FYI- If you are looking for fun year round activities you will want to click, 101 Places to go with Kids in Toledo! And yes, some of those are FREE!! The following activities are seasonal…be sure to check back before school ends so you can plan your summer break in style!
I have yet to come across a family that has endless disposable income. In fact the majority of the families I know are on a budget. And while a budget seems to work fine during the school year summer is an entirely different story. Summer break on a budget stinks! Between all the cool movies that come out, the festivals, fairs, and more you can blow your entire budgeted summer break fund in a week!
Thankfully Toledo has some awesome kid friendly activities that are free. Yep, I said FREE!!
I have collated a list of the activities in an effort to make it really simple for parents to reference. Let me know if you know of any activities I should add to the list or may need to alter.
1. FOSSIL PARK
Fossil hunting pit is opens for the Season (April 11th- November 13th)!!
Travel back in time 375-million-years ago when Northwest Ohio was a great sea teeming with life. Bring a brush to assist in cleaning your fossils, as well as something in which to carry your buried treasures home with you.
For hours and more information click here
2. Summer Reading Club (SRC) at the Lucas County Public libraries (June- August)
SRC is a free reading program of fun activities and great prizes. What better way to Exercise your Mind! than with books of all topics in warm weather sun! Lucas County residents of all ages will be able to participate. Four categories of reading levels have been established to encourage infants to adults to participate. SRC past grand prizes have ranged from an iPad 2 for kids (preschool to 5th grade), an iPad mini, and Kindle for teens (6th to 12th grade) and adults.
A pending special Web page for SRC will be available in June. Stay tuned to the Library’s Web site as they roll out more information on SRC!
3. Noon Tunes on the Lawn at Wildwood Metro Park
(July 8th, August 12th, September 9th)
Looking for a fun and uplifting way to spend lunch? Grab a lawn chair and meet at the Gazebo on the Manor House lawn. Bring a lunch, find a piece of shade and listen to the sounds of a guest musician.
For a list of musicians playing view the wildwood calendar by clicking here
4. The 2016 Brown Bag Summer Concert Series is a FREE eight-week music event that runs from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m., on Wednesdays starting June 8th on the North Lawn of Main Library, 325 Michigan St., in downtown Toledo. (FYI-Meter parking is FREE 11am-2pm downtown) Also be sure to stop in the library after the concert for fun kid friendly activities/events, most begin at 1:30pm.
The 2016 Brown Bag Summer Concert Series schedule:
Wednesdays at 12:15 p.m. – FREE
June 8, The Steve and Tim Show (acoustic Americana)
June 15, Bradberries (Rock/oldies)
June 22, Just Kiddin’ Around with Elisa and Chuck Hage (Children’s)
June 29, Xplozvio (Tejano)
July 6, The Good, The Bad and The Blues (Blues/R&B)
July 13, Fossil Creek (Bluegrass)
July 20, Rodney Parker and Liberty Beach (Country/Rock)
July 27, Extra Stout (Irish/folk)
Food and refreshment vendors will be on hand for those who don’t bring a brown bag lunch, and the Friends of the Library invites all to buy a lunch in advance of a performance in the Library Café, located on the lower level of Main Library. The Brown Bag Concert Series is a family-friendly event.
Free, fun, and open to everyone! The TMA Family Center, located in the education wing near the Plough entrance, is the perfect place for your youngest Museum visitors to make and take memories. Drop in for themed activities that enliven the world of art for kids ages 1-10 (and even grown-ups!). Check the calendar for upcoming project themes.
Family Center Hours
Tuesdays & Thursdays 10 a.m.–3 p.m
Fridays 3:30–8 p.m
Sundays noon–5:30 p.m.
Click here to view a calendar that indicates the themes for each week.
6. YMCA SPLASH FREE Water Safety & Basic Swimming Instruction
2016 Dates & Times TBA (Registration starts May 9th, 2016 online)
For children 6 months – 12 years (ages vary depending on location)
- Four-day program
- 30 minutes each day
- Basic swimming skills instruction
- Water safety education
- 6 area locations
- Tips for parents
- Character development activities
*Children ages 3 – 5 years must be accompanied in the water by parent or guardian. Check with your Splash location for parent/child times. Children who are not potty trained must wear swim diapers.
