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Affordable summer activities for kids

Kids Bowl Free
Kids Bowl Free
Robin Craig

A tight budget can make summer vacation seem to stretch on forever! Without pricey summer camps, amusement parks or family trips, kids can get bored fast. Break the monotony with this list of fun, affordable activities:

Go see a movie
Free movies are offered at Bow Tie Cinemas, Cobb Theaters, Showcase Cinemas, Phoenix Big Cinemas, Paragon Theaters, Muller Family Theaters, REI Cinemas, and Marquees Cinemas. Check theater websites for a list of features, dates, and times.

$1 Kids movies are offered throughout the summer at Regal, Cinemark,Megaplex, Classic Cinemas, Harkins, and Frank Theaters. Check theater websites for a list of features, dates, and times.

Free outdoor movies are offered by many recreation councils at local parks. Check out your city's website!

Go bowling has a program that gets your kids two free games of bowling per day, (you pay for shoe rentals).

Go skating
Many skating rinks offer free skate time to kids throughout the summer. Check out to find a participating skating rink near you.

Many libraries have tickets you can check out for free! Check with your local library.
Many museums offer free admission days throughout the summer, so be sure to check with your local museums.
Bank of America/Merrill Lynch offers free museum admission to select museum for cardholders on the first full weekend of every month. Check website for details.

Aquatic Centers
Water parks are expensive, but many community pools have waterslides or spraygrounds that are just as much fun. Check with your parks & recreation office for centers near you!

Craft programs
Lowe's, Joann's, Home Depot, AC Moore, Barnes & Noble, Bass Pro Shops, and Lakeshore Learning offer fun craft programs for kids throughout the summer. Check websites for details.

Library Programs
Most libraries offer so much more than just story time. Many offer entertaining options, such as live music, magic shows, puppet shows, lego building, etc.... Check with your local library.

Browse a Bookstore
Enjoy the air conditioning, and let your kids look through some books. Some bookstores even have summer reading programs that can score your child a free book!

Go outside
Beaches, playgrounds, woods, rivers, and other outdoor spaces can offer a full day of fun for free!

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