As featured in


May 212013
 May 21, 2013  Posted by  Expired

School’s almost out, so you may be starting to wonder how you’re going to keep the kids busy over summer break. There are lots of fun experiences you can create yourself. Fortunately, there are plenty of summer programs that may help make your job a little bit easier. See below for some free (or cheap) summer activities for kids:

Free bowling: Kids Bowl Free is a national program that allows kids to bowl two free games each day all summer long. You’ll need to register your child with a participating bowling alley (there’s a limit of six kids per email address). If you would like to bowl with your child, you can also buy a family pass for $24.95. The family pass allows up to four adults to bowl two games per person per day. Summer Unplugged at AMF lanes is a similar program.

Free roller skating: Kids Skate Free is a national program that offers kids one free roller skating pass each week. You’ll need to register your child with a participating roller rink to get the free pass (there’s a limit of four kids per e-mail address).

Cheap movies: At 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the summer, Regal Cinemas will be showing select G- and PG-rated movies for $1 as part of its Regal Summer Movie Express program. Shows and start dates may vary by location. Cinemark Theatres has a Summer Movie Clubhouse that will allow you to see 10 movies for $5 if you buy your tickets in advance (at the box office or online). Tickets are $1 each at the box office the day of the show. They’ll be showing a new movie each week  for 10 weeks over the summer. Shows and dates vary by location. Harkins Theatres have a similar program called Summer Movie Fun.

Free reading material: Barnes & Noble has a Summer Reading Program that will allow your child to win a free book. To get the free book, your child will need to read any eight books and record them in the Barnes & Noble Reading Journal. Take the completed journal to your local Barnes & Noble store between May 21 and September 3, 2013, and exchange it for a free book.

Julie Henry

Julie Henry, RN, MPA, is a freelance writer, editor, and project manager who loves the thrill of scoring a good deal. She writes a bi-weekly "On the Cheap" column for the Sun News in Myrtle Beach. In addition to writing about deals and discounts, Julie is an established medical writer. She has done work for a number of national health care organizations, including The Joint Commission, The American Academy of Family Physicians and the Society for Teachers of Family Medicine. Born and raised in Kansas City, MO, she now lives in Myrtle Beach. Julie owns and operates Kansas City on the Cheap, Myrtle Beach on the Cheap, and Charleston on the Cheap.

  One Response to “Free or cheap summer activities for kids”

  1. Don’t forget your public libraries!! A lot of them offer summer reading programs for kids as well as other fun activities, puppet shows, and more.

    Love to swim? Check your local parks and rec department for free swim days at local public pools.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.