Cheap summer fun

Participating bowling alleys on the Peninsula include Williamsburg Lanes located at 5544 Olde Towne Road and York Lanes located at 4200 George Washington Memorial Highway. There also are locations in Chesapeake, Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

Free crafts

Lowes offers a free Build and Grow program on various weekends in June where kids can build a wooden project to take home. They also receive a free apron, goggles and achievement patch. You can find the schedule, with a description of the projects, at Registration is required, and classes fill up quickly.

Home Depot offers a similar program. The next workshop is scheduled for July 6. Find more information and register at

Every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, Bass Pro Shops locations offer family workshops about the outdoors. Topics include animal identification, bird watching and fishing. The workshop program runs from May 30 through July 5. Find more information at

Michaels offers Kids Club workshops on a weekly basis. The cost is $2 per child, which includes materials. The themes often revolve around holidays. Joann's Fabrics offer more in-depth workshops for older kids. The activities, which last about three hours, cost between $35 and $45, depending on the activity. Find more information at

Free museums

Those with a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit or debit card can get free admission into a number of museums through the Museums on Us program.

The free admission offer is available during the first full weekend of every month. Participating museums include the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art and Dewitt Wallace Decorative Arts museums in Colonial Williamsburg and the Children's Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth.

The Peninsula Fine Arts Center in Newport News offers free admission during the first full weekend of every month and during a monthly Community Day. The next free admission weekend takes place on June 1-2, and the next Community Day is scheduled for June 15.

Free music

The Peninsula is rife with summer concert series, and most of them are free. Check out the Hampton Block Party on Saturday nights in downtown Hampton, which celebrates its 20th season this year.

Fort Monroe's Music by the Bay series will begin June 13 and continue on Thursday evenings through Aug. 30. The Mariners' Museum also will offer a free concert series on Thursdays starting June 6.

City Center in Newport News has begun its Fridays at the Fountain summer concert series. On May 31, Peace of Zion will play a free concert.

You can find all the news about free summer music at

Many of the activities listed above, particularly those sponsored by parks and recreation departments, take place in most of the localities in Hampton Roads. If you don't see any activity near your home, be sure to contact your local parks and recreation department, or keep up with weekly news about things to do at and in Friday's Ticket section in the Daily Press.

Paitsel can be reached at 247-4737 or

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