You don’t have to break your budget to have fun with the family this summer. Try these wallet-friendly summer kids activities found in The Capital District (Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga & Troy) of New York. Keep your kids entertained this summer without breaking the bank.
I just love summertime in the Capital District. The kids are home and we are always off to find fun Budget-Friendly Things To Do.
Over the years, I have learned to search out those free deals. After all, you could be spending a small fortune to keep your kiddos busy over the summer.
I for one, do not want to do that.
It’s not hard to find budget-friendly family activities here at all if you’re truly looking for them! The Capital District is one of those places that is FULL of them!
These budget-friendly things to do are just the tip of the iceberg! Below, I have compiled a list of summer kids’ activities.
Remember You don’t always have to travel far to have a great time
Budget-Friendly Summer Kids Activities
Check your local store for Storytime each week
Kids bowl FREE this summer with 2 FREE games of bowling each day.
The AMF Promotion does not include shoe rental. Even the adult deal is good (not sure if all participating bowling centers are the same). It’s $25 for 2 games a day for the entire summer!
Are you planning on teaching the kids how to fish this summer?
Each state does offer a specific day to Fish for free – no license needed!
New York’s National Fishing Days are 06/29/19 & 06/30/19. New to fishing, you can view this beginner’s guide to fishing.
Home Improvement Building Events
- Home Depot – Take the kids to a Home Depot Workshop – each month on designated Saturdays. The events are geared to ages 5 and up – you can our kids can keep busy in monthly.
GE Kids Get In Free Days
GE is pleased to provide FREE Admission for kids 12 and under with a paying adult at special events across New York’s Capital Region. Visit Great Escape, Valley Cats & More.
You can read more about those events and dates HERE
- The New York State Museum, Albany – From science and art to New York state history, children have opportunities to tour exhibitions, create spectacular art or participate in exciting, hands-on activities led by Museum educators. You can check out all their free programs and events here.
- The Arts Center Of The Capital Region, Troy – The Arts Center offers exhibitions of high-quality contemporary and folk (traditional) art, dozens of classes for adults and children each month. Some classes are completely free others are not.
- The Saratoga Automobile Museum – Let the kids go exploring seeing all kinds of cars from new to old. Children under 6 years of age are Free. However, admission for adults and kids over the ages of 6 are not.
There are many e National Parks in New York that offer a few FREE Admission on specific days each year. Find out locations and dates HERE
This program works similar to the Bowling program, sign up with a skating rink near you and each Sunday they will email you the coupons to skate for FREE during the week.
Skates are not included. You can look up to find a participating location here.
Kids Entertainment – Performing Arts At The Common (Clifton Park) -Every Wednesday starting mid-July at 7 pm, enjoy a free performance for children. Starpoint church provides popcorn, cotton candy and snow cones free of charge. The adults can watch free performing arts programs every Sunday.
I am still awaiting exact start dates.
Movies in The Park – Ballston Spa Movie Night – The Ballston Spa Business & Professional Association presents free outdoor family movies in Wiswall Park on the First Fridays of summer, starting at dusk. Starting June 1st.
Swimming – Some towns may offer free swimming days to one of your local community pools. But did you know some may be free all season long?
Mechanicville offers free of charge to their residence use of their toddler pool on Park Ave, usually open the first week of July at 10 am. Plus they offer variety crafts each day, bouncy bounce & free lunch for the kids 2 to 3 days a week.
We have been so blessed in Upstate New York to have a plethora of parks. I have polled many of you for your favorite parks and playgrounds. Of course, I know you may have some that I have not listed, so please feel free to comment below.
- The Crossings (Colonie)
- Kids’ Creekside Village Playground at Kelley Park in Ballston Spa
- Saratoga State Park
- Albany’s Washington Park
- Blatnick Park in Niskayuna
- River Road Park in Niskayuna
- Grafton Park
- Hathorn Playground Saratoga State Park
- Shenentaha in Malta
- Stillwater Crossing
- Janesville Park in Clifton Park
- Schyler Flats in Menands
Visit a Nature Center
We have Nature Centers to choose from. Some offer great summertime drop-in programs that do cost money (very little), but most if not all allow you to go explore.
Each offers its own unique areas for the kids to play. Will this take up a lot of time? Probably not, but it will keep them busy for a morning out.
Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center
Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center
Five Rivers Environmental Education Center
Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center
Mud Creek Environmental Learning Center
Shaver Pond Nature Center In Grafton Park
Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park
Visit Your Local Library
Did you know that not only having a library pass can allow you to borrow tons of books and media, but also day passes to museums and more?
The library is one of our favorite stops, especially on a really hot day or on a rainy day. You can read more about library offerings HERE
Almost FREE Summer Kids Activities
Summer Movie Programs
- Bow Tie Cinemas’ Summer Kids – Free screenings of family favorites will be shown at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the Schenectady and Wilton Mall locations. Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis. Seating is limited and these screenings fill up fast.
- Regal Summer Movie Express – During a 10 week period, typical starts June 25th, Regal Theaters will be offering G & PG movies for only a BUCK every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 AM. Every Tuesday during this program, a small popcorn was priced at just $2.
Whatever you decide for your summer daily adventures, remember to just take a little time to plan ahead. Not only will you avoid unpleasant surprises, but you will also come home with money in your wallet and memories to treasure.
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Stephanie Seymour says
I live more toward the Catskills, but I’m still Capital Region. My favorite park is Bethlehem. They have everything there, including 2 swimming pools. We go for the playground though. It’s enormous.
jen schreiner says
Thank you Stephanie for adding in that great park. I appreciate your comment 🙂
Diana Moriel says
What a great article, thank you for posting this information. We love the Craig Elementary Playground in Niskayuna. We often go there to fly kites on the big soccer fields next to it and the playground itself is great!
Jen @ Inspiring Savings says
Thank you Diana!!! We have not been to the Craig Elementary Playground. We will have to check that one out. 🙂 Maybe we can go together 🙂
Marcia Kellogg says
Thanks for this great list! We’re in New Paltz, but I’m adding it to our pre-k page for fun day trips~
Jen @ Inspiring Savings says
Thank you so much Marica! I appreciate the compliment.