FREE & Cheap Family Events (Including Mother’s Day Events)

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by on May 7, 2015

Mother’s day weekend is coming! What did you ask for? I think a nap sounds good! If you are planning an outing with the family – or Dad is planning to take the kids out so you can have some free time, check out the list below for ideas!

national public gardens day 2015

: Free Admission to National Public Gardens

Friday, May 8th – A favorite annual event, just in time for Mother’s Day. Find Gardens Near You

amtrak train days

:: 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.


:: American Girl Special Store Events

Special events differ by location. During May, they include Adorable Accents: Twists & Braids, Jewel Highlights, 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.

Mom-School B&N 5-9


:: Barnes & Noble

Saturday, May 9th at 11 AM

Story time featuring Mom School and How to Babysit a Grandma 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.

basspro logo

:: Bass Pro Shops

Friday, May 8th from 1PM – 6PM

Exotic Petting Zoo
Most Bass Pro Shops have the same workshops, but be sure and check your local store here for times and details before you head out.


:: Guitar Center

Saturday, May 9th {no age restrictions for free music lessons}

10:15 AM – Intro to Garage Band

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


:: Home Depot Workshop for Adults

Saturday, May 9th – Hanging Herb Gardens from 10 AM – 11:30 AM

Sunday, May 10th from 1 PM to 2:30 PM – Interior Paint and Drywall Repair

You can pre-register online here.

garden blooms lakeshore learning

:: Lakeshore Learning Store

Saturday, May 9th from 11 AM-3 PM and a few locations offer crafts every Sunday.

Kids make and take a Garden Blooms Photo Frame. Get more information here.

mother's day Lowe's

:: 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.

knotted friendship bracelets michaels


:: Michael’s Kids Club

Saturday, May 9th – 10 AM – 12 Noon

Kids can make and take a decorative Mother’s Day Wood Frame. 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.

botanical arranging Pottery Barn

:: Pottery Barn

Sunday, May 10th at 10 AM – Botanical flower arranging. Get more information and RSVP here.

pottery barn kids love mom

:: Pottery Barn Kids

Friday, May 8th – Sunday, May 10th

Free Tissue Paper Flower Craft and pose for a custom portrait with a free digital print.

Stop by your store, hours and participation vary by store. Go here for details.

williams sonoma free jr chefs

:: Williams-Sonoma Free Technique Classes for Kids

Saturday, May 9th at 10 AM

Junior Chef: Discover some great gift ideas for Mom on Mother’s Day and you can create a delicious treat that Mom and the rest of the family will enjoy. The Jr. Chef’s class is suitable for kids ages 5-13. Get more information by contacting your closest store right here.



:: Free Art Museum Day

May 18th – Many art museums will be offering free or discounted admission. Find our more information here.

:: Free Fishing Days start in June 2015

Check the calendar and plug in you location to see when Free Fishing Days are happening in your community.

:: 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.

:: Free Museum Entrance for Bank of America customers

Saturday, June 6th and Sunday, June 7th

Bank of America’s Museums on Us is offering free admission to more than 150 museums nationwide for Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit or debit card holders along with a photo ID. For more information about Museums on Us, visit:

:: Free National Park Entrance

August 25th – National Park Service Birthday

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

:: Bass Pro Shops

– Go Outdoors Event with Kids Activities May 16 & 17th and Family Activities May 23 & May 24h

– Exotic Petting Zoo ongoing through June 5th
Every Friday from 1 PM – 6PM

– 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 Kids Workshop

Saturday, June 6th from 9 AM – noon

Kids make and take a Load ‘n Go Truck. 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.

:: 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.

Sunday, May 17th -contact your store for class time

:: Williams-Sonoma Free Technique Classes for Adults

Sunday, May 17th

Southwestern Spice -Fresh chiles and unique spices are the keys to creating a Mexican meal with a little Tex-Mex flair. Learn how to whip up a Southwestern-inspired meal. To reserve a spot, and find out specific class times, contact your closest store right 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.

:: 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

:: 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 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,, 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 Limerick Day, Twilight Zone Day, Lost Sock Day and more.See the full schedule here.

* For more ideas for family fun, be sure and check Groupon, Amazon Local and LivingSocial in your area. Join each site for free and start having more fun on a budget! These vouchers make great gifts too!

Be sure and check out your local library and parks and recreation departments for free programs and events right in your hometown!

(Big thanks to Lori at More with Less Today)


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