Sonoma County Kids 2016 Guide to FREE or Low-Cost Summer Activities

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Sonoma County Kids 2016 Guide to FREE or Low-Cost Summer Activities main image

Are you ready for the Summer of 2016? There are many alternatives to summer camps for your kids this summer. This guide contains activities your kids can participate in all summer long. Some are very low-priced and some are FREE!


Please email us at if we have missed a program. This is a work in progress, check back often for updates!

Have a great summer! 

Summer Movie Programs


Reel Kids Summer Movie Series at Rohnert Park Reading Cinemas

June 15-August 11

$1/movie. Wednesdays & Thursdays at 10am. Concession discounts available also.


Movie Schedule:
June 15 & 16: How to Train Your Dragon 2

June 22 & 23: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

June 29 & 30: Minions

July 6 & 7: The Peanuts Movie

July 13 & 14: Home

July 20 & 21: Mr. Peabody & Sherman

July 27 & 28: Spongebob Movie

August 3 & 4: The Lego Movie

August 10 & 11: Hotel Transylvania 2



Movies in the Park at Howarth Park in Santa Rosa

August 12-September 16

FREE. Friday Nights. Movie starts at dusk (approximately 8pm in August and 7:45pm in September). Arrive at Howarth Park early (around 6pm) to enjoy pre-movie entertainment and to purchase movie snacks.


Movie Schedule:
August 12 – Hotel Transylvania 2
August 19 – Inside Out
August 26 – The Good Dinosaur
September 2 – Minions
September 9 – Hook
September 16 – Zootopia



Windsor Outdoor Summer Nights on the Green

June 7-July 26

FREE. 8 Tuesday nights this summer. Movies begin 10 minutes after sunset. Bring your own chairs! 

Movie Schedule:

June 7: Frozen

June 14: King Fu Panda 3

June 28: Minions

July 5: The Peanuts Movie

July 12: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

July 19: Wall-E

July 26: Star Wars the Force Awakens


Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse at Novato Century Theater

June 14-August 18

$1 per movie or $5 for 10 movies (pre-purchased). Every Tuesday and Thursday at 10am all summer.

Get coupon for $1 off snacks HERE.


Movie Schedule:

June 14 & 16: Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip

June 21 & 23: The Peanuts Movie

June 28 & 30: Pan

July 5 & 7: Home

July 12 & 14: BoxTrolls

July 19 & 21: The Sandlot

July 26 & 28: Norm of the North

August 2 & 4: Shawn the Sheep, The Movie

August 9 & 11: Max

August 16 & 18: Paddington 


Kids Summer Movie Series at Airport Stadium in Santa Rosa

June 16-August 12

$3 per movie or $15 for 9 movies (pre-purchased). Every Thursday and Friday at 10am all summer. 

$4 for popcorn, drink, and candy.


Movie Schedule:

June 16 & 17: Peanuts Movie

June 23 & 24: Home

June 30 & July 1: Goosebumps

July 7 & 8: Shaun the Sheep

July 14 & 15: Alvin & the Chipmunks 4

July 21 & 22: Minions

July 28 & 29: Hotel Transylvania

August 4 & 5: Book of Life

August 11 & 12: Norm of the North



Kids Summer Movie Series at Third Street Cinemas in Santa Rosa

June 14-August 10

$3 per movie or $15 for 9 movies (pre-purchased). Every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10am all summer.

$4 for popcorn, drink, and candy.


Movie Schedule:

June 14 & 15: The Peanuts Movie

June 21 & 22: Home

June 28 & 29: Goosebumps

July 5 & 6: Shaun the Sheep

July 12 & 13: Alvin and the Chipmunks 4

July 19 & 20: Minions

July 26 & 27: Hotel Transylvania 2

August 2 & 3: Book of Life

August 9 & 10: Norm of the North



Reading Programs



Barnes and Noble Imagination's Destination

May 17-September 6

This program is geared towards children in grades 1-6. Kids will read books and complete a journal. Bring the completed journal into any Barnes and Noble store for a FREE book! Visit their WEBSITE for more info.



Copperfield's Festival of Characters Summer Reading Adventures

Starts June 6!

