Finding Free Summer Activities
Summer is a time of wonder for kids. For the adults in charge of making Summer special though, it is a time of great expense. It doesn't have to be this way though. There are tons of free activities you can take your kids to where they can have a blast. With a little planning, you can keep your kids busy all summer for just the price of gas. While I can't give you direct links as they are different in every area, I can point you in the right direction.
A good place to start your search for free activities is your city website. Here you can find links to the library website and the parks and recreations website, as well as information about any upcoming parades and festivals your city is doing.
Library- Most libraries have tons of activities for kids. Summer reading programs are a great form of entertainment, as they usually meet weekly. Kids will be able to read a book or two, then have song and craft times. It's not only great free fun, but it can also help keep your kids fresh on their reading skills for the Summer. Apart from summer reading programs, which usually have activities for ages 2 and up, there may also be special readings, author visits, etc. I usually add anything interesting from the library's calendar to my own calendar so that the kids don't miss out on anything.
Parks and Recreation- Another great place to look for free activities in your city is the parks and recreation website. Here you can find a calender of all of the events that will be at your parks and civic center. This can include everything from a pizza night at your civic center's gym to a great festival at the park with free admission! Again, I usually add anything interesting to my personal calendar so I am sure to remember important dates.
Festivals, Fairs, and Shows
Searching for festivals in your area is a bit trickier than finding your city website, but not much more so. All you have to do is do a Google search for either events or festivals in your area. A search in my area turned up a mac n cheese festival in a nearby town! I didn't know there was a mac n cheese festival anywhere, let alone 20 minutes away. My point is that you never know what you may have been missing out on for years by not doing this simple search. Many festivals have free admission, so this one is definitely worth a try, even if the event is 30 minutes or more away. You can always pack a cooler and save even more, as venders at these events can be a little pricey.
Another amazing and often overlooked place to find free things to do with your kids is your church calendar! Apart from vacation bible school, your church may also have a church camp, or other outings for youth. Not all of these may be free, but if you have a hard time paying for them, you can often talk to the members who are organizing the events, and something can be worked out.