Free or Cheap Summer Activities (Guest Post)

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Looking for ways to have fun as a family this summer without busting your budget?  This guest post by Nicole from Being Frugal is Fabulous compiles a long list of free or very cheap programs and activities available for your family this summer.

With many kids now out of school, you may be looking for some fun activities to do that aren’t

going to break the bank. I have compiled a list of free or cheap summer activities. There is also a link attached to each where you can find more information!


Regal Movies are free but you must get tickets at the Box Office the day of the show. Showings are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Cinemark Get 10 shows for $5.00 when you pay in advance or $1.00 per show when you pay at the Box Office. Showings are weekday mornings.

AMC $1.00 movies on Wednesdays, proceeds go to charity.

Rave Motion Pictures Free movies every Tuesday and Wednesday, seats are given on a first come, first serve basis.

Dickinson Theaters Most locations offer a package of 8 movies for $12.50. Dates vary by location.

Marcus Theaters All seats are $2.50 and include free popcorn. Showings are on Wednesdays and Thursday mornings.

Harkins Theaters Movies are $1.00 each or some theaters offer a 10 pack for $7.00. Showings are Monday-Friday.

Kerasotes Theaters Six movies will be shown for free Wednesdays and Thursdays.


Kids Bowl Free Kids can receive 2 free games every day.

Tony’s Pizza -Free Bowling Look for specially marked boxes of Tony’s Pizza to get a free game of bowling with purchase.

Kids Reading Programs

Barnes & Noble Kids (grades 1-6) can earn a free book when they read 8 books of their choosing.

Half Price Books Kids 12 and under can earn a free $3.00 Half Price book for each week that they read at least 15 minutes every day.

Borders Kids read 8 books of their choosing and then they will save up to 50% on selected items.

Pottery Barn Kids PBK 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.

Bookworm Wednesdays Participating movie theaters will give free admission to a selected children’s movie when they show a completed book report.


Local Events Search the Yahoo Events and Things To Do Calendar. Just enter your city and the type of event you are looking for. I found many fun free things to do in my local town that I didn’t know about.

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.

Target Museums Target sponsors free admission to over 40 museums.

Nicole loves being frugal and shares her daily deal finds and money saving tips on her blog Being Frugal is Fabulous.

Looking for more frugal ideas to keep your kids busy?  Check this article: “11 Frugal Activities to keep Kids Busy this Summer”