How to Find Free Activities for Your Infant, Toddler or Older Child Over Summer Vacation

There are many different groups, organizations and places that offer Free and Fun Activities for children of all ages. If you are looking for something fun to keep your kids busy and active over Summer Vacation, there are a few places that you can check out that may offer Free, or at least very cheap and affordable activities and events for young, school aged children and teenagers.

The Local Library:

Many Libraries have reading and activity programs for children of all ages, from infants to teenagers. The programs for infants and toddlers may include story time, fun activities and crafts. For elementary aged children some libraries offer fun activities or short movies in the evening. You may be able to find a book club for your teen to join where they can hand out with other teens. Often times in the programs for the elementary aged and teenaged children, the Library will offer a snack.

For the programs that are aimed at younger children, the parent or caregiver will need to stay with the child, but in many of the programs for older children, they can be dropped off and picked back up at the end of the program.

If your closest Library does not offer any programs for your child’s age, check with other Libraries in the area to see what they offer.

Parks and Recreation Department:

Many Parks and Recreation Departments offer weeklong summer camp programs for children of all ages. Many of them will have a small fee to pay for the week, but you should ask if they have scholarship money available. If they do, you will be required to fill out a short financial aid form and if you qualify, your children can take the class for free or for a reduced rate.

If your Parks and Rec. Department has a swimming pool at one of the parks, check to see if they have free swim for local residents. You can usually purchase a season pass for fairly cheap to use the pool anytime during normal park hours, but many Cities will offer a free swim time in the evening for an hour or two before they close.

Check to see if your Parks and Rec. Department offers Free Movies in the Park. Many parks will have an outdoor viewing of a popular, and sometimes newly released on DVD movie. You can bring a picnic dinner, blankets and the whole family to a free movie, usually once a month.

Many parks will hold different events through out the summer that include family fun and activities that are free with no charge. For example if there is an Arts and Crafts Show, you may be able to hear live music, check out local emergency vehicles like Fire Trucks, get your kids face painted, see an animal wildlife show, or go on a Scavenger Hunt, all of for Free.

Local Public Schools:

Many organizations and groups will give their schedule of events to the Local Public Schools to pass on to students and their families. If you did not receive any information from your child’s school or your children are Homeschooled, check with the area Public Schools to see if they have any information on Local events in the area.

Some schools offer week long summer camp programs. Some of them may be free or have a small fee. This is another place that you can apply for scholarship money for free tuition or a reduced rate.

Mom’s Groups, Clubs or Play Groups:

Check to see if there is a local group in your area like a Mom’s Club or a play date club. Often times they meet at libraries or parks, so you can check with your local Parks & Rec. Department or Library to see if they have any information or schedule.

If you can’t find any play date groups, you can start one. You can make up little cards with your contact information, to hand out at the park, library, store or anywhere else you meet up with other families. If you keep seeing the same families at the park every week, bring some bubbles and invite them to join you for a picnic and some playtime.

Movie Theaters:

Check with the Movie Theaters in your area to see if they offer Free Movies. Some of the multi-screen theaters will offer a Free Movie once a week in the morning, usually before normal viewing times start. The movies will be free, but you will not be able to bring in food and will have to pay regular movie food prices. If you are going with friends, you can bring some large cups and split a large order of popcorn, give all the kids in your group a cup full of popcorn and cut down on the cost of snacks.

Art Centers or Museums:

Most Art Centers and Museums offer week long summer art camps that they charge a fee for. This is another place that you can apply for scholarship money to get the class for free or reduced fees.

Local Colleges:

Local Colleges are another place that you can find weeklong summer programs that you can apply for scholarship money for.

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