Free In-Store Classes and Activities for Kids

This article was written before the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. While stay at home orders and social distancing are in place, there are a number of safe activities you might consider for your kids:

If you are looking to keep your kids occupied—without spending any money—then you should consider signing them up for an in-store class near you. Lots of big retail chains offer kid classes that teach them how to build things, make crafts, cook food, enjoy storytime, and (in October at least) carve pumpkins. Best of all, the classes are free and held at locations all across the country. Smaller local businesses likely offer some too, so be free to check local listings.

1

Home Depot

Kids' workshop at the Home Depot

 Makoto Shoppert / Flickr

Home Depot's Kids Workshops happen on the first Saturday of every month. Past projects have included model race cars, mail organizers, picture frames, and planters. Classes are free and also include an orange apron and an achievement pin.

You'll want to register for the workshops to make sure your child has a spot and that there are enough building materials to go around. These sometimes fill up quickly, so if you think your child may like the class, be sure to sign up as soon as you can.

2

Michaels

A Michaels Arts & Crafts store front.

Moment Mobile / Getty Images

Michaels craft stores host free classes for kids several times a month on weekends. They also sometimes offer weeklong events before big holidays. The classes at Michaels include all kinds of craft projects that usually center around a holiday or season.

Some classes are a little complicated so a parent is required to stay with the child, but most classes allow kids to be dropped off.

3

Disney Store

Oxford Street Retail Outlets
John Keeble / Getty Images

The Disney Store has some really fun in-store events that take place a few times a month in their stores. During these Disney Store events, kids get free gifts, and they get to sing songs and listen to stories. Events are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Make sure to arrive early, especially if there is a giveaway.

4

Lego Stores

Lego Store Castleton Square

Courtesy of Lego  

Each month, Lego Stores have free events for kids between the ages of 6 to 14 where they can come in and build a mini model. After they've built the mini model, they get to take it home for free.

There is a limit of four children per household per event, and children must stay for the entire event to take home the Lego kit. Kits may not be picked up at a later time.

5

Lakeshore Learning Center

Screenshot of the Lakeshore Learning website

Lakeshore Learning Materials

The Lakeshore Learning Center offers free arts and crafts classes for children ages 3 and older. These classes happen every Saturday, and a parent or guardian must be present to supervise the children and help as needed. No reservations are required.

6

Apple

Apple Classes

Apple

Apple offers a number of programs for kids, including Apple camp, field trips, and virtual events that help kids learn to do more with their Apple devices. Classes cover photography, music-making, coding, design, and more. Just remember to sign up in advance if you want a spot for your child.

7

Williams-Sonoma

William-Sonoma store
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images.

Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

William-Sonoma offers a range of cooking classes, and while a lot of them are aimed at adults, they also have classes for kids between the ages of 8 to 13. Most of the classes are free, though a few do have a fee, though those fees are donated to a nonprofit.

8

Microsoft

Microsoft
John Smith/VIEWpress.

John Smith/VIEWpress

Microsoft offers a range of free kid classes to match their interests, including STEM, coding, space, museums, fossils, travel, moviemaking, and more. Some of the workshops are offered in-store (using their products), but there are also a bunch available virtually as well.

9

Lowe's

Lowe's Store
Getty Images.

Getty Images

Usually held every month, Lowe's offers a variety of free DIY Kid's Workshops to help them learn how to build things themselves, like their own Mother's Day planter complete with a flower they plant themselves.

10

Local Stores and Community Centers

Picture of kids carving pumpkins outside

Kampgrounds of America, Inc

Check listings at your local bookstores and libraries, because a lot of them offer storytime or other kid events every month. Local parks frequently host free kid workshops and activities for kids as well, especially during warmer seasons.

Your local community center might also have events, especially during holiday seasons. Pumpkin-carving activities are popular at Halloween, egg decorating is popular at Easter, and at Christmas, there often are craft projects for making ornaments or building gingerbread houses.

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