Thursday, June 12, 2014

Kid's Korner "Summer Camp" is Back With Free and Fun Activities For Your Family

Looking for Free Things To Do Around Your Neighborhood this Summer?
How About a Give Away To Get Things Started?

School is out, the lazy days of summer are here and if you’re house is like so many across the country, you’ve already begun to hear those two dreaded words, “I’m bored.”  Luckily for you, Kid’s Korner Summer Camp edition is back with our weekly, free or practically free list of fun things you can do with your children right in your own neck of the woods.   Let’s get started!

The Great Outdoors

1)    Explore your own neighborhood, city and surrounding areas.  Whether you take a stroll to your local park, play at the neighborhood playground or one outside your own neighborhood, or go for a hike along unexplored trails, there is much to discover right in your own backyard. Pick a new spot each week and keep a map and rate your favorites and then go back for a second visit later on in the summer.

2)    Make up a scavenger hunt or make a detective game out of your walks, collecting items on a list or solving clues leading you to the next location.
3)   One of my favorite things to do with my students is to go on Photo Walks allowing them to be the photographer.  It always amazes me to see the world through their eyes.
4)   Looking for a real life treasure hunt? Why not try Geocaching. New to this family friendly activity or not quite sure exactly what it is. Head to Geocaching, which explains that this just like a real world treasure hunting outdoors game. Players try to locate Geocaches, which are hidden containers by using a GPS enabled devices such as your smart phone and then share their experiences online.  The real fun starts, after you’ve been on a few hunts of your own, and you start leaving a Geocache for others to find.

5)    Ready to venture past your own backyard? Great resources can be found at Trail Link to find local trails for everything from hiking to biking and everything in between. Also don’t forget to check out your own city, county and state websites to see the bounty of outdoor adventures that await. Many are free, or have seasonal passes at greatly discounted rates.
6)   Traveling this summer or are you lucky enough to live near one of the National Parks. Be sure to visit the National Parks website. And learn how you can visit a National Park for free.

When you’re done with your exploration, extend the memories by having your children create their own summer journal or scrapbook. Check out Pinterest for hundreds of ideas on how to create the perfect summer scrapbook to hold onto these precious memories that will last a lifetime.

Jump Into A Good Book

Reading shouldn’t stop just because school is over.  Encouraging kids to read is a great way to keep them learning all summer long. One of the best ways to bring a love reading to children all over the world is through Disney’s Give A Book Get A Book Program.  How about a visit to your local library? Libraries across the country offer a wide variety of summer reading and incentive programs to help keep children actively engaged in the love of reading. Also be sure to check out:

7)   Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program - Have your child read 8 books from the list and get a FREE book!

8)   Barnes and Noble Online Storytime - No story time today at local library, just go online! Local Library Summer Reading Program – Check out your local library for summer reading programs and story time schedules
9) Pottery Barn Kids  has a wide variety of fun filled and   educational activities. From their Summer Reading Challenge to Storytime to Super Hero Celebration Day, there’s something for everyone all summer long.
Summer Movie Escape
Sometimes you just have to escape reality and lose yourself in a great movie.  While most of these options are not free, most are greatly discounted.

9) Regal Theatre Summer Movie Express - You can see two movies per week (Tues and Wed) at 10am for $1 each

10) Classic Cinemas- $1 Wednesday’s showing family films in June through August.

11)  Harkins Summer Movies Like Regal and Classic Cinema, Harkins is offering dollar movie treats for young moviegoers this summer.

12) Marquee Cinemas Check their website for location specific movies and prices.

13) Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse: Purchase tickets for all 10 films for $5, or $1 at the box office. Movies and days vary by location.

14) Malco Summer Fun- $2 tickets June through August on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

15) Dickenson Theaters Summer Movies  With 8 shows for only  $13 or $2.50 each in June through the beginning of August. Each location has a different schedule.

Learn Something New

Summer is a time to learn something new.  Check out these great classes, many of which are offered for free simply by registering ahead of time online.  Something we learned last summer is that due to the extreme popularity of many of these programs, many of these fill up fast! 

16).Lowe's Build and Grow Clinics this summer features everything from Toothless from “How to Train Your Dragon 2” to Turbo to Monsters vs. Aliens building kits complete with your own apron, hammer and goggles.

17) Home Depot Workshops for Kids On the first Saturday of each month, Home Depot offers fun and useful projects from building your own Bug House to creating your own Crate Pencil Holder.

18) Apple Camp at the Apple Store Apple Camp is back for another fun summer of IMovie Making and more. Check out an Apple Store near you for complete details. 

19) Microsoft Summer Camps – Microsoft Store’s Youth Spark Summer Camps is where technology meets creativity for ages 8–These fill up SUPER fast so be sure to get signed up early!
 20) Michael’s Kid’s Club-Michael’s allows kids to explore their creativity while parents shop! $2 reserves 30 minutes of creativity. From their Passport to Imagination to their Kid’s Crafts to their Kid’s Club, Michael’s has something for everyone.

Time to Get Your Bowl and Skate On
Time to strike a perfect combination for fun. Check out these free bowling and skating offers:

21) Kids Bowl Free- Registered Kids can get TWO FREE games of bowling every day all summer long at participating bowling centers!

22) Brunswick Bowling Summer Ball Pass – Students 18 and younger get one FREE game of bowling every day in June, July and August.

23) Free Bowling At AMF AMF Fun Centers are offering Free games to students 15 and under throughout the summer.

24) Kids Skate Free all summer long across the country. Check the website to find a rink near you.

How About A Little Culture

Many cities and counties across the country have museums, art galleries and beyond that have free admission during specific days throughout the summer as well as hands on programs for youth.  Check out their website for opportunities near you.
25) Bank of America Free Museum Entrance – Get free general admission to participating museums, science centers, botanical gardens and more on the first full weekend of every month. Check list of participating locations near you

26) Target Offers Free or Reduced Admission  to many concerts, events, and museums continuing their goals of community involvement.

27) Free Walking Tours Take a walk around a city near you. This website will lead you on the right path.

28) Show your children the history of a day gone by.  Such websites as Discover Walks will show you how to discover the history of major cities near you while a visit to the National Park Service website will show you what events are happening as well as a list of all the free options that are available through our National Parks across the country.

As you can see, there’s no shortage of free, or greatly reduced fun activities that you can do with your children this summer. Now your only decision is which one to do first. Have you taken your children on any of these fun “field trips”?  Have a great outing not listed here? We want to keep our list growing this summer and to help kick off the summer we’re having our first Give Away. To help you on your way this summer we have a great water bottle from Disney Jr.  To keep you dancing we have your choice of either a Jake and the Neverland Pirates CD or a  Sophia the First CD! How do you enter? Simply leave a comment below of your favorite free activity you have found or tell us about one of these that you’ve tried!  Let the summer begin.

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  1. We love to go to the free movies in the park. They are always fun!

    1. With so many great ones coming out this year, it's hard to decide!

  2. We always like to visit the splash pads , and do the free kids bowling a few times.

    1. I wish we had more Splash Pads in our area-they look like so much fun!

  3. We will go to the Park it has a water area for the kids to play and it has a pond with ducks the kids love it

    1. Donna the park is the best! So much fun to get to be a kid again!

  4. We have a theater a few blocks away and it shows movies for $3 it is a great way to beat the heat

    1. Donna what are your favorite movies right now? So many to choose from both new and "classics"!