Best Free and Cheap things to do in the area
Don’t we all want to have some fun? Yes, we do but we all also know that some activities can be very costly. There are, however, fun things to do with kids that don’t necessarily need to break the bank.
Kids are easy to please, and they love anything as long as they are all together with family and friends. Plano Moms have created a list of cheap and free things to do with kids around the DFW area.
Let’s start with the FREEBIES!
Here in Plano alone, we’ve got tons of parks that are full of fantastic natural beauty, just perfect for walking, jogging, hiking, and playing. Go hike to nearby nature trails, and if you get lucky, you may be able to see some local wildlife (or a Pokemon).
Try out our new Scavenger Hunt!
The playground is always a huge hit for children! Today, playgrounds are like miniature amusement parks for free. And, most of them are great for toddlers, kids, and tweens.
Picnic at the Park
Weather plays an important part in planning a family picnic, Texas can be unbearable during summer, but spring or fall are great for picnics. And, keep in mind that Plano surrounding areas have a lot of parks or green spaces that are perfect for setting up a picnic table.
Check out the Plano Parks and its amenities. Many offer covered areas for an ad-hoc small family picnic but also for a small fee you can reserve a spot for a larger party.
Waterparks can be so expensive, and the crowd can be so overwhelming. So, skip the costly admission fees and long lines; cool off at the splash pads instead.
Most cities around DFW areas have added splash pads to their park, and during Summer, kids definitely will have a blast! Here is the Plano Moms list of some splash pads.
Fishing can be very calming and enjoyable; it is a perfect activity for generations of family members to have fun together. Please double-check local parks rules if you need a fishing license. Here is a link for reference, click here.
Check out the Texas Bank Maps
The Interurban Railway Museum is located in Plano’s Haggard Park by Historic Downtown Plano is FREE for everyone. You can enjoy a tour of Railway Post Office Car #360.
Every Friday at 10:30 a.m. the museum offers a children’s story time which is geared for preschoolers, it is hosted by professional storytellers.
Nasher Sculpture Museum
There is free admission at the Nasher every first Saturday of the month. It is excellent for everyone, so bring the whole family to enjoy some arts and make memories. Each month features a rotating schedule of things to see and do.
General Admission is FREE every day; it includes viewing the museum’s collection galleries and most exhibitions.
Special exhibits will normally $16 but discounted or free admission is available for the following groups: Seniors (65+): $14, military with DOD ID, $14, students with school ID: $12, DMA members: FREE, and children age 11 and under: FREE
Admission to the permanent collection of the Museum is always free.
North Park Center
Yes, it is a shopping mall but with a large selection of arts. NorthPark Center’s internationally acclaimed 20th and 21st-century art collection turns shopping into a world-class cultural experience. Making museum-quality art available everyday for your enjoyment.
Cultivate the Love of Reading
The library is a great place to hang out with your kids, not just because it is free, but because they are fun as well. Besides reading and checking out piles of books, they have tons of activities for everyone in the family. Check out your local library’s calendar for programs and classes, but check out this link for City of Plano.
Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble is rewarding kids with a free book (kids can choose from several) after they read eight books and complete a reading journal this summer.
Movies in the Park
Downtown Plano continues to offer us a free movie in the park this summer. Head out to Haggard Park at the end of every month, June through August, and watch some of the most beloved family-friendly movies.
Oh yeah… this can be so fun! Board games such as Monopoly or Pictionary and some card games can be super fun for the whole family. You can even invite friends to come and play together.
We have a ton of great ideas where you can capture some Instagrammable photos around the area
And, here is the CHEAP Stuff
While many of the activities listed below have reasonable prices, some often have annual memberships with a break-even point at two visits. It is also worth noting some have a free day once a month and you may even find discounts from sites like Livingsocial or Groupon.
Summer can be too hot to be out and about, so museums are great to cool off and at the same time learn something new.
It is a living history, and you can experience what life is like on the Blackland prairie back in 1891. They offer camps during summertime, but the fun at the Farmstead is not limited during summertime. They are open all year round and offers unique learning opportunities for everyone.
The Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Preserve is a piece of gem. It has 289-acre wildlife sanctuary and a natural science museum for the primary purpose of educating children about nature.
For $10 adult admission and $ 7 for kids, you are learning new things at the lab, new exhibits to check out, walk at the trail and at the butterfly garden, and play at the pioneer village (this village features eight buildings in playhouse scale that emulate structures that would have been typical in prairie settlements in the late 1800s).
The membership is all worth it! For the year, it includes free admission to all the exhibit halls, gives you discounts on parking, discounts to theater admissions and special exhibits, early members hour to skip the crowd, you get free admission to other 360 museums worldwide, some exclusive preview days to traveling exhibitions and pre-public access to special programs like Social Science and lectures. Family membership for two adults and all children or grandchildren (17 and younger) is $130.
The AMC theaters is the largest movie theater chain in the United States, has had Tuesday as its nationwide discount day. AMC Stubs members, including ones who had a free membership, were eligible for $5 standard 2D tickets every Tuesday and reduced prices for premium tickets.
Studio Movie Grill
$5 Tuesdays means all of your favorite Hollywood releases are only $5 all day long!
Watch $1 family movies at Regal Cinemas every Tuesday and Wednesday.
Cinemark has a variety of discounts offered for you. Check it out https://www.cinemark.com/discounts
Summer means doing outdoor fun, but when the heat is unbearable, most notably here in Texas, then there are things to do most especially for our little artist. It doesn’t cost much to explore, imagine, and create.
Check out their membership packages (affiliate link) to get the most discount.
You can make creativity happen! Check out their classes and events for kids and adults.
This is such a unique opportunity for people to enjoy and experience Shakespeare in a casual setting.
Kids Bowl Free has been operating since 2007 and offers kids two free games of bowling a day all summer long at select bowling centers. This program is designed by bowling centers to give back to the community and give kids a safe and fun way to spend time this summer. Check out here to learn how it works.
Recreation Centers and Pools
There are so many classes offered at your nearest recreation center. Most cities always make sure of creating a comfortable and fantastic experience to people of all ages and backgrounds in and around the city. If you live in Plano, you can get more info here.