Free Summer Activities

One thing we do every year is sit down and try to have a schedule planned for the boys. While we do have King's Island and Museum passes, we don't want to do that everyday (or our boys would probably love to visit KI everyday). There are several activities that are local and FREE to enjoy! I will be sitting down with my BFF's and making our calendar of what activities we are sure to pencil in for our families to experience together.

Free Bowling

When you register at, your children are eligible for two free bowling games per day. You can log into your account online and print off all of your bowling vouchers for the week for each child. Use 'em, don't use 'em, but get them in case you want to include a fun and free day of bowling with the kids!

Also, when you sign up for AMF Bowling's eClub, you will receive a Free game of bowling for up to 10 people.

Free Summer Movies

Every year theaters offer the Free movie days. While these are not typically new releases, they are still fun AND free so you can't beat seeing a good PG or G flick on the big screen. The Free movie days are every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10a at the following participating theaters:

Summer Reading Programs

Our kids have to get to do summer reading or workbooks so they don't lose all that they have learned throughout the school year :) But, it's always fun when you can combine learning, specifically reading, with a reward like many retailers are doing. Some great summer reading programs to consider:

Public Libraries

Always check with your public library too!! They offer fun reading activities and our library has weekly check-ins to keep the kids motivated and rewarded for the reading they have done!

If you are in need to purchase inexpensive books, check out!

Cincinnati/Dayton Free Summer Fun

Cincinnati Museum Center Free Friday's

Receive Free admission from 4p-8p on the following days throughout the summer: June 25, July 30, August 27, September 27. More information can be found at

Newport Aquarium

Free Child Admission (ages 12 and under) with each full price adult admission from 4p-7p, Sunday through Friday. This is valid from May 31 – September 3. More details can be found on the Newport Aquarium website.

Summer Festivals

A comprehensive list of festivals in the Greater Cincinnati area.

Free Activities on Vacation

If you are going on vacation, don't forget that many season passes offer valuable reciprocity benefits. The Association of Childrens Museums has a Reciprocal Program established. If you are on vacation, look up another facility in your destination (this also works great for short summer day trips as well)! We did this on our last vacation while visiting Florida. It was a nice break from the ocean and beach everyday…yeah, that sounds impossible but it was great for that one rainy day!

Want craft ideas? Review this list of Inexpensive + Easy Summer Crafts
and get creative with the kids this summer!


  1. Amy @Deals For Dayton on June 9, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    There are several other reciprocal programs including zoos and science centers.

    Thanks for reminding me about the children’s one!

    • Andrea Deckard on June 9, 2010 at 7:53 pm

      Ooh, thanks Amy!! Definite good to have on the reciprocity agreements for season passes/memberships!

  2. Jennie on June 9, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Thanks for the info! We have a family fun calendar we have started on the blog with all free or inexpensive events. Hope you can find some goodies on there when you are making out your calendar!

  3. Karen Rucker on June 13, 2010 at 1:09 am

    We live a few hours south of you in KY and love to visit the krohn conservatory whenever we’re in the area. It’s free and educational and the perfect place to jump start your kid’s imagination.

  4. Stockpiling Moms on June 26, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Great Escape Theater also offers free movies this summer.

  5. peterpan92 on July 9, 2010 at 2:00 am

    Another reading promo I just found – the Florence Freedom are offering 2 free child admissions to selected games when you read 4 books – sign up on their website. My 7 yr old read 4 books in 2 days in order to go to the game! (adult tix are $8 in conjunction with this offer)

  6. Nancy Doorlag on July 13, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Thanks so much for all the wonderful ideas! My kiddos also LOVE the Daily Vacation Bible School activities in our church along with that, they’ve also been invited by friends to attend the VBS at their church! Great fun and great stuff for their souls as well!

    • MommySnacks: Andrea on July 13, 2010 at 10:18 am

      Nancy, that is a huge fun thing for our kids too!! Our boys just went to one VBS this year, but they usually do multiple ones. Good suggestion!

  7. Melissa on May 28, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    I really like this website to find free things for my family and I to do together. We live in Cincinnati and have recently fell on some hard times,so I’m always looking to find things for my children to do that are affordable for our family. This website is a great resourse for that,so I want to say thank you for that!!!!!

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