Free and Nearly-Free Kids' Events

Looking for ways to entertain your kids on the cheap? Here's a round up of free and nearly-free events that your kids are sure to love. It includes workshops, summer camps, story times and more.

1
The Home Depot Kids Workshops

Home Depot Kids' Workshop Apron and Pins
Home Depot Kids' Workshop Apron and Pins. Photo © Flickr user chapstickaddict

Bring out the do-it-yourselfer in your child by taking part in the free Kids Workshops at Home Depot. Workshops take place the first Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. - noon at all store locations. You child will receive a free orange apron, and a new pin for their apron, each time they complete a project. Adult participation is required. These events are popular, so be sure to register ahead of time to guarantee your spot.

2
Lowe's Build & Grow

Lowes Build & Grow
Lowes Build & Grow. Photo © Flickr user Jim Pennucci

Lowe's is another good source for free D-I-Y kids' projects. Clinics are offered on a bi-weekly basis from 10am-11am, and all building materials and tools are provided. Spend an hour with your child, and come away with a cool project that you built together.

3
Michael's Kids' Club

Kids Crafting
Kids Crafting. Hero Images/Getty Images

Have crafty kiddos? Then, the Kids' Club at Michael's is a must-do. It features a new craft each Saturday. Just drop in anytime between 10 am and noon; pay $2; and you're free to shop while they create. There's also Camp Creativity in the summer. It runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and costs $3 per session, less if you buy three sessions at a time. Check the store calendar for more free Make-It-Take-It events that you can participate in as a family.

4
Barnes & Noble Storytimes

Barnes and Noble Story Time
Barnes and Noble Story Time. Photo © Flickr user Mraz Center for the Performing Arts

Foster a love of books in your child by participating in one of Barnes & Noble's free story times, which include a story and a creative activity to go along with it. Themes and times vary from location to location, so check with your nearest store for specifics.

5
Pottery Barn Kids In-Store Events

Story Time
Story Time. Hero Images/Getty Images

With a summer reading program, story times, character meet-and-greets and more, there's always something fun (and free) to do at Pottery Barn Kids

6
The Apple Store Youth Workshops and Summer Camp

Apple Store Hour of Coding Workshop
Apple Store Hour of Coding Workshop. Andrew Burton/Getty Images News

Sign your kids up for a free one-hour workshop, where they can learn how to do things like make movies or record music. There's also a free three-day summer camp for kids age 8-12, Choose between coding and robotics, moviemaking or storytelling. Camp tends to fill up fast. Sign up to be notified when registration opens, so you don't miss out.

7
Lego Store Free Mini Builds

Lego Mini Build
Lego Mini Build. Photo © Flickr user Shannon McGee

Each month, Lego Stores offer a free building event for kids ages 6-14. Register in advance to claim a spot for your kids (Registration opens the 15th of the month for the next month's event). They'll get to build the monthly model, and take it home with them. That means a free activity and free Lego bricks!

Note: You now need to be a Lego VIP member to participate in the monthly builds. It's free to sign up.

8
Kids Bowl Free

Kid Bowling
Kid Bowling. Sean Murphy/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Register your kids on KidsBowlFree.com, and they'll get two free games of bowling each day this summer, at participating bowling alleys. This doesn't include the shoe rental, but some bowling alleys allow you to purchase an unlimited shoe rental pass.

9
Free Museum Admission

Kid Looking at Museum Exhibit
Kid Looking at Museum Exhibit. Cultura RM Exclusive/KMM Productions/Getty Images

If you're a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch customer, be sure to take advantage of their Museums on Us program. Just flash your credit/debit card and I.D. at the admission counter to get free admission to hundreds of museums on the first full weekend of every month. The list of participating locations includes children's museums, history museums, botanical gardens and more. Use this program to cover your adult admissions, so you only have to pay for your kids. Some of these museums already offer free admission for kids, making for a totally free outing once a month.