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Tampa Bay: 99 Free & Cheap Family Things to Do this Summer

The summer is the perfect time to explore the Tampa Bay area in the cheap.  From free movies, bowling, golf, discounted museum admissions and more, there’s something for everyone.

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 budget this summer. Cheap deals are $16.00 and under per person.

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UPDATED 6/8/16

Movies: Free & Cheap

1. Fun kids movies at Regal Cinemas in Tampa,  Largo, North Pinellas Park, and Port Richey for only $1.

2. The Cobb Theatres in Wesley Chapel, Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Lakeland locations are one of the only major theaters offering totally free movies.


3.  Get a movie, popcorn, and a drink at Muvico Centro Ybor on Tuesdays and Thursdays for only $4.

4. Carmike Cinemas  kid series $4 special includes movie, popcorn and drink at their theatres in New Tampa, St. Pete, Lakeland and Palm Harbor.

5. Sensory Friendly movies for children with Autism and their siblings at Studio Movie Grill.

6. Watch a selection of PG and PG-13 movies for the older kids at AMC Regency Theaters in Brandon for $1.

7. Get your $1 ticket at Studio Movie Grill  for their Children’s Summer Movie Series.

8. $1: If you live near Lakeland, you’re in luck! Watch a cheap Kid  Movie at Cinemark Lakeland all summer long.

9. Studio Movie Grill seems to always have a $5 movie deal on Groupon*. Check out Groupon and do a quick search.

 

10. Free: Take in a movie on Clearwater beach at the famous Sunsets at Pier 60. Enjoy the movie, sunset and the large boardwalk with artisans, crafters, street performers and live musical entertainment. Food is available for purchase.


11. Free and up: Drive-Ins are a great family tradition! Choose one of these four Drive-In Theatres to visit this weekend.

12. Kid movies at Zephyrhills Cinema on Tuesdays and Wednesdays this summer for only $1.

13.  Free movies run from Saturday-Monday at the Cinema 6 in Port Richey this summer. Movies will be updated very soon.

14. Dive-In Movies with the family! Bring your noodles, floats and chairs to lounge by the St. Pete Recreation Center pool while watching a family movie on an inflatable screen.

15. $2 or $3: Make it a fun day of games and prizes at the St. Pete Rec pool for their Family Fun Days.

16.  Visit the Largo Community Center on the third Friday of the month for their free family-friendly Friday Flicks program. Check out the event calendar for more info.

17. Looking for some wholesome family movies? Then you definitely should try out this subscription* which is free for the first month.

18. Hey teens, next time you head to the movies at AMC, “Cupgrade” your experience and get a Coke and popcorn for just $5.

Outdoor Attractions

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

20. Visit one of our favorite petting farms and horse stable, HorsePower for Kids for $7 admission and it includes a train ride to see the animals.

21. Free game of minature golf for kids all summer long at Ace Golf locations in Brandon & Riverview.

22. Come watch the Tampa Bay Water Ski Show Team perform for free in Oldsmar. Each weekend performance comes with a different and fun theme.




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

24. 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.

25. Kids 11 and under ride free at The Florida Railroad Museum on Saturday & Sunday in June, July and August.




26. Pack a picnic  lunch and take a stroll through the beautiful 30 acre Florida Botanical Gardens for free in Largo, FL. 

27. Free admission to visit the 28 Historical structures at Heritage Village. They  also offer lots of fun and cheap activities for the family.

Sporting Events

 

28. BOGO ticket deal by MetroPCS for Tampa Bay Storm Arena Football League.

29. $1 Tuesday tickets plus $1 hot dogs, popcorn and more at the Clearwater Threshers Minor League Baseball.

30. Come support our Tampa Bay Rowdies soccer team $10 Kids tickets in St. Pete.

31. When kids join the Dunedin Blue Jay Junior Jays Club they can enjoy a great deal with lots of perks.

32. Take in a game for $1 on Dollar Mondays and enjoy $1 hot dogs, $1 small sodas and more at a Flying Tigers game in Lakeland.

33. Kids eat FREE on Wednesdays at the Tampa Yankee’s game and 2 for 1 ticket deal on Tuesday. 




34. 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. 

