Weekly listing of free or frugal fun family activities~weekend of July 25

Every week I publish a list of free or low-cost activities for your family. At the very least, every activity has a discount code or coupon available. Keeping the kids busy and entertained is hard, doing it on a budget is even harder. So here you go, here is this week’s list. I usually start with what is in the metropolitan Philadelphia area and then the second part is a national listing. Visit this site every Wednesday for free family fun and family activities in and around Philadelphia and Chester county. Thanks to More With Less Today for help with the list.

Have fun and if you want anything ever listed here, just email me.

Visit my list of free summer reading programs for kids.

Events in Philadelphia and Chester County

New this week: The Kindergarten Mixer at the Please Touch Museum-advance registration required, but it’s FREE! Aug 2 from 6-830.

From the “you know you want to” files: All summer long, Governor Tom Corbett and his wife are hosting Second Sunday events and they will be opening up the Governor’s Mansion grounds to the public. For more information, visit www.pa.gov/firstlady or contact the First Lady’s Office at 717-787-1965. I’m assuming that these events are free as I do not see a price listed any place.

Editor’s Note: The dates and themes of the Second Sunday events are as follows:

Sunday, June 8:     4th Annual Arts in the Garden

Sunday, July 13:    Good Gardening, Great Health

Sunday, Aug. 10:   Creatures of the Garden

Sunday, Sept. 14:  Gallery Walk and Artist-led Canvas Painting​

Don’t miss my nice long list of free summer reading programs.

First Friday events: Different boroughs and municipalities do different things for First Friday. Some do Art Strolls, some do Family Activities. Some of the locales in Chester County that do First Friday Events are:

west chester thursdays

Chester County Art Camp-FREE-from June 23 to August 8. Every Monday through Friday, contact them about holiday weeks. 9:30 am is for ages 3 and up, 11 am is ages 5 and up. At The Garage in Kennett Square, 115 South Union Street. Drop in, no registration required.
kimmel center
PNC is once again sponsoring some FREE programs at the Kimmel Center. Visit KimmelCenter.org for more information.

The Philadelphia Art Museum has “pay what you wish” Wednesdays. This program is also available the first Sunday of every month.

The Philadelphia Art Museum also participates in the Blue Star program for military families. See their site for details. The Blue Star program allows military families to visit over 2000 museums nationwide at no cost.

From now until September 1, the Academy of Natural Sciences has a $2 coupon on their website for their Birds of Paradise exhibit.

Locals, the Avon Grove Lions Club Book Barn is now open. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from April to October. I have found great deals there on kids’ books. Contact them for specific hours and directions (on the grounds of Mother Earth Mushroom Farm in Avondale, off of 41) because they do change it up for holiday weekends.

Garden State Discovery Museum: Offering special BOGO days, if the weather is sunny (not raining) and higher than 65 degrees, come in for a special BOGO admission. Not sure of when it starts and ends, contact them for details.

Sunday Bird Walks-Date: Starts January 5 at 8:00 am. Repeats every Sunday from 8-11 am. Please visit the Delaware Nature Society website to register. Or contact  office@bucktoecreekpreserve.org  Cost: FREE Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve: 432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA. Description: Hike with a Delaware Nature Society staff member through the meadows and woodlands of Bucktoe Creek Preserve every Sunday at 8:00 am.
Free Sunday Mornings at Brandywine River Museum, runs now through mid-November.
Free First Sundays at the Barnes Foundation-limited to 2 adults and 2 kids per family.
If you are interested in any of the theater shows at the Avenue of the Arts in Philadelphia, I recently learned that you can go to the box office the day of the show and buy discounted tickets. Visit the Kimmel Center page for more information.

Ongoing events or events for kids with special needs:

Special Needs Story Time-Every Wednesday and Thursday at Spectra Support Services in Havertown

EcoZone Afternoon-Pocono Environmental Education Center, Dingmans Ferry PA-Sundays.

free family fun


Happy Weekend! The summer is flying by! Have you had time to have some fun? We found so many activities that are free (or almost free) for you and your family to enjoy.

I found quite a few free store events taking place this week and others that are coming soon. If you need a place to cool off and give your air conditioner a break, plus try a fun free or practically free event,  then bookmark this master list of free store events or PIN It for later!