7. Kids Bowl for FREE (April – September)
Registered kids receive 2 Free games of bowling per day all summer long! A value of over $500!
Click here to register you kiddos.
Presented by the Toledo Symphony@ Toledo Zoo Amphitheatre. Music Under the Stars, the beloved summer tradition, returns to the Toledo Zoo Amphitheater in summer 2016.
Summer Sunday evenings at 7:30pm. Each show features a fun musical theme that your family is sure to enjoy, and admission is free! While admission gates for these free concerts open at 6:00 p.m., the Toledo Symphony requests that the Amphitheatre does not open for guests to begin seating until 6:30 p.m. Guests entering in the Broadway Entrance during this time will be encouraged to visit our Concessions stands in the Main Plaza to grab some ice cream or a snack.
2016 Schedule Coming Soon
Weekly themes will be included as the date nears, click here for themes.
9. Story time at Barnes & Nobel @ Fallen Timbers
(Thursdays @ 10am & Saturdays @ 11am)
Click Here to see each week’s theme.
2016 events TBA, click on link above for more info or contact store at (419) 891-3900.
Image below shows some of the fun events and activities offered last year. It was a blast!
Maple & Main Arts Fair : Saturday June 11th, from 11:00 am – 7:30 pm
Sunday June 12th, from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
It’s going to be bigger and better than ever! Mark your calendars for this FREE weekend of fine art, great music and delicious food in historic downtown Sylvania on Saturday June 11th & Sunday June 12th. Over 100 artists and musicians will be taking part in the 5th Annual Maple & Main Street Art Fair lining Main Street, from Monroe to Erie Streets. The event will include a special children’s area with games, activities and a second music stage will be set up.
Downtown Sylvania Chamber Movie Nights TBA
12. Saturdays at Imagination Station
Imagination Station has FREE admission for Lucas County kids, 12 and under, with paid adult admission. Limit 2 children per adult. 10am-5pm (adult admission: $11)
Checkout their website for the latest activities, cool science demonstrations, and fun!
The museum’s million dollar display includes many large pieces of vintage firefighting equipment. The centerpiece of the museum is the 1837 “Neptune”, Toledo’s first fire pumper. That the kiddos will get a kick out…perfect photo op moms!
But what the children will be talking about years later is….
“Fireman Freddy’s Fire Station” which was constructed to allow children to actually role play situations they might encounter in their home. Under the trained supervision of the Fire Prevention Bureau, children are taught how to roll out of bed, keep low in case of smoke, and feel the door for heat with the back of their hand. Families are encouraged to plan escape routes from their homes, designate a common meeting place, and test smoke detectors regularly.
Also has great links and more info on what you will find at the museum.
Take a trip back in time when officers walked the beat in all kinds of weather to hit a call box or jumped on the riding boards of a passing car to hitch a ride to a robbery in progress.
Kiddos can get locked in jail and have their mug shot taken by the original TPD mug shot camera! The museum offers many interactive displays for all ages!
Your family will love it, click here for more info.
First Saturday of every month (9am-12pm)
The Home Depot offers free workshops for do-it-yourselfers of all ages and experience levels.
- Review the schedule of upcoming workshops and choose a specific workshop to attend.
- You’ll see a variety of workshops scheduled – please be sure to select the correct workshop you’d like to participate in.
16. Make a day of it at Maumee Bay! (Open daily dawn-dusk)
Pack a picnic lunch, grab some sunblock, pack your swimsuits, and head to Maumee Bay for the Day. Enjoy swimming, hiking, walking on the board walk, playing on the playground, etc. There is plenty to do at Maumee Bay, enjoy a fun filled family day or time with friends for FREE!
For a list of upcoming events click here
17. Saturdays (10am-3pm) and Sundays (1pm-5pm)
The Frogtown Froggy Museum of Toledo, OH
The museum has over 400 froggy related items on display, including singing frogs, clocks, telephones and more. There is one “lively” frog, Figaro, a barking tree frog from the Carolinas and one frog-loving fish, Freda. As a non-profit, there are no tickets to buy but a suggested donation of $1.00 per person or $2.00 per family would be greatly appreciated.