Museums

35. 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.

36. Art on the House: Visit the Tampa Museum of Art on Friday evenings from 4 – 8 p.m. for Pay-as-you-will admission.

37. Military families can visit a Blue Star Museum for free admission this summer from May 30-Sept. 5, 2016. Many Tampa Bay museums are participating.

38. Kids will love to explore the colorful and interactive Great Explorations Museum in St. Petersburg. Low income families can receive a huge discount through Museums for All program.

GREat explorations Museum

Photo Courtesy: Greatex.org

39. Every Monday gets you free admission the the beautiful Ringling Museum in Sarasota. 

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

41. Low income families can enjoy $3 admission at MOSI.

 

Indoor Attractions

42. Visit MOSI Tampa, The Florida Aquarium and other Tampa Attractions for 53% off through CityPass.

43. Kids bowl free at several locations, including St. Pete, Largo, Clearwater and others. Find participating bowling lanes here. 




43a. Kids from K-12 can get a Student LanePass at Pin Chasers for $9.99 which includes 10 games of bowling plus an additional 5 games for free.

44. Two for the price of one admission at Vertical Ventures rock climbing facility on Saturdays.

45. Kids can Bounce-n-Skate during the weekday at United Skates of America for only $5. The whole family can enjoy $5 Fridays which includes skating rental.

46. Girls skate free 6 days a week (excluding Sunday) at  The Skate Park of Tampa.

47. Enjoy Mini-Golf, Mini-Bowling and Rock Climbing for only $3.50 each at PK’s Play Zone in Tampa.

48. Visit Boing Trampoline Fun Center on Tuesdays and jump for 60 minutes for only $10, starting at 4 p.m.

49. Every Friday during the summer,  buy one child’s admission and get the second child 1/2  price at Gator Fred’s bounce center. Parents are always admitted free. 

Swimming Fun

50. With it’s fun diving area, the Land O Lakes Recreation Complex Pool opens up for the summer for public swim sessions. 

51. Take a dip at the large pool at the City of Dunedin Highlander Pool for $3 admission. The Sprayground is in the same park which doubles the fun.

 
 

52. Splash and play at St. Pete’s newest 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. 

Photo Courtesy: TradeWinds Resort

Photo Courtesy: TradeWinds Resort

53. The St. Pete Beach Family Aquatic Center has a six-lane Junior Olympic swimming pool with an attached children’s play area for the little ones.

54. 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.

55. Make it a family pool day with large tube slides and a zero dept entry into Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Pool. $2 entry fee for kids.

56. Go down the 214 foot corkscrew water slide and 3-story speed slide is all the rage at Highland Family Aquatic Center in Largo.

57. The North Shore Aquatic Complex in St. Pete is another local favorite that includes a 50 meter pool with a diving board.

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

59. Located on Davis Islands near downtown Tampa, Roy Jenkins Pool is a great family pool that has five lap lanes and fun children’s activity pool.

Music/Entertainment

60. Stay late during Bush Gardens Tampa Summer Nights for live entertainment nightly fireworks and thrill rides in the dark. Free w/ admission or membership

61. Follow Mr. Tommy as he entertains kid through his interactive musical performances throughout Tampa Bay. Many of his performances are open to the public and free. 




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. 

63. Adventure Island kicks off the summer party with island-inspired performers, a live DJ and games on the beach, starting at 5 p.m. each event night. Free w/ admission or membership

64. Get tickets to the Summer Circus Spectacular at the Ringling Museum for a family-friendly show for a family-friendly price. 

65. The Bits-n-Pieces Puppet Theatre puts on fun and family-friendly puppet shows with professional puppeteers.

66. Visit the animals and live musical performances at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo’s Summer Sunset Celebration. Dazzling light show finale on select nights in July & August. Free w/ admission or membership

 

Library/ Educational

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

68. Participate in your local libraries summer reading program for fun treats, prizes and more at Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco County library systems. 

69. Kids can earn their volunteer hours during the summer by signing up at volunteermatch.org for local Tampa Bay service opportunities.

