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10 Free And/Or Inexpensive Summer Programs for Kids in Los Angeles

Summer break is almost here and with all that time off from school comes the question, “What am I going to do with my kids?” For some families, camp isn’t an option for a number of reasons (including a conflict of schedules and financial restraints). Luckily, here in Los Angeles, there are several less expensive and/or free summer experiences for kids.  Here are 10 Free and/or Inexpensive Summer Programs for kids in Los Angeles. 

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The Downtown LA Library is one of the great library to take kids in Los Angeles

“Today at Apple” Sessions
any Apple location including
Westfield Century City
10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90067

Apple stores offer a variety of free one-hour workshops designed for children ages 6-12. These hands-on sessions focus on different skills including coding, illustrating, storytelling, music, and movie-making. Session schedules vary from store to store, so check the website for the location nearest you and their workshop session. Kids can use their own devices or one will be loaned to you for use during the workshop. (By the way, adult sessions are offered as well!)

Apple Camp
any Apple location including
The Americana at Brand
877 Americana Way, Glendale, CA 91210

Children ages 8-12 can attend a free “Apple Camp” this summer. Dates have not yet been announced, but families can sign up to receive an email notification when sign-ups are available. Camp includes three 90-minute sessions which allow children to “expand their digital creativity through hands-on projects with experts at Apple.”

Many Los Angeles-area museums offer free admission year-round (such as The Getty Center and Griffith Observatory) or offer free admission days. (Click here to read our post “10 Los Angeles Area Museums Offering Free Admission.”) Check the calendar of events for each site; many offer story times, arts and crafts, performances, and more.

American Girl Los Angeles Book Club
The Grove
189 The Grove Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90036

Girls ages 8 and up can participate in the American Girl Los Angeles Book Club. From June through August, girls will receive a book to read and will then meet to discuss the book. Book club meetings also feature a breakfast snack, a magazine, and a character-themed craft to take home. Reservations are required. Fee is $10 per person.

Reading Rewards with Chuck E. Cheese’s
several locations including
6901 La Tijera Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045

Keep track of your child’s reading this summer with a special free, downloadable Reward Calendar from Chuck E. Cheese’s. Once your child has completed their calendar, bring it into your nearest Chuck E. Cheese location to receive 10 free tokens as a reward.

Kids Bowl Free
several locations including
Matador Bowl
9118 Balboa Blvd., Northridge, CA 91324

Kids 12 and younger can bowl 2 free games each day this summer at select bowling alleys throughout the Los Angeles area. Parents must complete an online registration for each child. When it’s too hot to play outside, bowling is a fun, indoor alternative that still keeps your child moving. And it’s something the whole family can do. Check the website for details and other participating locations.

Youth Enrichment Classes
YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles
several locations including
1553 N. Schrader Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028

The YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles offers a wide-range of youth enrichment classes. Whether your teen is just beginning to express an interest in a certain area or is looking to further his/her knowledge and skills, YMCA offers classes in dance, music, creative and performing arts, fitness, and more. Different classes may be offered at different branches; check the website for details.

City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks
Parks throughout Los Angeles offer a wide-range of free and/or low-cost programs for children during their summer break from school. Parents can select from Day Camps, the Off Track Youth Enrichment program, and the LA Kids program. Check the website for details and to find a location nearest you.

Attend a Story Time
Reading is something that needs to happen year-round. Just because school is out for the summer, doesn’t mean your kids shouldn’t be reading and listening to stories. There are many options for story times, happening on different days throughout the week. Click here to read our post “Best Places for Children’s Story Times In and Around Los Angeles.”

Visit a Public Library
Libraries are no longer just big buildings filled with lots of books. Our public libraries are rich community resources offering classes, hands-on activities and workshops, special events, and more. Additionally, public libraries host summer reading programs. Click here to read our post “10 Things You Can Do At The Los Angeles Public Library System.”



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Wednesday 6th of March 2019

looking for a free or nominal day care/ or summer camp for 5year olds