By Michelle Reese
After spending SO much time together in the house this spring, you’re probably getting really tired of hearing “I’m bored!” from the kids. But, you also can’t keep buying them new toys to entertain themselves all the time. We’re here to help with a list of cheap (or FREE!) things to do in (or near) Montgomery County this summer.
Tip: Be sure to check out our 2020 Summer Fun Guide for even more ideas! And you should also check with individual businesses to learn more about their safety precautions and any requirements/restrictions for guests.
Kids can bowl free by registering at kidsbowlfree.com. Each child registered can get two free games of bowling per day. When you go to the website, just check for bowling alleys which participate in your area. (Limerick Bowl is one of the bowling alleys in Montgomery County.) Shoe rental may be required.
Visit a Local Farm
There are quite a few farms in Montgomery and neighboring Bucks County that allow families to visit to see the animals or pick-your-own produce.
Ryerss Farm in Pottstown is a unique experience for any horse enthusiast. The country’d oldest non-profit organization of its kind, it provides a comfortable retirement for horses. Visiting the horses is free, though donations are appreciated. You can also purchase treats to feed the horses.
Tabora Farm & Orchard in Chalfont offers lots of kid-friendly fun with affordable pick-your-own events, festivals and even story times.
On select days, you can cut 50 Zinnia stems for just $5 at Maple Acres Farm in Plymouth Meeting.
Styers Orchard in Langhorne offers free hayrides to the orchard, and you only pay for what you pick. So it’s a fun activity for kids, and then you have a healthy snack to enjoy at home.
At Snipes Farm in Morrisville, families can visit with the animals and then shop the weekly farm market from 9 a.m. to noon.
For more pick-your-own options, read this article about Fresh Fruit Season in Montco.
Kids Eat Free
You probably aren’t going out to eat these days as much as you used to, but if you do go out, it can still get expensive! Finding restaurants that offer free kids’ meals or discounts definitely helps keep costs down.
Here are just a few:
Brittingham’s in Lafayette Hill: Kids eat free on Mondays.
Bruster’s in Limerick and Audobon offer free baby cones to children under 40″. Plus, visit on a rainy day and receive a 2nd scoop of ice cream for free with the purchase of a cone.
Great American Pub in Conshohocken: Kids under 10 eat free on Wednesdays; two kids per one adult entree.
Free Museum Passes
Ease the burden of entry fees to museums by checking out a free pass for the family. Each library in the MontCo system has their own collection of passes that are available for checkout for three days. Most passes cover the entrance fee for 2 adults and 4 children within the household, but details do vary between museums.
To discover which passes are available from which library, search the McLINC online catalog here. Type “museum pass” in the search bar, then click “Find It” to see which library carries the pass you want. Please note that due to COVID-19 restrictions, some museums are not accepting library passes, or they might not be open at all. So it’s best to check with the specific museum before planning your day. TIP: Elmwood Park Zoo IS open and accepting library passes!
Outdoor Movie Nights
You’re not going to be headed to the theater to see the latest blockbuster this summer, but you can still enjoy a movie night with the family! Keep your eye out for outdoor movie options in Montgomery County. Some are completely free, and the others are very reasonable when you consider you won’t be dropping big bucks on movie theater concessions.
Here are a few to check out: Free Movies in the Park by Upper Gwynedd Township, Drive-in Movie Nights in Souderton Borough Park, Outdoor Movie Night at Peddler’s Village.
Parks & Playgrounds
There’s no shortage of beautiful parks and playgrounds in Montgomery County that are perfect for spending a summer day. Visit the Outside Section of our 2020 Summer Guide for a list of parks. And here’s our list of some of our favorite playgrounds in Montco. (Please note that this article is from 2019. Some attractions such as splash pads might not be open this year.)
To make this even more exciting for kids, consider making a “Playground Passport” where you dedicate each page to a different park in Montgomery County. Then add a sticker or a stamp after you’ve visited it. You could even make a section where your child gives a rating and makes notes about what they liked about each one.
Several places in MontCo offer free (or cheap) outdoor concerts throughout the summer. These events are completely family-friendly, so bring the kids, some blankets and snacks, and enjoy music under the stars. While some of the usual favorites have made the decision to cancel this year, Upper Gwynedd Township’s Summer Breeze Concert Series is ON! And after a virtual beginning, the Summer Live! Music Series at King of Prussia Town Center is back live on Friday nights from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Take a look at our Summer Guide for more details.