70. Looking for some spiritual fun? Vacation Bible Schools are located all across Tampa Bay and more are for free. If you’re near Brandon, register at Limona Village Methodist Church for their VBS. 




Parks & Beaches

71. One of our favorite beaches, Honeymoon Island beach is a perfect way to spend the summer days. 

72. Take a dip at the popular Clearwater Beach, home to Pier 60. Stop by on the weekends for free movies under the stars.

73. Pass-A-Grille Beach is another one  of our favorite beaches to visit.

74. All aboard! Hop on the Largo Central Railroad and travel along the 1.2 mile track on their mini train.  Free to the public on the first weekend of each month at Largo Central Park.

75. 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.

76. Swim at the beautiful Treasure Island Beach.

77. The beach at Sand Key Park has playgrounds, grills, and a dog park for the whole family to enjoy.

78. Take a ferry to visit the beautiful Caladesi Island State Park and lounge on the beach. Kids 5 and under ride for free on ferry. 

Arts and Crafts

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

logopotter's

 

79a. The Potter’s House Studio offers Summer Camps and other camps throughout the year. The kids will thank you for signing them up for this fun and crafty summer camp.  Sign up here. 

Paintbrushes dripping paint of various colors into containers

The Potter’s House Studio Summer Camp

 

80. Build a free kid’s wood project at Home Depot or Lowes on select Saturdays.

 81. 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 Curtis Hixon Park.

82. $2 craft projects for kids every Saturday at participating Michaels Craft stores.

83. Participate in a story and paint time deal for the kiddos at Practically Pikasso in St. Petersburg on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday & Saturday. 

84. Explore dozens of art activities at Children’s Art Museum at the Dunedin Fine Arts Center for a budget friendly price.

85. Weekly free crafts and story time at Learning  Express Toys Citrus Park. 

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

87. Sundays @ The Morean is a FREE family drop-in art and clay studio hosted by the Morean Center for Clay.

88. Pottery Barn Kids offers free weekly story time and crafts for kids and you can ear a free prize after attending five times.

88a. The kids have worked hard all year long, help them get creative with this $5 coupon deal at Pretty in Paint Pottery Studio in Lutz.

Splash Pads/Spray Parks

89. Take a trip down the popular slide at the Dunedin Kiwanis Park. With more than 3,000 sq. ft.  of play area the kids will have ample room to move.

90. The Curtis Hixon Park has two spray fountains in between their spacious field. Check out the interactive park and visit the new boardwalk.

91. If you’re near the Amalie Arena, visit the Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park.

92. The lion themed splash pad at Anderson Park (Kate Jackson Community Center) is one your kids will definitely enjoy. The beautiful park has a playground and a Little Free Library where you can get a free book or drop one off.

93. There is so much to do at the splash pad at Dell Homes Park. Shaded picnic shelters offers a great place for parents to watch the kids. Playground is super interactive and fun.





94. Colorful water fixtures at the splash pad at the Ballast Point Park, it’s amazing view of the bay and multiple playgrounds makes this a fun family spot.

95. The Water Works Park in downtown Tampa has a huge water bucket, scenic view, walking paths and close proximity to downtown attractions makes this a great splash pad to visit.

96. The interactive Waterplay Sprayground at Zephyr Park in Zephyrhills packs in a great punch. Water cannons and dumping buckets will keep the kids cool and entertained.

97. All Person’s Rotary Park has a great playground area tucked into the Brandon community, in addition to their splash pad area. 

98. Newly renovated splash pad areas can be found at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo and the Florida Aquarium. Free with admission.

99. The Cypress Forest Park Rec Center in Oldsmar has a fun and interactive splash area for the kids. Parking is $5 per day. 

Bonus: Stay tuned for bonuses. We always find more after publication.

Do you know of anymore deals? Are you a business owner who would like to share a deal or advertise on our site? Contact us here. 

Sign Up to receive our weekly weekend newsletter to get free & cheap things to do in the Tampa Bay Area, right in your mail box.

Become a fan on Facebook,TwitterPinterest, and Instagram for daily updates.

Check out our Community Event Calendar for daily events.

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.