Kids are expensive. Are you looking for “free things for kids to do near me?” Making family memories while doing things with the kids doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, there are a lot of free things for kids near you. In addition to great local choices like visits to parks, playgrounds, hiking, and creek stomping, there are several totally free things for kids from national retailers, organizations, and kids’ programs all across the USA.
Free things for kids and families to do, free stuff for kids, near you! That means free activities for kids, family-friendly fun, free admission to museums, and lots more. That’s great news for families spending time together on a budget!
This is the list you want.
Free things to do for kids near you all year long.
Bucket List of Free Things to Do for Kids Anywhere in the USA
Don’t miss any of these free activities, experiences, and projects for kids. Make some family memories and don’t spend a dime!
Home Depot Kids Workshop
Home Depot offers free kids’ workshop kits once a month. On the first Saturday of every month head to Home Depot for a free kids’ workshop. Pick up your kit and complete it at home. In-person workshops will very soon again be an option. Sign-up in advance to be sure your child will get their kit, but most of the time you can just stop by and join in the fun.
Lowes Kids Workshop
Lowes Home Improvement offers free kids workshops once a month in-store. Let the kids build and make something all their own. You won’t even have to deal with paint and wood bits all over your house. Just enjoy the free activity and bring your child’s creation home. You do need to sign-up in advance for these workshops, but they are totally free.
JCPenney Free Kids Craft
On the second Saturday of each month head to JCPenney for Kids Zone free crafts. Kids can make a totally free craft with all the supplies included, and parents will get a 10% off store coupon.
Kids Bowl Free
Did you know kids can bowl free all summer long? It really is true. Just sign up for Kids Bowl Free. Two games a day are totally free. If you don’t have bowling shoes, you will need to rent shoes, but you will not pay for the games. There’s even a family pass you can purchase for a one-time fee that lets grown-ups bowl all summer long, too. Check out Kids Bowl Free for a summer of free fun away from the screens.
Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops Holiday Free Photos
At both Christmas and Easter, kids can get a completely free 4×6 photo at Cabela’s along with a holiday visit with Santa or the Easter Bunny, plus fun activities and little treats.
- At Christmas time visit Santa and get a totally free photo with Santa.
- At Easter, kids can visit and get a photo with the Easter Bunny for free.
Kids Eat for Free!
Meal time can get expensive, which is why we love kids eat free deals. There are a number of restaurants that offer kids’ eat-free days all across the country. Get a free kids’ meal at these national chain restaurants.
Apple Kids Camp and Kids Classes
The Apple Store offers totally free Apple camps in the summer along with kids’ class activities throughout the year. During camp kids can bring their own iPad device or the store will provide one for kids to use. Kids will learn to use various Apple apps to create music, stories, and more that they can present to the other kids in the camp. Kids also get an Apple Camp t-shirt. Reserve camps and classes in advance. In fact, camps fill up so quickly, you’ll want to fill out this Apple camp form to be notified when reservations are open.
4th Grade National Park Pass: Every Kid Outdoors
4th graders can bring their families along to National Parks for free with the Every Kid Outdoors, 4th Grade National Park Pass. In most instances, the 4th-grade pass gets all occupants of the car with the 4th grader into the park for free. So, go visit a National Park for free with your 4th grader.
Kids in Parks
Have kids who like to earn free prizes? The TRACK Trail, Kids in Parks program sends prizes to kids who hike, bike, and even play disc golf at parks with Track Trails. They’ll learn about nature and even history as they complete each TRACK Trail, which makes this free thing for kids both an educational opportunity and an incentive to earn fun prizes. See how one family enjoyed Kids in Parks in this review.
Smithsonian Museum Days
Once a year you can get free admission for your family to Smithsonian Museums on Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day. Museum day usually occurs in September.
Summer Reading Programs
Summer reading programs equal free food, books, and lots more prizes. Not only will kids earn prizes, but they’ll receive one of the best gifts of all: reading time! Check out these summer reading programs available nationally, then don’t forget to check with your local library. Many libraries give out amazing summer reading prizes!
- Pizza Hut Book it!– Free personal pan pizza
- Barnes and Noble– Free book
- Book A Million– book-themed prizes vary year to year
- Chuck-E-Cheese– Read 14 books in 14 days and get 10 free tokens or play points
Free Donuts at Krispy Kreme
Keep your eyes out for special promotions from Krispy Kreme. They do them a lot! At participating Krispy Kreme donut shops, kids can get free donuts for everything from good grades to wearing a costume on Halloween. Pick up your free donut and head to a local playground for a totally free and fun family outing.
Local libraries are a treasure trove of free family fun. It’s more than books, although reading together is awesome and free! But, local libraries offer special events for kids and families that go beyond storytime. We’re talking about free family movie nights complete with popcorn, craft kits, book boxes full of treats and books to keep, concerts, game nights and so much more. Seriously, if you are looking for free family fun, spend some time on your library’s website and check out their calendar. There’s probably a lot more there than you thought!
BONUS! $2 Movies All Summer Long
It’s not free, but you can bring the kids to family-friendly movies at Regal Cinemas for just $2 per person. Find out how to get tickets in our article on Regal Summer Movie Express.a