No other season on a busy family’s calendar fills up like summer.
Camps, hikes, vacations, camping trips, family reunions — there’s hardly a week without at least a few fun events to look forward to.
But summer events can get pricey. That’s why you’ll want to check out these upcoming June, July and August deals for family fun on a budget. Some offer discounted tickets, food, or admission. Others are completely free.
Tip: Read each promotion’s rules and regulations carefully to avoid disappointment.
1. June 7 — National Doughnut Day
The first Friday of June — June 7, this year — is National Doughnut Day, with a hole lot of sweet freebies.
Participating chains don’t typically announce plans until very near the date, but it’s likely many from last year’s freebie deals will be involved again.
A couple of examples from 2018:
- Dunkin’ (known until recently as Dunkin’ Donuts) gave a free classic doughnut with a beverage purchase.
- Krispy Kreme offered a free doughnut with no purchase required.
Learn more: Check with your favorite doughnut purveyors for details.
2. Summer-long kids movie deals
There’s something about watching movies on a theater big screen that beats even the best home-video setup.
Numerous cinema chains this summer plan special showings of kids favorites, from “Shrek” to “The Croods,” all summer long — often for $1 or less. Read the details in “How to See Movies in Theaters for $1 This Summer.”
Learn more: Also ask local theater chains and independents if they have summer children’s movie specials.
3. Summer-long Major League Baseball kids deals
To ease the expense of Major League Baseball tickets, many MLB teams offer deals, giveaways and discount days for children on their websites. Go to the MLB deal page, then click on your team logo to see the team’s deals, giveaways and discount days. For instance:
- The Minnesota Twins celebrate Sunday home games with half-price kids meals, face painting and autographs.
- A free membership in the Boston Red Sox’s Kid Nation fan club includes a free ticket. Pay for an upgraded membership and receive more perks.
- The Chicago Cubs have Sunday kids specials, too, including giveaways and a chance for the first 1,000 kids age 13 and younger to run the bases after the game. Baseball summer camp (starting at $425) is another Cubs option.
Learn more: Check your favorite team’s website for kids deals, giveaways and discount days. Or call the team’s office (contact information here) and ask.
4. July (date TBA) — Amazon Prime Day
Amazon Prime Day offers deep discounts for Amazon Prime members.
That name is a bit misleading because last year Amazon Prime Day lasted 36 hours, on July 16 and 17.
The deals can be good, especially on electronics and Amazon-branded products such as Amazon Echo devices and Kindle.
Amazon has yet to announce its 2019 Prime Day date. When it does, rest assured it will make headlines.
Learn more: Our 2018 tips tell how to make the most of the day and how to shop the sale for free if you’re not a Prime member.
5. July 11 — Free Slurpee Day at 7-Eleven
Free Slurpee Day is always on 7-11 (July 11). No purchase is required to get a free small Slurpee at your local 7-Eleven convenience store in the flavor of your choice.
In our experience, 7-Eleven stores rarely have long lines or run out of Slurpees. And July is a perfect time for cooling down with an icy drink.
Tip: Unsure which flavor to choose? Wild cherry is a good standby. Also, lemonade is always a great summer treat.
6. July 17 — National Hot Dog Day
If you relish a good hot dog, mark July 17, National Hot Dog Day, on your calendar.
We don’t know this year’s specifics yet, doggone it. But let’s be frank — they may be similar to last year’s, when chains such as Burger King, Hot Dog on a Stick, 7-Eleven and Wienerschnitzel offered free or discounted dogs in celebration.
7. July 19 — Back-to-school tax holidays start
Back-to-school time sounds far off right now, when many schools haven’t even finished the school year. But fall school shopping will be here before you know it, and you’ll be looking for deals to stock up on everything from crayons to computers.
Plan ahead by finding your local back-to-school tax holiday. This is when some states suspend their sales tax on certain qualifying items. The first school-related tax holiday this summer is Alabama’s, starting July 19.
Tip: This list will tell you if your state has a tax holiday and its dates and details. Watch for restrictions, such as the maximum cost of qualifying items.
8. July 21 — National Ice Cream Day
We all scream for National Ice Cream Day.
This deliciously decadent holiday has been around since 1984, when President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day. (This year, that’s Sunday, July 21.)
Tip: Look for independent retailers and chains such as Baskin-Robbins, Carvel and McDonald’s to serve up specials and frosty freebies.
9. Aug. 6 — National Root Beer Float Day
Refreshing root beer and delicious vanilla ice cream pair up for the perfect summer drink. And Aug. 6 offers a chance to snag a deal on this beloved drink.
Where? Try your local A&W and Wienerschnitzel restaurants, for sure. Some Marriott hotels may participate, along with local and regional eateries.
10. Aug. 25 — National Park Service anniversary
America’s National Park Service is a globally recognized gem that manages stunning parks from coast to coast.
Congress established the NPS on Aug. 25, 1916. The event is celebrated annually with free admission at every national park.
See the NPS birthday page and check again, closer to the date, for special events at the park of your choice.
Learn more: Can’t get to a national park on Aug. 25? Two more free-admission dates are scheduled later this year.
What are your favorite summer freebies and deals? Tell us in a comment below, or on Money Talks News’ Facebook page.
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