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75 Free & Cheap Summer Fun for Kids Around Tampa Bay

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School is out and Summer is in! Whether it is enrolling your child in a Tampa Bay Area Summer Camps 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.

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. 

75 Free & Cheap Summer Guide

  • Watch Movies at Theaters or at Home
  • Summer Deals
  • Home Fun
  • Indoor Attractions
  • Outdoor Fun
  • Tampa Bay Museums
  • Educational Resources
  • Sporting Activities
  • Parks & Nature
  • Water Activities
  • Food Deals

 

Summer Movie Deals

Free to $6

FREE & Up MOVIES

There is a great selection of new-release movies and older ones that you can watch for $5 or less per person. Click on the links below to see the full movie schedule. 

 

1. Xscape Riverview Theatre is one of the only indoor movie theatres that offer free movies! You’ll want to catch the full schedule before heading out.

 

See the full schedule here. 

 

2. At Cinemark Lakeland Square Mall 12, your family can watch a movie for $1.50 per ticket on Wednesdays from June 21- August 9, 2023.
 
 

3. AMC Summer Movie Camp watch some of your favorite movies on the big screen. Get tickets for just $3+tax on Wednesdays and $5+tax on Saturdays for our Summer Movie Camp! Revisit your family favorites, only at select locations.

4. Plan on visiting Zephyrhills Cinema on Tuesdays or Wednesdays for their summer kids’ movies. Tickets are $1 each.
 

See the full schedule here. 

 
 

5. 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.

 
 
 
 
6. Studio Movie Grill in Seminole offers Summer Children’s Series on weekdays. Tickets are $6 and include a small popcorn and small drink.
 
 

7. Special Needs: Studio Movie Grill in Seminole offers sensory-friendly screenings that are free for children with special needs and their siblings. Click link above for the schedule.

 
 
 

8.$2 movies, popcorn and drinks on Tuesday & Thursday in June and July @ GTC Beacon Brooksville Cinemas

 
 

9. Regal Cinemas:  $2 movies at Regal Cinemas on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. They provide you with two movie options on each of those days. Locations in Tampa, Pinellas Park, Largo and Port Richey.

 

10. The B&B Theatres in Wesley Chapel, FL Summer Kids Series operates during the summer months when school is not in session and is designed to give families an affordable morning option that is great for the whole family.

 

General showtimes will be at 10:00 AM and 12:30 PM, and a Sensory Friendly Showtime at 10:15 AM on the below dates. Tickets are $5 OR $3 for Backstage Pass Members! Not a member? It’s FREE to join! Sign up here.

 

Indoor Fun Attraction Deals

Indoor Attraction Deals

Take a break from the Tampa Bay heat with some fun indoor attractions. Many of these 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.

 

11. Get 8 weeks of gameplay at Chuck E Cheese starting at $4999

Learn more about this deal by going to their website. 

 

12. Love laser tag? Then your family is going to love visiting the LaserOps Extreme Gaming Arcade located in Tampa for their Play All 3 Deal. This amazing deals now comes with a $20 Arcade Game Card. That’s a 1 HOUR Laser Tag Session, Bazooka Ball or Archery Tag and a $20 Game Card for only $30. That’s a huge saving!

 

13. All the fun for half the price! Play ½ price games every Wednesday from open to close at Dave & Busters! 

 

14. Glazer Children’s Museum offers FREE admission on the first Tuesday of the month.

 

15. Bring the fun to The Main Event in Wesley Chapel, FL! Check out these amazing summer deals: 

  • SUMMER SEASON PASS: Get All You Can Play Activities every day, all summer long, and unlock exclusive pass-holder benefits for just $59.99 per person. Activities & participation vary by location. Restrictions apply.
  • MONDAY NIGHT MADNESS: Most people wind down on Monday. You wind up. All-you-can-play activities or games are just $12.99 per person after 4 pm on Mondays! Just because the week has started doesn’t mean the party has to stop.
  • KIDS EAT FREE TUESDAYS: Savor the savings, and have fun doing it! Kids under 12 eat FREE when you buy a menu item for $11.99 or more, all day long!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16. Jump for this summer special at Altitude Trampoline Park in Tampa, FL from Monday-Thursday and Friday until 6 P.M. Enjoy 3 hours of jump time for only $21.99. 

 

17. Any military families? Flying Squirrel wants to show their appreciation to the hardworking men and women in our armed forces (past and present) by offering discounted jump time. Join us at any time, any day at any park! Please bring your Military ID.

50% off jump time for the immediate family (spouses and children).

 

 

18. Visit a Tampa Bay Area museum

daily for FREE admission. Monday-Sunday there is an option for families.

Examples include: 

  • The John & Mable Ringling Museum
  • Glazer Children’s Museum
  • Tampa Police Museum
  • Tampa Museum of Art

See the full list of local museums that offer free admission

 

19. Kids Skate FREE in Brandon, Lakeland, Pinellas, Tarpon Springs and many other roller skating locations.

 

 

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

 

21. Roller Skating: Find affordable fun at United Skates of America for Kids Fun Skate every Saturday morning from 10am-Noon for $6 per person (includes skate rental).

