It’s that time again!
Time to get your summer-planning pencils sharpened and let the PROJECT: SUMMER fun begin! I’ve been busy busy busy working behind the scenes on this list of all things FREE (or cheap!) and FUN for your family this summer.
TIP: You’ll want to pin this page or bookmark it so you can come back to it again and again this summer.
I also am excited to offer a FREE downloadable Summer Planner (like the one in the news story) for all of my subscribers. Simply subscribe by email to my blog and a downloadable link will be sent to you in a separate email once you confirm your subscription. (Already a subscriber? The free planner should already be in your inbox as a little gift from me!)
Everybody ready? Here we go!
Project: Summer Frugal Fun Guide 2013:
Reading Rewards Programs:
- Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Club: 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 between May 21st and September 3, 2013 to choose a free book.
- Half Price Books Feed Your Brain Program: Children 14 and under can earn a FREE $5 gift card to Half Price Books when they read (or are read to) for 300 minutes in one month. This program runs during June and July, 2013. You can download your Summer Reading log here. See more details here.
- TD Bank Summer Reading Program: 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 and turn in their reading log at their local TD Bank. Offer valid through September 30, 2013.
- Pottery Barn Kids Summer Reading Challenge: From May 16-August 26, 2013, kids ages 10 and under will receive a prize at their local PBK store after completing a recommended reading list. Pottery Barn Kids also holds story time every Tuesday from 11:00-11:30. (Check your local store to confirm the time and date). After attending 5 times, your child will receive a free gift.
- Sylvan Book Adventure: Kids in grades K-8 can search for books, read them offline, come back to quiz on what they’ve read, and earn prizes for their reading success.
- Junie B. Kids’ Reading Club: Enroll your child in the Junie B. Kids’ Reading Club. You can also print a free activity brochure, membership reading log and sticker sheet.
- PBS Kids Summer Reading Challenge: Enter your email address to join the iVillage PBS Kids Summer Reading Challenge which kicks off on June 17th. You’ll receive a free four week reading program and the chance for your kids to win daily prizes for their participation.
- Chuck E. Cheese: Chuck E. Cheese offers a Reading Rewards calendar for kids. Kids who read every day for two weeks will earn 10 FREE tokens the next time they are at Chuck E. Cheese.
- Your local library: Be sure to find out if your local library is offering any reading rewards programs throughout the summer.
Free or Cheap Movie Admission:
- Regal Summer Movie Express: Beginning in June, select Regal Theaters will be offering $1.00 G and PG rated movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays beginning at 10 am. Click here to find a participating theater near you.
- National Amusements Bookworm Wednesdays: Kids can get free admission to a select children’s film every Wednesday from July 10-August 7 at 10 a.m. 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.
- Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse: Participating Cinemark theaters are offering $1 family-friendly movies on select weekday mornings throughout the summer. You can opt to purchase an advance pass for all ten movies for just $5 making them only $0.50 each! Find a list of participating locations, dates and times here.
- Mall of America Free Kids Movies: This summer the Mall of America theater is offering FREE family movies every Saturday at 10am starting on May 25th. Seating is on a first come, first serve basis. Families also have the opportunity to take advantage of a FREE sensory friendly film in an adjacent Theater.
- Muvico Theaters Free Summer Film Fest: Muvico Theaters are having a FREE summer film fest, June 12 through August 6. Free movies will be shown every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10AM. Click here to find a location near you.
- Click here for More Free and $1 Movies for Kids: Franks Theatres, Cobb Theatres, Marquee Cinemas and National Infantry Museum
- Local Theaters: You also may want to contact your local theater to find out if they are offering any special admission events.
- Fandango: Buy One Get One FREE tickets for Visa Signature Card holders on Fridays through August 2, 2013.
Free Craft Projects:
- Lowe’s Free Build and Grow Clinics: Workshops are offered every other Saturday at 10 a.m and Sunday at 2 p.m. Each participant also receives a free apron, goggles, a project themed patch, and more!
- Home Depot Free Kid’s Workshops: 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. All kids get to keep their craft and receive a FREE Kids Workshop Apron, commemorative pin and certificate of achievement.
- Michaels Craft Workshops: Children ages 3 and up can participate in a variety of craft workshops this summer. Some are free and others require a purchase. Click here to check out their summer schedule.
- A.C. Moore Make and Takes: Every Saturday from 1-3 pm, A.C. Moore offers free classes or make and take projects. Select your store location here to check out the summer schedule and learn more about recommended ages.
- LEGO Stores Mini Build: The first Tuesday of every month, LEGO stores invite children ages 6 to 14 to learn how to build a special LEGO model – then take that model home, for FREE. I recommend checking with your local store to verify date and time.
- Blue Star Museums: From May 27 to September 2, 2013, more than 2,000 museums are offering free entrance to active duty military personnel and their families.
- Kids Bowl Free Program: Kids can bowl free this summer! By participating in the “Kids Bowl Free” program, children can bowl two free games per day. Go here to find a participating location near you.
- Kids Skate Free Program: Select Skating centers are offering 2 FREE Roller Skating Passes per week all summer long! See participating locations here.
- Free Bowling for kids at AMF: Register your children to get two free games per child per day at participating AMF bowling lanes from May 13-September 2nd, 2013. Once you are signed up, you’ll simply need to provide your name, member ID, email address or phone number at your local AMF lanes to claim your free games each week. Having free access now means you can use this resource plenty of times, and it could be the spark for your child’s next passion, and if they fall for bowling then down the line you could have all the birthday presents sorted, with a 4 ball bowling bag for their future collection.
- Target Arts + Culture: Target sponsors free or reduced-price admission to arts and cultural events in participating cities nationwide. Find out if there is anything going on in your area.
- Free Admission to National Parks: The National Park Service will offer free admission at more than 100 National Parks on August 25, 2103. Go here for more information.
- Apple Summer Camps: Select Apple Retail stores offer a camp where kids ages 8-12 learn how to shoot their own footage, create an original song in GarageBand on an iPad, and put it all together in iMovie on a Mac. This free workshop, held at the Apple Store, spans three days and ends with campers debuting their masterpieces at the Apple Camp Film Festival. Click here for further details.
- BoA Free Museums: If you have a Bank of America Credit, Debit or ATM card, you can get free admission to over 150 participating museums, zoos and science centers the first full weekend of every month.
- Bass Pro Shops Family Summer Camp: From June 8th – July 14th on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1-5 pm, Bass Pro Shops will offer a different craft for your child to create each week, plus a free family photo, free lanyard and pin, casting targets and more. Click here to learn more about times and crafts being offered in your local store.
- Your local library: Be sure to check in with your local library to find out if they are offering free children’s activities throughout the summer. I love participating in my local library’s events over the summer!
- Print a free Travel Game Book from Prepared Not Scared.
- Download free printable Travel Games from Free Puzzles.
- Print a variety of free coloring sheets, travel games and more from Mother’s Niche.
- Download a free printable chore chart for a boy or a girl from Somewhat Simple.
Free Reading Programs for You:
- Tyndale Summer Reading Program: Earn a FREE book of your choice when you read and review five books from their list of selected titles. Learn more here.
- Paperback Swap: Don’t want to spend money on new reading materials this summer? Check out Paperback Swap where you can trade books with other readers simply for the cost of shipping.
- FREE eBook downloads: Have a Kindle or other reading device? Amazon has a list of suggested ways to get free eBooks here. Check out Amazon’s latest free Kindle eBooks here.
Are you aware of any other free fun this summer? Leave a comment and let us know!
Image credit: yarruta / 123RF Stock Photo