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75 Free & Cheap Summer Fun for Kids Around Tampa Bay

This 75 Free & Cheap list has been updated for Summer 2017.

School is out and Summer is in! Whether it is enrolling your child in a Tampa Bay Area Summer Camp or visiting one of the popular Tampa attractions, there is always something to do.

Spend the summer exploring all the free and cheap things to do in the Tampa Bay Area. From free movies, bowling, golf, discounted museum admissions and more. There’s something for everyone to do.

With this comprehensive list you will have no problem planning a family outing that is easy, free, and cheap. Here is a great list that will keep you out and on a budget this summer.

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This 75 Free & Cheap list has been updated for Summer 2017.

 




 

Ready for the best summer around Tampa?

Please Note: This article was accurate the day it was posted. All prices, offerings and dates are subject to change without notice. Please contact each location and attraction for up-to-date rates and information before heading out.

Disclosure: Affiliate links may be found throughout this ebook. When you purchase anything through our link, we may make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

 

Movies: Free & CHeap

There is a great selection of new release movies and older ones that you can watch for $5 or less per person.

1. FREE movies all summer long at Cobb Theatres in Wesley Chapel Clearwater, and Lakeland.

 

2. $1 movies at Regal Cinemas in Tampa,  Largo, North Pinellas Park, and Port Richey.

 

3. $3 Movies at Studio Movie Grill  every weekday for their Children’s Summer Movie Series.

 

4. Watch all the Harry Potter series and other kid movies for only $1 at AMC Regency Theater in Brandon.

 

5. If you live near Lakeland, you’re in luck! Watch a Kid  Movie at Cinemark Lakeland for only $1.

 

6. Watch the newest movies for only $5 at Studio Movie Grill in Tampa on Tuesdays. Can’t wait until Tuesday? Then catch their $5 movie deals on Groupon when you search for Studio Movie Grill.

 

7. $5 Movies can also be found at AMC locations  every Tuesdays. Join their free rewards program and start saving some money while watching the newest movies on the big screen.

 

8. For those families affected by Autism or any other special needs,  Studio Movie Grill has a great Special Needs Screening movies that they offer free tickets for children with special needs and their siblings. Parents can pay at noon-pricing for their tickets.

 

9. Watch Free movies on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at Xscape Theatres Riverview 14  in Riverview, FL at  9:30 a.m. this  summer.

 

10. Switch it up! Watch a movie for cheap at one of Tampa Bay’s Drive-In Theatres. They are affordable and many include two movies for one price.

 

11. Check out Friday Flicks on Largo‘s event calendar for a free movie night with the family.

 

12. $1 Kid movies at Zephyrhills Cinema every Tuesday and Wednesday this Summer.

 

13. Visit Clearwater and enjoy the beautiful sunset and the large boardwalk with artisans, crafters, street performers and live musical entertainment. While you’re there, bring your beach chair and towel for a free movie under the stars at Sunsets at Pier 60.

 

 BONUS MOVIE LIST:  

 

A. Looking for clean and inspirational movies that you can watch with your family during the summer? Explore a free 30 day trial to this family-friendly video program that you will enjoy with entire family.

 

B. Don’t want to have to drive to rent a movie? Rent the latest movies through FandangoNOW and earn reward points for every purchase. It’s nice to be rewarded for things you were already going to buy.

 


FandangoNOW - $1.99 Rental Sale

      

  

INDOOR FUN ATTRACTIONS

Take a break from the Tampa Bay heat with some fun indoor attractions. Many of theses activities can be enjoyed by every member of the family and when you take advantage of their discount days and offers, it can also be a very affordable family outing.

 

14. Kids bowl free and cheap at select Tampa area locations. Check out our ultimate guide to free & cheap bowling centers for the summer.

 

15. Go indoor rock climbing on Saturdays at  Vertical Ventures at their Tampa or St. Petersburg location for their two-for-one admission from 6-10 p.m.

