Free Activities

50 Free Things to do Indoors in Connecticut

Let's be real here: keeping our kids busy often costs a small fortune. So, when this mother hears the word "free," her heart skips a beat or two. Really, that four little word brings immeasurable joy to us parents. In that spirit, we've rounded up 50 of our very favorite free indoor activities to checkout across the state. We bet there's at least a handful of nearby events that are news to you—and which you should pass on to others!

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17 Free Indoor Activities for a Rainy Day in LA

There is no limit to what a family can do outdoors in Los Angeles, and our clichéd weather makes enjoying these activities possible most days of the year. But on the occasional day when the mercury drops below 50 degrees—or when water falls perplexingly from the sky—we need a back-up plan. Indoor activities are sprinkled throughout our bucket list of 100 Things To Do with LA Kids Before They Grow Up, but wouldn't it be handy to have one list of totally free things to do with kids indoors? We thought so, too!

Free Perks That Come with Your Westchester Library Card

If your library card hasn’t left your wallet in a while, it may be time to pry it from its confines and put it to use.

More than a means to borrow books, your Westchester library card is your ticket to a host of privileges that you might not even know about. Put away the credit card and let this other piece of plastic save you money on admissions, shopping, and periodicals. In addition to checking out books, you can also borrow other media and even musical instruments, cooking supplies, and recreation equipment. Access technological services, learn a new language, support academic study, reserve a room. All this and more may be available, depending on the specific offerings of your local branch. Read on to see what you might be missing—not to mention all the books and free events, from storytimes to STEAM activities!

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10 Free Places to Play Indoors Around Boston

For families with energetic kids, perhaps the biggest bummer of colder weather is losing the ability to while away entire afternoons at a local playground. Sure, we're blessed with a bevy of spectacular indoor play zones here in Boston, but many charge $10 or more per child for an hour or two of fun. Sometimes, what kids (and exhausted parents) really need is the indoor equivalent of your neighborhood playground—an open, public space where they can pop in, monkey around, and socialize for an hour or two, no reservation or hefty admission required. We've tracked down a few spots in and around town where your kids can play—and you can take a load off—for free. (Note that none of these places allow you to drop kids off, unsupervised; but having some new toys and playmates to entertain them will definitely feel like a break.)

Got a Library Card? You Can Get into 47 Museums and Gardens for Free

New York is home to so many great cultural institutions, but visiting them all with your family regularly can seriously add up. We're always on the hunt for free times to visit and other ways to save on the best family fun in NYC, but with the help of a library card, FREE museum admission is just a few keystrokes away. If you're a current cardholder at the New York Public Library, you're going to want to read on.

LA Kids Get Free Metro Rides & Museum Visits During LAUSD Teachers' Strike

Worried about the looming teachers' strike that may start on Thursday? Join the club. While many Los Angeles parents who send their kids to LAUSD public schools have been concerned about how to keep their kids learning and busy during the first teachers' strike in 30 years, there may be a (small) silver lining: Students will get free admission to some favorite LA museums and free Metro rides as long as the strike continues (if it happens).

Winter Gardens: Where to Get Out of the Cold at NYC's Indoor Plazas

If you feel like you've already exhausted your favorite NYC museum or indoor play space, why not try a nearby public atrium or garden? New York City is full of semi-secret indoor public spaces, as well as not-so-secret gardens perfect for staving off cabin fever this winter with an antsy child.

Finding an indoor, tropical hideaway right in your neighborhood can be a real winter lifesaver. My son was a winter baby, and when he was a newborn, it was freezing everywhere. We found our own indoor oasis just a few blocks from our Midtown apartment, in the lush, green garden that occupies the atrium of the Ford Foundation building. There are a number of similar indoor public spaces dotted around the commercial areas of Manhattan thanks to a zoning initiative in which the city granted buildings the rights to additional air space (i.e., taller buildings) in exchange for indoor and outdoor public areas. 

Bonus: Public atriums are FREE to wander into, and many offer seating, snacks, Wi-Fi, and public art. Some gardens are so steamy and warm you'll feel as if you booked a tropical getaway. (This is why we love New York, right?) Here are 12 of our favorite kid-friendly indoor urban oases for NYC families. 

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