Free, Fun & Frugal Activities for Kids and Families this Weekend

Free Activities for Kids

If you are looking for inexpensive and free activities for kids and family activities, here is a huge list for you! Please keep in mind that it is always best to call ahead and make sure that your local retailer is participating to avoid disappointment.

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:: American Girl Special Store Events

Special events differ by location. During April, they include Grace’s Sweet Spring Break Event, Adorable Accents: Twists & Braids, Grace’s Apron Craft & Cookie Decoration, Meal & Memories with Dad and Mom and more.

Many of the American Girl in store events are free, however some have a fee and some have age restrictions. Get the details here and find participating stores. Call ahead and make sure that your local store or retailer is participating to avoid disappointment.

workender Bass Pro Shops

 

:: Bass Pro Shops

Friday, April 24th from 6 PM – 8 PM and Saturday, April 25t from 12 PM – 5 PM

Instructional Demonstrations, Product Discussions and showing off Product Displays to help you to Gear Up for Your Escape! Most Bass Pro Shops have the same workshops, but be sure and check your local store here before you head out.

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:: Guitar Center

Saturday, April 25th {no age restrictions for free music lessons}

10:15 AM – Into to Ableton

More free classes are offered during the week with their Music Mentor Series. Register at the Guitar Center website here.

home depot workshops for adults

:: Home Depot Workshop for Adults

Sunday, April 26th from 1 PM to 2:30 PM – Come Improve DIY Skills at The Home Depot

You can pre-register online here.

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:: Lakeshore Learning Store

Saturday, April 25th from 11 AM-3 PM and a few locations offer crafts every Sunday.

Kids make and take a Butterfly Pencil Holder. Get more information here.

Michaels Mother's Day Card

:: Michael’s Kids Club

April 25th – 10 AM – 12 Noon

Kids can make and take a decorative Mother’s Day Card. At just $2 per child, they get 30 minutes of creative craft fun, supplies included. Ages 3 and up. Sessions start every half hour from 10 AM – 11:30. See a store associate to sign up. Get more information here.

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:: Williams-Sonoma Free Technique Classes for Kids

Saturday, April 25th at 10 AM

Junior Chef: Baking Bundts – kids will learn to prepare different flavors and sizes of Bundt cakes with three different glazes. The Jr. Chef’s class is suitable for kids ages 5-13. Get more information by contacting your closest store right here.

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:: Williams-Sonoma Free Technique Classes for Adults

Sunday, April 26th -contact your store for class time

Spring into action with your Vitamix. Get expert tips and tricks on how to make the most of this powerful machine by preparing delicious and healthful recipes, including soups, smoothies and nut butters. To reserve a spot, and find out specific class times, contact your closest store right here.

……… MARK YOUR CALENDAR! COMING SOON……..

:: Free Comic Book Day

May 2nd

Find participating stores here.

: Free Admission to National Public Gardens

May 8th

A favorite annual events just in time for Mother’s Day. Find Gardens Near You

:: Free Art Museum Day

May 18th

Many art museums will be offering free or discounted admission. Find our more information here.

:: Free Zoo Admission for Dads on Father’s Day

June 21st

Most zoos all across the USA offer free admission for Dad every Father’s Day. Contact your local zoo for details.

:: Amtrak Train Days

Kickoff is May 9th at Chicago Union Station

Community events happening all across the USA from May 9th through November. Get more information here.

:: Free National Park Entrance

August 25th
National Park Service Birthday

Find out the list of participating parks (over 405 of them) right here.

:: Barnes & Noble

Saturday, May 2nd at 11 AM

Story time featuring What Do You Do With an Idea? plus related activities at many B&N locations

Most stores have free toddler story time, NOOK events, hands-on learning events and author events – find the times and participating Barnes and Noble stores here.

:: Bass Pro Shops

Kids Archery Workshops ongoing through November 18th

Most Bass Pro Shops have the same workshops, but be sure and check your local store here before you head out.

