5 Free and Low Cost Summer Activities for Families

5 Free and Low Cost Summer Family Activities

The first week of summer vacation is here. The schedule and structure that school or home schooling provides is beginning to shift. Our kids now have a lot more free time. This provides an opportunity for more quality family time. Activities outside the home can become expensive quickly. We want to have fun as a family without emptying our wallet.

I’ve compiled a list of great family activities that co-inside with summer. These are all low cost ideas to provide the whole family with a fun outing together.

Summer Movie Programs

Many local theaters offer a summer movie program. Theaters will offer highly discounted prices on family friendly movie options during the summer. Most are less than $2.00 per person. Some theaters even offer discounted popcorn and drinks. Check out this post from The Balance  for an extensive list of summer movie programs and pricing.

Our local Harkins Theater has the Harkins Summer Movie Fun program. You get 10 movies over 10 weeks for less than $1.00 per movie! My kids look forward to going to the movies once a week over the summer. And the air conditioning is also a plus 🙂  .


Have you heard of Kids Bowl Free? I first heard about this program in the summer of 2016. Kids Bowl Free is a program that offers 2 free games of bowling everyday all summer long for registered kids. You just pay for the bowling shoe rental. They also offer a great discount with the Family Pass so parents can join in on the fun. The Family Pass starts at $29.95 and includes 4 adults to play 2 games all summer long. Check out Kids Bowl Free for the nearest participating bowling alley near you. 

Water Play

Take the family for a dip at your local public pool. Many public pools will offer discounted family swim days and times. Also check your area for local splash pads. This is a great way to cool off for free with the family! Bring along your own snacks and water toys to make it a fun filled day out. 


Check out your local library for free activities. Our library provides a Summer Reading Program for kids and adults. You fill out a reading log at home and bring it in weekly in exchange for fun prizes.  At the end of the summer each child receives a brand new book. Our library also offers free crafts, movies, Lego club and family story time. This is a fun way to keep the kids and yourself reading through the summer.

Free Entrance Days to National Parks

The next free entrance day is August 25th for National Park Service Birthday. There are more than 400 parks available to explore in the U.S.A. Check out the parks in your area and plan a family day trip to explore history and nature. For more fee-free days in 2017 click here.

What are some fun free or low cost activities you like to do with your family every summer? 

Check out even more great summer activities over at Perfectly Port’s Summer Bucket List Link Up