Sign up online or visit your hometown Copperfield's Books.

We are celebrating the characters from some fantastic authors this summer, authors such as Eric Carle, Roald Dahl, Beverly Clearly, JK Rowling and more. If you want ideas on what to read, pick up a reading list with these and other wonderful books in our stores beginning June 6. 

Beginning June 6, you can pick up your very own Festival of Characters Bingo Card. Fill it out to win prizes all summer! 

The Festival of Characters ends on August 29 and your hometown bookstore will host a party for its readers in August. Date to be announced. 


Sign up ONLINE or at any Copperfield's Books.



Sonoma County Library Summer Reading Club

June 7 at any Sonoma County Library

Keep your child reading all summer! Kids that sign up receive a journal to log their summer reads. Read for fun, earn prizes, and complete your reading goals for a chance to win bigger prizes! 0-12 years.



Sonoma County Library Teen Read

June 7

Register at your local library to pick up your Teen Read Game Card. Read Books and complete Library Activities to earn stamps on your Game Card. Level up to win five different prizes, including treats, gift cards and a FREE book! Get raffle tickets for book reviews and workshop attendance. Raffle for prizes (grand prize is a Kindle Fire).

*Open to 7th-12th grades only



PBS Summer Reading Adventures

10 weeks of do-it-yourself summer reading camp! Online activities with a different theme each week. Visit the WEBSITE for more info. 



Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge

May 9-September 9

Read books and log minutes all summer! Take weekly challenges and earn rewards. Enter contests for prizes. Visit the WEBSITE for more info. 



Book Adventure

Year Round.

Sponsored by Sylvan Learning, Book Adventure is a fun, free way to motivate your child to read! Kids in grades K-8 can search for books, read them offline, come back to quiz on what they’ve read, and earn prizes for their reading success. Visit the WEBSITE for more info.



Chuck E. Cheese Reading Awards

Year Round

Kids can earn 10 FREE tokens for reading every day for 2 weeks. Visit the WEBSITE to download the Reading Rewards Calendar. There are other Reward programs such as Good Behavior, Daily Chores, Good Eater, Potty Training, and Table Manners. All of these can be redeemed for FREE tokens.



FREE Live Music Concerts



KRUSH Backyard Shows in Santa Rosa

May 18-Sept 22

Thursdays at 6pm (doors open at 5:30pm). 3565 Standish Avenue, Santa Rosa

Please bring low lawn chairs or blankets. Kids are welcome, but please leave pets at home. All shows are FREE. Beer, wine, and food are available for purchase. See WEBSITE for the 2016 lineup.



Peacetown Summer Music Series in Sebastopol

June 29-August 31

Wednesdays, 5-8pm @ Ives Park in Sebastopol

FREE live music sponsored by Lagunitas and Taft Brewery. See WEBSITE for 2015 lineup.



Rockin Concerts at Montgomery Village in Santa Rosa

May 28-October 8

Saturdays, noon-3pm @ Montgomery Village. 911 Village Court, Santa Rosa

FREE live music, Cattlemen's BBQ, Monti's outdoor grill, beer, and wine. See WEBSITE for 2016 lineup.



Summer Concert Series at Julliard Park

July 3-August 14

Sundays, 5-7pm @ Julliard Park in Santa Rosa

There’s no better way to spend your summer Sunday evenings than enjoying music, food and fun at Live at Juilliard! Now celebrating its 22nd season, this FREE concert series brings some of the Bay Area’s finest bands to Juilliard Park. Pack a picnic or purchase food from one of our tasty vendors.See WEBSITE for 2016 lineup.



Wednesday Night Market in Santa Rosa

June 8-August 17
Wednesdays, 5-8:30pm @ Fourth Street in Santa Rosa

3 bands each Wednesday night. The main act is on a stage set up at the corner of Fourth and E. On D between Fourth and Fifth, is a wine garden that includes a band. At the far end of Fourth, near the Courthouse and Mendocino, is where you’ll find the 3rd band. Visit the WEBSITE for full lineup.



