As summer approaches and the school year comes to a close, many families wonder how they’ll fill the days with fun, stay cool and avoid over-spending in the process. FresYes is happy to help by providing you with our annual round up of free and low-cost summer activity ideas for families with young children. Mark your calendars, get out there and have fun this summer! (Tag us with #FresYesInsider so we can feature your splish-splash fun on our channels too, please! We love sharing in the fun)
Each summer, participating local movie theaters offer reduced admission on weekday mornings and show children’s movies as part of the Summer Movie Express promotion. In Fresno, Regal Edwards & IMAX in River Park (Herndon and 41) offers $1 movies at 10am on Tuesday & Wednesday of each summer week, beginning at 10am.
The $1 movies are popular, so it is recommended you arrive early to ensure a spot, however, enjoying free AC and super affordable movies are definitely worthy rewards for your patience. Two different movies are offered each week, so you could potentially attend Tuesday and watch one movie, and Wednesday and watch the other movie.
This summer’s movie list includes Lego Movie 2, Smallfoot, Lego Batman Movie, Kung Fu Panda 3, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and more! For a full list and for additional information, visit the Summer Movie Express website here.
Movies in the Park
Unable to attend weekday morning movies? No problem! Each year, Movies in the Park, which has typically been sponsored by PG&E and Comcast, are offered on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings at three different Fresno parks. Though this year’s schedule is not yet posted – it should be up soon!
Movies and parking are typically free and food vendors are on site if you’d like to purchase food. You’re welcome to bring your own snacks and you’ll definitely want to bring lawn chairs or a picnic blanket to relax on. Movies start just after dark, and typically begin in mid-June and run through early August. Keep an eye on this page for updates!
Splash Parks & Public Pools
The City of Fresno Parks Department, in partnership with local high school aquatics complexes offers numerous splash parks and public pools (including both standard pools and learning pools) with admission costs being just $1 for kids and $2 for adults during the week, and free on the weekends. Swim lessons are also available at a discounted rate. For hours, locations and complete details, check out the Fresno Aquatics Info Page here.
Summer Bowling Pass at Bowlero
Did you know you can bowl up to three games every day of the summer for one low cost? Bowlero Bowling on Sierra and Blackstone offers this awesome deal for just $36.95 for kids and $52.95 for adults. You can purchase your Summer Bowling Passes online here. Oh – and in case you were wondering – YES, shoe rental is included!
Story Time Around Town
There are three great local ways to enjoy a special, free story time.
- ValleyPBS’s Clifford the Big Red Dog: Dog Days of Summer Library Tour: Each year, our local PBS station, ValleyPBS brings Clifford to visit a different Fresno County Library Branch each week, where Clifford and his helpers host a special story time and all guests receive a free Clifford book to take home. You’ll need to sign up in advance, but attending is free! For more information, contact ValleyPBS at 559-266-1800 or visit the webpage here.
- The Book Barn’s story hour with Mother Goose (year-round): Mother Goose visits the Book Barn, located at 640 Clovis Avenue (in Clovis) every Wednesday morning at 10:00am to share a special story with her young guests. There is no purchase required to attend.
- Barnes and Noble’s Saturday Story Hours (year-round): Offered every Saturday morning at 11am at Barnes and Noble on Blackstone and Nees. Snack/food items are also offered for attendees at a special discount. For full details and the weekly story list, click here.
Have fun, #FresYesInsider!