Free activities to do with kids throughout the whole year anywhere in the united states.
Keeping kids entertained is hard.
Keeping kids entertained all weekend, summer, and spring break is harder.
Keeping kids entertained all day everyday is hardest!
AND keeping kids entertained all weekend, summer, spring break, full-time on a budget is the harder of the hardest!
BUT luckily there are quite a few FREE things to do with kids, which makes our lives as parents easier!
Don’t get stuck in the house all day, especially because of your budget! Here are some completely FREE things you can do with kids, AND they’re in almost every state:
19 Free Activities to do With Kids
There are malls in almost every city, and almost every mall has a play area. Check your mall directory and see if they have a play ground. I’ve been to some that are huge and amazing, and even some little ones that the kids still love. Make sure you have your hand sanitizer handy.
The Lego store is cool because they always have Lego play tables set up for the kids to play. They usually have about 2 or 3 so it’s rarely overcrowded, which is nice, otherwise it’s just more work trying to contain the arguing.
Depending on how big the store is, they might have some Lego block sculptures as well, which are always awesome. The Lego store is one of my kids favorite places.
Every state has an Outdoor World.
The most popular being Bass Pro Shop, or as my kids call it, the Fish Store.
This store is huge with a ton of things to look at it. They have a huge fish tank where they do regular feedings that you can watch. They also teach you about the fish.
There are usually free family events on the weekends or holidays. They have a restaurant inside, fishing lessons, and a fun laser shooting game. A couple of those cost money. My husband and I usually save up our quarters and go play the shooting game. Lots of fun.
I never knew all the awesome things the library does until I became a mom.
It’s not just for borrowing books.
Although, take advantage of that too, especially because they usually have a reading program going on where the kids can win prizes.
They have reading and story time, and fun events. We attended a Princess party once, my little girl loved it.
They usually do a Santa visit during the holidays. And almost all of them have a play area with toys and crafts. My kids love the library.
Wal-Mart or Local Grocery Store
Okay, so Wal-Mart may not be the coolest, but grocery stores these days are an experience.
I’ve been in some that will watch your kids while you shop. What!!???. I KNOW! Awesome.
A lot of them give out free cookies. If you haven’t taken advantage of this, ask the bakery next time you go, they might have a cookie.
It’s a great bribe, *cough**cough*, I mean incentive for the kids to be good.
We usually hit up the store section, we might have spent 2 hours there before.
Oh, and samples galore and stickers! Next time you go, don’t do a big shopping trip, just go for the ride! 🙂
Who doesn’t love Disney?
Well, you might not, but the kids all do! The Disney store is really kid friendly. They usually have a movie or music videos playing and a little craft table. It’s small, but something my kids look forward to.
Okay this one is quite obvious, but true nonetheless!
There are so many parks. We had a goal once to check out all the parks within a certain radius of us. There are just so many of them. When you make that a goal, it kinda makes it more fun. Then rate them. You can also create scavenger hunts or do a picnic at the park.
These are especially good for the summer. Kids love water and we love them to not over heat! Win, Win!
Plan to play at a park before or after the splash pad, or bring a picnic. Make a day of it!
There are several towns and cities that have a Farmer’s Market.
When I first heard of Farmer’s Market, I thought “that’s lame”, but it’s really not.
There are so many local businesses you learn about that are awesome.
You find that one cookie lady that you just love and keeps you coming back.
There are also often activities for the kids to do, depending on the farmer’s market. AND FREE samples, the BEST! It’s good food too!
Exercise and quality time together! Find a nice hiking trail, or go for a walk around your neighborhood. Make a picnic out of it, or a scavenger hunt.
Barnes and Noble
Fun for the whole family! My kids love Barnes and Noble. Good books, toys, and fun. There is a section for everyone!
There is so much going on at your local community center. If you haven’t checked it out, do! There are things you can pay for, but they also hold free events often.
They also probably have a FREE play area for kids. Just google your local county or city community center, you’ll find lots of treasures!
There are a lot of botanical gardens around and I have yet to meet one that doesn’t have a free day, free times, or $1 days, which is practically free, unless you have 20 kids.
This is another place I thought “how lame” when I first heard about them, but they can be pretty cool. I mean you always have that one section that’s like, what’s here? Looks like natural grass, but just avoid those sections.
They usually have a play area, and some pretty flowers to see. They might also hold some events, but those could cost money.
Scheels or Sporting Goods Store
Every state has a pretty awesome Sporting goods store.
Here in KC it’s Scheels. It’s pretty cool.
They have a Ferris wheel, sports games (some have to pay), fish tank, cool taxidermy, and decent play place.
Indoor play places are the best in the summer. It’s a lot like outdoor world, with it’s only little style.
Goodwill or The Dollar Store
My kids love these stores. And they’re cheap! Sometimes we’ll go and let them pick out one toy because it’s like a $1. Something fun to do, and keeps them entertained AFTER you leave the store. haha.
We also like to buy clothes at the goodwill for the kiddos. Kids grow out of clothes so fast so I don’t feel so bad when it only cost me $2.00.
Petco/Pet Smart/Pet Store
The Pet store! A place you can have a pet for a few minutes and put it back.
Maybe they should have a baby co, haha, JOKES!
My kids love the pet store, but what kid doesn’t? We can easily waste a couple hours in the pet store.
Our favorite out of these is Petco. They have more pets, and they take them out more. That has just been our experience.
I never knew how awesome Home Depot was until I found out how awesome Home Depot was!
The first Saturday of every month they have a kids workshop. They provide all the supplies, and you even get a free apron and completion certificate. Pretty cool.
In every city I’ve lived in there has been some type of free museum, you just have to look for them. And they’re usually pretty awesome.
Maybe I just added this one for me, but I LOVE Sam’s Club. And I can’t really tell you why, but I just do. Maybe it’s the FREE samples, or the super cheap food. The kids love the book section and getting the $1 fountain drinks. Overall fun!
I hope you find something here that you haven’t done before, or maybe there is something you’ve done before that’s not on this list! Let me know what that is, I’d love to try it.
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Related: 40+ Hobbies for the Stay at Home Mom