West End Farmers Market in Santa Rosa

April 3-August 21

Sundays, 11am (market hours: 9:30am-2pm) @ 817 Donahue Street, Santa Rosa

Musical acts that are often a solo act, sometimes a duo or trio with various amplified, stringed instruments and maybe an accordion. Visit the WEBSITE for lineup.



Windsor Summer Music Nights

June 9-September 1

Thursday nights, 6-8pm @ the Windsor Town Green.

Concerts are part of the Windsor Thursday Night Farmer's Markets (5-8pm). Visit WEBSITE for lineup.



Healdsburg Summer Concerts in the Plaza

May 31-August 30

Tuesdays 6-8pm @ Plaza Park in Healdsburg.

There’s something for everyone: BBQ oysters, pizza, chicken salads, sandwiches, gyros, spanakopita, paella, burgers, sliders, sausages, fries, drinks, ice cream and desserts. Visit the WEBSITE for lineup.



Stern Grove Festival in San Francisco

June 19-August 21

Sundays at 2pm @ Stern Grove in San Francisco.

As part of Stern Grove Festival’s admission-free performances, the public is invited to experience the Festival’s array of admission-free education and outreach events, designed to inform, engage, and inspire.

From 11:00 am until 1:00 pm before every concert (excluding June 19 Big Picnic), kids of all ages are invited to participate in hands-on arts projects exploring "The Art of Nature" at KidStage in the West Meadow. Each week at KidStage, teaching artists will lead a workshop on making art wiht nature, an instrument exploration station and a dance workshop.

**KIDS DAYS at Stern Grove
The Festival offers a free series of fun and interactive arts education programs for children ages 4-13. Youth and families can attend one Kids Day a week. The workshops are held from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Pre-registration is required at

What: Kids Day with Salsamania Dance Company
When: June 16, 17 or 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

What: Kids Day with Halau o’ Keikiali’i
When: July 7, 8, or 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

What: Kids Day with Sam Francisco Ballet Center for Dance Education 
When: July 21, 22, or 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.



Other Summer Activities



Summer Play Days at the Disney Store

June 4-September 5

Daily activities in the early afternoon (usually after 2pm, call for schedule). Activities include Art of Animation, Trivia, Story Time and Showtime. The staff is flexible on activities and will take requests. FREE lanyard the first time you play. FREE character button every week. Each week is a different character. Visit the WEBSITE for the schedule of characters.



Camp Creativity at Michaels

June 13-July 29 10am-noon

Summer Crafting journey for kids ages 3 and up. Two new crafts per day, fun weekly themes, and face paint Fridays.



Kids Bowl FREE at Double Decker Lanes in Rohnert Park

June 6-September 4

Register your children to receive 2 FREE games every day this summer. Upgrade to FREE family bowling for a small fee. Does not include shoe rental. See WEBSITE for more info.



Kids Bowl FREE at Windsor Bowl

May 31-August 31

Register your children to receive 2 FREE games every day this summer.



AMF Summer Games at Boulevard Lanes in Petaluma

May 23-September 5

Purchase a Kids Pass (ages 15 and under) for $26.95 or an Adult Pass (ages 16 and over) for $31.95, and you and your children can enjoy bowling 3 games all summer long! Shoe rental may be included in this pass (please verify). See WEBSITE for more info.



Where's Waldo at Copperfield's Books in Petaluma

Begins July 1.

Pick up the list of participating Petaluma businesses in Copperfield's. Your child will love hunting for Waldo in stores and checking them off the card. Bring the completed card back into Copperfield's for a prize. End of July there will be a party at each local Copperfield's store.



Sonoma County Trails Challenge

June - September.

Walk, hike, run, or bike at least 5 Sonoma County Trails between June and September. When you finish, you'll get a free Trails Challenge commemorative pin and also could win park memberships and trail gear from REI and CamelBak. Kids get special prizes too, including a nature-themed book from the Sonoma County Library.



Summer Kids Events at Sonoma County Libraries

As always, the library always provides FREE, fun entertainment for the kids all summer. Reading programs, arts & crafts, puppet shows, live music, storytelling, and much more. See the Sonoma County Library Website for calendar.


Click on a day to see events