FREE Things to Do Before the Summer Ends

free summer things to do

When you’ve got all summer long to keep the kiddos having fun, things can get pricey. We’re here to help!  Try out all these FREE things to do (or nearly FREE) all summer long. Put them on your summer bucket list, write them on your calendar, or gather friends to do something fun!


1. Heckrodt Nature Preserve, Menasha

Boardwalk nature trails, animals, aquariums and more. Learn more about Heckrodt here.


2. 1000 Islands Environmental Center, Kaukauna

Enjoy hiking along the Fox River and also check out the indoor animal exhibits. Learn more about 1000 Islands here.


3. FREE kids at Heritage Hill

Tuesdays until August 29, 2017. Find the details here.


4. FREE Admission to Green Bay Botanical Gardens

Wednesdays through August 30 from 4-8 pm, FREE for everyone. More information here.


5. Splash Pads

If you haven’t heard or visited Wanick Choute Park and splash pad in Sherwood you are missing out. Opened in 2015 this is a fantastic splash pad for all ages to enjoy for FREE. Check out this round up of splash pads here.


6. Kids eat FREE

Find Kids Eat Free deals here.


7. Beaches

Neshotah Beach in Two Rivers, Clark Lake in Door County, Dodge Memorial County Park, Sunset Park, Hattie Sherwood Beach in Green Lake, South Park Beach in Waupaca and Partridge Lake, Public Swimming Beach in Fremont are all FREE. More information about our favorite beaches here.


8. Walking / Biking Trails

Not only are these trails family and kid friendly, they are also FREE. Check out our favorites Terrell’s Island, Newberry Trail and Trestle Trail. Find more here.


9. Movie Theater

Beat the hot summer days on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays at 10 am through August 16th, 2017 for your favorite family friendly movies for FREE printed tickets or for just $3 without! More information here.


10. Movies in the Park

Grab the blanket, bug spray and pack of the kids to see one of these outdoor movies under the stars with the kids.


11. Music

Live music, city bands, Appleton Rock School … we have so many options here. Check out some suggestions here.


12. Menominee Park, Oshkosh

Zoo, Beach, playground are all FREE. The whip ride is $1.00, the train ride is just $1.25. Learn more about Menominee Park in Oshkosh here.


13. Farmers Markets

Take in the sights and smells for FREE as you stroll through a market. Many of our local markets are more than just food vendors, enjoy art and music with the community. Find an option every day of the week here.


14. Kids Runs

Check out these fun run options here.


15. Plamann Park Children’s Farm, Appleton

Open daily from 9 – 4:30 through Labor Day, 2017. Check out baby pigs, a calf, donkey, sheep, goats, bunnies and more. Because of special diets, you can not feed the animals. This is a local family favorite. Learn more here.


16. Bookworm Gardens, Sheboygan

Located on the UW-Sheboygan campus, admission is free for this children’s garden inspired by many classic children’s books. Make sure to pack your suits and swim at Deland Park. Find more information about Bookworm Gardens here. Find Sheboygan day trip tips here.


17. Water Ski Shows

Check out FREE shows from local water ski teams around Northeast Wisconsin for FREE. For more information here.


18. Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, Green Bay

Zoo, geese, nature building, waterfalls and more. Grab a couple dollars for corn to feed the geese otherwise its FREE. Find tips for your next visit here.


19. Indoor Playgrounds

Did you know we have 8 McDonnalds playgrounds from Neenah to Appleton to Kaukauna to Green Bay. Don’t want to spend a lot of money? Enjoy ice cream and play for less than $5. Check out all the locations and more here.


20. Henry Vilas Zoo, Madison

It is one of the only free admission, community sponsored zoos in the country. The zoo is open daily, year round, with the exception of a few holidays. Parking is also free. For more tips for visiting Madison, check out this.


21. Head to the library

Find lots of FREE programs on our calendar or just explore. The Kaukauna library is our newest facility and has a beautiful play area for little ones.


22. Check out one of these favorite parks

The Rocket Park, Fritse Park and Memorial are our favorites. The new and updated Erb Park is fun! Here is a list of soft ground parks.


23. Ride the Trolley

The Appleton Downtown trolley runs until September 30, 2017 on Thursdays & Fridays from 5 – 11 pm and Saturdays from 8 am-11 pm. The rides are FREE for everyone but donations are greatly appreciated. More information here.


Check out our complete Summer Bucket List here.




Previous articleA Day at the Beach: Two Rivers, Wisconsin
Next articlePolar Express at the National Railroad Museum
Amanda Chavez
As the owner and publisher of Go Valley Kids I am passionate about connecting families with resources and businesses in our community. Born and raised in Appleton, Wisconsin, Amanda Chavez has a love for her community. As a busy mom of 2 little girls, she and her husband are always on the lookout for fun things to do and share with others. Go Valley Kids combines all of her passions –motherhood, design and community. Some of her other interests also peak through on GVK including baking, photography and sewing!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here