Summer Fun Round-up

by Kaley on June 5th, 2009

in Free activities, Great Deals

Are you ready for summer?!!

Here is your guide to all things fun and free (or really cheap!) for your kids this summer.  I’ve compiled a list of all of the great summer events that I’ve found around the internet.  Do you have more to add?  Leave a comment and I’ll be happy to update the list!

Reading Rewards Programs:

  • Kids in grades 1-6 can receive a free book from Barnes & Noble by reading 8 books over the summer. They will need to fill out a Summer Reading Journal and bring the journal to a B&N location when they are finished.  They will then receive a coupon for a free book.
  • is offering a freet-shirt to kids who read 10 books this summer. (Younger children can have parents read to them.) After your child is done reading, just fill out the form here and mail it in by 8/9/09.
  • Bookworm Wednesdays entitles kids to free admission to a select children’s film when they present a book report at a participating Showcase Cinemas, Multiplex Cinemas or Cinema de Lux box office. Accompanying parents or guardians and children under six also receive free admission and do not need to submit a book report. Program begins July 8.


  • Children 12 and under can earn a free $3 gift card to Half Price Books each week they read (or are read to) for 15 minutes at least five days. They often have books for less than $3 in their clearance section which will result in a free book per child each week! This program runs through July 31, 2009. See more details here.
  • Kids ages 18 years and younger can get $10 added to their new or existing TD Bank Young Savers Account when they read 10 books this summer. Offer valid 5/4/09 to 9/30/09.
  • Pottery Barn Kids holds story time every Tuesday from 11:00-11:30 (check your local store to confirm the time). Once kids attend story time 5 times, they receive a free gift.

Free or Cheap Movie Admission:

  • Beginning in June, select Regal theaters will take part in the Regal Free Family Film Festival. Selected G & PG movies start at 10AM each Tuesday and Wednesday during the festival. First-come, first-served seating is limited to theatre capacity. Go here to see if there is a participating theater near you.
  • Participating AMC movie theaters are offering $1 movies at 10 a.m. all summer long (June 17-August 5, 2009). All proceeds will benefit Variety-the Children’s Charity and the Will Rogers Institute. Go here for more details and to find a theater near you.
  • From June 16th through August 19th, Cinemark theaters are offering $1 family-friendly movies twice a week. Or you can purchase an advance pass for all ten movies for just $5 making them only $0.50 each! Find a list of participating locations here.
  • Towne Cinema will have kids movies Tuesday through Friday at 11 AM starting June 2nd. See all 11movies for just $8 when you purchase a pass in advance.

Free Activities:

  • Bass Pro Shops will be holding a free Family Summer Camp each weekend, May 30th through July 5th, from noon to 6 PM. Camps include free crafts, games, smores and more. Click here to find a location near you.
  • Kids can also bowl free this summer! By participating in the “Kids Bowl Free” program, children can bowl two free games per day. Go here for more details and to find a participating location near you.
  • Target has teamed up with over 40 museums nationwide to provide free admission days for families across America. Check out the list of museums participating here to see if there is one in your area.
  • The National Park Service will offer free admission to all 391 National Parks on the weekends ofJune 20-21, July 18-19 and August 15-16. Go here for more information.
  • Kids can become a White Sox Kids Club Slugger member and receive free tickets to a White Sox game plus a number of other fun items.
  • Check out Lowe’s Free Build and Grow Clinics here. They are currently offering two workshops. Kids can make a Putting Green for Dad on June 13 and a pirate ship on June 27.
  • Check out Home Depot Free Kid’s Workshops here. Workshops are designed for children ages 5-12 and are offered on the first Saturday of the month between 9 a.m. and noon at all Home Depot stores.
  • Select Apple Retail stores are holding summer camps where kids can make movies, create photo slideshows, write and record songs, put on a show for everyone, and learn how to do new things on a Mac. Apple Camp occurs at selected Apple Retail Store, and each free workshop lasts three hours. Recommended for kids ages 8-12. More details here.
  • Free Attractions This database lists free attractions around the country. I found out about some free attractions near us that I didn’t know about!
  • BOA Free Museums If you have a Bank of America Credit, Debit or ATM card, you can get free admission to participating museums, zoos and science centers the first weekend of every month.

This Post May Contain Affiliate Links. See my Disclosure Policy.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Wes June 5, 2009 at 1:49 pm

One more activity to add to the list.

See if you can get your local highway Dept to divert a stream into your front lawn for a couple of days while they work on a bridge near your house. Throw on some shorts, grab your kid, and go wading/running/splashing through the dead fish infested muddy water until you’re soaked and frozen to the bone and your face hurts from yelling and laughing.

Wash, dry, repeat. I love my son’s sense of wonder and adventure. Where did all mine go? Thankfully Griffin helped me find some last night in that cold water, thanks little man!

Warning: This will be a tough activity to pull off without a bridge, a stream, state highway workers, a huge pump, and a front yard with a culvert that empties downstream into the same stream.


Marie Armitage June 5, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Thank you so much for putting this together! I have been trying to put together a list for my nieces and nephews for things to do this summer – they are between 4-9 years old – I think I may have to put a link to this on my blog.

You rock!
Marie A.


Janet June 5, 2009 at 6:16 pm

This is a great compilation of activities. My 8 year old is very excited about the reading programs at Half Price Books and our local library.


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