Make some memories and try a new workshop, lesson, or craft. We can still have fun on a budget! There are free and fun weekend activities are available all across the USA!

 Be sure to share this money-saving list with your friends and family. If you know of any others to include, please let us know!  It is always best to call ahead and make sure that your local store or retailer is participating to avoid disappointment.


:: American Girl Store Events

Special events differ by location. During July they include a Summer Flower Anklet Craft, Summer Reading Bookmark Craft, Pets Card Craft Event, Everyday Fun Doll ‘Dos, Princess Bitty Baby Story Time, and Meet the Author Tours.

Many of the American Girl in store events are free, however some have a fee and some have age restrictions. Get the details here and find participating stores.

barnes and noble get pop cultured

:: Barnes & Noble

DC Comics Spectacular -  July 23rd through July 27th – come in for a special offer on all DC Comics Graphic Novels plus giveaways and activities.

Comic Convention Weekend – July 24th through July 27th – find limited edition convention collectibles.

GetPopCultured Store Events now through August 10th – a nationwide celebration of popular entertainment themed events.

Storytime on July 29th at 11AM “What Do You Do With an Idea? “

During the month of July – participate in reading, Spanish word practice and activities- dates and times vary by store.

Find the times and participating Barnes and Noble stores here.

container store events

:: Container Store

Learn the Tricks of Organization on Saturdays and Sundays, now thorough August 24th. Find more information and find your closest Container Store here.

Small Things, Small Spaces Demonstration – 2 PM

How to Organize Your Mudroom – 4 PM

Parents and college students are invited to attend a private event at the Container Store featuring everything you need to get organized for college. Times and event dates vary by location. 

disney summer-playdays

:: Disney Stores

Disney Stores are offering Summer Play Days every day this summer now through September 1, 2014. The fun includes Art of Animation, Trivia, Story Time and Showtime. Check your local store for event details and times. Kids will receive a free button for participation each week.

guitar center free classes

:: Guitar Center 

Saturday, July 26th {no age restriction}

10 AM - Recording Made Easy for GarageBand

10:15 AM – Group Guitar Lesson

Free Classes through their Music Mentor Series. Register at the Guitar Center website here.

home depot workshops for adults

:: Home Depot Workshop for Adults

Saturday, July 26th from 10 AM to 11:30 AM  and

Sunday, July 27th from 1 PM to 2:30 PM 

 Come Improve DIY Skills. Learn home improvement skills at your favorite local store. Contact your local store for individual topics. You can pre-register online here.

lakeshore make and shake noisemaker

 :: Lakeshore Learning Store

Saturday, July 26th from 11 AM-3 PM

Kids make and take a Shake Noisemaker. Get more information here

turbo taco truck lowes

:: Lowe’s Build and Grow

Saturday, July 26th at 10 AM ~Kids build their Turbo Taco Truck. You can pre-register right here.

michaels paracord bracelet store event:: Michael’s Kids Club

Saturday, July 26th – 10AM – 11:30 AM

Kids Club – for $2 per child, you can reserve 30 minutes for kids to create while you shop at Michael’s. Sessions start every half hour from 10AM – 11:30. See a store associate to sign up.

:: Michael’s Summer Crafting Fun for Kids

Passport to Imagination arts and crafts takes place Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 AM to Noon. The cost is $2 for 2 hours.You can sign up now through August 1st.

Get more information here.

microsoft summercamps

:: Microsoft Camp 

Registration is open for free weekly in-store camps, now through August 29th. Camps are broken up into two age groups for Jr. Designers (recommended for ages 8-10) and Designers (recommended for ages 11-13), so choose the camp that fits your student’s interest and sign up today.

williams sonoma technique

:: Williams-Sonoma Free Technique Classes

Saturday,  July 26th {for kids} at 10 AM ~ Jr. Chefs will learn all about shakes from fruit to chocolate. Kids will learn how to combine different flavors and swirl in fruit sauce and a crunchy topping. This Jr. Chef Class is suitable for ages 5 and up. To reserve a spot, contact you closest store right here

Sunday, July 27th {for adults} ~ We Love Tomatoes ~ join in and learn preparation tools for tomato recipes, knife skills and delicious ways to enjoy tomatoes. To reserve a spot, and find out specific class times, contact you closest store right here.

