Now that I'm an aunt for the first time, children's clothes, activities and behaviors now catch my attention as I try to understand the mystery of growing up from the outside now. I'm regularly asking my sister what activities my 7mos. old nephew is doing. It is too early to figure out his interests yet, but it is fun to wonder if he will be a DIY builder, a weird scientist concoction mixer or if he will run around the block like a wild-child.

One thing that I have found for the today are free activities for kids to preoccupy them during the summer months. I realize summer is 3 months away, but why not have a few items scheduled ahead of time.

flickr/cc - rockonmu
Kids Bowl Free - The dates, times and age minimum varies by state. Also take a look at each locations rules about shoe rental and number of children per group. I have to say this was an easy way to work on my eye/hand coordination, have fun and learn to take turns, as I grew up. Who knows, maybe it will light a flame and your kid will want to be the next pro bowler!
Free Park Access - National parks have free days April 16-24 and June 21st. April may be a great time to pull out the bicycle, tune it up and gets the kinks worked out at the park so the kids are ready for the summer. This list of national parks by state will help you plan and stay close to home.

Free Museum Days - If you do a Google search for "free museum days 2011" + (major city/state), then you should find the available museums, zoos, performing arts and history centers that are open for free admission. My personal favorite is the Denver art museum.

Target Stores Arts Events - You may not be aware. but Target sponsors free or reduced-price admission to arts and cultural events nationwide.
flickr/cc - Jinx!
Big Box Build-It Classes - Lowe's and Home Depot offer classes and children activities for free with pre-registration. Lowe's Build and Grow classes are on Saturdays and Home Depot has a few workshops throughout the year. I used to work for a couple hardware stores and kids were always happy to hold in their hands something they had made with a parent. And if your local hardware store doesn't have classes, taking a walk through the store and letting them touch and look at items, play with doorbells and figure out how to screw in a nut and bolt can be fun for them as well.

Library Reading Program - Nothing says free like a trip to the library and if they see you are interested in reading to them or doing an adult reading program with them, they will take more interest in it. Not only to libraries have different gifts but keep an eye out for banks and shops that offer gifts of food and money as reading incentive.

And while you are at the library check out what other classes or events they may offer for kids and the family.
flickr/cc - hoyasmeg
Other Free Activities - Check with local movie theaters for free showings, auctions can also be of interest to kids who like to collect "trashy-treasures" and making a game out of how much an item might go for keeps them interested. Musically inclined children might interested in practice sessions at local orchestras or free music in the park. And finally, sometimes keeping your eye on the local paper or googling "free events" for your town/city can pull up a few items to do for the summer.


  1. krantcents // Monday, March 07, 2011 6:36:00 PM  

    You are right there are lot of free things for kids, unfortunately the adult has to pay. Some museums offer free days once a month for everyone. I don't think about the cost because of the joy of sharing the experience with my children when they were small. The most enjoyable times were free anyway, it was just spending time with them.

  2. Hammy // Saturday, March 26, 2011 5:27:00 AM  

    It would seem that the library reading program and DIY at the local hardware store are worldwide free activities for kids. Closer to the holiday period the local newspapers often run a spread of citywide activities that are suitable. Takes a bit of planning and a parent with time or a friend with kids and time to organise but it's very fulfilling for the kids too. They can't play computer games all day.