Sunday
Jun302019

15+ Free National Summer Programs For Kids

1. Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program

 

If you need an incentive to get the kids to go screen-free every once in a while, check out the Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program. Download a reading journal from the Barnes & Noble website, then have your little bookworm log each book as it’s completed. Once they’ve read eight books, bring the completed journal to your local Barnes & Noble between Aug. 1 and Aug. 31st to get a free book. Score!

Insider Tip: Your local public library likely has a summer reading program, too! Be sure to visit your branch to get the scoop on how to participate and win prizes.

Cost: Free

Online: barnesandnoble.com/b/summer-reading/_/N-rs9

 

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2. LEGO Mini Builds & Magazine

 

Every month this summer, download the free instructions to a new LEGO mini build. In addition, your master builder can receive a free magazine as part of the LEGO life program. There are stories, activities and news updates for kids ages 5-9.

Cost: Free

Online: shop.lego.com/minibuilds

 

3. Microsoft Kids Camp

 

Microsoft is offering free kids camp at their stores this summer, including a Harry Potter coding camp! There are also other types of camps, including designing video games, STEM Saturdays and robotics. Ages range from 6-14, and while the camps are free, advance registration is required.

Cost: Free

Online: microsoft.com/store/eventsforkids

 

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photo: Brain Chase

4. Brain Chase

 

Give your kids an exciting and engaging adventure this summer by joining forces with Mae Merriweather from the Grayson Academy of Antiquities. Starting on Jun. 10, 2019, your tiny treasure hunter can join other participants from all over the world to work hard, have fun, and decode the clues that will lead one lucky winner to the mysterious Sunstone of Cortes.

How does it work? Kids will choose three electives out of 15 (depending on which package you select), including math, engineering, cooking, typing and even yoga, to solve each weekly challenge. Once solved, an original webisode containing the next hidden clue will be unlocked. The first treasure hunter to solve the mystery will jet off to unearth the real buried treasure—a gold-plated globe and a $5,000 scholarship!

Cost: $89 and up. Click here for more information.

Online: brainchase.com

 

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photo: istock

5. Scholastic's Read-a-Palooza

 

Your avid reader can help underprivileged kids gain access to books by keeping track of his total minutes read this summer. Registration is open now, and the challenge goes until Sept. 6, 2019. There are two ways to participate: Check with your school librarian to see if the school is participating, or sign up independently. As kids log their minutes, they’ll unlock fun videos, book excerpts and other exclusive summer content. Once the program hits 25, then 50 and then 100 million minutes read, Scholastic, with the help of other sponsors will donate up to 200,000 books to underserved kids across the country. You can register here.

Cost: Free

Online: scholastic.com/summer

 

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6. Ranger Rick Photo Contest

 

If you’ve got a budding Ansel Adams at home, the Ranger Rick photo contest is a great way to keep her busy over the summer. First, head for the great outdoors and have her take nature and landscape pictures. Then, select her favorite one and send it in with proper sizing (2 MB or smaller, JPG format, at least 600 pixels wide or 600 pixels tall). If your kid doesn’t have a digital camera, no worries! Phone images are also accepted. Recent winners (this is an ongoing contest) are entered into the running for Ranger Rick’s "Your Best Shots" Magazine Award and are selected every three months. Each winner receives a certificate of achievement and copies of the magazine featuring the winning image!

Cost: Free

Online: nwf./kids/ranger-rick/photo-contest

 

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photo: Dana Porrazzo via Kids That Do Good

7. Kids That Do Good Volunteer Program

 

It's never too early to instill the habit of giving to others. Have your little philanthropists sign up with Kids That Do Good this summer in order to spend time giving back to their local community. The online (kid-founded!) resource allows kids to get involved with a cause or charity of their choosing—or, if you’ve got real go-getters at home—create their own! Once you’ve created an account and found an organization, kids can track their service hours via social profiles and certificates.

Cost: Free

Online: kidsthatdogood.com

 

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8. Apple Camp

 

The very popular Apple Camp returns for the summer. Designed to help spark the imaginations of kiddos ages 8-12, this three-day workshop allows kids to explore and expand on their digital creativity. They’ll choose one of three tracks, and spend 90 minutes of each day working on their project. Be sure tosign up here to get an email announcing open registration—spots fill up quickly!

Insider Tip: If you can't grab a reservation, check out your local store forregularly scheduled events.

Cost: Free

Online: apple.com/retail/camp

 

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9. Home Depot Maker Classes

 

The Home Depot offers workshops that are perfect for mini-makers. Simply pre-register online, and then show up on the selected Saturday to build fun projects like a putting green. At the end of the two-hour workshop, kids receive a certificate of achievement, a workshop apron, and a commemorative pin while supplies last.

Cost: Free

Online: homedepot.com/workshops

 

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10. Camp Creativity at Michael's

 

Does your artist dream of paint, paper, glitter and glue? If so, Michael’s Camp Creativity is the perfect way to beat summer brain drain. Kids come in on Mon., Wed. and Fri. from 10:00 am-12:00 pm to work on projects that have fun themes like Zoo AdventuresWorld Explorers and Sea Treasures. There are new crafts each day, Friday is a slime-themed project, and kids get stickers and coloring pages to collect for each session they attend.

Cost: $3 for a 30-minute session

Online: michaels.com/camp-creativity

 

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11. Kids Bowl Free

 

Budding bowlers can perfect their technique all summer long thanks to Kids Bowl Free, which allows them to play up to two games a day free of charge. All that's missing is a pair of those sweet bowling shoes. To find a participating bowling alley near you, click here.

Cost: Free

Online: kidsbowlfree.com

 

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12. Summer Movie Programs

 

Sometimes a dark and cool movie theater is the only way to beat the heat. Your kids can sign up for a punch card or show up at participating Cinemark (movies shown on Tues. and Thurs.) and Regal theaters (movies shown on Tues. and Wed.) to catch a fun kid-friendly flicks for just $1. Even better, most movies show before noon, making it easy to catch a flick and head home for nap time.

Insider Tip: You can skip the concession lines at Cinemark with a speed pack!

Cost: $1 per movie at both locations, or $5 for 10 punch card from Cinemark.

Online: cinemark.com/summer-movie-clubhouse andregmovies.com/movies/summer-movie-express

 

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13. Kids Skate Free

 

Xanadu your heart out and head for the local roller rink this summer. Whether your kids like to skate or rollerblade, a few laps will get their blood pumping, and the cool, A/C-induced temps are a total bonus. The Kids Skate Free program allows families to take advantage of this offer once a week (during summer months). Click here to find out if it’s happening at your local rink.

Cost: Free

Online: kidsskatefree.com

 

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14. National Park Jr. Ranger Program

 

If you’ve got a National Park nearby (or have plans to travel this summer), be sure to sign up your mini explorers for the NPS Junior Ranger Program. Each kiddo will be outfitted with a handy Junior Ranger guidebook that's filled with historical facts and cool tips about all the National Parks. Every adventurer also gets the chance to complete a series of activities, share answers with a park ranger, and receive an official Junior Ranger patch and certificate. Click here to learn more. 

Insider Tip: Kids can earn badges at home by downloading activity books and information packets. Click here for more info

Cost: Free

Online: nps.gov/kids/jrRangers

 

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15. Museums on Us

 

If you are a Bank of America or a Merrill Lynch cardholder, you can snag free admission at more than 150 museums, science centers and botanical gardens across the country on two days every month just by showing your card. Find out if your favorite museum is participating, and on what days, by clicking here.

Cost: Free

Online: museums.bankofamerica.com

Tuesday
Jun182019

Microsoft Summer Camps

camp teacher gluing something with table of kids

Microsoft retail stores are hosting FREE Microsoft Summer Camps for kids ages 6 years and older!

Depending on the workshop you choose, these camps last up to 2 hours a day and are held at Microsoft Retail Stores throughout the country.

Most activities are available for children 8 and older or 13 and older with select activities available for kids ages 6 and 7. Note that a parent or guardian of every camp participant under 17 years of age must sign a participation agreement upon arrival and remain in Microsoft Store for the duration of the event.

Tuesday
Jun182019

Apple Camp For Kids


This summer, Apple stores are once again hosting Apple Camp for Kids ages 8-12! This camp is for 1.5 hours a day for 3 days! 
 Head on over here to register your kids for FREE! Note space is limited and workshops fill up quickly.

Monday
May132019

10+ Summer Reading Programs

Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program is here to encourage your children to read and earn a FREE book, simply by following these three easy steps:

  1. Read any eight books this summer and record them in your Summer Reading Journal (English or Español). Tell them which part of the book is your favorite, and why.
  2. Bring your completed journal to a Barnes & Noble store between August 1 – 31, 2019.
  3. Choose your FREE reading adventure from the book list featured on the back of the journal.

Also, be sure to join the Barnes & Noble’s free Kids’ Club– as a welcome gift, you’ll receive 30% off the list price on any one kids’ book or toy, a $5 reward for every $100 you spend on kids’ items online and in stores, and a free cupcake from their café for all your children’s birthdays.

Book Adventure
Book Adventure is a fun, free, online way to motivate your child to read! Kids in grades K-8 can search for books, read them offline, come back to quiz on what they’ve read, and earn prizes for their reading success.