 

22. United Skates of America also offers Cheap Skate every Wednesday night from 6:00-8:00pm. Featuring Top 40 Pop Music and it’s fun for all ages Admission: $10.00 per person and it includes skates.

 

23. Indoor Bounce Amusement Park: BOGO Thursdays at Airosphere in Tampa. Whatever time at full price you purchase, they will double for free!

  • Plus…All You Can Jump on Wednesdays for $21.95. Purchase all day jump pass for the price of 90 minutes and jump for as long as you like until close every Wednesday!

 

 

24. Add ice skating to your summer fun list. While you don’t see a lot of discounts with ice skating, it’s a fun family activity. Check out these fun options for ice skating:

Photo Courtesy AdventHealth Center Ice
 
 

 

25. Go carting at Tampa Bay Grand Prix for an indoor experience if you’re near Tampa, Clearwater or St. Petersburg. They have some weekday specials, please call to confirm if they are available during the summer season.

 

26. Get the Vertical Ventures St. Pete Multi-Visit pass for some rock climbing fun! The best part, the multi-visit passes are 25%-35% off regular admission:

  • Shareable with friends & family
  • May use multiple passes on the same visit.
  • Transferable
  • Includes Rental Harness
  • Never Expires
 
 

 

 

Parks & Nature

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.

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

45. 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.

 
 

46.  Visit some of our favorite parks: 

  • Lettuce Lake Park in Tampa, FL.
  • Largo Central ParkFull of interactive play features, synthetic turf safety surface and lots of green space.
  • New Tampa Nature Park, Features paved & unpaved trails for hiking & cycling, plus a zip line & ropes course.
  • Julian B Lane Riverfront Park, Playground, splash pad, and green area to relax.

 

47. Stop by 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.

 

 

Outdoor Fun Deals

Don’t want to feel cooped up in your home, you and your family could use it for some affordable fun outdoors. Here are some ideas for a fun outdoor adventure around Tampa Bay.

 

48. Kids Golf for $1 at Ace Golf locations in Hillsborough and Pasco counties. You can switch the bucket of balls to a game of free miniature golf at three of the locations.

 

See all the details here.

 

49. Go carting and miniature golf is a fun option at Celebration Station in Clearwater, FL has some amazing deals that include miniature golf and other fun indoor and outdoor activities.

 
 
 
 

50. Take a ride on the Largo Central Railroad’s miniature train on the first full weekend of every month on a 1 mile route through the beautiful Largo Central Park. Free Admission. Donations Accepted. 

Photo Credit: Largo Train

 

 

51. Visit St. Pete Pier – St. Pete Pier is a favorite among tourists and locals because of the variety of activities there that you can do for free and low-cost. You can stroll along the pier, eat at the marketplace, shop, have the kids play on the colorful and magical playground or even get wet at the interactive splash pad. 800 2nd Ave NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.Photo Credit: St. Pete Pier Facebook Page

 

52. While at St. Pete Pier, visit Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center for a pit stop to all things marine life. It’s a very small center but The Discovery Center tells you the story of Tampa Bay’s vast and complex estuary — its history and recovery, and our organization’s pivotal role in that effort.

 

 

 

53. Go For A Bike Ride At Tampa’s Suncoast Trail for FREE. Spanning 42 miles, Tampa’s Suncoast Trail passes through a pleasant mix of suburban, agricultural, and natural areas. Pause for a tranquil moment with the scenic views at the Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Preserve. Plan your day here. 

 

54. Explore Tampa Bay’s Best Hiking Trails. Need fresh air and exercise? Set up the alarm and hike on any of the epic trails at Tampa Bay. Whatever your comfort level,  there is surely a trail for you. Pack a picnic meal for a nice break in between your hike. Choose from the best hiking trails.

 

55. Plan a day at the beach. Tampa is lined with top-rated beaches, so it’s time to catch up on some much-needed sea breeze. Outside of parking at some locations, beaches are a great free family outing for families.

Not sure where to go? Here are some of the best beaches.

 

56. Go Horseback Riding At Cypress Breeze Farm. Whether you’re both passionate about horseback riding or simply want a new experience, horseback riding at Cypress Breeze Farm is a fun family activity. They have a variety of trails to challenge or mesmerize you. Learn more here.

 

57. Going on a walking or drive-by mural tour is free every day. Walking is a great exercise for everyone. It’s fun and relaxing, too.  Florida has a lot of interesting and scenic cities that you can appreciate better with a walking tour.

Curious about the Sunshine City? Try the St. Petersburg History Mural Tour.

Immerse yourself with Tampa’s Downtown Murals.

Find even more murals in Tampa.

Photo Credit: Tony Moore

 

58. Visit a small zoo or petting farm for fun interaction with animals. Check out these low-cost zoo/petting farm options.