:: Home Depot Workshop for Kids

Saturday, May 2nd from 9 AM to 12 PM

Kids Learn How to Build a Picket Fence Photo Frame ~You can pre-register online here.

:: KOA Campgrounds Kids Camp FREE for Father’s Day Weekend

June 19th through June 21st

Kids camp free this weekend. Find the participating campgrounds right here.

:: Lego Stores Free Model Build

Usually held monthly in stores, kids ages 6 to 14 can build and binoculars. Contact your closest LEGO® Store here for details.

:: Lowe’s Build and Grow

Saturday, May 9th at 10 AM

Kids make and take a Mother’s Day Planter. Register at the website here.

:: Michael’s Classes for Adults

Find out more information right here about creative classes happening all week long.

:: Microsoft High Tech DigiCamp for Girls (free)

Microsoft is proud to offer technology programs specifically for youth. Find out more information here.

:: Pottery Barn

May 10th at 10 AM

Botanical flower arranging. Get more information and RSVP here.

More to Explore Throughout the Year:

:: FREE National Parks Admission for 4th Graders in 2015 – 2016 School Year

Starting in September 2015, every 4th grader will get an Every Kid in the Park pass food for FREE admission to all of America’s National Parks. The pass will be good for one full year and will be good for the 4th graders & their families as most parks charge admission per car. This is part of President Obama’s Every Kid in the Park initiative. Thanks to Thrifty NW Mom for the info!

:: Apple Camp

Enrollment is open for kids ages 8-12 to attend Apple Camp. This is popular free camp where kids learn to make movies or create interactive books complete with their own illustrations and sound effects. Hurry, spots fill up quickly. Go here to sign up.

:: Athleta Stores

Free fitness classes, group runs and special events at your local store. Visit your local store page here for more information.

:: Apple Store

Free workshops – learn the basic of Mac, iPad, iPhone, or iPod. Learn how to create slideshows with iPhoto. Edit home movies with iMovie and more! Find your local store and make a reservation for a free workshop here.

:: Beauty Events in Stores

Find free beauty events at local stores with free samples and demonstrations. Visit the website that keeps track of these right here.

:: Bowling for Kids all Summer

Kids Bowl for Free all summer at select bowling centers. Get two free games for each child, every day, all summer long. She rental is not included. Check to see what nearby bowling alleys are participating here.

:: Factory Tours

Find factory tours all across the USA, go here, The site has 570 tours and counting! Many are free but some may have an admission fee. (Thanks to the Happy Housewife for sharing this!)

:: Family Movies for $1 During the Summer

Participating Regal Cinemas, United Artists, & Edwards Theaters offer 9 weeks of family movies, rated G or PG, for just $1 on Tuesday or Wednesday mornings at 10 AM. You can see the schedule, starting dates and movies here on the Regal website.

:: Flying Lessons

Young Eagles – kids ages 8 to 17 experience aviation and get free rides in private aircraft flown by experienced pilots. Get more information here.

:: Home and Garden Shows

If you like Home and Garden shows, this site will give you a free pass. Check the ACS Home Show site.

:: Lululemon Fitness Classes

Lululemon locations offer free yoga classes, go here for schedules and locations.

:: Major League Baseball Clinics

Through the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, kids can attend a free baseball clinic in many locations across the country. The free program is called Free Legends for Youth Kids Clinics.

:: Playground Finder

If you find yourself in a new location and are looking for a playground, use the free KaBoom Map of Play, playground finder and just type your location into the search bar.

:: REI Running Classes

Learn or get back into running with training and techniques classes. Find our more at REI.com.

:: Roller Skating

Kids Roller Skate for Free all Summer: Find the closest participating facility right here.

:: Sephora: Free In Store Beauty Classes

Join the Sephora Beauty club ,( free) and attend free beauty classes inside Sephora stores to learn everything from building a skin care routine to creating the perfect smoky eye. Classes are held on Sunday at more than 60 stores across the USA. Check with your local stores for schedules and times.

