Cheap summer fun

Pool memberships, theme park passes, museum tickets — keeping up with Hampton Roads' best attractions can get expensive. Here are some frugal ways to fill the days this summer.

See a movie

The Hampton family movie series has moved to Mill Point Park this year. It will begin its free outdoor movie series on June 18. Entertainment begins at 7 p.m., with the movie starting at sunset. You can find a schedule at

In August, City Center in Newport News offers a free outdoor movie series for families and children. And check out for information about a free movie series at Chickahominy Riverfront Park in James City County.

Also starting June 18, Regal movie theaters in Hampton Roads will begin a Summer Express program, which features two children's movies at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for $1. The program lasts nine weeks and includes movies such as "Rio," "ParaNorman," "Yogi Bear" and "African Cats."

Check out the movies at Regal Kiln Creek Stadium 20 in Newport News, Regal Harbour View Grande Stadium 16 in Suffolk and Regal New Town Stadium 12 in Williamsburg. There are also participating Regal theaters in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.

You can find the movie schedule at

Cinemark theaters in Norfolk and Chesapeake offer a similar program, although show-goers can purchaser 10 movie tickets for $5 in advance, or $1 at the door. The program starts on June 18. Find more information at

AMC Theaters hosted a similar program in past years, but the program was discontinued in 2010.

Parks and rec adventures

City parks and recreation departments offer a variety of fun activities throughout the summer, and many are free or inexpensive.

In Newport News, every Friday through Aug. 30, children can meet with a park naturalist for a nature walk and hands-on activities. There are a number of other park-related weekly activities on other days of the week, as well.

Call 886-7916 for weekly topic and location. You can also refer to the "Seasonal tabloid" at to find other programs.

At 11 a.m. on Fridays starting June 11, Bluebird Gap Farm in Hampton will host a Storytelling in the Park series featuring performers like the Rainbow Puppets and C. Shells. You can find more information at

In James City County, sing away the summer blues during Karoake in the Park on Saturdays at Chickahominy Riverfront Park. Find more information at

Free bowling

AMF bowling centers offer two free games of bowling every day for kids throughout the summer.

This year, parents do not need to print out a coupon to participate, but you must register at The free bowling program will last through Sept. 2.

Parents can purchase a summer pass for $34.95, which offers two games a day for the pass holder and three guests.

Shoe rental is not included in the kids' pass or the adult pass.