find a petting zoo or full working farm in your area.
Participating Kerasotes movie theaters offer the 5 buck club. After a particular film has played a certain number of weeks — at least two — but occasionally more, members can gain admission to movies for just $5. Each person needs their own card, which is free.
From June 17-August 5, AMC is charging $1 for its summer movies to be shown every Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. You can also get an AMC Kids Pack during these shows for just $3.00 which includes kids drink, popcorn, and snack! Click here for more info.
AMC Theaters also offers a variety of specials from discounted tickets on special days of the weak, coupons for discounted concessions, and free popcorn on Wednesdays for members of their “Movie Watcher” program. Click here for more info.
When school’s out, kids around the country visit selected Regal theatres for the Free Family Film Festival. It’s a fun-filled nine weeks of movies for kids and parents. Since 1991, Regal has provided this service to the community, and best of all it’s FREE! Click here to learn more
Libraries are a great source for free events ranging from story time, movie viewings, crafts and even events for just the adults. Our local library hosted an event on coffee, which was sponsored by Starbucks…Yum!
Also, most people don’t know that in addition to borrowing books, you can also borrow cds and dvds from your local library. Why spend $5 at blockbuster when you get get a movie for free from the library?!
Local Hospitals and Health Networks
Many local hospitals and health networks offer free classes on a variety of topics. You can find classes ranging from yoga, cooking, reducing stress, CPR, etc.
Many museums offer free admission on certain days or during specific time frames.
Thanks to the folks at Target you and your family can enjoy free admission to over 40 world-class museums across the U.S. Google, “Target, museums” to learn more.
Bank of America’s Museums on Us program grants free admission to cardholders at over 70 museums during the first weekend of every month.
Many local companies and restaurants offer free tours. Some examples include Krispy Kreme, McDonald’s, Uno Chicago Grill and Chick Fil-A. Others include farms, dairy farms, animal hospitals, police stations, fire stations, etc. If your town has a special manufacturing plant, it’s worth checking out if they offer tours. Also, wineries and breweries are good tour and tasting locations for the adults. Get info on more than 500 factories nationwide at factorytoursusa.com
Most Chick-fil-A restaurants offer family fun nights each month. (some even do it weekly) Games, activities and prizes are provided for the little ones, as well as an indoor play area. Some restaurants also offer special deals for kids meals. Check with your local Chick-Fil-A for more details.
Head over to Fazoli’s for Kid’s Night! Enjoy crafts, games, food, and fun! On Tuesdays from 5:00pm to 8:00pm, most locations reserve an area of the restaurant just for you and kids eat at a discount! You can make fun craft items and enjoy great Italian food like Lasagna, Spaghetti Marinara, Pizza, Ravioli, Ziti, and Fettuccine Alfredo. There are coloring sheets and a friendly Fazoli’s associate to help you!
Fazoli’s Kid’s Night gives parents the opportunity to help their child with a craft, or relax and watch their kids have fun. There’s something for everyone! Contact the location nearest you for more details, dates and times.
Michaels Kids’ Club
Every Saturday from 10 a.m.- 12 p.m., Michael’s offers a kids’ club for children 5-12. The cost is $2, and includes supplies. Michaels kids’ program lets your kids explore their creativity through a wealth of great ideas, projects and crafts designed just for them. For even more fun, also be on the lookout for free Make-It-Take-It events that the whole family can participate in.
A. C. Moore Kids’ Crafts
Looking for even more crafting fun? A. C. Moore offers free weekly craft classes for kids. Just check with your local store for dates and times.
The Home Depot Kids Workshops
Bring out the do-it-yourselfer in your child by taking part in the free Kids Workshops at Home Depot. Workshops take place the first Saturday of each month from 9am-noon at all store locations, and even include a free orange apron for your child. Adult participation is required.
Lowe’s How-To Clinics for Kids
Lowe’s is another good source for free D-I-Y kids’ projects. Clinics are offered on a bi-weekly basis from 10am-11am, and all building materials and tools are provided. Spend an hour with your child, and come away with a cool project that you built together.
Toys “R” Us In-Store Events
Crafts and games are just some of the things that you’ll find at one of Toys “R” Us’ free in-store events. Check you local store location or the weekly circular for upcoming events in your area. Then, enjoy a trip to the toy store that doesn’t have to cost you money.
Barnes & Noble
Storytimes: Foster a love of books in your child by participating in one of Barnes & Noble’s free storytimes, which include a story and a creative activity to go along with it. Themes and times vary from location to location, so check with your nearest store for specifics.
Local Community Centers
Check out your local community center or YMCA for activities and super cheap gym memberships. Many also offer free or nearly free events for kids. Ours offers a Tot Open Gym every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning for just $2. It’s a great opportunity to let the kids burn off some energy and get the average parent out of the house.
Your local Animal Shelter
Many animal shelters need dog walkers and cat cuddlers to help socialize animals for adoption. If you have a child that LOVES animals, this may be a great option. And its not just cats and dogs! There are other types of animal rescues out there and many of them want volunteers to come in and help socialize animals. So if you can find a local horse rescue, your horse obsessed little girl may be able to spend some time helping groom the ponies.
Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played with a GPS device. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. After the initial investment of purchasing the GPS device, the game is basically free.
Canning Hunger is a national movement where volunteers visit 10 or more of their neighbors 4-6 times a year to collect non-perishable food items. That food is then given to a local food pantry to distribute to needy kids and their families in the community.
What a great way to get a bit of physical activity, socialize with neighbors and spend time as a family!
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