There are lots of things you and your kids can do over the summer. Many families go on vacation, others plan swimming and cookouts with friends, some people just sit at home enjoying the air conditioning and some good movies. Summer can fly by if you’re having a great time, but if there’s no money for vacations and entertainment, summer can drag on and on while kids complain because they’re bored. Looking for free or nearly free things to do with the kids this summer? You’ve come to the right place! That is, in your own hometown, there are likely many free things being offered by various businesses that you might not even know about. Some of these places don’t advertise the free offerings; others do.
If there is a craft store in your town they probably offer a weekly or daily craft project for kids. Although family-owned craft stores may not offer these projects large, chain-store craft places often do. A Michael’s craft store is a good example. All summer long, they offer free craft projects for kids of all ages. Check with the store for a list of craft projects, age groups, and times to find out which ones are suited for your kids. The projects usually require that you purchase a couple of inexpensive craft items (cost usually a buck or two) for each child. Often, the store itself will provide most or some of the craft supplies. For instance, if the project requires a piece of wood, the store will sometimes provide the wood, as long as you purchase the couple of bucks’ worth of materials to finish the project. Projects usually last between a half-hour and an hour for each class. Not only does the child get to make something new but he or she also learns various crafting techniques they can use again and again.
You’ll find something similar going on at your local home improvement store. Again, a small hardware-type place likely doesn’t offer these projects, but a large chain-store place probably does. Lowe’s and Home Depot are good examples of retailers offering free summer projects. As with the craft store you can call the home improvement place to find out days, times, ages and projects. Some stores provide the short list of supplies for the children; other places require a small purchase to complete the project. If materials are required they’ll often be just a buck or two for each child, for each project. These stores feature nice projects like how to make a birdhouse or making home decor. The finished project is really nice and not just a simplistic piece that is basically worthless. Home improvement stores often feature these projects from the end of the school year until the beginning of the next school year. The projects are generally offered to kids over the age of three and under the age of fifteen or so. Call your local home improvement store for specifics.
Think you can’t afford to take your kids to the movies, over and over, all summer long? Think again! Although many small town theaters don’t offer free movies lots of larger towns do. Go online to find the nearest theater to you that’s offering free summer kids’ movies. You’ll be surprised at just how many theaters offer this throughout the summer. Generally, the movies are all G-rated and that’s perfect for young and slightly older kids. The movies are not old ones; they’re usually the latest kids’ movies that are out. The movies are usually shown in the mornings, around nine or ten a.m., and there’s usually a new movie each week. Although the movie theaters don’t give away popcorn, candy and drinks for free the movies have absolutely no cost to you. It’s not a trick where the kids get in free but they charge for the parents. Kids and accompanying parents can all get in for nothing.
Some restaurants, during summer or all year long, offer free meals for kids when parents purchase their own meals. This can be a really good deal when you’re looking for fun on a budget. Other local places that might offer free summer fun for kids include museums, the YMCA, 4-H Club and local community centers. Do a search online, or call some local places, and you’ll be surprised at how many free and nearly-free things you can find to do with your kids this summer!