6 Free summer activities



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Summer’s here, and your kids have a lot of free time on their hands. Finding activities that will keep them busy can be stressful and a strain on your wallet.

To help you out, ParentsCanada compiled a list of free activities your kid can take part in this summer — either by themselves, or with the whole family.

Kids Bowl Free

This summer bowling alleys all across the country are participating in the Kids Bowl Free program, which allows kids to play two full games at no cost. If you have a birthday party coming up with lots of kids to entertain, why not check out an alley near you? Adults do still have to pay.

Visit the Kids Bowl Free website for a list of participating locations.

Street fairs, festivals, and parades

There are bound to be a couple of street fairs and festivals near you this summer or parades winding their way down the main street of your city. Spend the day walking around and checking out vendors with the kids. Most festivals have free concerts or shows and some are tailored specifically to children.


Free workshops for kids

Home Depot and Lowes have free workshops for kids that lets them have hands-on fun in a friendly environment. Home Depot offers their workshops on the first Saturday of every month between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m., for kids 5-12 years of age. Lowes offers their workshops every Saturday at 10 a.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Be a “hometown tourist”

Spend a day being a tourist in your city! Check out your local tourism centre for information on any free walking tours your family can participate in. Explore a hiking or walking trail and see where it leads.

If you’re more of an indoor person, look for free events at museums, historical sites and art galleries near you. For example, Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario is free on Wednesday nights. If you live in one of the bigger cities, spend a day in one of the city’s niche neighbourhoods – Little Italy, Chinatown, Little Portugal or Koreatown, to name a few.

Local library programs

Throughout the summer most libraries have programs for kids going on during the day or on the weekends. Drop in to see if they have any book clubs, workshops, reading challenges, writing or drawing competitions, or volunteering opportunities that your child can join in. If not, sign up for library cards and the kids can go when they please.

Public pools and beaches

Most public pools are open for the summer and will close in September. Take advantage of them while they last! Some have specific family-friendly hours. You can also have a beach day with the family at a lake close to you – just don’t forget your sunscreen! (Check out this piece about the latest sunscreen products.)

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