Holy Frijoles! Summer is almost here! How the heck are we supposed to keep our kids entertained for nearly three months without breaking the bank?
Watch our latest ModMom TV video and get some ideas for some Affordable Kids’ Summer Activities. Also, don’t forget to check out our handy, dandy DFW Staycation guide!
Here’s a list of FREE and cheap activities for kids and families to enjoy in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex from free summer activities, movie deals, free reading programs, summer discount tickets and summer food deals. I will be adding to the list as more information becomes available so keep checking back.
Summer Deals & Activities
AMF Bowling Centers
You can get the Summer Games Bowling Pass at AMF Bowling Centers which includes 3 games of bowling per day and shoe rental all Summer long from May 23rd through September 5th! Pricing does vary by location – kid’s passes range between $4.95 and $31.95 & adult passes range between $14.95 and $36.95! To check pricing in your local area, head here, then enter your zip code and click ‘Search’. Click on the AMF Bowling Center in your area that you’d like to bowl at, and then the pricing for your location will be displayed.
Amon Carter Museum
The Amon Carter Museum of American Art invites families with young children to participate in this summer’s free Storytime series, held every Wednesday, June 8 through July 27, from 10:30 a.m.–noon. Storytime presents children’s books and connects them with artworks; the theme for 2016 is Artful Alphabet. Storytime is best for families with children ages 3–8 and their adult companions. A snack will be provided by GoGo squeeZ.
You can sign up for a FREE Apple Camp for kids ages 8-12. During the first two days your child will learn how to shoot their own footage, create an original song in GarageBand on an iPad, and put it all together in iMovie on a Mac. On the last day, all the campers will show their movies at the Apple Camp Film Festival. Registration usually opens the first week of June and the workshops fill up FAST. Go here to sign up to be notified when registration is open.
Bass Pro Shops
Bass Pro Shops will be offering FREE Family Summer Camps on Tuesday and Thursday at noon and Saturday and Sunday.
There will be crafts and kid’s workshops on Bird Watching, Fishing, Archery, Kayaking, and more. Plus, kids can practice casting a fishing rod and perfect their marksmanship skills in the BB shooting range & Shooting arcade
Home Depot offers FREE workshops for do-it-yourselfers of all ages and experience levels. Head over here to review the schedule of upcoming workshops and choose a specific workshop to attend.
Kids Bowl Free
Each kid will score 2 FREE games of bowling per day. Head over here and click your state on the map to find a participating location near you. Please note: Taxes and shoe rental fees apply and vary by location. Some locations are also offering Family Passes to bowl for as low as $24.95. This will entitle 1 family members to 2 free games everyday this summer as well – you can purchase additional family members for an additional cost.
Kids Skate Free
Kids Skate Free– Sign up for the Kids Skate Free Program and your children will each get free skating this summer! Skate rentals are not included and the age requirements and available times vary by location.
Bring the kids to a Lowe’s Build and Grow workshop. Go here for a list of the summer FREE clinic lineup.
Main Event Summer FUNcamps are the perfect way to beat the summer doldrums (and the heat!). FUNcamps are $29.95 per child, per day OR pay $124.95 for a full 5-day session (that’s a savings of $24.80!). Limited to kids 8-15 years old.
If you’re looking for creative activities for your kiddos ages 3 and up to do this summer, be sure to mark your calendars for Michaels Camp Creativity! Starting June 13th through July 29th, Michaels will be offering up new crafts each day (on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays), new themes each week (see below), face paint Fridays and the kids can even create a Camp Journal! Keep in mind that registration is required and space is limited. The cost per session is $5 in-store or online OR $12 for 3 sessions in-store only. Even sweeter, on Saturday April 16th only, they’re offering an early sign-up special of ONLY $10 for 3 sessions whenever you register in-store! Plus, the first 50 to register in-store will get a FREE Drawstring Bag! Head on over here for more details.
Microsoft Retail Stores YouthSpark Camps
Microsoft retail stores are hostingYouthSpark Summer Camps for kids ages 8-13 throughout the summer. This FREE camp is divided into two age groups for beginner Game Coders (recommended for ages 8-11) and intermediate Game Coders (recommended for ages 8-11 or older). The camps are 2 hours a day, Monday-Thursday, and are available at Microsoft Retail Stores throughout the country. Keep in mind that space is limited and workshops fill up quickly, so head on over here and sign your kids up now! Just scroll down, select your state and store, and then you will then be able to select the week and class you would like to sign up for. Please note that a parent must stay with your child(ren) during Camp.
Sky Ranch, located in Van, Texas, is one of the leading North American Christian camps. But if your child isn’t ready for an overnight camp, you might consider one of their D/FW Launch Camps for an awesome day camp experience – right in your neighborhood! It’s a great option for kids entering kindergarten through 5th grade who want to enjoy Sky Ranch Summer Camp, but are not quite ready to stay overnight. Plus, it’s affordable at only $269 for a 5-day camp, 9am-3pm.
Use code is 16LCBlog for $25 off Launch Camp. FYI….it’s only valid for first 25 people.
FYI…Did you know you can claim a Childcare Tax Credit for dependent children 12 and under and get up to a 35% credit back on childcare expenses? Go HERE for more info. Keep in mind, only day camps qualify, not overnight camps. Also, many employers offer a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account where you can set aside up to $5,000 every year for childcare (and it’s tax free!).
Summer Movie Deals
Summer is quickly approaching. Check out this roundup of Summer Movie programs for 2016.
Moviehouse & Eatery: Summer Kids Camp starts up on July 14th! Join us every Tuesday at the Moviehouse during July, and August for a FREE family flick! Tickets will be given out on a first-come, first-serve basis starting at 9am. The movie itself will start at 10 in one of our dine-in theaters. Take a look at the schedule and plan ahead for your favorite flicks!
Harkins Theater: There are 2 options, you can buy the season pass and it is less than $1 per movie and there are 10 movies in the season. Or buy tickets the day of the movie for $2 per ticket. Showtimes are at 9:45 am.
Regal Cinemas $1 Movies – Regal Cinemas Regal Summer Movie Express – $1 kids movies has released it’s 2016 summer $1 movie schedule! Regal Cinemas offers $1 movie admission to popular kids movies at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the summer.You can check out the Summer movie schedule – so you know what movies will play when. Just scroll down to the map and enter your local zip code for a full schedule.
CineMark Century Theaters: There are 2 different money saving movie programs at CineMark. Pay $5 per person for 10 shows when you buy them in advanced. Or if you buy your tickets at the show they are $1 each. Show days are Tue, Wed, Thurs: see participating CineMark locations (note: some Rave Theaters are now owned by CineMark. Call your location for participation)
Studio Movie Grill Summer Movie Series – $2 screenings of recent, popular children’s films – Monday-Friday at 11am (dates may vary based on your state and school summer break)
Summer Reading Programs
School is almost out for the summer so we wanted to share a list of Dallas/Fort Worth FREE Summer Reading Programs for 2016.
*Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program Kids Can Earn a Free Book!
Here is How
Step 1. Fill out the Summer Reading Triathlon Reading Journal (PDF).
Step 2. Bring the completed Reading Journal to your local B&N store. Find a Store.
Step 3. Choose a FREE BOOK from our selection on the Reading Journal list at the store… Enjoy reading!
The program runs from May 12th through September 6th 2016.
Sylvan offers this FREE reading incentive program. Basically, your child reads books and then takes a simple comprehension quiz to make sure they understood what they read. The quiz is usually about 10 questions long. They earn points based on how much they remember from reading the book. There are hundreds of books to choose from in all reading levels. These are common books that can be found at your local library. Once they have earned enough points they can trade them in for some really neat prizes!
Books-a-Million is having a Summer Quest in which you head here and download the Summer Reading Journal, read four books, and turn in your journal to your local Books-a-Million store to get a free Camp Half-Blood Tote Bag.
Earn 10 FREE tokens every time your child reads for 2 weeks in a row. Just fill out the form and bring it in to claim your free token.
They are offering kids ages 14 and under a chance to earn a $5 Gift Card for reading just 15 each day throughout the summer!
*Local Public Library
Most of the Public Libraries offer Storytime.
