Summer Ideas: Free family fun
Nearly everyone is pinching pennies these days, and while that is great for the wallet it can be a strain for parents looking to entertain the kiddos during these long summer days. Fortunately, there are plenty of free (that’s right, we said FREE!) family-friendly activities in and around the Stone Oak area. Below are just a few suggestions.
The Cheap Seats
The Alamo Drafthouse near Hwy 281 and TPC Parkway offers free family flicks every month. At 11:30 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. Saturday, June 30, enjoy free admission to the delightful “Nanny McPhee.” At 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Saturday, July 28, the Alamo Drafthouse will offer free admission to “Jumanji,” an oldie, but a goodie starring Robin Williams, Kirsten Dunst and Bonnie Hunt.
Santikos movie theaters are offering free admission for specific family-friendly flicks on a weekly basis through July 25. The free movies will be shown at 10 a.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday at the Palladium IMAX, Silverado 16, Mayan Palace, Rialto, Northwest 14 and Embassy. The free movie schedule includes “The Smurfs,” “Rio,” “Rango” and “Puss in Boots.” Visit www.santikos.com/summermovies.php for more information.
The Regal theaters are also offering a pretty sweet deal this summer, with $1 admission to select G or PG-rated movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Dollar movies are available at the 10 a.m. showing only. Visit www.regmovies.com/summermovieexpress/default.aspx for more information.
Free outdoor Movies by Moonlight will shown every Tuesday evening at downtown’s HemisFair Park all summer long. The family-friendly flicks will begin at 8:30 p.m. Parking at all city-operated garages, meters and lots is free after 5 p.m. on Tuesdays. For a complete movies scheduled, visit www.slabcinema.com/images/moviesbymoonlight-2012.pdf.
Free Arts and Crafts, Story Time
The public library is a wonderful spot to enjoy story time, an arts and crafts project or club activity. The Parman library, 20735 Wilderness Oak, offers weekly activities for teens and children of all ages. The library also offers a Chess Club and a Scrabble Club for all ages and skill levels. Visit www.mysapl.org/calendar.aspx?id=par for a complete schedule.
Participating Lowe’s offers free Build and Grow clinics at 10 a.m. a few weekends a month. Children 5 and older learn how to build a wooden project and receive a free apron, goggles and certification of merit upon completion. Visit www.lowesbuildandgrow.com/ for more information.
The Home Depot also offers free How-to Workshops from 9 a.m. to noon the first Saturday of every month for children 5 to 12 years of age. Click here for more information.
The Northwoods Barnes and Noble near Hwy 281 and Loop 1604 offers a themed story time nearly every day of the week. Visit http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/store/2927 for more information.
The Learning Express toy store within the Village at Stone Oak shopping center near Hwy 281 and TPC Parkway will host a free story time and craft at 11 a.m. every Tuesday throughout the months of June and July. Visit http://sanantonio.learningexpresstoys.com/ for more information.
The city’s outdoor pools are free and open to the public. Visit www.sanantonio.gov/parksandrec/swimming.aspx for locations.
Free Summer Camps
There are still a few Vacation Bible Schools planned during July and August. Free and open to church members and non-members alike, VBS is a multi-day camp of sorts with arts and crafts, Bible lesson, games and music revolving around a specific theme. Visit www.stoneoakinfo.com/node/75143 for more information on upcoming Vacation Bible Schools in the Stone Oak area.
All Bass Pro Shops are offering a Free Family Summer Camp now through July 15. Enjoy free s’mores cookout, casting targets, shooting range and more, beginning at 1 p.m. every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Click here for more information.
Free Amusement Parks and Museums
The Witte Museum, a children’s museum offering collections in natural history, science and South Texas heritage, offers free admission from 3 to 8 p.m. every Tuesday.
The San Antonio Children’s Museum offers a Free Kids’ Night the third Tuesday of every month. Pay one adult admission and receive free admission for up to four children.
Anheuser-Busch's Here's to the Heroes program offers military members and up to three direct dependents free one-day admission to SeaWorld, Busch Gardens or Sesame Place parks. Visit http://www.herosalute.com/cavatx/index.html for more information.
Through September 3, military families can visit more than 1,500 museums across the country for FREE through the Blue Star initiative. Participating museums in San Antonio include The Alamo, Casa Navarro State Historic Site, Institute of Texan Cultures, McNay Art Museum, San Antonio Museum of Art, Southwest School of Art and Villa Finale. The Austin Children’s Museum, Blanton Museum of Art, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and Republic of Texas Museum are among eight museums in Austin offering free admission as well. This offer is good for all active duty military personnel and up to five family members. A valid military ID is required. For a complete list of all museums participating in the Blue Star initiative, click here.
The Japanese Tea Garden showcasing ponds, gardens and stone pathways is always free.
Admission to the Alamo and the San Antonio Missions is always free.