My Mom was a stay at home Mom so my childhood summer memories consisted of being out in my neighborhood with my friends from dawn till dusk playing hide and seek and coming home when our bellies rumbled. We all know we live in different times now and I certainly do not feel at ease leaving my children to play in my unfenced backyard alone let alone roam the cul de sac neighborhood by themselves.
As a working Mom, my kids who are 5 and 3 will spend most of their summer week days at a fun summer camp close to our house. Our goal for them is to be outside enjoying nature, playing kids games, swimming, overall to be a kid in a safe environment. Summer camp is by no means cheap and even if you are a stay at home Mom trying to entertain kids who have spent the majority of the year in a structured environment can both be costly and frustrating for everyone concerned. So here I list some fun free summer activities:
1. Go to the Library
You'd be amazed how much of what the kids learned at school during the academic year is lost during the summer, so encourage your kids to read during the summer and spend the day at the library. Here are some ideas for the library:
i) A million and one books for the kids to be entertained with
ii) check out some DVD's or games
iii) Check out the free summer activity schedule at the library
iv) free air conditioning to keep you all cool
Here are a few summer reading programs that have cool free incentives:
i) Borders is offering a free book after reading 10
ii) Barnes and Nobles offers a free book after reading 8
iii) HEB free t-shirt after you read 10 books
iv) Free $10 for reading 10 books via TD Bank (need to open a kids account)
My kids are not old enough to read by themselves but doesn't stop me from reading to them and participating.
2. Movie days
Regal Cinemas Free Family Film Festival - Selected G or PG movies start at 10:00am every Tuesday and Wednesday during the festival. Tickets and seating are first-come, first-served and are limited to theatre capacity.
Free Redbox code - Sign up for text message to your cell phone and you'll get a free redbox code the first Monday of the month.
Here's some Blockbuster Express rental codes for a free movie - June Expiration Dates:
GT16A (expires 7/30/2010)
GL15A (unknown expiration)
G616A3 (unknown expiration)
Search the free attractions directory and find something local to your area
Check out your local community/church calender
If you are a Bank of America cardholder then you can enter some museums for free when you show your card. Click here for more information.
Go to your local park, make a day of it, bring a blanket, picnic and ball.
Enter my giveaway for a free pass into the Crayola Factory, PA. Check out more details here.
4. Free Play
Organize a potluck neighborhood event or even a street party with your neighbors
Play soccer/football/baseball with some neighborhood friends
Have a yard sale and with the profits put it towards a fun activity. This will teach the kids the value of money.
Set up a lemonade stand for charity (Alex's Lemonade)
Grow your own vegetable garden - not only does this teach your kids about where vegetables come from but the responsibilities involved in growing your own free food.
Take your kids on a bike ride through the park or your neighborhood
Go on a hike in a local park or even just your neighborhood - go meet some new neighbors
If your kids are older get them involved in cutting out coupons and let them see how much they can save or even make money through the freebie deals presented on here.
Stargazing - print star maps here and make a night of it
Kidsbowlfree - 2 free bowling all summer long
Find restaurants where kids eat for free
This is the second of my Ways to Save series. Check out the first here. Please feel free to add any other summer free fun in comments below