Beat Summer Boredom with These Free and Cheap Activities

The end of another school year is winding to a close, and no mom wants a bunch of bored kids sitting around the house. Whether you want to make the most of the last few “school free” months before your child becomes a Kindergartner like I do or you’re looking for fun activities to keep your kids from getting bored this Summer, you probably want to have fun without emptying your wallet.

We all want to save money without sacrificing a great time, right?

There are some great family oriented free and cheap activities you can do with your kids, and I’ve compiled some of my favorites for you!


Free or Cheap Movies

A trip to the movies isn’t exactly cheap these days, but there are some great opportunities throughout the Summer to share a movie theater experience with your kids without breaking the bank!

movie time regal $1 summer movies

Flickr: dcJohn

Regal Cinemas Summer Movie Express movies run Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the Summer and only cost $1! The movies start at 10 am, and a portion of the proceeds goes to the Will Rogers Institute. Check out the weekly movie schedule to see what’s playing.

If there isn’t a Regal Cinemas location in your area feel free to contact your local movie theater. Many smaller movie theater chains also run special discounted or even free movie events throughout the Summer. For example, REI Cinemas, a local movie theater chain, has a Free Summer Shows series each Tuesday and Wednesday from June 9- August 11. These movie showings are free for ALL ages!

Building and Crafting Activities

Workshops are a great way for kids to have fun and stimulate the mind, and there are lots of free workshop activities for kids to do in the Summer.

children's summer craft projects

Flickr: Jamie

Lowe’s Build & Grow Kids Clinics offer kids the opportunity to build a wooden project. Plus your child will leave with a free apron, googles, and more!

Home Depot also offers their own free kids workshops on some Saturdays during the Summer. Visit the Weekly Workshops page of Home Depot’s site to find out what workshops are available at your local store and to register your child.

Hobby Lobby offers many different classes on a store by store basis. Some offer free or low cost kid’s classes such as a kid’s art class. Call your local store to find out about available classes and schedules.

Michael’s Kids Club offers tons of crafting classes that only cost $2 each! Check with your local store or online for more information.

Jo-Ann’s Little Makers Classes for Kids give children the opportunity to complete sewing projects, learn to knit or crochet, learn cake decorating and more!

Get Outdoors

No matter where you live there are plenty of free outdoor activities to enjoy with your kids. Visit a National, State, or County park in your area, or plan a picnic and play time at the city playground.


A picnic and climbing on the jungle gym is always fun!

Visit your county or city website or tourism department to find out about local attractions such as nature trails and historic locations. Enjoy a fun family trip hiking or fishing. We have both mountains and lakes in our area, so there is always plenty of free outdoor exploring to do! My oldest has taken a liking to geocaching, so I joined a local Facebook group.

We love visiting the SC Botanical Gardens. Wikipedia has a great list of botanical gardens and arboretums across the United States.

Check Out Local Events

You may be surprised how many free and reasonably priced events you can find in your area. Churches, police stations, fire departments, local businesses, local charity groups, etc, often host events for members of the community. A quick search of our county website’s calendar produced a list of outdoor concerts, outdoor movies, festivals, and fairs we can attend as a family for free or cheap!

Visit The Community Pool

The local pool is a great way to provide your kids with outdoor time, exercise, and fun all at the same time for a reasonable price.


What kid doesn’t love swimming?


Some community pools also provide swim lessons for a small fee. Do you live near a lake or beach? Make a day trip for a free alternative!

As you can see we have plenty of free and cheap activities to fill our calendar this Summer, and my only hope now is that we can make time to do everything on our list!

What activities do you have planned for your kids during the Summer months? If you know of any free or cheap activities in your area feel free to leave a comment to share!


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Jenn is from Upstate, SC, and loves that she gets to work from home to be with her two little girls. Jenn has been happily married to her very own Superman, Ben, for over a decade, and spends her time reading, writing short stories, doing freelance work and blogging, crafting, riding motorcycles, watching Clemson football, and enjoying life with her family.

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  1. Excellent article, thank you bee keepers all over the world!

  2. That’s a great article! Thank you!

  3. Very informative post to keep your kids busy and enjoying summers. Cool ideas and crisp presentation


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