Living Well on a Shoestring Budget

Saving you money, every day.

2012 Summer of FREE (or nearly so) FUN!

on June 6, 2012

1. IF you haven’t checked out our 2012 Summer Reading programs, do so here!

2. Follow us on Facebook  for lots of freebies, tips and great deals!

3. You can buy the Living Well on a Shoestring Budget book here for only $9.95! You’ll immediately start saving money with these easy and frugal tips!

WELCOME TO THE 2012 SUMMER OF FREE (or nearly so) FUN!
This is a comprehensive list of all the fun and free activities you can do with your children, so you don’t have to hear “I’m bored!” or “There’s nothing to do!” after the first week of break!


 A new program enlisting bowling lanes all over U.S. and in parts of Canada allows kids to register and bowl two games for free every day. Check out KIDS BOWL FREE to find participating lanes near you. One catch: The kids usually need to have their own bowling shoes or must rent them. On the other hand, the lanes also have a “family pass” program that, for $25, allows up to four adult family members to bowl two games free every day too.

Check out AMF BOWLING where kids 15 and under can bowl for free all summer!  Simply register and you’ll get a weekly voucher for two free games per child per day through September 3. Shoe rental is not included.  Valid 7 days per week, until 8pm.


A.C. Moore Every Saturday from 1-3 pm, A.C. Moore offers free classes or make and take projects.  Click to learn more about recommended ages.

At Apple Camp, kids ages 8-12 learn the ins and outs of iMovie and how to make a film in about the time it takes to watch one.  The workshop, held at the Apple Retail Store, spans 3 days and leads up to an Apple Camp Film Festival, where campers debut their masterpieces.

Bass Pro Shop if offering FAMILY CAMP From June 9-July 15, on Tuesdays, Thursday, Saturdays and Sundays from 1-5 pm.  They will offer a different craft for your child to create each week, plus a free family photo, S’mores cookout, casting targets and more.  Click to learn more about times and crafts being offered.

Lowe’s has FREE Build & Grow clinics two weekends per month! Build a wooden project, get FREE goggles, apron, patch and more!

Home Depot offers FREE monthly Kids Workshops –
• FREE hands-on workshops designed for children ages 5 – 12 offered the 1st Saturday of
every month at all The Home Depot stores between 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
• Workshops teach children do-it-yourself skills, tool safety and instill a sense of pride
and accomplishment.
• All kids get to keep their craft and receive a FREE Kids Workshop Apron, commemorative
pin and certificate of achievement.

Michael’s Children ages 3 and up can participate in a variety of craft workshops this summer.  Some are free and others require a purchase.  Click to check out their summer schedule.


Why pay for something when you can have it for free?  Here is a list of 101 restaurants where KIDS EAT FOR FREE! Please contact the restaurant location you will be visiting before to make sure that the restaurant is participating in this promotion.

is a “real-world treasure hunting outdoor game. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocashes, using GPS enabled devices” such as your smart phone “and then share their experiences online.”  Go here.


Find trails to hike/bike/run/walk here


Carmike Cinemas Starting June 7, stay cool with us this summer and enjoy our 2012 Summer Kid Series! Ten weeks of summer fun every Thursday for only $2.
$2 Movie Combo includes: drink, popcorn, and admission!

Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse offers 2 different money saving movie programs.  You can prepay $5 per person for 10 shows, or if you buy your tickets at the show they are $1 each. Find a Cinemark near you here. You can also sign up for their newsletter and each week they will send you a different money saving coupon for snack and drinks at the snack stand! All movies are G & PG rated and perfect for kids.

Classic Cinemas  This year the Series will be 8 weeks, and will run every Wednesday at 10AM, starting June 13th – August 8th.  There will not be a movie on July 4th.  The Series will only show G or PG rated films, which makes it perfect for all ages! Admission is only $1 per person!

Clearview Cinemas  Beginning July 11th, 8 weeks of  Family Fun on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10:30!  They have a family movie that admission is only $1, find theaters near you here.

Harkins Cinema all shows begin at 9:45AM, start dates vary depending upon location. You may purchase the season pass and it is less then $1 per movie, or you can buy them the day of the movie for $2 per ticket.  Find a theater near you here.

Malco Theatres  Kids Summer Film fest runs on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:30. Tickets are only $2.

Rave Cinemas  FREE Family Film Festival- 2 days a week you can go see a movie for FREE, each week there are different days and different movies, see the movies, dates and locations here.

Regal Cinemas  During this 9-week festival, participating Regal Cinemas, United Artists and Edwards Theatres will offer selected G or PG rated movies for only $1 on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 10:00.

Select Skating centers KIDS SKATE FREE are offering 2 FREE passes, per week all summer long!


If you live in, or are planning to visit Colorado, please be sure to check out this website full of FREE things to do there!

Through their partnerships with educators and arts organizations, Target helps students and their families engage in arts and cultural events nationwide – FREE or reduced pricing. Find locations and times at the above link!

Find a local farmer’s market here

Find a PICK YOUR OWN farm near you – pick strawberries, raspberries, apples, peaches and more!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you have any to add, please do so in the comments below!! Enjoy!!!!!

This list would have been much more challenging to compile, if not for the excellent work of The Thrifty Mama, ChaChing on a Shoestring and Mr.FreeStuff.  Thank you!


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