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Daddy & Me Outings

Free or Nearly Free Things for Dads & Kids to Do

Whether you’re a stay-at-home dad looking for some fun things to do with your kids, are solo-parenting for the weekend, or just want ways to spend some one-on-one bonding time, here are a few ideas that will keep you and your kids entertained, and won’t cost you much either!

Attend story time at your local library
Many of the libraries host free story times for young kids. Check your local library listing for dates. Some may also require you to preregister.

Go fishing at a nearby lake
Spend some time in the great outdoors soaking in the sun and trying to catch some fish. Kids under of the age of 10 can fish without a license!

Pick out a Culture Pass activity from Act 1
Find a variety of free passes granting entry to museums, zoos, state parks, and more. Available at over 150 libraries across the state!

Walk around Scheels
Check out the huge sporting goods store in Chandler and take part in one of the many family-friendly activities inside the store including: Riding on the 65-foot Ferris wheel for just $1, playing some arcade games or miniature bowling, or letting little ones burn off some energy in the small jungle gym area.

See the fish displays at Cabelas or Bass Pro Shops
Like going to a mini aquarium, Cabelas and Bass Pro Shop locations feature an up-close fish tank authentically themed to match the local environment and stocked with fish native to area waters. At Bass Pro Shops kids can even help feed the trout every day at 1:30 p.m.

Attend a workshop at Home Depot or Lowes
Kids can attend free hands-on building workshops with new projects every month at both Lowes and Home Depot.

Watch the planes take off and land
Many of the local airports have viewing areas where you can watch planes on the runway. At the Mesa-Gateway airport you’ll find Barrio Brewing Company which is situated right on the runway offering food and drinks and a great view! Chandler Municipal airport has the Hangar Café where you can get breakfast and lunch fare while watching the planes. Falcon Field in Mesa has viewing area geared toward kids with free airplane goodie bags!

Get samples and walk around Costco
Taste your way through Costco as you browse the aisles and grab free samples to munch on. For best chances of samples, go between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Go on a train ride
Have a little one who loves trains? Many local parks offer free or cheap train rides including Freestone Park in Gilbert, Desert Breeze Park in Chandler, Daisy Mountain Railroad in Anthem, and McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale. You can also visit the Old Tucson Studios, Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, or Trail Dust Town for some unique train experiences. Check out our train roundup for a full list of train attractions!



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