Noon to 8:00 pm Friday and Saturday, June 24th and 25th
This summer, you won’t have to go far for the sights and sounds of the beach!
Bring your family to Sand-Tastic! at Levis Commons and witness
four giant sand sculptures
and two sidewalk chalk murals come to life on the Boulevard!
FRIDAY and SATURDAY, June 24th and 25th from 12:00 – 8:00 pm daily
Kids will love playing in a community sandbox, hoping around in a bounce house and racing down an inflatable slide, and taking a spin on the mini John Deer gator track.
19. Point Place Days!
An annual celebration of the Point Place and Shoreland community that takes place during the month of June. There are dozens of events throughout the month – something for everyone!
They have barbeques, car shows, Kids’ Day at Kroger, fireworks, concerts, bike contests, and much more
Click here for the List of Events coming soon!
20. 2016 Concert Series at Ottawa Park – All Free (6 PM – 8 PM)
July 23 The Good, The Bad & The Blues (Blues)
Aug 13 Boffo (Classic Rock)
Free admission for children on Sunday! (ages 16 and under) with adult paid admission.
Sunday Hours (12-4pm)
22. W.W. Knight Nature Preserve
29530 White Road
Perrysburg, OH 43551
44-acre preserve offers hiking trails and boardwalks through various natural areas including wetland, remnant swamp woods and native prairie. The pond offers family fishing opportunities. The Nature Center at the preserve offers various educational opportunities including a Lookout on Nature Area (LOONA), perfect for bird watching. Click here for information
Paddle on the Pond at W.W. Knight Nature Preserve
Monday evenings 4pm-7:30pm June-August (I called & confirmed this 5/3/16)
Take a float on the pond! Canoe, paddles, life preservers, & instruction are provided. There is no charge & they supply EVERYTHING you need. This is a FREE event…Canoes first-come, first serve basis. Starts at 4pm on and goes till 7:30pm. Participants arriving at 7:30pm may paddle until 8pm.
23. Old West End Festival
Saturday and Sunday, June 4th and 5th!
Official events include House Tours, The King Wamba Parade, a Juried Art Fair, Entertainment, Children’s Activities, Food Vendors, OWE Stampede 5k run/walk, Beer Pavillion, Yard Sales, Antique Car Show, and Vendors Alley. The un-official events are front yard grill outs, brunches, porch musicians, street performers, face painting, parties, and curbside local artists to name a few. Come join us this year and enjoy the experience that’s been voted ‘Toledo’s Best Neighborhood’!
For a complete list of scheduled events and details, click here.
Click here for a list of the house tours. (This is not free, tickets are required, but totally worth it! Calling all architecture fans!)
24. Summer Movie Clubhouse at Cinemark June- August (Not Free but a great deal, $1!!)
Wed. & Thursdays @ 10am at Franklin Park 16
Tues. @ 10am at Fallen Timbers
Mondays @ 10am Perrysburg Levis Commons Theater
A fun-filled summer at Cinemark is just around the corner!
Don’t miss the Summer Movie Clubhouse where kids enjoy 10 movies for only $5.00 TOTAL!
First Friday, June 3 “Here Comes the Sun” presented by First Solar
First Friday, July 1 “Bi-Centennial”
Rock the Docks, July 2
Outdoor Family Movie Night, July 15
First Friday, August 5 “Come Down to Recycle Town” presented by Owens-Illinois, Inc.
First Friday, Sept. 2 “Back to School”
26. Wauseon Homecoming Parade! Wauseon Homecoming Parade to be held Saturday July 30th in downtown Wauseon. The parade begins at 11:00 am.
Come for the parade and stay for all the Homecoming festivities!
27. Park It for Family Fun!- Park It evenings consist of an Outdoor Concert, kid’s activities, sponsor giveaways, followed by a family-rated Movie under the stars.
For 2016 Schedule CLICK HERE.
Please feel free to share any additional events you know of going on around town that are kid-friendly and FREE!