Posted Jun 11, 2018
Let’s face it, raising kids is expensive. The good news is that there are a lot of kids' freebies out there if you know where to look. Check out this list with links to some of our personal faves!
1. Free Kids' Books and Magazines
- Dolly Parton's Imagination Library - Book gifting program that mails free books to children from birth to age five in participating communities within the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.
- PJ Library – Free, award-winning books that celebrate Jewish values and culture for families with children 6 months through 8 years old. PJ Our Way is for kids 9-11 years old.
- Free Braille Books - American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults provides blind children a free Braille book every month from a popular children’s reading series. Since 1997, the program has produced over 318 titles in Braille and given them away to more than 20,000 subscribers!
- Free Kindle Books - Amazon has many free kids' books available for Kindle downloads. Amazon Prime members can also borrow books for free through the Kindle Owners' Lending Library.
- LEGO® Life Magazine – Designed for LEGO® fans 5-10 years old, this print magazine features comics, activities, competitions, sneak peaks and the latest LEGO news, all shipped free to your door five times a year.
2. Free Baby Formula, Coupons & Supplies
- Enfamil Family Beginnings® - Free baby formula samples, discount coupons, and special offers worth up to $400.
- Similac StrongMoms Rewards® - Bag full of free stuff for baby, including formula samples and coupons.
- Nestlé Baby Club - Free Welcome Kit and up to $130 in free formula samples and coupons.
- USDA Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) - The WIC Program provides free food packages, including formula, to low-income mothers and young children who are at nutritional risk. You must meet eligibility requirements to qualify.
- Target Baby Registry - Free Welcome Kit when you create a baby registry that includes $50 worth of coupons and samples plus 15% discount on everything left on your registry.
- The Baby Box Company - If you live in Alabama, California, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, or Wisconsin, you are eligible to receive a free Baby Box, a safe sleep space for a baby's first five to six months of life, along with free education and premium baby products.
3. Free (And Cheap) Summer Movies
Many movie theater chains offer free (or very cheap, like $1-$2) kid flicks in the summer months. Usually, these are offered on a set weekday morning each week. Below is a select list of some of the major chain's summer movie programs. If your local favorite isn't listed, check with them directly.
- Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Kids Camp - Choose your own ticket price - $1, $3 or $5 - and buy your tickets online to reserve your seats in advance. 100% of ticket sales are donated to local nonprofits.
- AMC Summer Movie Camp - Admission to a kid-friendly movie AND a KidsPack for just $4+tax, every Wednesday at 10 a.m. all summer long.
- Regal's Summer Movie Express - $1 family fun movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the summer months. Movies in most locations start at 10 a.m. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Will Rogers Institute.
- Bow Tie Cinemas' Summer Kids Club - Free movies Tuesdays and Wednesdays, June 19th - August 15th. Movies start at 10 a.m.
- Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse - $1 G and PG films for kids at select Cinemark theaters nationwide.
- Harkins Summer Movie Fun - Kids can enjoy a movie a week for 10 weeks, for less than $1 per film.
- Cobb Kids Summer Movie Escape - Free summer movies all summer long. New movies each week! Check your local theatre's website for information on days and times.
- Paragon Theaters Free Kids Movies - Free kids movies every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. from June 12th - August 9th.
- Phoenix Theatres Free Summer Movie Series - Free family-friendly movies every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for 10 weeks over the summer. Doors open at 9 a.m. Special Kiddie Meal available.
4. Free Summer Bowling
Sign your children up for two free games of bowling EACH DAY all summer long at select bowling centers across the country. Go to www.kidsbowlfree.com to find participating bowling centers near you and register your children.
5. Free Theme Park Admission
Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and SeaWorld Orlando offer free passes for preschoolers, ages 5 and under. These are online-only offers. Busch Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld Orlando passes are valid for Florida residents only. You must register online by May 31st and present your child's birth certificate or passport at the ticket window to pick up your pass.
6. Free Summer Camps
- Apple Camp - Kids ages 8 to 12 can expand their digital creativity through hands-on projects with experts at Apple. Campers choose one of three tracks, then spend 90 minutes a day for three days at a local Apple Store -- FREE.
- Microsoft YouthSpark Summer Camp - Free summer camps at Microsoft Stores for ages 6 and up. Participants learn the latest technology from Microsoft while making new friends, completing creative projects, and gaining new skills that prepare them for the future. Microsoft also offers STEM Saturday events for parents and students to participate in hands-on STEM learning experiences every Saturday. Projects are designed for 11- to 14-year olds, and also cater to younger students with parent support.
- Maker Camp - Libraries, makerspaces, schools, and community centers around the country host free Maker Camps organized by Make Magazine that inspire kids ages 13-18 to make and fix things. Click HERE to find a camp near you.
- Bass Pro Shops Family Summer Camp – Free camps include fun games for kids, activities and workshops where families can learn the skills they need to enjoy great outdoor adventures together.
