Here are some free children’s and family activities available this week and beyond. Note that each event may vary by store location or venue, so call head to verify the times, dates and activities being offered.
American Girl Store – Girls ages 8 and up can enjoy various hands-on crafts, a scavenger hunt, free giveaways, and more. Between today, September 23rd through October 12th, your girl can create her very own acorn pouch out of felt and ribbon to take home – great way to welcome Fall! Also, starting September 25th through mid-December, each American Girl store will be hosting an exhibit of BeForever-inspired fashion designs as seen on a recent episode of the hit television show Project Runway. You’ll get to view a select assortment of the actual outfits from the show. The event is free and no reservations are required. Check your local American Girl store for specific times and dates.
Barnes & Noble: Most stores offer free story times on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays of each week with books, a cookie, coloring pages and activities. Most stores have upcoming Halloween events starting on September 25th, plus starting today, September 23rd, some stores offer Don’t Let the Crayons Quit storytime featuring Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble – a fun story about the feud between Yellow and Orange over the true color of the sun. Green will need the children’s help after Storytime to show them they can both be colors of the sun! Event times and dates vary for each store, so call your local Barnes & Noble store ahead to verify the information.
Bass Pro Shops: Check out your local store for free fishing seminars intended for adults ages 18 and older and offered now through the end of September. There is also an upcoming free Fall “The Great Pumpkin Celebration” event for the whole family starting October 24th. Check out or call your local store to verify activities and times.
Kids Bowl Free: Go register and get 2 free games everyday. This varies by location so check here to see if it’s still available in your area.
Pottery Barn Kids: Every Tuesday from 11AM-11:30AM, kids of all ages will enjoy a story time. Times can vary slightly from store to store so be sure to call ahead to verify. This season’s special themes include Halloween (October 28th) and Thanksgiving (November 25th). There is also a “Pajama Jam” for kids on Saturday, November 1st from 5-9pm, where kids get to enjoy cookies, hot cocoa, crafting and more while you get your shopping done! Children will receive a book club passport at their first story time and a special gift after attending five story times.
Lakeshore Learning: Every Saturday from 11am-3pm, kids ages 3 and up can enjoy free crafts. On September 27th, they will create a Reading Log Bookmark. No reservations necessary.
Michaels: Check out their Free Family Craft Time event on Saturday, September 27th, 2014 from noon-3pm where kids ages get to enjoy a bewitching boo bash of arts and crafts and create a hand print BOO banner or a Washi Tape Sticker bookmark, available while supplies last. Also, for just $2, kids can create a beautiful Fall art to take home: Kids Club® Foam Leaves on Canvas. This event also takes place at Michaels stores on September 27th, from 10am-noon and is open to kids ages 3 and up.
REI: They offer the REI Family Adventure Program with various free classes for children and adults focusing on Fall hiking, camping, backpacking, biking basics and more! Classes and dates/times vary by location so be sure to check with your local REI store to verify.
Williams-Sonoma: Junior Chef Classes every Saturday teaches kids ages 9-13 make delicious recipes, from main courses to desserts and snacks, with plenty of tasting along the way! Next Saturday, September 27th at 9:30 am, kids learn how to make delicious noodle dishes the whole family will love. They’ll create long curly vegetable noodles by spiralizing as well as make a baked noodle dish sure to satisfy. (Sounds like fun!) Class times vary by store location and class size is limited, so be sure to call your local store and verify availability.
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About the Author: Jocelyn Cañasa-Brown is a working mom of two boys and is a recognized blogger and mom influencer in the Washington, DC area. In her spare time, she designs and creates her own handmade jewelry, maintains her jewelry store on Etsy and is an active moms group organizer and leader both online and offline. Hip Mama’s Place was nominated for Parents 2011 Best All-Around Mom Blog and named one of the Highest Rated Blogs and Sites on Nickelodeon ParentsConnect for the Washington, DC area. Follow Jocelyn on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.