In Search of Cheap Summer Fun

Temperature is risingSummer has arrived and the temperature is climbing. With days reaching towards 90 degrees and rain showers driving us out of the pool in the afternoons, we’ve been looking for some indoor fun. But with so many days to fill, affordable indoor activities to entertain my child is what I’m looking for!

FREE Bowling
— AMF Summer Unplugged is back for another season! To participate, simply sign your kids up for the program and they’ll be able to play two FREE games per day every day at your local participating AMF Bowling Center (no coupons, vouchers or printouts required). The program will end on September 2, 2013. (NOTE: shoe rental is not included, so you’ll still need to rent those if you don’t have your own.)

— Pin Chasers is also offering FREE bowling for kids this summer. Kids can enjoy up to 10 FREE games of bowling (two games per day). To participate, simply pick up a Fit and Fun Summer Card at any Pin Chasers location and activate the card. Contact your local Pin Chasers Bowling Center for details.

FREE Family Movies
— Muvico Theaters is once again offering their FREE Summer Film Fest. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning at 10 a.m., you and the kids can enjoy a FREE family movie at all Muvico Theater locations. Plus, their Kids Tray is reduced to just $3.75 during their FREE movies, so you won’t mind treating them to a kid-sized popcorn, drink and snack. Visit the Muvico website to see what’s playing.

— Also offering FREE movies this summer is Cobb Theatres. During Cobb’s Free Summer Kids Shows, two different free movies will be showing each week. Head over there every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning at 10 a.m. to catch a FREE flick. Cobb offers a fun Kids Pack for $6.50, which gives kids a small popcorn, fruit snacks and a small drink with a cool movie-related topper. To see what’s playing, visit the Cobb Theatres website, select your theatre, and click on the Cobb Free Summer Kids Shows icon.

$1 Kids Movies
— Regal is also offering really cheap kid flicks during the summer as part of their annual 2013 Regal Summer Movie Express, which benefits the Will Rogers Institute. Movies are just $1 and take place every Tuesday and Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. See what’s playing; visit the Regal Summer Movie Express web page.

Chick-fil-A Summer Fun Flicks Flyer— Finally, Chick-fil-A at Lake Brandon Village hosts a special summer movie series called Chick-fil-A Summer Fun Flicks, which takes place every Tuesday at the AMC Regency 20 Theaters in Brandon, FL. This summer’s event will benefit the Emergency Care Help Organization and local YMCAs. Each event begins with fun family entertainment followed by the movie. Doors open at 9 a.m., and the movie starts at 10 a.m. They are also offering their AMC Kids Pack for just $4 during these events.

FREE Children’s Entertainment
Of course, one of the best sources for FREE indoor activities for kids and families is your local library! Each summer, libraries across the nation offer FREE Summer Reading Clubs, which includes tons of excellent children’s programming featuring local entertainers, crafts, puppet shows, story times, and much more. Be sure to check with your favorite library location to see what is coming up this summer.

FREE Crafts for Kids
Several Bay area businesses offer FREE weekly or monthly crafts for kids.
— Home Depot offer a FREE workshop for kids on the first Saturday of the month from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. (NOTE: This event may or may not be inside, but it is usually under cover.)
— Tampa Museum of Art offers The Art Spot every Saturday morning at 11 a.m., where children can explore their creativity with self-guided projects.
— Lakeshore Learning Center offers a FREE children’s craft every Saturday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Visit the Lakeshore Learning Center website to see what projects are coming up.
— The Dali Museum features a weekly Kids … DillyDally with Dali program on Saturdays. children and their families can explore the creative world of Dali through games, puzzles and craft activities.
— Westfield Family Fun Days take place once a month at all three Westfield mall locations — Brandon, Citrus Park and Countryside. Each program features a FREE story, craft and snack.
— Lowe’s Build & Grow Workshops take place at least once, and often twice each month. To participate, however, you will need to register the kids for the upcoming Lowe’s Build & Grow workshop. (NOTE: Whether or not this event takes place inside will vary by store. In case of rain, however, it will be under cover.)
Most Chick-fil-A restaurants offer a weekly Family Night, so be sure to check with the restaurants around you to see what activities are coming up. The activities or crafts are always FREE; you pay only for your food during these events.

$2 Kids Crafts
Michael’s Stores also offer a number of craft events for kids during the summer months. Michaels Passport to Imagination 2013 events cost $2 per session (30 minutes), and take place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. Each week children will explore a new continent, it’s culture and landmarks. Michaels also offer a Kids Club event every Saturday from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. These drop-off classes are also just $2 per 30-minute session. Contact your Michaels store for more details.

~~~ Under $10 ~~~

AirHeads Junior Jumpers AirHeads Junior Jumpers
This summer, AirHeads is offering Junior Jumpers from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Monday through Friday, which guarantees a special area just for junior jumpers age 8 and younger, and jumping for them is just $8 during this time. AirHeads Junior Jumpers offer will continue through the end of August 2013, and updates may be made once school is back in session.

Indoor Play Spaces
Monkey Bizness (located in The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel, FL) offers Family Night every Friday from 5-8 p.m., when regular admission is just $5/child and $3/crawler. (NOTE: This facility is for children up to age 7.) Monkey Bizness also offers TakeOut Family Night on Tuesdays beginning at 5 p.m., where you can bring your family’s favorite take out and spend the evening playing. Head over to play earlier in the day for just $8/child (age 1-7) or $5/crawler, or pick up a 5-Play Card for $32.10 (expires one year from date of purchase).
Gator Fred’s (Tampa, FL) offers unlimited open play every day on the inflatables and Gator Town, a kid-sized play town. Admission is just $8/child (age 2-12) on weekdays and $6/child (age 1 year-23 months).
Jungle Bounce (Tarpon Springs, FL) features an arcade and inflatables. Open play on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays is from 4:30-8 p.m. is admission is just $8. Or you can purchase a Jungle Pass, which entitles you to five visits for $35.
Pump It Up Westchase offers Family Play Times and where children age 2-12 can bounce, slide, climb and jump for just $8 per child (parents jump for FREE). These open play times vary by day, so you’ll need to check with their website for the a schedule of Family Play Times.
Pump It Up Brandon offers separate Pop-in Play Times for Pre-k (age 2-6) and children 12 and younger. The cost to is just $9 per child.


Annual Passes
Now is the time to take advantage of those annual passes to centers and museums that offer indoor fun for kids — places like Glazer Children’s Museum, The Florida Aquarium, Great Explorations, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Tampa Bay History Center, etc. These summer months can make those annual fees totally worth it!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /
Image courtesy of Chick-fil-A Lake Brandon Village
Image courtesy of AirHeads Trampoline Arena

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