Free Summer Things To Do

It really isn’t cheap to have a family these days, is it? Taking your kid to a baseball game in New York City costs the same as taking a family vacation did when I was a kid. Heck, even a movie for four is a bank-breaker.

Luckily, some of the big retailers get this and have put together some fun stuff for the summer.

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For starters, Target is doing something really neat this weekend called Arts & Wonder: Free Family Event. Basically, it has joined with cultural outlets in 30 different cities across the country to provide access to all sorts of cool things. There are more than two dozen various museums and the like participating in New York City. You can do anything from “Kids Dance” as part of Midsummer’s Night Swing at Lincoln Center to taking in an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art or a concert in the park by the New York Philharmonic. This is the weekend for free culture, baby! Some of the programs go beyond this weekend so take a gander at what’s available.

Maybe instead, you’d just like to bowl. We first took Maisie bowling when she was just six months old. Of course, she couldn’t roll the ball, but she thought standing in her daddy’s shoes was pretty fun. Well, believe it or not, your kids can bowl two free games per day in White Plains all summer long! It’s part of a nationwide program called kidsbowlfree.com. Basically, you have register online and buy a family pass, which starts at $24.95 and includes two games per day and covers up to four adult family members. The kids then get to bowl two games free every day. It’s really a bargain for everybody if you like bowling.

When I was a reporter, I was always pumped when I got to show off a factory on TV. It’s just so cool to see how things are made. Plus, it’s a great way to say, “Yeah America!” to watch an assembly line right here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. There’s a cool site called factorytoursusa.com that shows you all the various tours available to you in the country. In New York, these also include tours of things like the United Nations and Radio City Music Hall. Many of the tours are free. Some cost a small fee. All sound pretty cool to me and are bound to hold your kids’ interest for an hour or so.

Of course, my favorite summer staple is taking in a movie. Frankly, I can’t wait to take Maisie to her first movie. Of course, sitting in a dark theater lost in the plot is something I probably won’t do for a good long while now that I’m about to have a new baby. Sigh. So you’ll just have to do a movie for me and tell me about it later.

Regal Cinemas is offering free movies on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings (regmovies.com). I kid you not: free! I think the only theater participating in Westchester is New Roc Stadium 18 and Imax in New Rochelle, which is a pretty neat theater. However, there are lots of other theaters in the country so if you’re on vacation or something, you may want to check out the other participating theaters. The movies are all very kid-friendly—mostly rated PG—and change weekly. Next week’s choices are Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs or Flushed Away.

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So, off you go—have a great ol’ time for me. I need to go put my feet up while I wait for my little bun in the oven to be done!

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