2014 List Of Fun, Free, Or Cheap Summer Programs For Kids

I swear there isn't anything worse than your kids being on summer break. Three long, miserable months of trying to find something for your kids to do, because they're "bored."  In my house, when I hear that I tend to hand them a book and say "there, now you have something to do." I try to  homeschool year around, just to keep the boredom away, and to teach the kids that in the "real world" you don't get three months off of work. I like to reserve summer time to do all of the messy science experiments and art projects I've been hoarding all year long. I will admit though, sometimes I even get cabin fever and just need to get out of the house. The problem with this though, is every time I leave the house I tend to spend money, which is fine when you have it, but leaves you in a dilemma when you don't.  So, I thought I'd compile a list of things to do for the summer that are free or cheap.

Things To Make
Home Depot - Free kids workshops, not just for the summer but year around.  Teenie recently started going and loves these! The kids use real tools to make small crafts. The also receive an apron, then a certificate and pin after completing their project.  These workshops are recommended for kids age 5-12.  Also there is paint involved so you might want to wear old clothes.  Some of these projects can be difficult so I recommend this for 8 and up, because there are hammers and nails involved.  Register online.  FREE

Teenie making her tractor!
Lowes Build and Grow - This program is similar to Home Depot's but there is no paint involved the kids use stickers instead. Also upon attending a workshop your child will get an apron, also certificate and a patch for each project they complete.   I'm not going to lie, some of these projects are hard, and I have seen adults get frustrated with them! There is no age requirement but these projects do require hammers and nails.  You are supposed to register online for these, if you can, by all means do so, but the stores near me are always full so you need to act fast. Sometimes they will take people with no registration if you stand in line and wait until all of the registered kids are situated.  Year around. FREE

Michael's  -(click on book your class now, then look for "kids crafts.")  Small in store craft classes. All materials are provided and the recommended age is 3 and up.  Cost is $2.00 and preregistration is required.

Toys R Us  - In store events, check this often because they do different things. The last time we went it was Lego Star Wars. The kids were able to build a small Lego creation to take home.  A must for Lego maniacs. No registration required, but you will have to wait in line. FREE

Things To Do
Kids Bowl Free  Free bowling for kids. It can get crowded at times.  Register online.

Kids Skate Free   Similar to Kids Bowl Free, this program is newer and is not yet available everywhere, check out their site to see if there are any participating centers near you.

Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse - Beat the heat at the movies!  $1.00 per show or $5.00 for ten movies when you pay in advance. Check their website to see if there are any participating theaters near you.

Digiplex Destinations Kids Summer Movie Series- Also has a summer movie series.  10 movies for $5.00  Check for a participating theater near you.

Summer Reading Program
Barnes and Noble  -Read 8 books get one free.

Check out your local library!  Most have free summer reading programs and give away small prizes every week.  My local library also has a teen and an adult program as well.

If you can think of any other programs that are nationwide that I missed, please drop me a line!