  • Visit Old McMicky’s Farm in Odessa, FL (A little higher priced but you get a lot for your buck)

 

59. 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.

 

Arts & Crafts Deals

Free Arts & Cheap Crafts

 

60. Saturday and Sundays @ The Morean is a FREE family drop-in art and clay studio hosted by the Morean Center for Clay. Now, it will just require pre-registration, in order to keep group sizes smaller. Art projects run from 10:30 am – 2:30pm.

 

 

61. Yes, IKEA Tampa is a furniture store. But it’s also a great place to spend an air-conditioned day. The store offers Kids Eat Free on Wednesdays until August 31, 2023. Explore the store’s schedule for upcoming free craft events. 

 

 

62. Register for a free craft kit at Lowes for their Kid’s DIY workshops. Sign up early as they fill up every month.

 

 

63. On the second Saturday of the month, meet artists and gallery owners at the St. Petersburg ArtWalk. The event is from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and features over 40 studies and galleries from the five Art Districts. Discover wonderful masterpieces, visit your favorite artist, or find a new one. Many studios/galleries celebrate the opening of brand-new exhibitions during ArtWalk. As you visit and discover the map of artists, you make an evening of it and stop for dinner, drinks, or dessert.

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. Slather on the sunscreen and take a refreshing swim or sunbathe on the beach for a few hours. 

Springs

64. Visiting local springs can be an affordable option for families. You can visit Weeki Wachee Springs State Park and many others.

See The Full Local Springs Guide

A view of the springs.
Photo Credit: Florida State Park

 

Beaches

65. 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.

 

Pools

66. Don’t have your own personal pool? No worries. 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.

Make it a family pool day at some of these family-friendly locations:

67. Hillsborough County 

68. Pasco County

  • Visit the Epperson Lagoon near Wesley Chapel for some local fun. It’s a little higher priced than other attractions, but an available option.
  • The Lift Adventure Park operates the aquatic attractions, including the wakeboard cable, the Aqua Park, and paddlesport rentals in Sunwest Park in northwest Pasco, just off of Hwy 19 in Hudson.

69. Pinellas County

  • 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.
Photo Credit: Splash Harbor Water Park
Photo Credit: Highland Family Aquatic Center in Largo

Splash Pads/ Sprinkler Parks

 

Admission or Membership Based

70. Splash Pads can be found in all the major Tampa area attractions like

  • Busch Gardens, 10165 McKinley Drive, Tampa
  • ZooTampa at Lowry Park, 1101 Sligh Ave, Tampa
  • Adventure Island Water Park, 10001 McKinley Dr, Tampa
  • Florida Aquarium

 

See full guide to 18 + local Splash Parks/Pads

 

Free Entrance Splash Parks

71. If you don’t have a membership to a Tampa Attraction, check out these free or low cost splash parks below. These are a few of our favorites:

Photo Credit: Tampa Govt Facebook
  • 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.

SUMMER DEALS

Summer is all about deals! With over 70 days of summer break with the kids, doing things together can quickly add up. Make sure to take advantage of these deals before planning your summer adventures.

 

72. We purchased our Entertainment Book and we love that it has an online app that gives us alerts to help us save money this summer. This deal won’t last long. Take advantage of this amazing price before it goes up to it’s regular price.


Entertainment.com

 

73. If you are visiting the Tampa Bay Area then you definitely want to take advantage of Tampa Bay CityPASS. The Pass includes one low price to five Tampa Bay attractions, including Busch Gardens, ZooTampa at Lowry Park, Florida Aquarium and more.


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

 

74. Not sure what to do? Always check Groupon for amazing deals on food and things to do.


5/28 - 5/29 Sitewide Sale - Up to an extra 20% Off; Promo Code: SALE3

 

75. Vacation Bible School is back in session! Over 50 VBS locations. 

Check out the updated 2023 VBS Guide list.

 

 

FOOD DEALS

 

76. 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. Please call ahead as some restaurants may have changed their policy or have closed. 

77. 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.

 

 

Home Fun

 

78. Grow a Garden. 4 Ways To Grow A Garden At Home With Your Family. Learn more.

 

79. Check out our Boredom Busters of 100 Things to do at Home with the Kids that are free or really cheap.

 

80 Don’t want to go out? Plan a date night at home with the family.

 

81. Celebrating a birthday this summer? Explore these 7 Birthday Party ideas you can do at home.

 

82. Game Night!! We’ve got some great ideas to keep your the whole family entertained. Learn more.

      

Educational Resources

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.

 

 

83. Kids can earn prizes from Tampa Bay Rays by taking part of the Reading with the Rays program.

 

 

84. Check out our 2023 Mega List of Tampa Bay area and national summer reading programs that earn kids 18 and under prizes and treats.

 

 

85. Why not try a virtual summer camp resources with Varsity Tutors. You’ll be amazed at the variety of free virtual opportunities, from cooking camps to special needs and everything in between. Learn more.

 

 

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