 

16. Kids from K-12 grade can get a Student Lane Pass at Pin Chasers for $14.00 which includes 15 games of bowling. Use the games during the summer or fall. They never expire.

 

17.  Visit Boing Trampoline Fun Center on Mondays for family night and you get one hour of jump for your immediate family for only $35. For a family of five, that’s only $7 per person. They also have a great deal on Thursday where you buy one hour get one free from 4 p.m. to close for $13.

 

18. During the summer and holidays only at Airheads Trampoline Park in Tampa and the St. Pete/Clearwater location, take advantage of their Wild Wednesday special.  Walk-in jumpers can enjoy unlimited jump from 4 p.m.-close for only $9.99! They also have a great deal on Fridays from Noon-4pm where you can enjoy 2 hours of jump for only $12/jumper!

 

19. Kids Fun Skate runs on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at United Skates of America for only $5. Recommended for Ages 10 years and Younger.

 

20. Help your kids cool off inside the indoor bounce center, Gator Fred’s. They always have tons of summer specials and parents are always admitted free.

 

21. Kids eat FREE & CHEAP across Tampa Bay. Tuesday is definitely the most popular day, so make sure to check our our Ultimate Guide to Kids Eat Free & Cheap.  Furthermore, children 18 years and under can also eat free at designated Summer Breakspot locations throughout the summer. No child should have to worry about eating a healthy meal in the summer.

 

BONUS:

A. Join us at our Tampa Bay Summer JumpFest at Altitude Trampoline Park on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tons of free activities and Giveaways with our BOGO Hour Free Jump Session. Get your BOGO coupon by registering HERE.

 

22. Stay cool this summer by visiting a great assortment of ice skating centers around the Tampa Bay area. Visit the Ice Sports Forum in Tampa, the Tampa Bay Skating Academy in Oldsmar and Clearwater, the newly opened Florida Hospital Center Ice in Wesley Chapel, and a few others. Please check their website for their public skating hours and deals.

 

23. Kids Skate FREE in Lakeland, FL and there are always discounted days and admission at  United Skates of America in Tampa and Astro Skate in Tarpon Springs and Pinellas Park.

 

24. Kids love laser tag and Qzar Tampa Laser Tag specializes in just that. They have some great packages if you would like to spend hours laser tagging. Great way to let the kids have some fun for a few hours.

 

25. Go carting may not be the cheapest thing to do, but kids love this and so do adults.  They may offer deals on bigger parties. Check out Grand Prix Tampa for an outdoor carting experience, visit Tampa Bay Grand Prix for an indoor experience and if you’re near St. Petersburg, make sure to check out Pro Karting Experience.

 

BONUS ATTRACTION DEALS:

A. Make the rounds to the major Tampa Attractions by visiting MOSI Tampa, The Florida Aquarium and other Tampa Attractions for up to 51% off

Save up to 51% or more on Tampa Bay’s 5 best attractions at CityPASS.com - Shop Now!

Tampa Bay Museums 

Museums are a great way to spend the summer days with the family. Thankfully, the Tampa Bay area is home to many museums and some offer discounted or free days or hours that you can visit. Check out the great selection below.

 

26. The first Fridays in June-August gets you in for FREE at the Henry B. Plant Museum. Free admission, treats and entertainment starting at 5 p.m.

 

27. Art on the House: Visit the Tampa Museum of Art on Friday evenings from 4 – 8 p.m. for Pay-as-you-will admission. Make a donation if you would like or simply pay nothing, either one will get you into the museum.

 

28. The Replay Amusement Museum in Tarpon Springs is home to more than 100 pinball games, video games and other amusements that you can actually play. No need to bring any coins. One admission fee gives you access to all of the machines.  The museum opens Thursdays-Sunday in Tarpon Springs and admission is $7 for children 7-12 years old and $12 for Adults. You will definitely be here for hours!

 

29. Many Tampa Bay museums participate in the Blue Star Museum program for military families. This program offers free admission for military members and their family at select museums from May 29-Sept. 4, 2017.

 

30. Low income families can visit MOSI and Great Explorations Museum for only $3 through the Museums for All program.

 

31. Every Monday gets you free admission into the the beautiful Ringling Museum in Sarasota. So many beautiful art pieces to see. A large and interactive playground for the children and a beautiful rose garden are all apart of the free admission. Select parts of the museum will also be open at regular pricing. Definitely worth the visit.

 

32. Visit Glazer Children’s Museum for free admission on the first Tuesday of the month.

 

33. If you have a car enthusiast in the family, make a pit stop at the Tampa Bay Automobile Museum in Pinellas Park. It is free for children 12 and under and it’s only $8 for those 13 and up.

 

34. Take it outdoors and visit the Heritage Village, a 21-acre open-air living history museum in Largo, FL. Come visit more than 31 historic structures and it’s free admission for everyone to visit and explore. Bring some good walking shoes and sunscreen. 

 

35. After visiting the Heritage Village, stop by  next door to the beautiful 30 acre Florida Botanical Gardens for free in Largo, FL.While the Florida Botanical Gardens is not technically a museum, you will be amazed at how much you will learn and the many species of plants you will encounter. Pack a picnic  lunch and take a stroll through the gardens.

Photo Credit: Florida Botanical Gardens

36. Visit the Ybor City Museum and take a walking tour around this historic city for $4 admission and it’s free for children 5 and under.

 

37. Learn more about the history of Firefighters by visiting the Tampa Firefighters Museum in Tampa. Admission is free and if you are so inclined, they do accept donations.

 

38. Explore dozens of art activities at Children’s Art Museum at the Dunedin Fine Arts Center for a budget friendly price of $4 for non-members. Free admission for children 2 and under.

 

39. Kids are always admitted for free at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art at St. Petersburg College.

 

BONUS TIP: If you have a membership to any museum, they may also offer discounted admission or free admission to other museums around Tampa and the United States. Members on average get 50% off of reciprocal membership programs


Educational

Who says summer can’t be fun and educational? There are so many ways to make your summertime with the kids filled with learning. You can even make it something that the entire family can participate in doing.

 

40. Earn a free ticket to a Tampa Bay Rays game by taking part of the Reading with the Rays program.

 

41. Check out our list of Tampa Bay area and national summer reading programs that earn kids 18 and under prizes, treats and even money.

 

42. Need help keeping your kids 2-8 years old engaged and having fun for free? Sign up for 30 days of interactive learning lessons and games through ABCmouse.com and it’s all for FREE.


43. Helping others can be lots of fun and a great family thing to do this summer. Youth can also earn their volunteer hours during the summer by signing up at volunteermatch.org or Justserve.org for local Tampa Bay service opportunities.

 

44. Looking for some spiritual education? There are so many Vacation Bible Schools located around Tampa Bay. Many are free to attend. Sign up  now to receive 40+ Tampa Bay area VBS programs with FAQ’s. The list covers Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties.

 

BONUS EDUCATION RESOURCE: Take advantage of this Memorial Day weekend sale by getting 50% off an entire year of ABCmouse.com! With more than 8,500 learning activities, your children will love learning with ABCmouse.


ABCmouse.com

outDOOR ATTRACTIONS

Wear your sunscreen for a day out at these fun outdoor attractions. Below you will find a great variety of things to do while you soak up the Florida sun.

 

45. Kids can get a free bucket a free buckets of range balls each day in June, July, and August at Ace Golf locations in Brandon & Riverview.

 

46. Every Thursday is Family Fun Day at Celebration Station in Clearwater. Get Unlimited   Outdoor Rides and Pizza Buffet for just $15.99 per person. Outdoor rides include Go Karts, Bumper Boats, and Playland Rides.

 

47. Come watch the Tampa Bay Water Ski Show Team perform for free in Oldsmar, FL. Each weekend performance comes with a different and fun theme. Pre-Show starts at 5:30 p.m. Concessions are available onsite.

 

BONUS:

Fishing is an outdoor attraction, right? Spend a fun weekend with the family fishing in Florida water for license free-freshwater fishing days on the Second Saturday and Sunday in June across Florida (June 9-10, 2017) License-free saltwater fishing occurs on the first Saturday and Sunday in June across Florida (June 3 -4, 2017) Visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Comission for details.

 

48. Every Thursday is Family Fun Day. Get Unlimited Outdoor Rides and Pizza Buffet for just $15.99 per person at Celebration Station in Clearwater.

 

49. The kids will get a kick out of this miniature train.The first weekend of the month the Largo Central Railroad offers free public run days at Largo Central Park.

 

50. Watch a live Alligator show on Sneak Peak Saturdays for $5 at Croc Encounters in Tampa.

 

51. Visit the family-friendly petting farm and horse stable at HorsePower for Kids for $7 admission and it includes a train ride to see the animals. They also have discounted days.

 

Sporting Activities

Tampa Bay is home to several professional and minor league teams. Many of them are adding value by offering discounted days, packages, meals or even free admission for qualifying groups.

 

52. The whole family can enjoy a variety of food specials at the Tampa Yankees game, the Clearwater Threshers Baseball and at the Flying Tigers game in Lakeland.

 

53. Family Fun Pack, kids season tickets, food specials and more at Tampa Bay Storm Arena Football League games.

 

54. For all Tuesday home games, the Tampa Bay Rays will offer $2 tickets for kids 14 and under with the purchase of a full price paid adult ticket. Teachers, military members and first responders can receive free or discounted tickets to a Rays game as well by signing up online through the Rays website.

 

 

55. The Tampa Bay Rowdies soccer team is offering 3 games for $33 Hat Trick Pack and they also have a great Fútbol Four Pack deal for their fans. Quantities are limited.

 

56. Kids get in free on Sunday games of the Dunedin Blue Jays.

 

57. Fun for all ages. Play a friendly game of golf at TopGolf in Tampa and pay one price for the Bay per hour. Come between Open and 12 p.m. and it’s only $25 a bay for up to 6 people.

MUsic/entertainment

Spend your summer nights listening to talented musical performers around the Tampa Bay area. Some musical entertainment are included with price of admission or membership.

 

58. Stay late during Busch Gardens Tampa Summer Nights on select nights from June-August for live entertainment nightly fireworks and thrill rides in the dark. Free w/ admission or membership.

 

59. Stay tuned for the Tampa Premium Outlets and the Shops at Wiregrass free summer concert series schedule in Lutz and Wesley Chapel. It’s free family entertainment for the summer. 

 

60. Adventure Island kicks off the summer party with island-inspired performers, a live DJ and games on the beach, starting at 5 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from June 16 to August 6, 2017. Free w/ admission or membership.

 

61. Visit the animals and live musical performances at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo’s Summer Sunset Celebration. Family activities, special food options, Dinos and so much more on Friday and Saturday nights from June 16 – July 29, 2017. Free w/ admission or membership.

 

62. Take a stroll down to Curtis Hixon Park for Rock the Park, downtown Tampa’s FREE music concert series for all ages scheduled the first Thursday of every month.

Arts & CRAFTS

Get creative this summer and make a fun keepsake to remember the best summer ever!

 

63. Build a free kid’s wood project at Home Depot on the first Saturday of every month and try out the $2 craft projects for kids every Saturday at participating Michaels Craft stores.

 

64. Free Art projects for kids every Saturday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Tampa Museum of Art. Then cool off at the two splash fountains at the nearby Curtis Hixon Park.

 

65. Friends and Family $5 Friday Studio Fee deal at Potter’s House Studio in South Tampa.

 

66. Make it a family art night on the second Saturday of the month from 5-9 p.m. in St. Petersburg for their free ArtWalk, where more than 40 galleries and studios to premiere new art pieces. Walk to each gallery or take a free  trolley that circles the arts districts.

 

67. Sundays @ The Morean is a FREE family drop-in art and clay studio hosted by the Morean Center for Clay and new for 2017, you can drop in for Saturdays at the Morean Center from 1-4 p.m. for free family art activities from June to August.

 

68. Combine free storytime and crafts:

 

NAture & Parks

There are so many beautiful wildlife, vegetation and trails to see and explore. Stay active and be prepared by bringing lots of water, sunscreen and a snack when out and about. Make it an enjoyable family adventure.

 

69. Visit the beautiful Hillsborough River State Park,  and check out their Class II rapids along your hiking trail.

 

70. Check out the beautiful trails and boardwalk at the Upper Tampa Bay Trails in Tampa and  Weedon Island Preserve and Boyd Hill Nature Preserve Park in Pinellas County.

 

71.  Some of our favorite parks include Lettuce Lake Park in Tampa and Largo Central Park.

 

72. While you’re at Indian Rocks Beach, stop by Seaside Seabird Sanctuary for free admission. Children will love seeing the huge variety of birds.

 

Water activities

Cool off this summer at one of the many water parks, pools, and splash pads available around Tampa Bay. Help your kids stay active, all while having fun.

 

73. The biggest and the most visited Tampa Bay area attraction is our beautiful beaches. Some of our favorite beaches include:

  • At the top of our list is  Honeymoon Island beach, it is a perfect way to spend the summer days.
  • Sand Key Park has playgrounds, grills, and a dog park for the whole family to enjoy.

74. Many Tampa Bay Metropolitan YMCA & Suncoast YMCA offer free or affordable admission for non-members at their pool or water slide parks during the summer. Make sure to call your local YMCA to see if they are participating and dates and times for admission.

Some of our favorites:

75. Splash and play at St. Pete’s 15,750-square-foot inflatable water park at Tradewinds Resort. So much fun to be had on the slides, trampolines, ocean loungers, and island rafts for $16 per person.

 

BONUS WATER DEALS

76. Splash Pads can be found in all the major Tampa area attractions like Busch Gardens, Florida Aquarium and Lowry Park Zoo. The use of these splash pads are included in the admission/membership. If you don’t have a membership or are not visiting any time soon. Check out these free or low cost splash parks below.

  • Great splash pad at Dell Homes Park in St. Petersburg. Shaded picnic shelters offers a great place for parents to watch the kids. Playground is super interactive and fun.
  • The Water Works Park in downtown Tampa has a huge water bucket, scenic view, walking paths and close proximity to downtown attractions.
  • Colorful water fixtures at the splash pad at the Ballast Point Park in Tampa. It has an amazing view of the bay and multiple playgrounds makes this a fun family spot.

 

77. Bring the family to Lithia Springs Regional Park and take a dip in the 72 degree  natural spring water, In addition to swimming, there is a playground and picnic facilities.

 

78. Take in  a magical mermaids show, river boat cruise and take a splash at Buccaneer Bay, all at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park in Hernando County.

 

79. Visit SunWest Park recreational waterfront facility in northwest Pasco, just off of Hwy 19. Fun inflatable obstacle courses, paddle boards and more. 

Photo Credit: SunWest Park

 

80. Don’t have your own personal pool? No worries. Make it a family pool day at some of these family-friendly locations:

                     

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Add more Deals? If you would like to add a great deal to our list, please contact us at familyfriendlyllc@gmail.com. If you are a businesses owner and would like to add your deal and promote with us, please contact miriam@familyfriendlytampabay.com

Please Note: This article was accurate the day it was posted. All prices, offerings and dates are subject to change without notice. Please contact each location and attraction for up-to-date rates and information before heading out.