School has probably been out for a little while now, and I’m sure you’re already sick of hearing the words “I’m bored” come out of your kids mouths. So, I decided to come up with a list of fun, free (or cheap) ideas for entertaining your kids for the rest of the summer. Check out these free ways to entertain your kids this summer and let me know if there’s anything I missed in the comments section!
Play at the Park
I know this idea is a pretty simple one, but it’s usually a favorite for kids. Not only do they get to run, climb, swing and slide, they get to do it with other kids. So if you’re kids are complaining of boredom, just jump in your car and head over to your local park to allow them to burn off some energy and interact with other kids (that aren’t their siblings).
Check Out Your Local Farmer’s Market
Farmer’s Markets are very popular right now, and for good reason! They give local farmers and merchants a chance to sell their produce, baked goods, or other products to the public at a regular time and place each week. And you get a chance to buy farm-fresh produce or other unique items at a good price.
While this may not seem like a kid’s activity, it actually is. Not only does it give your kids a chance to learn more about gardening and the food they eat, many local Farmer’s Markets actually cater to families. The small market in our town has entertainment for the kids each week, including clowns, balloon animal artists, and children’s musicians.
Wondering if your community has a Farmer’s Market? Check out Local Harvest and use their search engine at the top of the page to see the markets closes to your town.
Take Advantage of Your Library
Your local library isn’t just for books any more. Most libraries offer a variety of kid-friendly programing throughout the week for every age group. We have several libraries in the area that have amazing programing, ranging from weekly preschool story hours to Lego camps for big kids.
Even if the programming doesn’t appeal to your kids, taking time each week to search for new reading material can help your children remain interested in reading while school’s out and help prevent the “summer slide.”
Visit publiclibraries.com to find a public library near you.
Go to the Movies
I know what you’re thinking…going to the movies is far from free! But this summer, AMC is offering a pretty good deal on kid’s movie tickets. Every Monday and Wednesday at 10 a.m., several participating theaters are showing family-friendly films for just $4. And to top it off, the ticket includes a kid’s pack with a drink, popcorn and fruit snacks! Click here to see if your local theater is participating.
While that deal is great, the movies available at those time aren’t first-run features. Good thing seeing a feature film at a discount price isn’t a problem either! If you’re an AMC Stubs Premier member, you can see any movie you want all day every Tuesday at matinee prices. The program also allows you to earn rewards for cash back, in addition to offering discounts on concession stand items, free popcorn refills, waived online ticketing fees, and a free popcorn and drink on your birthday.
Head to the Local Gym
Although this activity isn’t free, it is cheap. Most local gymnastics facilities open their doors to the public for free play several times a week. At our gyms, three hours of play costs $5 or $6. That’s totally worth it for me!
These gyms will give your kids the opportunity to burn off some energy, get some exercise and play with other children. And it’s air conditioned….which is perfect for those hot summer days when playing at the park isn’t an option.
The summer is the perfect time to get out and enjoy nature. Find a hiking trail for a quick family hike, spend the night in a campground, or go fishing at your local lake. Spending time in nature is a great way to bring your family together and enjoy the world around you without the distraction of technology.
And if hiking or camping isn’t your family’s thing, you can still enjoy nature just by stepping outside your back door. Pitch a tent in your backyard, search for birds in the trees or bugs in the dirt, plant some flowers or herbs, or go on a scavenger hunt.
Find a Fair or Festival
Summertime is fair time, so there is bound to be a fair or festival near you during the summer months. In addition to state and county fairs, several small communities or neighborhoods also celebrate their heritage with a festival or two throughout the warm summer months. Fairs and Festivals offers a searchable database of events across the country. Enter your zip code to find one near you.
Or check out these other free or cheap activities:
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