Books-A-Million
Each year, Books-A-Million offers a summer reading program. Read four books on their summer reading form and receive a free drawstring backpack (while supplies last).

Chuck E. Cheese
Looking for a fun way to reward your children for good behavior?  Just download and print out the calendar, mark off days with a pen or sticker as your child accomplishes his/her goals, bring in the completed calendars to Chuck E. Cheese’s and receive 10 free tokens as a reward.  They offer a reading calendar, in addition to practical ones like, “good behavior” and “daily chores.”

Education.com
This website offers suggestions and printables for creating your own Do-It-Yourself Summer Reading Camp, complete with summer activity collages.

Half Price Books Summer Reading
Once children, who are 14 or younger, have read for 300 minutes, they can turn in their completed reading log (by August 29, 2019) to earn Bookworm Bucks. Highschoolers can also earn Bookworm Bucks, but they must write book reviews.

PBS Kids
Miss A’s favorite series is the Cat in the Hat Learning Library, created by the amazing PBS Kids.  On their website, you can find books they’ve published, suggested reading lists, and practical suggestions for creating a literary home.

Pizza Hut
Their Book It program is winding down for the year, but be sure to sign up for Fall 2019 (it’s open to homeschoolers right now)!  In the meantime, this summer, enjoy their Summer Reading Challenge.  Their website offers printables, online games, book lists, and more.

Scholastic
The Scholastic Summer Challenge is a free reading program dedicated to stopping the “Summer Slide” and encouraging kids to read every day this summer. Kids will unlock virtual prizes and can enter fun giveaways.

Showcase Cinemas
A fun and rewarding summer reading program developed to encourage young children to read during the summer months, Bookworm Wednesdays entitles kids to free admission to a select children’s film when they present a book report at a participating Cinema de Lux, Showcase, or Multiplex Cinemas box office. Accompanying parents or guardians and children under six years of age receive free admission and do not need to submit a book report. Bookworm Wednesdays will resume in summer 2019.

T.D. Bank
In past years, kids in grade K-5 could read 10 books , fill out a summer reading form, take the form to your nearest TD Bank and receive $10 in a new or existing TD Simple Savings account. 

Local Libraries
Most local libraries offer a robust summer reading program; and this year, many will focus on space travel to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first man on the moon.

Monday
Apr292019

Free Movie Tickets, Popcorn, More


 


Free Ticket Offers:

Twizzler- Free movie ticket 

Subway: Free Child's Movie Ticket

Quaker- Free Movie Tickets

Dr.Pepper- Free Movie Tickets

Kellogg's- $10 free movie tickets 

Cheap and free summer movies for 2019 are starting to come in. Check back often for more updates!

AMC's Summer Movie Camp 2019

AMC movie theaters are showing some cheap summer movies this year for kids and families.

The tickets are $4 per child, which may sound steep, but in addition to the ticket, they'll get a kid's popcorn, fountain drink, and FrootiTooti fruit snacks. 

The movies are on Wednesday mornings at 10:00 a.m. starting in June. Scroll to the bottom of the AMC Summer Movie Camp webpage and for a list of participating theaters. Click on the theater for the movie schedule.

Movies showing this summer include:

  • Trolls
  • The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
  • Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
  • Peter Rabbit
  • Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
  • Wonder Park
  • Smallfoot
  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
  • The House With a Clock In Its Walls

Harkins Theatres Summer Movie Fun 2019

Paul L. McCord Jr./Flickr

Harkins movie theatres are showing cheaps kids movies this summer for 10 weeks at less than $1 per film price, for their annual summer movie fun program.

Day and time of the summer movies depend on your specific location but they start around the end of May to the beginning of June. Contact your local theater for specific location details.

Here's what's playing this summer:

  • Happy Feet
  • How to Train Your Dragons: The Hidden World
  • Despicable Me 2
  • Hotel Transvalnyia 3: Summer Vacation
  • Small Foot
  • The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
  • Sherlock Gnomes
  • Trolls
  • Penguins of Madagascar
  • Shrek

Classic Cinemas' Wednesday Morning Movie Series 2019

Jeff Mendelson / EyeEm/Getty Images

Classic Cinemas is having their annual Wednesday morning movie series this summer June 5 - August 7.

Admission is $1 and the movie starts at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday mornings. Doors open at 9:00 a.m. and there will be characters, games, and activities.

If you have a group of 15 or more you can make a group reservation to ensure your spot.

  • June 5: Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero
  • June 12: Trolls
  • June 19: Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
  • June 26: Smallfoot
  • July 3: Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
  • July 10: Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
  • July 17: The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
  • July 24: Dr. Suess' The Grinch
  • July 31: Surprise Movie 1
  • August 7: Surprise Movie 2

Cheap Summer Movies for Kids at Metropolitan Theaters 2019

altrendo images / Getty Images

Metropolitan Theatres is having a summer kids film series on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, or just Wednesdays depending on your location, June 11 - August 13, 2019.

Admission is $2 and all shows are at 10:00 a.m. Here's the schedule:

  • June 11: The Secret Life of Pets
  • June 18: Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
  • June 25: Peter Rabbit
  • July 2: Rise of the Guardians
  • July 9: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
  • July 16: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
  • July 23: Dr. Suess' The Grinch
  • July 30: Minions
  • August 6: Smallfoot
  • August 13: Sing

Ultra Star Cinemas Kids' Summer Series 2019

For $1 you can see a movie at Ultra Star Cinemas this summer. They play Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m.

Days and movies that are available vary from theater to theater. Check with your local theater for the most recent movie schedule. Here are the movies that they'll be playing this summer:

  • Week 1: Smurfs: The Lost Village
  • Week 2: The Boss Baby
  • Week 3: The Lego Ninjago Movie
  • Week 4: Despicable Me 3
  • Week 5: Sing
  • Week 6: Ferdinand
  • Week 7: The Emoji Movie
  • Week 8: Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
  • Week 9: Paddington 2
  • Week 10: Kubo & The Two Strings

Megaplex Theaters 2019 Kids Summer Movies

Megaplex Theatres are showing cheap summer movies for kids and it will only cost you $10 for a pass that will get you into all 10 movies. You can also choose to buy individual tickets for $1.50 each. The movies start the end of May and wrap up in August.

You'll need to check with your favorite Megaplex location for the schedule of movie times. 

Movies that they're showing this year include:

  • Week 1: Small Foot
  • Week 2: Paddington 2
  • Week 3: Teen Titans Go! to the Movies
  • Week 4: The Iron Giant
  • Week 5: Peter Rabbit
  • Week 6: Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
  • Week 7: Sherlock Gnomes
  • Week 8: The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
  • Week 9: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
  • Week 10: Wonder Park

Phoenix Big Cinemas Free Summer Movies 2019

Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings this summer you can visit Phoenix Big Cinemas to watch free summer movies for kids as well as the entire family.

There's a huge list of G and PG-rated movies playing this year at Phoenix Big Cinemas and you'll need to check with your local Phoenix Big Cinema for the location-specific schedule. Here's what's playing:

  • Smallfoot
  • The Log Movie
  • Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
  • Curious George
  • Shrek
  • Puss in Boots
  • Smurfs: The Lost Village
  • The Emoji Movie
  • Peter Rabbit
  • Trolls
  • The Lorax
  • Despicable Me
  • Despicable Me 2
  • Despicable Me 3
  • Minions
  • Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
  • Sing
  • The Secret Life of Pets
  • Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
  • How to Train Your Dragons: The Hidden World
  • The Emoji Movie

Cobb Theaters Kids Free Summer Movies 2019

Cobb Theaters also has a free summer movie program at many of their locations running June through the beginning of August. The movies start at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays.

The free summer movies for 2019 include Smallfoot, Dr. Suess' The Grinch, Teen Titans Go! To The Movies, Penguins of Madagascar, Paddington 2, Curious George, Hotel Transylvania 3, Peter Rabbit, Emjoi Move, Madagascar, Smurfs: The Lost Village, Home, Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Minions, How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World, and Captain Underpants.

You'll need to first select the Cobb Theater near you, and then the "Free Summer Kids Shows" link to the left to view the schedule.

Paragon Theaters Free Summer Movies 2019

Paragon Theaters will have free summer movies at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, running from June 11 through August 8, 2019.

These are the free movies available this year. Seating is first come, first served. 

To be announced.

Regal's Summer Movie Express

Regal movie theaters (as well as United Artists and Edwards theaters) are showing almost free summer movies for kids June through August.

Showtimes are 10:00 a.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday and cost $1. There's a full listing of Regal's summer movies for kids so you can plan out which ones you want to see.

Cinemark's Summer Movie Clubhouse

During the months of June and August, Cinemark will be showing cheap summer movies that the kids will love.

Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse 2018 will show  G and PG movies including Boss Baby, Smurfs: The Lost Village, The LEGO Ninjago Movie, Storks, The Nut Job 2, My Little Pony, Ferdinand, Paddington 2, Captian Underpants, and The Emoji Movie.

Tickets are $1 per show or $5 for all ten movies. You'll want to check with your local Cinemark to find out which days and times the movies are playing.