25+ Free Or Nearly Free Sacramento Summer Activities For Kids

By Alyssa Green

Summer vacation is nearly upon us…what are you going to do with the kids?!  Well, Sacramento is a great place to be during the summertime.  There is a lot to do and see.  However, keeping your kids entertained throughout the summer can often get expensive.  That’s why we have come up with a list of 25 activities that won’t break the bank.  Take a look at our list of FREE (or nearly free) activities that will keep your kids busy this summer.   Have a good one!



1 – Mad Science Summer Kickoff – Kickoff summer vacation with the mad scientists launching rockets, making green slime and more.  June 9th  11am-3pm. Unfortunately, this event has been cancelled. 

2 – Pops in the Park, East Sacramento -Family-friendly outdoor concerts,  every Friday evening in June.

3 – Juneteenth Festival –  2-day festival celebrating freedom, parade, talent show, fishing derby, food and music, June 16th.

4 – Luis Palau Sacramento Festival – Family friendly Christian festival with live music, food, children’s area, professional skate boarding demos and more. June 16-17


5 – Wells Fargo Wednesdays at the Sacramento Zoo – up to 4 children receive free entrance into the zoo with 1 paying adult, plus free train and carousel rides.  July 11, 18 and 25.

6 – Free kid’s day at the State Fair – Kids receive free entrance into the California State Fair each Tuesday, July12-29th.


7 – Screen on the Green, Outside family movies, various parks – August 4th & 18th.

8 – Kikkoman Factory Tour – starting up again this month after a hiatus, reservations required.

9 – Gold Rush Days – The past comes to life at this 4-day event in Old Sacramento, August 31-September 3rd.

10 – Banana Festival – Celebrate the banana at William Land Park with food, shopping, entertainment and family fun, August 10th.

11 – Crocker Holiday Monday – Target sponsors free entrance into the Crocker Art Museum on 4 holiday Mondays throughout the year, the last being Labor Day.


12 – Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum – open all year long, your kids will love experiencing school as it was during the gold rush.

13 – Wells Fargo History Museum – learn the history of the company that offered banking services to gold rush pioneers.

14 – Old Sacramento Scavenger Hunt – download the form and help your kids learn about Sacramento’s gold rush history.

15 – State Capitol Tour – Learn the history and procedure of California law, free tours available every day on the hour.

16 – Sacramento Public Art Walk – these self-guided walking tours will help introduce art to your kiddos.

17 – City Water Intake Facility – a boat shaped structure offering spectacular views of the Sacramento River and also a way to cool off in the intermittent water fountain the kids can run through.  Turns out the fountain doesn’t run anymore, boo hoo.  Still a fantastic place to visit and get a good look at the river and it’s beautiful surroundings. 

18 – Bike the American River Parkway – one of the most scenic parkways in the nation, you’ll see fabulous views of the river and it’s surrounding wildlife.

19 – California Raptor Center – this UC Davis education and research facility dedicated to the rehabilitation of injured or orphaned birds of prey is open to the public on weekdays and Saturdays.

20 – Bohart Museum of Entomology – UC Davis Entomology lab is open to the public and boasts an amazing collection of insects.

21 – UC Davis Arboretum – 100 acres of beautiful gardens, open 7 days a week, tours available.

22 – CSUS Aquatic Center – While the summer camps, classes and equipment rentals have fees, parking and use of the beach and picnic area doesn’t.

23– Big Spoon Yogurt Story Time – On the 3rd Thursday of each month, kids enjoy story time and a free yogurt creation.


24 – Regal Summer Movie – Kids and family movies just $1, Tuesdays and Wednesdays @ 10am.

25 – Funderland  Amusement Park –Small scale, old fashioned amusement park for kids 2-12 years.  Free entrance, rides $1.75 each.

26 – Effie Yeaw Nature Center – Wildlife presentations and nature walks along the American River Parkway, free entrance, parking $5.


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