:: SKI Passport for 5th Graders

Go to www.5thgradeskipassport.com to get a free pass in Idaho or the Pacific Northwest. For other areas, search for your state with the words “5th grade ski pass + your state”, or the name of your local ski resort.

:: Target – Free Community Events

Target is also sponsoring FREE community events ranging from free museum admission, free theater tickets, family activities and tours at some of our countries most famous venues. Times and locations vary by city. Find free family activities sponsored by Target in your area right here.

:: Wine Tasting

Total Wine stores offer free wine tasting classes each weekend. Learn about specific producers, regions and varietals. Where allowed by law, participants receive special discounts on the wine being tasted. View the FREE Wine Tasting Schedule here.

:: More Free Museum Dates

This site, www.freemuseumday.org, tracks free museum days in the following cities: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, San Francisco Bay Area, and the Seattle Area.

:: Celebrate Crazy Holidays

Make memories and celebrate Talk Like Shakespeare Day, Pretzel Day, World Book Night and more.See the full schedule here.

For inexpensive and sometimes free tickets to local events, I am a fan of Goldstar tickets. Watch your emails for the heading “Comp Train” from Goldstar. If you are new, you can set up a free account here.

Thanks More with Less Today.

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Gibson Home Complete Kitchen 38-Piece Combo Set, $19.97 (was $39.97)

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Walmart has the Gibson Home Complete Kitchen 38-Piece Combo Set priced at $19.97 right now. Choose from 4 colors. This set would be great for someone who will be going off to college, or perhaps it would even make a nice wedding gift for a young couple just getting started. Choose free in store pickup to dodge a shipping charge.
Gibson Home Complete Kitchen 38-Piece Combo Set:

    38-piece set
    Two 12 oz glass tumblers
    One 8″ aluminum nonstick fry pan
    One 2 qt aluminum nonstick sauce pan with lid
    One 11.4″ x 7.5″ cutting mat
    3-piece cutlery: 6″ chef, 6″ bread and 3.5″ paring knife
    1 small roasting pan (fits in toaster oven)
    1 pizza pan (fits in toaster oven)
    1 can opener
    1 pizza cutter
    1 solid turner

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on these links, you are helping to support my blog. Thank you.

ampm 25¢ Freeze Fridays

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Today only, you can head to your local ampm for a $0.25 12 oz Freeze. Please note that not all stores are participating, so you might want to call ahead to confirm.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on these links, you are helping to support my blog. Thank you.

What I Love About Blurb

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**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

So last week I shared a bit of the Blurb story and how they came to unleash the power of self-publishing. But Blurb is actually way more than a self-publishing platform. They are really a tour de force of creativity that strives to help give your story – your inspiration – a stage. And they provide some really incredible tools to make that possible.

Here are a few of my faves:

