Home » Budget Friendly Summer Kids Activities In New York’s Capital District

You don't have to break your budget to have fun with the family this summer. Try these wallet-friendly activities found in The Capital District of New York.

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!

Remember You don’t always have to travel far to have a great time

Budget Friendly Things To Do In The Capital District

Barnes & Noble

Check your local store for Storytime each week – and special Children’s Events. gives your child the ability to earn a FREE book after reading 8 books and keeping track of them in a reading log.

free bowling


Kids bowl FREE this summer 2016 at AMF, 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!

free fishing


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 is  06/25/16 & 06/26/16

home depot kids

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
  •  Lowes – Lowe’s Build & Grow workshops – Every other Saturday at 10 am. The workshops are geared to ages 5 and up, & are FREE. Registration is required

GeKids Free Days

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

Museum Visits

  • 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.


National Parks

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 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. 

Town Activities

Kids Entertainment – Performing Arts At The Common (Clifton Park) -Every Wednesday starting July 22nd at 7 pm, enjoy a free performance for children. Northstar church provides popcorn, cotton candy and snow cones free of charge. The adults can watch free performing arts programs every Sunday Starting June 28th at 7 pm, Unless otherwise stated.

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 5

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 first week of July at 10 am. Plus they offer a variety crafts each day, bouncy bounce & free lunch for the kids 2 to 3 days a week.

Visit Playgrounds

We have been so blessed in Upstate New York to have a plethera of parks. I have polled many of you for your favorite parks and playgrounds. Of coarse I know you may have some that I have not listed, so please feel free to a 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 Center’s 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 their 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

Find free activities from your local library - keep your kids bust during the summer or winter months

Visit Your Local Library

Did you know that not only having a library pass can allow you to barrow 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 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 9 week period, typical starts June 28th, 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, you will come home with money in your wallet and memories to treasure.

Other Kid Friendly Articles

FREE Online Learning Websites for Kids

Birthday Freebies – Get Some Surprises on Your Special day

Six Flags Great Escape Lodge Indoor Water Park – Caribbean Celebration

pinterest image for pop up



Budget Friendly Summer Kids Activities In New York’s Capital District — 3 Comments

  1. Pingback: 2015 Summer Reading Programs!| Inspiring Savings

  2. 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *