They say the best defense is a good offense. Nothing is more true in the summer when bored kids can equal disaster. Last time, I shared The Happy Family Movement’s Summer Bucket List Challenge. Here’s our bucket list…so many local spots we want to check out. If you are putting together your own summer bucket list, check out these free and cheap summer fun ideas to add to your list.
Regal Cinemas’ Summer Movie Express is back at at select Regal Cinemas, United Artists and Edwards Theatres. On Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, G and PG movie admission is $1 and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Will Rogers Institute.
If you are the parent of a child with autism, did you know about AMC Theaters’ Sensory Friendly Films program? It provides a special opportunity for families to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment. The auditoriums dedicated to the program have their lights up, the sound turned down and audience members are invited to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing!
I don’t think there are any special discounts so not very free or cheap but a fabulous FYI to pass along since there are four Seattle theaters that participate.
Check out Kids Bowl Free, where at select bowling centers, kids are eligible to register for 2 free games a day, all summer long!
AMF Bowling Centers are also offering free bowling for kids all summer; just enter your zipcode to find one near you to register.
Are you a military family? From now through Labor Day, Blue Star Museums offer free admission to all active duty, National Guard and Reserve military personnel and their families.
Did you know that many of our museums like the Imagine Children’s Museum and SAM offer free admission days? Here’s a local list from Free Museum Day.
Don’t underestimate the power of the fine arts with children. There are a plethora of free outdoor concerts from lunchtime to evening so check out your local parks & recs guide. At UVillage’s very popular Sounds of Summer Concert Series you can enjoy live music, gourmet bites from University Village restaurants, a balloon artist, face painting and fun activities in the kid’s play area. Mercer Island has Mostly Music In The Park and Seattle Center has Concerts at the Mural in August.
Check out Shakespeare for no coin with Wooden O. The Seattle Shakespeare Company presents free, outdoor productions of classical plays performed in parks throughout the Puget Sound region.
5. Art Walks
Almost every city in our area has art walks. In Pioneer Square, the city’s first and largest art walk happens the first Thursday of the month. A close second, Edmonds hosts the third Thursday of the month. Wallingford’s is on the second Wednesday now through September.
6. Farmers’ Markets
It’s hard to beat a farmers’ market, now imagine one on a steamship. The Puget Sound Floating Markets provide a fabulous way to teach kids about the ancient traditions of farming and seafaring families. Did you know the floating market is a distant predecessor of today’s urban markets? The Lake Union Park Floating Market, held aboard the historic steamship Victoria V is so on our to-do list this summer. Open Thursdays from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., you can have a picnic lunch on the boat, and then visit the other gems at Lake Union Park like a spray pad.
7. Spray Pads
Speaking of spray pads, they are cropping up in parks everywhere. When our weather is nice, we all can’t wait to go out. Check out Parent Map’s comprehensive list of spots to check out. Our favorite is the Willis D. Tucker Park in Snohomish.
Do you have a favorite place for free and cheap summer fun? Leave a comment, we could all use a few good tips.