Dallas Public Library – The free eight-week program, June 6 – Aug. 1, encourages reading at least 30 minutes a day. Open to children and adults of all ages. Young club members can earn weekly incentive prizes – from free books and fun foods to zoo, circus and baseball tickets – simply by reporting that they have read 30 minutes per day in person at any Dallas Public Library or online at dallaslibrary.org.
Open only to children under 10 years of age on any day during the promotion period. Must present completed Award-Winning or Early Reader book list to receive a free book at participating Pottery Barn Kids stores. (Call your local store to make sure they are participating!)
Log in your reading minutes to the Scholastic site and your child will be able to participate in a World Record challenge as well as earn digital prizes!
Your child can earn a FREE movie ticket from National Amusements Theaters when they read a book and complete a book report.
Six Flags Read to Succeed (hasn’t reopened as of yet as time of this posting)
K-6 students who complete six hours of non-school-related reading approved by their parents and teachers are eligible for free admission to their nearest theme park.
SYNC is a program that gives away two FREE audiobook downloads every week each Summer for readers ages 13+. (each week features a current Young Adult title paired with a Classic or Required Summer Reading title). Titles are delivered through the OverDrive app which can be downloaded for free. For more information, head her
Read and keep track of 10 books this summer and your child will get $10 added to their Young Saver Account FREE!
Summer Discounted Tickets
Summer is just around the corner, so I wanted to get you ready for some fun! Here are some great ways to save while enjoying entertainment and attractions in North Texas!
You have probably seen on MyDFWMommy or heard on WFAA about Pogo Pass . It’s a year long, family based entertainment pass, that gets pass holders into some of the best venues in Dallas. Head over here and use code MYDFWMOMMY and get 60% off (you’ll pay $49.98 instead of $124.95). Just Hawaiian Falls and the Fort Worth Zoo are over $40 by themselves!
What does the pass include? Check this out!
This is truly one of the best deals in family entertainment out there. You’ll enjoy a FULL YEAR of admissions to places all over town (each place has their own details about how many times you get in with the pass).
Some things to know:
Each person needs their own pass
A different pass is needed for use in each city (someone with a DFW Pogo Pass can’t use that in San Antonio, for example. They would need a San Antonio Pogo Pass)
Remember to use MYDFWMOMMY as the discount code to get 60% off!
Ever heard of CityPASS? (just search CityPass in the top search bar) It has just come to the Dallas area and is a booklet of admission tickets to the best attractions in a single city. You’ll save up to 50% compared to combined regular box office prices!
And now Dallas CityPASS now has a mobile voucher available! You will just need to present your voucher on a smartphone or other mobile device at the first attraction you visit to receive their Dallas CityPASS ticket booklet. No need to worry about getting your CityPASS booklet mailed to you or printing the voucher off. This makes it even easier to purchase a Dallas CityPASS while traveling and use it right away.
Skip ticket lines: Save time with easy access at most attractions. Once you have your CityPASS booklet, skip the ticket line and head straight for the entrance.
Take your time: CityPASS booklets are valid for nine consecutive days beginning the day of first use. Visit the attractions in any order you wish.
Easy Purchase: Get all your attraction tickets in advance in one easy purchase. Buy now and choose delivery option during checkout: Email voucher or ship ticket booklets.
Here’s what’s included in a Dallas CityPASS ( $46 Adults & $31 Kids)~
1. Perot Museum of Nature and Science~ 3D Film and Museum General Admission, including any public programming on day of admission
2. Reunion Tower GeO-Deck~ General admission offering 360-degree views from the indoor and outdoor observation deck atop one of Dallas’ most iconic structures.
3. Dallas Zoo~ General admission to the 106-acre zoo, featuring over 2000 animals.
The Sixth Floor Museum~ Includes audio tour and admission to the permanent exhibit and temporary exhibits on the seventh floor.
4. George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum~ Admission to all permanent and special exhibits and special Library and Museum programming on the day of attendance, as well as a handheld audio guide.
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden~ General admission to the main garden.
Summer Food Deals
Starting now and running throughout the Summer, Sonic Drive-In’s are offering up 1/2 price Ice Cream Shakes after 8PM! For more information, head here, watch the short video, and you should this promotion pop-up at the end!