Free Activities

Huge New Spray Park in Union County Is a Water-ful Wonderland

Linden is now home to Union County's largest sprayground, and boy, is it worth a visit! Located in John Russell Wheeler Park, this 11,000-square-foot water playground, which opened in May 2019, boasts 33 kid-pleasing attractions and water features, including slides, sprinklers, sprayers, a dumping bucket, waterfall, pirate ship, and a giant water serpent. Admission is FREE.

One caveat: It gets crowded! So before you pack up the kids and head down the Route 1 corridor, check out this must-have info to help you plan your visit. 

Free (or Super Cheap) Archery Classes for LA & OC Kids Who Love Bows and Arrows

A fair number of kids who see Brave or The Hunger Games end up curious about archery, and a fair number of their parents end up scratching their heads and saying, "Where do we do that??" Gymnastics, swimming—that's easy. But where to bring a would-be archer to string a bow and shoot some arrows? Less obvious, perhaps, but not as hard as you might think. And the even better news? It's usually free!

10 Play Fountains Where NYC Kids Can Get Totally Soaked

While all three of my kids love to go for a dip, heading to one of NYC's public pools requires advance planning and me donning a bathing suit. Often, our summer fun is more spontaneous. For those hot summer days when we're out and about or need a last-minute distraction, I keep this list of play fountains in the back of my mind.

A more immersive experience than standard sprinkler parks, these play fountains feature shallow pools of water for wading, plus jets shooting H2O sky high. They're the perfect place for kids to frolic and get completely doused without mommy having to go all in—literally. Best of all? They're all completely FREE.

Here are 10 fun play fountains in NYC where kids can get absolutely soaked. Most opened for the season over Memorial Day weekend, though some start flowing earlier if temperatures hit 80 degrees.

Free Beaches in New Jersey: No-Cost Family Fun in the Sun

If your summer bucket list includes camp, vacation, and trips to our beloved Jersey Shore, summertime can be a season of major spending. Jersey Shore excursions are a must for summer fun, but prices of beach badges and passes can really add up. Luckily, New Jersey is home to some free beaches—that's right, no admission fees required (though some do have parking fees). While some of these free beaches are found in popular vacation hotspots, other quieter and unguarded ones are located by swimming lakes and bays. Read on for 10 of our favorites.

12 Kid-friendly Beaches for Families in Los Angeles & Orange County

Beach is what SoCal is all about, but with so much sea and sand around it can actually be hard to choose which is the best spot to stake the family beach umbrella. In the years when sand-filled diapers and tired little legs feel challenging, you want to be sure you've chosen a beach that will pay off with those great summer memories. You could head for a beach with a playground (we know some good ones), but for just enjoying the wonderful Pacific Ocean with easy parking, bathrooms, snacks, or other amenities, we love to return to the dozen beaches below. Gather the shovels, sandwiches, and sunscreen, and go west, young families!

50 Free Summer Activities for Toddlers in New York City

New York City is chock-full of exciting summer to-dos for its youngest citizens. Visiting the sprinklers at your local playground, cooling off at one of NYC’s best FREE swimming pools for younger kids, or hitting a destination sandbox can be enough to make your toddler’s day. But when you and your littles are ready for some summer adventure, here are 50(!) FREE things to do with toddlers this July and August.

We've already put together a list of 100 Free Things To Do in NYC This Summer for kids of all ages, but the suggestions that follow are tailored just for little kids. (Looking for additional inspiration? Check out our Summer Fun Guide, Event Calendar, and Free in NYC Guide.)

36 Best Things to Do With Kids in the West Village and Greenwich Village

One of Manhattan's most picturesque communities, the West Village is filled with historic houses on quaint and crooked tree-lined streets. This former countercultural epicenter is now home to many of New York's priciest restaurants, retail stores, and real estate. But there are still plenty of affordable and even FREE attractions for families to discover as you stroll through the labyrinth of this area and its sister neighborhood Greenwich Village

Beautifully renovated playgrounds pepper the area, including two in iconic Washington Square Park. Treat spots like cupcakeries and candy shops abound. Stretching from 14th to Houston Streets between Fifth Avenue and the Hudson River, this area may be cozy, but it's also packed with so many things to do and places to see, families can spend many days exploring the neighborhoods.

Free Things to Do with Boston Kids in July

We all know it is easy to spend a small fortune on search of memorable summer fun with Boston kids. Luckily, with so many free options in the Boston area, you don't have to! We recently rounded up our family-friendly picks for July; here, we're focusing on all-free fun throughout the month. Save your change for ice cream after!

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