Summer is fast approaching (woooo!) and as such, companies are starting to release info on their summer freebies for kids.
Apple Youth Programs: They have three different programs (for families, teachers, and kids) all summer long. The Apple Camp look the coolest, as kids ages 8 to 12 get to make a movie, compose a song, whip up a photo book, and then bring home a DVD of the projects they made.
Bowling: Once again, the Kids Bowl Free program is back and allows kids under 12 to bowl two free games every day. This deal could be especially good if you have your own pair of bowling shoes. I looked on ebay and saw a few pairs going for around $15.
Lifestyles Family Fitness: Kids ages 12-17 can work out for free for two months this summer. How many other people were in the best shape of their life as a teenager? I used to train for cross country and baseball all summer long. Now? I'm lucky if I can drag my butt out to the lawn chairs by the pool.
Lowes: Now that they've switched to a weekly schedule, I figure their Build & Grow clinics on Saturdays at 10am are worth planning for. This week they'll build a picture frame, next week a monster truck, and who knows after that.
National Parks: They're bringing back their free National Parks admission days on Aug. 14 & 15 as well as Sept. 25.
REI Kids' Adventure Journal: Containing games and activities, this journal encourages getting outdoors and going hiking. My method of getting kids outside to tell them to get the mail and then lock all the doors.
Free & Cheap Movie Programs
It's worth mentioning that I found a ton of small regional movie chains offering similar promotions as the ones below. If you have a small chain in town, you might want to call and inquire if they have any specials this summer.
: Tickets for Tuesday movies at 10am are only $1.
Carmike Cinemas: Again, tickets for Tuesday movies at 10am are only $1. It runs through August 10 and popcorn & drinks are also $1 to boot.
: For $5, you can buy 10 movie tickets that can be used once per week on weekday mornings. Now someone just needs to mention that spelling theaters as theatres looks idiotic.
: From July 7 to Aug. 11, kids and their parents can see a free movie every Wednesday at 10am. However, you have to bring a “ ” with you. What in the world is up with all of these free movie events occurring at 10am?
Regal Cinemas: Free movies will be shown at 10am every Tuesday and Wednesday.
: There will be free admission to G or PG rated movies every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10am.
Free Reading Programs
Barnes & Noble: Children in grades 1-6 can read eight books through Sept. 7 and then get one free. They have a Summer Reading Journal to help keep track of your child's books and select which one they'll get for free.
Borders: Children 12 and under get a free book when they read at least 10 books by Aug. 26.
Half Price Books: They want to Feed Your Brain (*WARNING!* Potential Zombie Alert) between now and July 31. Kids ages 14 and under can earn a $3 Half Price Books shopping card for each week they read at least 15 minutes per day. They have a reading log to help keep track.
form you can fill out that also has a slot for a t-shirt size, so I'm guessing that might be the prize.: A site I've never heard about is offering a “cool prize” for reading 10 books by Oct. 1. They have a
Pizza Hut: Any child in grades K-6 who reads five books between June 15 and Aug. 15 can enter to win the Summer Break Reading Challenge. Prizes include swim gear, gift cards, and more.
Pottery Barn: They hold a Book Club every Tuesday from 11-11:30am. If your child attends five events, they get a “special gift.”
TD Bank: If any child under 18 reads 10 books between May 3 and Sept. 30, they get $10 for free! Time to call up my buddy who makes fake IDs and ask for one that says I'm a decade younger!