:: Summer Family Movies for $1

Regal Theaters on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings for 9 weeks. See the times, dates and locations here.



:: Barnes and Noble 

 August 1st is Frozen Friday – Cool off with Olaf and enjoy story-time, sing-a-longs, crafts and activities.

:: Home Depot Workshop for Kids

Saturday, August 2nd from 9 AM to 12 PM ~ Build a mini-crate pencil holder. You can pre-register online here.

:: Lego Mini Model

Tuesday, August 5th at 5 PM. Kids ages 6 to 14 can build and take home a FREE Lego® Monkey Mini Build, while supplies last. Contact your closest LEGO® Store here for details.

:: Pottery Barn

Sunday, August 10th at 11 AM ~ Stylist Tips & Tricks for Your Home. Find a participating store and RSVP here.

More to Explore Throughout the Year:

:: Apple Camp

Enrollment is open for kids ages 8-12 to attend Apple Camp. This is popular free camp where kids can learn to make movies or create interactive books complete with their own illustrations and sound effects. Hurry, spots fill up quickly. Go here to sign up.

:: Apple Store

Free workshops – learn the basic of Mac, iPad, iPhone, or iPod. Learn how to create slideshows with iPhoto. Edit home movies with iMovie and more! Find your local store and make a reservation for a free workshop here.

:: Bass Pro Shops Free Classes

You can sign up for free workshops such as archery basics for kids, hunting, fishing, fly-fishing, camping, and boating. Contact your local store for their schedule.

:: FREE Beauty Events

Find free beauty events at local stores with free samples and demonstrations. Visit the website that keeps track of these right here.

:: Sephora: Free In Store Beauty Classes

Join the Sephora Beauty club {it is free} and attend free beauty classes inside Sephora stores to learn everything from building a skin care routine to creating the perfect smoky eye. Classes are held on Sunday at more than 60 stores across the USA. Check with your local stores for schedules and times.

:: Home and Garden Shows

If you like Home and Garden shows, this site will give you a free pass. Check the ACS Home Show site.

:: Michael’s Show In Tell {for adults}

Learn something new with in-store demonstrations for new craft ideas, techniques, and creative new trends. From cake decorating, jewelry making, art painting, paper crafting and more, get your local calendar of events right here.

:: FREE Major League Baseball Clinics

Through the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, kids can attend a free baseball clinic in many locations across the country. The free program is called Free Legends for Youth Kids Clinics.

:: FREE Bowling

Kids Bowl for Free at select bowling centers. Just join their mailing list to get notified of the next Kids Bowl Free Day.

:: Free Fitness Classes

Lululemon locations offer free yoga classes, go here for schedules and locations. Athleta stores offer free in store fitness classes, go here for schedules and locations.

:: Free Flying Lessons

Young Eagles - kids ages 8 to 17 experience aviation and get free rides in private aircraft flown by experienced pilots. Get more information here.

:: FREE Roller Skating

Kids Roller Skate for Free: Find the closest participating facility right here.

:: FREE SKI Passport for 5th Graders

Go to www.5thgradeskipassport.com to get a free pass in Idaho or the Pacific Northwest. For other areas, search for your state with the words “5th grade ski pass + your state”, or the name of your local ski resort.

:: FREE Wine Tasting

Total Wine stores offer free wine tasting classes each weekend. Learn about specific producers, regions and varietals. Where allowed by law, participants receive special discounts on the wine being tasted. View the FREE Wine Tasting Schedule here.


:: More Free Museum Dates

This site, www.freemuseumday.org, tracks free museum days in the following cities: Boston, Chicago,Los Angeles, New York, Portland, San Francisco Bay Area, and the Seattle Area.

:: Crazy Holidays This Weekend

Have some silly fun on a budget! Celebrate Milk Chocolate Day, Drive Thru Day, Cousins Day and more! Get the schedule here.


Be sure and check out your local library and parks and recreation departments for free programs and summer events right in your hometown!

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