  1. Free book making tools – This one may be obvious, but there’s more here than meets the eye. Blurb offers multiple easy-to-use bookmaking tools and templates to give you complete creative control and customization:
    BookWright: The only desktop publishing software built for creating professional-looking print books, magazines, and ebooks. It’s super simple to use, which means you won’t need to hire a fancy designer, know a line of code, or buy expensive software. BookSmart: A user-friendly book-making tool that allows you to create beautiful, professional-quality photo books, notebooks, and planners.
    Adobe InDesign Plug-In: If you use Adobe® InDesign® then this Blurb plug-in is for you. It lets you create and lay out books and magazines directly within InDesign and output in both print and digital formats. It also includes free professionally designed starter templates for photo books, cookbooks, portfolios, and magazines.
    Adobe Lightroom: This book creation tool is fully integrated into Lightroom, so users can make a gorgeous photography book without needing to leave the Lightroom workflow. It also includes 5 paper choices, including high-end photo-quality paper from Mohawk Fine Papers®.
  2. Online photo books – With this tool, you can create your very own online photo book in less than an hour. The online templates and layouts are gorgeous. All you have to do is drag & drop your photos from your computer, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.
    Instagram Photo Book: Blurb allows you to make a little 7 x7 book that’s as unique as your Instagram feed. You can start with up to 60 images and go up to 240 pages! It’s like a tiny museum devoted to your style!
    Facebook Photo Book: Now you can turn those favorite socially-shared memories into a book-store quality book! You just curate your photos and any Facebook comments you want to include and voilà! You’ve got a beautiful 60-page book of shared experiences.
  3. Step-by-step Tutorials & Webinars – If you ever get stuck on how to do something or just need some creative inspiration, you’ll definitely appreciate Blurb’s interesting and informative Webinars and Tips and Tutorials sections. So helpful.
  4. Free Tools to Use – Not sure what size book you want? Blurb shows you what a 10 x 8 book would look like versus a 13 x 11 with their creation and layout tools. You can also see what different paper types would look like, such as Premium Matte or Proline Uncoated and what makes them different.
  5. Pricing Tool – Blurb’s Pricing Calculator will save you from pricing surprises. You just select your book type, number of pages, type of cover, and paper you want and this tool calculates what your book will cost. They also have special pricing on large orders (e.g. 300+ books).

I encourage you to take some creative time for yourself and explore Blurb’s unique and valuable book-making tools. And remember that from now through 4/30 you can get 20% off any book you create, just use code: APRILLIGHTS! If you are thinking of self-publishing or starting a fundraiser use code: BIGAPRIL and get 20% off 20 or more books!

What are your favorite Blurb tools?

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on these links, you are helping to support my blog. Thank you.

Amazon Deal of the Day: 41% Off Select Vivere Hammocks With Stand

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Today only, Amazon is offering 41% off Select Vivere Hammocks, stand included. Shipping is free.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on these links, you are helping to support my blog. Thank you.

Marley Organic Lively Up! Espresso Ground Coffee, 8 Ounce, $5.31 Shipped

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Right now on Amazon, you can get a great deal on Marley Organic Lively Up! Espresso Ground Coffee, 8 Ounce. It’s just $7.31 when you choose the subscribe and save option (easy to cancel), which includes free shipping. There is also a $2 off coupon available, which makes your total just $5.31. That is a great price for organic coffee! Amazon prices can change at any time.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on these links, you are helping to support my blog. Thank you.

Little Tikes Gas ‘n Go Mower, $14.99

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Walmart currently has the Little Tikes Gas ‘n Go Mower priced at $14.99. This same toy is going for $20.99 at Amazon, so this is a great deal. Choose free site to store shipping to avoid a shipping charge.

    Pull cord to hear engine sounds
    Clicking key and moveable throttle
    Little Tikes mower has a removable gas can
    No batteries needed
    Multicolored

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on these links, you are helping to support my blog. Thank you.

Milford Valley Chicken Strips & Nuggets: They’re Not Just for Kids

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Since Milford Valley Chicken products recently came to the NW, I have buying my share. They are really delicious and crispy. You can read my full review on them here. And please note, that Milford Valley also has entrees available as well as the nuggets, strips and patties.  In fact, there will be a coupon for the entrees soon on their site. You can look for a new $1 off coupon good on any 10 oz or 30 oz Milford Valley entrée on the website on Monday (April 27, 2015).

nugget meal
If you are the parent of a child, you likely buy a lot of chicken nuggets. At our house, I usually have what my kids are having, which means that I get to partake of chicken strips and nuggets o’plenty. Most often, our plates of nuggets look like what you see above with some added dipping sauce. While this may satisfy my kids, I can sometimes get nuggeted-out, so I try to get creative in the ways I use them. Some alternatives to eating just plain strips or nuggets that I like are to cut them up and put them in a salad, or quesadilla. Making a wrap sandwich out of them is also great too. What are your favorite alternatives to eating just plain chicken nuggets or strips? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

Disclosure: I received free product as part of this post. All opinions stated are my own.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on these links, you are helping to support my blog. Thank you.