12 Ways to Spend Time With Your Kids This Summer Without Spending a Dime

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You don’t have to take your kids to pricey theme parks like Disney World to show them a good time this summer. It may surprise you to know that there are tons of things you can do for free with your kids that are a whole lot of fun. So, if you’re on a tight budget then you’ll want to check out these super cheap and borderline free things you can do with the little ones.

Encourage Some Summer Reading


Take your kids to the library and have them read eight books and complete a reading journal over the summer. Once they do, Barnes & Noble will reward them by gifting them a free book from a generous selection. Isn’t that ridiculously cool?

Read and Earn Tokens

Play Party Plan

As long as you’re reading to get your free book at Barnes & Noble, you might as well take advantage of Chuck E. Cheese’s offer, too. They’ll give 10 free tokens to kids who read every day for two weeks.

Go Treasure Hunting

Run wild my child has over 2 million sites around the world that contain hidden treasures that kids can search for. They’ll just need a GPS or a phone to find where X marks the spot and a shovel to find the treasure.

American Girl Offers Free Events

Houston Family Magazine

Every month, American Girl stores offer girls ages 8 and up the chance to participate in their free craft events. Each event contains a different activity and theme that are bound to keep your little princess entertained for a while.

Have Them Volunteer


There’s no sense in having them lounge around all summer long. Encourage your kids to do something for the community with Volunteer Match. They offer more than 100,000 opportunities for kids across the nation. Just click on that link and choose the organization you feel closer to.

Give Kids a Factory Tour

Discover Walks

Kids love ice cream, cookies, and bread, but many of them have no idea how they’re made. Fortunately, there are hundreds of factories that offer free tours and free samples. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Turn Your Kid Into a Game Coder

Microsoft News Center

Microsoft offers a Youth Spark summer camp that teaches kids 8 and up all there is to know about game coding and design. Best of all, it’s free and available in 31 states. So, if your kid is a huge gamer then they’ll love this camp.

Make a Movie

If your kid is fascinated with making movies, enroll them in Apple Camp. They’ll teach kids how to create a movie and solve things like puzzles and codes. Who knows? You might have a mini-Spielberg in your family.

Kids Bowl Free

Indy’s Child

You can register at and get two free games of bowling for your kids every summer day. It’s such a great way to spend some time and it’ll enhance their tiny hand and eye coordination, too.

Free Building Workshops


Kids ages 5-12 can sign up for a free building workshop on the first Saturday of every month between 9 a.m. and noon at Home Depot. Your kid will even get their own workshop kit, an achievement pin, and a child-sized orange apron, too.

Go to a Museum for Free


The Museums on Us program offers Merrill Lynch and Bank of America cardholders a museum ticket on the first weekend of every month free of charge. All you have to do is show your credit or debit card and photo ID and you’re in.

National Parks Are Free


Fourth graders can have access to national historical sites, forests, and parks for free. All they have to do is sign-up with the “Every Kid in a Park” program and both parent and child can have an epic good time.

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