5 Free and Cheap Ways To Entertain Kids This Summer


So the kiddos are out of school for summer break. Bring forth the complaints of boredom wailing through the walls and a budget-busting grocery bill! As the queen of “trying to squeeze a dollar out of 15 cents,” I’ve found a few inexpensive yet thrilling activities to keep the little darlings entertained all summer long!

Here are 5 ways to entertain the kids on the cheap!

$1 Movies

Regal Entertainment Group offers the Summer Movie Express, a 9-week 10AM movie selection (Tuesdays and Wednesdays, June-August). Perfect for early birds! The cost is just $1 and partial proceeds benefit the Will Rogers Institute. Visit regmovies.com to find a participating theater near you, review the movie schedule, and for finer details. Be sure to eat breakfast before leaving, unless you want to pay concession prices, although select days may offer special concession rates.

Free Skating

Visit kidsskatefree.com to locate a skating rink near you that offers free summer skating. Generally admission is free, but there’s a nominal fee for the (smelly and blistery) skate rental. However, if you bring your own skates, it should be completely free! For a few extra dollars, you can enjoy other attractions such as laser tag, arcade games, indoor play areas, etc.

Free Bowling

“Pin”point an alley near you by visiting kidsbowlfree.com. Every qualifying child may receive 2 free games of bowling per day all summer long! Again, there may be a nominal fee for the fungi-infected clown shoes, so bring your own or else wear 2-3 pairs of freshly bleached socks.

Those Tax Dollars

The county and city governments use our tax dollars for growth and development, as well as manageable entertainment for residents. Many public parks and recreation centers are completely free and generally provide an online calendar of events. The same goes for community centers and public libraries. The county and city often have separate websites, so be sure to check both for listings with outdoor festivities, concerts, parades, and more.

Atlanta Exclusives:

Amusement Parks

Summer is the busiest time of year for amusement parks, and special offers and promotions are usually going on. Check for group rates and split the bill between fellow parents, or purchase the season passes for extra perks such as bonus tickets, coupons, and free parking. Six Flags Theme Parks have 16 locations nationwide (various operating hours April-December) with a season pass monthly premium of around $6/mo per member. Add on a season dining pass for around $11/mo per member and enjoy lunch, snack, and dinner every day with no limitations on use!

(Atlanta Exclusive: Through June 14, purchase the season pass to Six Flags Over Georgia and receive FREE season pass to White Water. Yes, we already have ours!)


The deals are out there! You just have to do a little research; and for year-round bargains don’t forget to Google your city’s “kids eat free” list and of course, Groupon.com is always a lifesaver.

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