7. Free (and Cheap) Classes
- Free Cooking Classes - ChopChop Cooking Club offers free online cooking classes for kids and families. Once a month, they send a delicious new recipe to your inbox. Each cooking challenge comes with how-tos, shopping and storage tips, fun activities, and conversation starters. Once you complete each challenge, you upload a picture of your meal to receive a virtual badge. After finishing six challenges, you’re automatically eligible to win prizes.
- Free Coding Classes - There are many free websites that teach kids how to code. Here is a list of some top picks: Code.org, Codecademy, CodeCombat, Codemoji, Code Monster, Khan Academy
- Free Foreign Language Classes - There are many great online resources to learn foreign languages for free. Three of our favorites: Duolingo, Open Culture, and Live Lingua.
- Free Building Classes For Kids - Home Depot offers free building classes for kids the first Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Kids workshops provide a lively environment mixing skill-building, creativity, and safety for future DIYers. Click HERE, enter your zip code to locate stores near you. Scroll down to find the next Kids Workshop event.
- $2 Craft Classes for Kids - A.C. Moore's Bright Minds Club hosts Kids' Crafternoon for ages 5 to 12 every Wednesday afternoon from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. all summer long. Classes are only $2 per child and include a different project every week! Click HERE to view the schedule. You must sign up in person at your local store.
- Free Monthly Mini Model Build at the LEGO Store - Free Monthly Model Build at the LEGO Store. Every month is a different model and you get to take your mini model home--for FREE! Registration opens at 10 a.m. EST on the 15th of the month prior to the event. Spaces are limited for each store, so don't wait! Click HERE to register.
9. Free Museum Admission
Many top-notch museums, galleries and zoos offer free admission year-round, including the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C., The Getty Center in Los Angeles and Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo. Others, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, let you in free on certain days of the week or month, or offer free admission for children.
10. Birthday Club and Reward Program Freebies
It's always worth inquiring whether your favorite family restaurant, ice cream place, or store has a rewards or birthday program you can join for special discounts and freebies. Here are some top family favorites.
- Barnes & Noble Kids’ Club™ Program - 30% off list price on any one kids’ book or toy. $5 reward for every $100 you spend on kids’ stuff online and in stores. Free cupcake from the Barnes & Noble café for all of your children’s birthdays.
- Baskin-Robbins Birthday Club - On your birthday you will receive coupons for a free 2.5 oz scoop and $3.00 off an ice cream cake. Adults, too!
- Dairy Queen Blizzard® of the Month Club - Buy one, get one free Blizzard® coupon just for signing up, plus an “extra-special coupon” on your birthday and surprise on your anniversary. Adults, too!
- Chuck E Cheese’s Chuck E-Club® - Special treat for your child’s birthday and other rewards throughout the year.
- Cold Stone Creamery’s My Cold Stone Club® Rewards - Buy One, Get One FREE Creation™ on signup and for your birthday plus other rewards throughout the year. Adults, too!
- Denny’s - Free Original Grand Slam on your birthday. Adults, too!
- Firehouse Subs Birthday Yums - Free medium sub reward valid once on your birthday or within the following six days. Adults, too!
- IHOP Pancake Revolution® - Free meal for signing up, free meal on your birthday, and free meal every year on your anniversary of joining. Adults, too!
- Red Robin Royalty® - Free birthday burger, every 10th item free, and $20 toward your 6th visit.
11. Kids Eat Free
Many restaurants offer free or discounted kids' meals certain days of the week with the purchase of an adult meal. You can search by zip code and day of the week on KidsMealDeals.com to find freebies and discounts near you.
12. Free Travel Resources
- Free Passport Photos - Don't waste your time or money hauling the kids to the post office or drug store to get their passport photos taken. Take your own photo with your digital camera and upload to ePassportPhoto.com or the Passport Booth App, which will help you size it properly before printing on your home printer. No more worrying about uncooperative photo subjects either, as you can take as many photos as you want and try again if the littles are not in the mood.
- Free Tour Guides - Hesitant to shell out big money for a professional tour only to have the kids ruin it with one of their epic meltdowns? The Global Greeter Network is a network of volunteers who love their city so much that they want to show it to you -- for FREE! How awesome is that?!
- Free Audio Tours - Audio tours are a great way to keep the kids entertained while touring a new city, especially tweens and teens. You can search for free walking tours available for download on iTunes.com and iAudioguide.com. Rick Steves also has an excellent series of free self-guided walking tours covering Europe's most fascinating destinations.
13. Free National Park Admission
The National Park Foundation's Every Kid in a Park Program grants Fourth graders and their families free access to hundreds of parks, lands, and waters for an entire year. Passes can be printed out online.
14. Free Plane Rides - Seriously!
The Experimental Aircraft Association's Young Eagles program was launched in 1992 to give interested young people, ages 8-17, an opportunity to go flying in a general aviation airplane. These flights are offered free of charge and are made possible through the generosity of EAA member volunteers.
Do you know of any great kid freebies not on our list? Let us know by commenting below!
CertifiKID was founded by a mom with a passion for helping parents provide the best experiences for their children on a budget. From outings to adventures, classes to camps, theater to sporting events, amusement parks to getaways, CertifiKID provides the best family-friendly experiences at unbeatable prices. Click HERE to sign up for family-friendly deals in your area and start saving!