Free Summer Activities for Kids

Posted on 06/11/2012

Need help keeping your kids occupied, but don’t want to spend lots of money sending them to the water park every day? Thankfully for budget-conscious parents, some of the best summer activities don’t require money at all.

Free Bowling In true summer tradition, bowling centers across the country are opening their doors to kids for free through the Kids Bowl Free program. Register your children at or and they’ll receive up to two free games a day all summer long, a $500 value.

Just Add Water
Summer may mean fun in the sun, but adding water makes it even more memorable. Create a water table for your kids to splash in outside. Fill a large, shallow plastic bin partially with water. Add toys that may normally be reserved for the tub like squirt toys, floating balls and sponges. Toss in a few household items like a watering can, funnel or cups with holes in the bottom and you’ve created a fun summer toy.

Free Online Story Time
No need to even pay for gas for this free activity—just click on over to and take part in the free online storytime. Every month they’ll feature a new book read by authors and celebrities.

Make a Mini Sandbox
Throw a new experience into the summer schedule by creating a miniature sand box. Simply save up and dry out your old coffee grounds. Put them in a plastic storage bin along with some scoops, spoons and other small items that kids can use in their new mini sandbox.

Free Camp and Classes
While most summer camps cost money, there are some that are completely free. At Apple Camp, kids ages 8-12 learn how to make a film using iMovie. The workshop happens at Apple Retail Stores and spans three days. For the finale kids participate in the Apple Camp Film Festival. Lowes and Home Depot also hold free classes throughout the summer.

Play Dress Up
Instead of tossing your out-of-style clothes in the Goodwill bin, why not save them for your kids to create characters or a fashion show? Your old scarves, ties, and dresses could equal an afternoon of creative fun—especially on a day when it’s too hot to play outside.

By Alison Storm

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