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10 free or inexpensive family summer activities

Summer is in full swing and your kids may be starting to get restless with the long sunny days! We’ve rounded up the best free and inexpensive local activities so you can entertain the kiddos while you aren’t in swim lessons.

Summertime Cinema on the Promenade

The Westfield Galleria Mall is hosting a movie on The Promenade every Friday night. Bring a chair, grab a snack, and enjoy the show! Movies start at approximately 8:30 pm. Featured movies include “The Nut Job”, “Despicable Me 2”, “The Muppets”, and more. Movies will be shown on The Promenade, near Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Il Fornaio. More information


Downtown Loomis Thursday Night Family Fest

This weekly event is held at the historic Train Depot Plaza every Thursday from 6 to 9 pm through the end of July. Bring the whole family and enjoy a local farmer’s market, arts and crafts vendors, a food court, and a beer and wine garden. There is also live music and a kid’s zone with bounce houses, pony rides, go carts, and face painting! The event has free admission and parking. More Information

Lowe’s Build and Grow Kids Clinics

Visit Lowe’s Home Improvement every other Saturday at 10 am for their Build and Grow Kid’s Clinics. Kids will get to build a wooden project and receive a free apron and goggles. Classes are 60-minutes long and free. View the schedule of classes and register here. More information

Songs and Story Time

Explore the wonders of reading with your kids! Drop in to one of the local libraries and join as they share stories and songs for all ages. More information


Kids Bowl Free

Strikes Unlimited in Rocklin and Steve Cook’s Fireside Lane in Citrus Heights are participating in the Kids Bowl Free Program. Registered kids can receive two free games of bowling, per day, all summer long! More information


Movies Under the Stars

Gather in the streets of Old Town Auburn and watch a movie under the stars. “Tad the Lost Explorer” is playing on July 23. Bring chairs, blankets, snacks, and watch the movie like the old drive ins! Movie begins at approximately 8:45 pm. More Information or call Linda at 530-888-1585


Home Depot DIY Workshops

The Home Depot offers free workshops for do-it-yourselfers of all ages and experience levels. Attend a free workshop on the first Saturday of each month. Upcoming workshops include Build a Bug House and Build a Mini Crate Pencil Holder. More information


Lakeshore Learning Crafts for Kids

Every Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm, visit Lakeshore Learning in Roseville with your little ones ages 3 and up for a free craft activity. Crafts include a wiggly-eyed glitter fish, a make-and-shake noisemaker, and more. More information


The Sacramento Zoo, Wells Fargo Wednesdays

Bring your kids to the Zoo for free admission on select Wednesdays in July (July 16, 23, and 30 from 9 am to 4 pm) thanks to Wells Fargo! Up to four kids, ages 2 to 11 will be admitted for free with a paid adult. Wells Fargo will give kids one free ride ticket for the train or carousel. On July 30 the famous Wells Fargo Stage Coach will be at the Zoo too! More information


$1 Summer Movies at Cinemark and Regal Theaters

Take the kids to an early movie and enjoy the show for only $1 per person. Movies start at 10 am and are featured on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Participating theaters include Century 14 Roseville, Blue Oaks Theater in Rocklin, UA Olympus Pointe Stadium 12, and Regal Auburn Stadium 10. Movies include “The Lego Movie”, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”, “Rio 2”, and more. See Cinemark theaters and Regal theaters.