Having just celebrated America’s independence, it got me thinking that while freedom certainly isn’t free, there are a lot of free community events that we the people can take advantage of during the summertime!
For starters, the City of Long Beach (CA) launched a website called the 100 Days of Summer, which lists events daily that are free or extremely inexpensive for kids and adults to enjoy during the next several weeks. Activities include youth and adult classes, family movies in the park or at the beach (depending on schedule), free summer concerts showcasing all kinds of music, amongst other offerings. You can link to their website to view the daily schedule in real-time, or look over the future calendar for upcoming events. Don’t live in Long Beach? Well, I’m sure your community offers SOMETHING free or close to it this summer, so be sure to check your parks and recreation department websites for more information in your area.
Of course, it’s not summer without swimming, and Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) is kind enough to provide open swim hours on their campus to the public Monday through Friday for just $1-2 per person (see this website for for hours and details; schedule and pricing changes during summer). Oh, and want to do something right after that and not too far away? Well, there’s bowling on campus, too, for just $3-4 per game and $1.50-2 for shoes (see this link for all gaming hours and details for student and non-affiliated CSULB rates). And if it’s a lovely day outside, here’s a freebie for you on campus, too: the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden. The garden is open FREE to the public Tuesday through Friday 8am to 3:30 pm and Sunday Noon to 4:00pm (closed Mondays and Saturdays). Please check CSULB’s website for information on special event closure days. Oh, and remember, parking rules on campus vary by lot and meters can be different rates, too, so be sure to check all of those signs as well.
And don’t forget about nearby City of Lakewood (CA) and their free wading pools! I wrote about these pools last summer also, but please note that the schedule for this season is slightly different. Here’s the scoop (splash?)…
Wading pools are free and are open from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., for youngsters ages 3-7, from mid-June to early September at Lakewood parks as detailed below:
Palms (Handicap Accessible)
Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday:
Open Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday:
Wading Pool Wednesdays:
The wading pools at Mae Boyar, Del Valle, Mayfair and San Martin parks will be open from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday evenings from late June to late August.
Wading pools will also be open on the weekends from late May to late September between 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Lastly, though it’s not really the last thing I can think of going on for free or very cheap around here this summer, there’s Cinemark’s Summer Movie Clubhouse. There are two Cinemark theaters in our area offering the program on Tuesdays, but you can search the list on their website to find the theater in your area offering the kid-friendly $1 movies. Regal Theaters also offers a Summer Movie Express at many of their theaters nationwide, and again all movies are just $1. Our local Long Beach Towne Center – where our local Regal Cinema is located – also hosts a special kids’ event following Wednesday movie showings from Noon to 2pm that is FREE, and the next event is scheduled for Wednesday July 11, 2012 (NOTE: Not sure the after-movie program is on for Summer 2013, please call to ask). While all of these summer movies years ago once used to be free, I think paying a buck for a flick isn’t such a terrible thing, especially since it provides some oft-needed A/C breaks from the outdoor heat, right RMT’ers?
And don’t forget to visit your public parks, beaches, playgrounds, libraries, museum free days, and so on and so forth. We just signed up for our summer reading program so T can get some goodies all year long just for listening to his regularly scheduled 15 minutes of bedtime reading nightly, so there’s free stuff out there for things you might already be doing, RMT’ers!
Just remember, parents, they’re only young kids once; this is the time in their little lives to take advantage of the fact that the best things in life are free, or at least not too terribly pricey! Thank goodness T still doesn’t know the difference most times between free and spendy… so long as he’s having a good time I mean.
Enjoy all of the free and cheap summertime offerings in your ‘hood this season!
2013 UPDATES (Links Also Updated Above):
Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse – Dates and Times vary depending on location. Click link for schedule and details.
Regal Summer Movie Express – Dates and Times vary depending on location. Click link for schedule and details.
Lakewood (CA) Wading Pools – Still trying to get 2013 exact dates, but for now please click link or see above edited schedule for details (the general schedule did not change from 2o12).