May is almost over and deadlines are approaching for summer kids’ activities. Most public schools have ended. (Our kids go to a private Jewish school, so we are not done until mid-June!) So I thought it was a good time to start informing my readers of all the great inexpensive ways to entertain your children during the summer.
Kids can receive two free bowling games a day for the entire summer thanks to generous bowling alleys across the nation (they also have locations in Canada). Shoe rental cost is NOT included, but this is still a great deal! Check out their website for information on getting your school involved, locations, and frequently asked questions. The age limit is determined by each bowling alley. Dates also vary by alley, but some go from April until October!
Shoe rental is $3.50 per person at the local alley we like to go to (Olivette Lanes). Games cost $3.50 – $4.75 depending on the day. They have a special on Tuesdays where you can bowl for $2 and pay $2 for shoes. So if you go on Tuesdays, you are only saving $.50 a person by using the Kids Bowl Free program, but the alley is more crowded and there is a chance it will be full when you go. Other days you are saving $3.50 – $4.75 a person. This can really add up – especially since I have 4 kids!
There is also an option to sign up for a family pass (for the adults), but it is not necessary to receive your child’s free games. This may be a good deal if you go multiple times over the summer with your kids. You will have to figure it out based on how many times you think you will go, and the cost per game and for shoe rental at your participating bowling alley.
AMF offers their own summer bowling program for kids. This program has changed since my post several years ago. You can now purchase a Kids Summer Bowling Pass for kids 15 and under. For $34.99 you get three games and shoe rental for each pass holder every day of the summer (for the standard kids’ pass), from May 21 – Sept. 3. Note: This price is for the closest location to us. The prices vary by location. You must use the pass at the location it was purchased. AMF has 240 locations across the United States. They also offer passes for adults and for use at multiple locations.
For this pass to be a good deal (considering the price of $3.50 shoe rental per kid we would pay with the Kids Bowl Free program at our local bowling alley), we would need to go 8 or more times in the summer. If your family really likes bowling, then this is a good deal. If not, stick to the Kids Bowl Free program and their participating alleys.
Deals vary by location for this program. You get free skating passes, but you have to pay to rent skates and some centers charge an administrative fee per person.
The website features a tool for finding a location near you, frequently asked questions, and other information. Times and days vary by location.
For more ideas of fun things to do with your children, check out: